Tag: Marketing

4 Critical Points to Help You be Successful in the Art Business

4 Critical Points to Help You be Successful in the Art Business

Art is Everywhere

Art has taken over the world. Look around and there isn’t a single industry that does not require the visual music of an artist. Luxury brands appropriate street art. There are dozens of online sites to sell your art - you just need a modest marketing budget. Simply put, a lot of art today takes place outside the art world entirely and no longer take place only in galleries.

Artists can be laser-like in their work that they forget the larger world they can mold and shape. You are not an amateur, you the artist can shape the present and the future. Artists shape how people think, what people buy and how people consume. Don't underestimate the ways art speaks to the masses.

Don't Just Play it Safe

If you’re not playing it smart, you’re playing it safe - and safe artists seldom make history. Remember the art world is like any other in the game of life. Move the chess pieces in your favour regardless of what your objectives are. Many artists want the respect and esteem of their peers. Artists hope people will appreciate the ethos behind their work in some shape or form. However, artists must answer: what do you do well and why do you do what you do? (aka your value proposition).

Ultimately, you must notice when you assert yourself confidently and when you retreat. Are you playing a game you enjoy or a game that's set up to make you fail? Return back to why you’re making art. Don’t ignore how the world thrives on changing the rules for womxn and for people of colour, and so it’s more important than ever to invest in your game.


Game Recognize Game

Whether you’re pursuing creativity for yourself or a higher purpose, recognizing game gives you the advantage of changing the game. You can make new rules, and put up goalposts for others to also take their shot. More importantly, be sure to invest in your art mentally and spiritually so that others will do the same.

  1. Learn to play chess: think ahead, plan and learn the difference between making decisions and making the right decisions.
  2. Rules: make a list of rules you see others following and break some of them to stand out.
  3. Be a radical: rebel against ‘that's the way things are,’ be inventive and different, share that passionately with someone in the industry.
  4. Seek sage advice: identify a mentor who’s successful at the game.
  5. Find a community: if you don’t belong to a group (online or in-person) join one and exchange ideas (or create one and enhance your own credibility).
  6. Points: scoring doesn’t make them win, training and playing so you can’t lose does - so balance competition with others in favour of competition with yourself.
  7. Getting called out: in an era of PC language, of being misunderstood and of cancel culture (which can really destroy your reputation), if you’re unsure of an idea wait a few days. If you’re still really unsure, ask someone about the ethics before moving forward.

Ultimately, base business decisions on your present and future needs, and not on the needs at a point in time where you felt small and unsure. Artists don't want to drown in labels. Artists avoid societal cages that diminish the creative process. Similarly, and do not overlook the counterpoint, you get to define what playground you want to play in, and what labels you want to wear. If you don’t, someone else will do so for you.


Move with the Seasons

Above all, while the art industry is subjective and what’s considered ‘great’ art likewise, you can still create ways in which great can shift with the seasons. (We don't all want to see comic strip art forever.) Similarly, that’s not to say that the few people with decision-making power will always be the ones moving the dial in the art world. After all, you’re an artist and you know exactly how to create something from nothing.

Networking Effectively Online and Offline 101

Your network is your net worth.”

Networking is the art of developing professional and social contacts. Can you list yours?

Valuable and strategic contacts can play a key role in professional growth. However, it seems harder and harder to get someone’s attention, but it doesn’t have to be. 

In just one click, two creatives from two different countries can collaborate. But how can you make networking work for you instead of leaving it to chance?

Don’t be aimless.



Know Your Why

Firstly, know why you want to network. For example, is it to promote a show; find new leads (potential clients, but unsure) or clients (people who will pay); pitch an idea, service or product; collaborate, or seek mentorship or other advice? Networking does not and should not just be about taking – make sure there is a balance between getting inspired or just appreciating and sharing someone else’s work. Better yet, give them something of value, rather than take (this one’s important).


How to Network 101

1. Make a schedule – if you don’t have a plan how will you know where to start? If it’s social media, (we both know you’re on it a lot more than you admit) chances are you should be interacting at least once per week related to your ‘why’ (see above). Schedule yourself: X hrs per week on Sunday, or 1 event per month after work.


2. Professionalism – is your portfolio up-to-date and ready to go? There’s nothing worse than letting someone know, ‘it’s not all there, but…’ If you don’t have the time to showcase your own work, what message are you sending? Communicate professionally at all times because your reputation is forever – especially as a digital tattoo. I’ve seen messages that are aggressive, demanding, and don’t include a simple thank you. Make sure to start and end politely. No one has to freely give you their time and knowledge. They might be busy, uninterested, or receive a lot of requests. Don’t take it personally, and don’t give up (you know the story of J.K. Rowling’s rejections or unsuccessful American Idols).


3. Research – are events agonizing for you? If your aim is to get more clients, you attend more events to increase your chances (if you ace everything on this list). Use Facebook events or groups, Meetup, Eventbrite, or check out art listings in your city, such as galleries, music events, community gatherings connected to the art world. Above all, do not rely only on digital connections, meeting in person can pay off.

4. Research people – this is often overlooked. Know who will be at an event and why, so you can speak accordingly. If you have specific questions about finances or publishing, find the right person to speak with, or ask if anyone knows someone. If you like their work let them know you’re a fan. Don’t be poorly researched. If they have videos or a website go to that first. Tag them in your posts with something personal. Make it memorable.


5. Memorize your pitch – how do you want to start a conversation? If you're an introvert, you better be practising in front of a mirror or with a friend. Share what’s unique about you, and get passionate speaking about yourself. Understand how to make a pitch you’re comfortable making based on your ask. There are resources on, how not market yourself, on ‘creating the perfect pitch’ here, here and here. To sum, your ‘pitch’ should really make someone say, ‘tell me more!’ Make yourself positively memorable – vibes are key.


6. Psychological preparation – does the thought of networking make your stomach churn? Or does another networking event bore you to death? Finding, preparing, networking and pitching can sound like a lot, even if it’s informal, ‘feel free to check out my work, here’s my Instagram – no pressure if you don’t. Nice meeting you.’ But you do need to be okay with nerves or getting turned down. The solution: remain curious. You're learning and that means knocking on a few wrong doors. If you’re consistent enough, you refine, and keep pushing. The ‘no’ will clear the way for the ‘yes’ meant for you.


7. Think outside the box - Perhaps you hate an event, it’s too pink washed, or too happy, or it’s ‘not your style,’ or niche. I’ve had friends decide not to go to such events. While this is true on the surface, but what if somebody at the event wants your hand made designs at their next sponsored event in all of their gift bags? What if you can be the graphic designer for their next conference with over 1000 participants? Or what if that annoying looking person is interested and says the magic words, ‘let me make an introduction…’ – do not limit your networking imagination.


8. Follow-upBe sure to follow-up in one week with a kind message. Add each other on LinkedIn or Instagram. Send a note, Thanks for sharing X (something they said), I really appreciate your time. Please stay in touch, sincerely X. Include all of the links to your work. Be diligent, accessible, and open for communication. (Do not respond to their email one month later. Be courteous and respond within 48 hours).

Approach as if you’re Ready

If you think it’s hard to communicate with a stranger, do you think potential clients or collaborators will reach out to you in a sea of other artists? It’s up to you to share your talents and voice with the world – there’s a reason why were given them.

Be self-aware, know why you’re networking and practice the skills – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Most importantly, your personal story is your brand, even if you’re unsure of exactly what that is at first. Start at one point and just go - do it scared.

5 Things Artists Need to Know Before Launching their Career

It’s no secret that taking the creative route to success can be more challenging than a typical career, but it’s not without its rewards either. If you’re an aspiring artist, or someone just starting to emerge in your field, here are five tips that you need to know before your big break.

1. Network, network, network, network!

This is by far one of the most important things you can do. Expanding your network will get you places that job postings won’t. Interacting with other like-minded people can not only help you cease opportunities, but some of them can eventually become the kind of friends who will understand your hustle and be supportive in ways others might not. Simply put, you have to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. It might sound cliche, but who you know is just as important as what you know. Many times I went as far as sending messages and emails to people I admire, just to ask how they did it. You’d be surprised to know many do answer!

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)


2. Not everyone will like you

It’s not a secret. It doesn’t matter if you can top Lady Gaga as a vocalist, match the wits of Samuel L. Jackson, or paint a canvas that’ll tower higher than the Sistine Chapel, not everyone will like your work. Seeking likes on social media, or bending your identity to accommodate everyone might get you five minutes of exposure, but it won’t give you an entire career. The most successful people are those who refused to give up, created their own unique identity, and who kept on singing, acting, performing, writing, training, persisting regardless of who was watching.

Flashdance (1983)


3. Know Thyself

When we’re just starting out, we may take jobs we’re not exactly proud of, ‘cause you know- they pay the bills, but if you’re looking to do this full-time, you need to know exactly why you’re here. Are there certain values you’d like to convey? Is there a disenfranchised community you want to help out? Did you become an artist to inspire people in any way? Do you want to see more diversity on screen? We don’t think of these questions very often, but they’ll help you narrow down exactly the kind of portfolio you want to have. And you also have to learn to say “yes” when you mean “yes”, and say a firm “no” when you mean “no”.

This goes for everything in life. If you know deep in your heart that you’re a rock or jazz singer, try not to bend for others. If you have an idea of which roles bring out your best performances, go for it! If you know your poetry is what expresses the real you best, don’t write a fiction novel just for the sake of it- unless you really, really want to. Experimenting is fine, as long as you come back to yourself.

Fame (1980)


4. The hustle is real

If you decided to become an artist because you thought it would give you more freedom, or so you can be a rebel or an outcast, think again. There’s the expression, “If you work doing what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. While there is some truth to it, some people like to run with that idea. The reality is becoming your own creative boss will require you to probably put in almost double the hours of a regular full-time job. Nevermind the fact many of us do have a regular job simultaneously! The good news is it gets easier, and eventually you manage to get to doing your art full-time, but for the first decade or so of your career, you won’t have much of a social life, or much sleep (as I’m typing this at 1:30am). Ask anyone however and they’ll tell you straight up spending twelve hours onset or in a studio, totally beats an eight hour shift at the office.

Dead Poets Society (1989)


5. Have a plan, but stay open to the unexpected

I’ve been a writer for over ten years, and directed my first short in 2012. Had you told younger me that I would have had to drop out of university, work at call-centers, and eventually move to a big city like Toronto, only to spend the next two years hustling as a freelance script supervisor and write blogs, I would have hid in my room for the rest of my life! And for good reason. The reality is that it’s going to be overwhelming. Having a longterm plan will pay off in the long run, because there will be days where you’ll wonder what made you want to become an artist. There will be days where you’ll wonder if it’s worth it, because change take time. Remember, a watched kettle never boils. Going over that plan will remind you why you started.

Million Dollar Baby (2005)


Even if it means sharing cheesy quotes all over your social media. And yes I also encourage you share as much of your own work as possible! Don’t be afraid of to spam news feeds. Even if it means creating a vision board filled with photos of the most outlandish goals you have, and meditating on them. Even if it means sacrificing a few fun events, and releasing friends who don’t support you. What matters is to keep pushing. What matters is whatever you do is fulfilling for you. The world needs more inspired people.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists? In what ways can the community better support each other?

"An artist cannot fail. It is a success just to be one." - Charles Horton Cooley


Blog – Artists Incubation Process

About us

  • Free Minds in Motion is a social think tank that builds communities of creative unicorns who leverage their business development skills to work on projects that enrich communities.

SMARTER is Simplified Methods Achieving Results Through Exact Rhythm

  • We are Free Minds Motion. We are masters of the SCRUM. We use an Agile based project management philosophy that allows us to coordinate multiple projects with multiple teams, their marketing needs & different setups

Design Philosophy

  • A tree grows its roots as deep as it needs to be tall. We develop projects from the foundation up to become practical, easy to operate, and help you articulate the benefits of a client’s idea to your customer

What governs us?

  • We consist of creative thinkers who command a critical intellect, articulate with clarity, find the complex in simplicity, are elevated by ambition, grounded in humility, susceptible to growth, have a strong sense of integrity & honesty, while respecting flow & energy.


  • We share a knowledge, leverage each other's resources and expertise to work on each other's project as well as client projects


  • Build social think tanks
  • Develop creative thinkers in to business developers
  • Create projects that add wealth and enrich communities in Toronto.


  • To become an incubator space focused on managing, developing, or investing in art, artists and their community projects and help them mature in to self-sustainable businesses



Artist Incubation process

Artists no longer buy tables. Artists buy an incubation process based on the term they purchase.

  • Artists still buying regular tables pay for the Paper plan at $40
  • The process can include workshops provided by community members with proven track records.
  • Business development services provided by The Social Think Tank and 3rd associates,
  • and events such as TAAP and the Artists and Social Innovation Expo where they get to test the results of the incubation process.
Plan name Paper Blue Yellow Black
Term 2 month 3 months 6 months 12 months
Quarterly Bi Annual Annual
Recurring fee $20 $18.33 $14.16 $12.08
Startup fee $40 $55 $85 $145
Perks 1 Workshop 3 Workshop All Workshops All Workshops
      Basic Marketing or business development outline that covers you for 1 year Basic Marketing or business development outline that covers you for 1 year
  1 event 1 event 2 events 4 events


  • Artists set up their own account on FMiMBranding


  • Artists get ongoing updates on future TAAP events and development
  • Artists get 1s access to early bird tickets
  • Exclusive service at FMiMBranding and 3rd party affiliates
  • All members account maintains themselves and withdraw money using PayPal
  • All artists are advertised on the TAAP page
  • Artists can be directly hired for projects, jobs by outside parties
  • All artists can post in TAAP affiliated channels
  • Access to other artists and members of the Think Tank
  • Access ability to participate and share in profit for ongoing project
  • Artists get access to 1 event per quarter
  • 1 workshop per month
  • Discounted FMiMBranding services



Business Dev Services

  • Free Minds in Motion is a social think tank that’ll offer service based on the members of the social think tank, their skill level, and their availability
Web Development Web Development
 48% of the world’s population uses the internet, that’s about 3.2 billion people who can visit your website. We develop dynamic websites in to a user interface that improves and maximizes user experience by serving within 2 clicks.
Fee $335    
Business Development Customer Relations Management
We map out your sales strategy from the moment a client receives one of your advertisement (online, business card, email) up to 3 years after they’ve purchased your products.
Sales Funnel Optimization
 We Reverse engineer any targeted revenue and provide you with a detailed outline that will help you execute on how to execute
Social Media hierarchy
We map out a social media strategy for you to build a community by telling your organization’s story.
Fee $335 $335 $335
Marketing Project Paper trail
We distribute 1,000 postcards sized flyers inside an elegant envelope through community outreach and only to pre-qualified customers starting at $99
Social Media hierarchy
We map out a social media strategy for you to build a community by telling your organization’s story.
Search Engine Optimization
We use years of proven search engine techniques to make your website visible on more local Google searches
Fee $335 $335 $335
Support Critical updates & Support
We monitor, tweak and or provide your project critical updates - sometimes bringing it back to stage 2 and 3 for the next 90 days. We provide you with extensive access to resources including, Slack, workshops, tutorials, event invites, downloads to help you maintain. We support all our clients up to 3 months after the project is finished
Fee $335    





Name The Gig Economy 2017 Know Thyself Workshop Sell Yourself in 30 Seconds
Description Building the gig economy through design thinking. You will have designed the gig economy with a group of creative thinkers by the end of this workshop You will have an outline of a project that aligns with your passion by the end of this workshop You will have learned how to pitch any company in 30 seconds by using these 4 Ws by the end of the workshops
Class Size 6 to 7 students 6 to 7 students 6 to 7 students
Tickets $45 $45 $45
Potential value $315 $315 $315



Event name The Annex Art Party The Social Innovation Arts Expo
Description ·         The Annex Art Party is a quarterly pop-up marketplace hosted at CSIAnnex. #TAAP is positive vibes, a creative community, and emerging artist of Toronto vibing through a series of beautifully choreographed events that includes vendors, art, mixing, mingling, live art, performances, dance, music, food, and beverages.
·         An annual art and innovator expo



Event name August 24th Oct 31st Dec
The Annex Art Party TAAP2 TAAP3 TAAP4
Artists and Innovator Expo      
Arts Gallery/Incubator space     Open an arts gallery/coffee shop


Feb/March May/June July/aug Oct 31st Dec
        ASIx 2018
Open an arts gallery/coffee shop        


Video – The 1st Annex Art Party Event Logistics

The first quarterly Annex Art Party takes place at the Centre for Social Innovation (Annex) and its geared towards incubating emerging artists in Toronto. The event currently features vendor spaces animated by the likes of painters, artists, stylists, tinkerers, movie makers, and jewelers.
Event flow
The Annex Art Party is a beautifully choreographed series of events featuring artwork, street performers, music, business development workshops, as well as info on how to get microloans to kickstart your project.
Food and drinks
You can eat Desi food or West Indian food, chocolate desserts, or buy drinks at the bar.
CSI's licensed cafe will be open.
Artist, join our Facebook community group
Date change + vision
With the addition of new staff and a more refined vision, we will need more time to choreograph and deliver.
For event details
Our goal is to raise enough funding for art, artists, and their projects in Toronto and around the world.
We are working with African artist Sanama so he can finish his comic, "Looking for Molly". We want to help his community by opening or starting an art incubator space (or a program) in Yaoundé, Africa.
You can view his profile page on FMiMBranding
Vendor spaces still available. Please sign up here:
#TAAP #CSIAnnex #CreativeUnicorns #TheAnnex #TorontoArtists #TorontoArt #Art #CreativeUTO

RnD – The Annex Art Party Fundraiser

Buyers can go to www.FMiMBranding.com to buy ticket online

  • Free Minds in Motion is a profit share system. All online forms will ask for referral so we can compensate accordingly

Ticket gives buyer 1 free item at participating vendors

  • Ticket helps raise funding to open an incubator in Africa
  • Helps raise funding to provide Freesanama with art equipment
  • Helps pay for social media staff
  • Helps pay marketing overheads

Ticket price

  • $20 fundraiser tickets

$5.00 goes to vendor
Participating vendors

  • Get beer at the CSI Cafe
  • Get a sample Rum Cake
  • Get a sample Jerk Chicken
  • Get a sample Butter chicken
  • Get 1 page from Izik Bell artwork
  • Get 1 page from Freesanama artwork

$5.00 goes to seller

  • Free Minds in Motion relies on a profit share system to honor our hardworking volunteers. All our projects will always have a portion re allocated to those who made it possible

$6.50 goes to fundraiser

  • Our 3 stages fundraiser will help artist Freesanama Get computer equipment in stage 1, visit Toronto in stage 2 and stage 3 where The Social Think Tank travels to Africa to start developing an artist incubator

$3.50 goes to overheads

  • Overheads includes paying for advertisement, rental fees, contractors, advisors, communication and the tools and apps that keep our operations running at optimal levels


RnD – The Social Enterprise Spring Pop Up on 420

The 4th SocEntPopUp will be on Thursday April 20th.  Hosted inside the garage at the beautifully restored CSI Annex.
Our Vision

  • Provide a quarterly platform that fosters a community of knowledge, activists, social entrepreneurs, artists, working professionals, & change makers who exchange, food, knowledge, art, ideas, their products, services, creations amongst themselves & social consumers of Toronto


  • We went through a learning curve through 2016 only fully hitting our mark with the 3rd SocEntPopUp, taking everything we learned full circle with the 4th The 4th SocEntPopUp will be split in to sections, health and wellness, clothing, arts and crafts, food and will be designed to give event goers a full experience where they can enjoy something to eat, artwork, workshops,

Event categories

  • Health Wellness
  • Arts & Craft
  • Social Services

Inside CSI Annex

  • CSI Annex is located at 720 Bathurst St, in a five-story, beautifully restored brick & beam building packed with innovators. Each of the coworking floors has its own unique vibe, and you can kick back in the lounge with a snack from our locally-sourced CSI Café. Click here to Google Map the location or here for more info on CSI Annex

Timeless User Experience

  • The Holiday SocEntPopUp is less about selling you a table and more about working together to provide a timeless user experience

Collaborative Marketing

  • Designed for us to collaborate with you on how to best tap in to our networks and reconnect with current and past clients. Be 1 of the 20 participants who are generating buzz about this one magical day during the shopping season on December 3rd

The 3rd SocEntPopUp was advertised on Facebook and this is how many people we reached 4,774 people

·         96% women
·         92% women responses were women
Ages Reached Responded
18-24 26% 19%
25-34 40%
35-44 19% 22%



  • $480.25 to book The Garage for 4 hours
  • $65.54 for 1000 flyers
  • $100 for Facebook Advertisement
  • $645 is total cost of the event


  • $32.77 is the lowest we can go for tickets

Early bird tickets

  • $35 early bird tickets
  • 10 tables available for early birds
  • Brings back $350

45 per table

  • Brings in $13 per table in profits
  • 10 tables sold at 45 brings in $130
  • 20 tables sold at 45 brings in $260

2-day event

  • A two-day event sold at $45 brings in $520
  • A 2-day event gives us more profit while needing to pay for advertisement once

The Social Innovation Expo

  • The vision is to set up two events per year as oppose to 4 events. One during the boxing day season, and the other in the beginning of summer.
  • The goal is to set this up by 2018
  • Below is a estimated break down of the event budget

3 Day event

  • 300 tables per day
  • 900 tables sold in 3 days
  • Average sales price $75 per table
  • Revenue 67,500 on tables before we open doors

5-day event

  • $112,500 in revenue
  • Doesn’t factor in event sponsors

2 events per year

  • $225,000 on tables sold

Estimated event cost

  • $3,000 with most money going to rent

Event schedule
February 14th 2017

  • Launch marketing
  • We will relaunch the marketing on the website
  • Launch marketing on social media

March 31st

  • Early bird tickets end
  • Flyer advertisement starts April 1st

April 11th

  • Facebook Ad starts
  • All payments are due April 11th

April 15th

  • Media day – We meet up to discuss setup, logistics, possibly take pictures for the final push of the of the social media advertising campaign.

April 20th

  • I set up on a table at 11am
  • We start recording for Facebook live
  • Vendors can start trickling in
  • Event starts at 1pm


RnD – The Social Enterprise Pop Up – Spring Marketplace

The 4th Social Enterprise Pop Up has been scheduled for Thursday April 20th 2017. And I’m extending an Earlier Bird invite to you
It will be held at the same location CSI Annex at 720 Bathurst, however it’ll be confined inside the Garage with a larger set up. It'll be between the prime-time hours of 1pm and 4pm. And below are all the fixes in place to make it better.
Feel free to send me feedback.
The Holiday Pop Up saw 20+ organizations register with 17 setting up. Marketing per Facebook went out to 4,774 people (for the record, Facebook had stopped the marketing and I didn’t realize until a few days before event)

  • 96% of these were women,
  • 92% who responded to the event were women,
  • 41% of those who responded were between the ages of 25 – 34,
  • 26% were between 18 – 24
  • and the rest (19%) were between 35 - 44

Slight name adjustment

  • There has been a slight change to the name so we can create one definitive logo for the event
    • Social Enterprise Pop Up -
      Spring Marketplace at CSI Annex
      on 04.20.17 starting at 1PM
  • I'm focused on developing my own social enterprise and will no longer be mentally stretched thin like last time.
  • The original event wasn't fully integrated in to FMiMBranding.com, so I will NOT be facing the nightmare I was going through before, having to be back and forth to fish information. This also means 1 single sign up will take care of you for future events.
  • I'm working on putting together a think tank around the event to help with event management, marketing, creative direction
  • I will be booking office space at the Annex for the month of April, just because it makes better financial sense and am open to splitting costs.
  • All events will be organized at CSIAnnex from now on with the follow up circled for July 20th
  • Event will be based on 4 pillars, Arts Craft Food Clothing with each section having a host.
  • A hybrid version of this was done with Montina Hussey, Abeda Oturkar and Hannah Towle who went above and beyond by providing content.
  • Hosting organizations participate in profit share and right now we're looking for someone to fill up the crafts section.
  • 2000 flyer advertising schedule has been tightened down to start with a kick off campaign April 1st and will solely be focus on the Annex area
  • Professional photographer/videographer will be in place (I’m so sorry I refuse to release the pics I have now, they aren’t Pixar level quality)
  • The $30 Earlier bird registrations start now and will be open to organizations who have participated in the past. (price is higher to help offset marketing costs)
  • The event opens to other vendors January 31st at regular price $45

How to apply

Free Minds in Motion
215 Spadina Ave,
Toronto, ON M5T 2C7