So, what do I do to remain accountable to my soul? by Marta Staudinger

This may be the realest thing I've ever said on social media. In a recent panel discussion someone asked me 'What do you do to remain accountable'? I feel like that's a loaded question, accountable to what? To goals? To-do lists? My soul? 

People talk about accountability with task completing and with money all the time - but not with VALUE OF TIME. So I'm here today to spread a little light for those who may need to hear this - or are feeling the same way & want to yell it out (!!).

I am only one person. & I only have so many hours in the day to get through my work. That work includes drafting & reviewing contracts, proposing & pitching to potential clients, meeting on & off-site with potential & current clients, meeting with artists with whom I am partnering on upcoming projects, meeting with staff, preparing inventories of artworks for various projects, back-end organization for art exhibitions which includes press releases and condition reports, corresponding via email, setting a calendar, and social media/marketing. When I can, I also have a running rolodex of exhibitions that I really want to get to in order to support artists IRL. I also am responsible for a physical space. 

I am used to working at this capacity & have a work flow to navigate the 30-40 projects we simultaneously balance. I have help - amazing help. But still, I feel there is an understanding out there that artist-curator relationships formulate overnight, that artists sell their work daily, that you can quit your job one day to be balling the next, & that an exhibition comes together in a few hours. NO. We plan our exhibitions 6 months to a year in advance. We court artists very carefully. Same with clients. Everything is a careful investment in time. I hope laying this out de-mystifies a bit of the "art world" and the value of our work and TIME....

That said, I get DMs from people who want to "stop by to hang out". Hi, I don't play every day. I appreciate you are interested in what I am manifesting, but this is very much my lifestyle & wellbeing. If we're not on a text-basis, then we're not hang-out relationship. So I'd like to keep our relationship professional & I'd appreciate to be valued/respected for my time & space to create. Meetings for projects & collectors are what I need to prioritize in my few hours at work a day. 

I always receive emails from people who are "inspired by what I am doing & want to get coffee to pick my brain". I do not exist for my brain to be picked. It is a value, respected part of my person. Plus, it's accumulated years of working very hard to figure things out. I still am clueless at times. I cannot give that out for the price of coffee. Because not only is my expertise unprotected in those moments, but that is time taken away from the other productive & necessary areas of my day. I have an hourly fee for that... 

If you've read to this part, you'll maybe include today was rough but this is rather something I deal with on a daily basis. I am unsure whether being a woman business owner, a creative in the art world, or someone who is tapped into healing/community and therefore "approachable" has anything to do with it. My constant diagnostic is I'm "too nice", but as I told a friend earlier today: I have practiced removing too much #ego from my soul and need to put some back into my own business practices in order to remain accountable to my soul. Please respect people's space, time & expertise is all I'm saying. Creative field is no different from any other profession. As most professions, we do not want to mix professional and personal overnight.

So, what do I do to remain accountable to my soul?

I am forever working on being more firm and keeping my professional relationships in a professional arena. Also, meditation to reset.

Being transparent online about what a real day in my work-field looks like I believe de-mystifies the creative field & demonstrates worth. It shows the amount of expertise, dedication and time that goes into each project.

How do I work to remain accountable to my time?

I only take meetings that very clearly propose what I am working towards + if it is a project or partnership I believe directly fits with my pre-set goals. Rarely, I allow myself to exercise beyond this and take a few out-of-the-box meetings.

How do I work to remain accountable to my worth?

Step 1: Meditate or focus somehow to create clear vision of where I want to be.

Step 2: Create list of action steps to that. May include strategy and budget.

Step 3: Put my head down & work.

Step 4: Find time for enjoyment and play. For me that’s daily meditation & yoga nidra, exercise, and spending time with friends and family. Carving out time to sketch, read or watch a movie.

How do I deal with saying ‘no’?

Easy: ‘no’.

It’s not personal, and could translate to a ‘not now maybe later’ and is accompanied with a kind smile.

The reality is, everything cannot be a yes.

If you too are struggling with the social boundaries of creative professional work, know you are not alone.

I hope this blog post can inspire you to implement some stronger boundaries.

I also hope this blog post will inspire everyone, myself included, to direct mindfulness when approaching people to share some of their time. Do they want to share time in the same way you do and are you prepared to not take it personally if they do not respond or respond with a (hopefully kindly communicated) “no”?

A Reflection on 'Commanding your Vision' Panel by Marta Staudinger

Last night I participated on a panel hosted by Steadfast Supply & Femme Fatale entitled ‘COMMANDING YOUR VISION: GET UNBLOCKED’.

I was honored to be a panelist for such a topic, especially amongst fellow female entrepreneur friends Nicole Crowder of Nicole Crowder Upholstery and Leah Beilhart of Behold.Her, along with Moderator, Mollie Q. Coleman of Noirbnb.com.

Panel description: “It’s time to command your vision and untangle the challenges we face as creative female entrepreneurs! Presented by Steadfast Supply and Femme Fatale, join us along with three inspiring women entrepreneurs as they provide insight and actionable steps to grow and sustain your creative business through their own stories and experiences”

~
A few days before the panel took place, Adriana of Femme Fatale shared this probe with us panelists:

“Entrepreneurship really is about the journey more than the final destination we hold in our minds. This fundamental principle is one that is often forgotten in the midst of juggling all that comes our way on the path to our goals. Each of you ladies are at a point in your own journeys that you are able to reflect back to see that it really is about the process. The results you have seen to this point have required you to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone and that is what we mean when we say COMMAND YOUR VISION. The panel discussion will delve into your experiences in how you have unblocked your path time and time again to get to your overall vision. “

~

I remember when I was dyyyyying inside to be selected as a panelist. Now I need to be selective with where I dedicate my energy and this panel intrigued me because I knew as a panelist I would be encouraged to be brutally honest and actually connect with those who are building - rather than further separate myself from them. I believe I vouch for my accompanying panelists that they too had those intentions. Far too many times I attended panel discussions (when I was starting Latela Curatorial) so hungry for advice on where & how to spin my wheels the right way… and all of the conversations seemed to fall flat and not really get down to the grit.

I very much hope that our conversation from last night was helpful to the women who attended. After the panel, I spoke with a few women who expressed their difficulties with self-criticism as they grew their business, time-management, and communicating their value/getting paid. First I must say, I am grateful some of these women saw me as such a confident, well-put-together professional. I can promise you, that’s not always the case! Second, we all have moments of self-doubt and criticism.

Upon reflection from the night & my conversations, here are some streamlined tips I wish someone had shared with my year-one entrepreneur self. (In the same sentence, I must say - I am only wiser now having learned these lessons along the way)!

  1. Be unapologetic. Say No. Be kind, but say no. I firmly disagree with the “say yes to everything” mindset. No one person can do every thing. And no one brand can be every thing to every one. If you need to bend a client or project too far to make it work, it’s probably not worth your time.

  2. Stop trying to make people see you. Put your head down & do the work. The right people will see you & acknowledge that.

  3. Invest in your self. While this may not be true for products & service businesses, it 100% is for creative businesses. If your self reflection narrative expects to see a return on your investment in 2-5 years… then maybe reset your goals. This is a lifestyle. While none of us want to be under-valued, we can also play an integral part in educating on our value even while financial return is not in it.

  4. Be all in. This is your life! So what are you really willing to sacrifice? It’s not always *fun* or *easy* to be your own boss. The highs are highs, but man can the lows be lows. Can you handle it? Or what do you need around you (affirmations, community, support) to keep you up in those lows... cuz they will come & keep coming.

  5. Meditate. Every. Day. Because you need to refuel and remain sane. Duno how? Call me. Or join Latela Curatorial’s next moon circle

  6. Be weary of “collaborations”. People who suggest to collaborate 9 times out of 10 really mean they want you to do all the work and help their business via yours.

  7. Be careful with partnerships. People will want a piece of your pie, be selective. Make them work. Stay quiet and suss them out.

  8. Artists: FUCK exposure. Does exposure make you money? No. It just makes you run around town hanging your art for free and framing it on your dime for another restaurant or co-working space’s free decor benefit. Substitute exposure for relationships. If it’s not a long-term relationship you could benefit from and give into (like with a gallery for example), then I’d think twice.

  9. Don’t be too generous. As women, we are giving by nature. I have absolutely given my space out for free to help women businesses I believed in grow to find I’ve been taken advantage of. I’ve catapulted artists who cut me out of sales equations directly connected to my efforts. It happens, dust your shoulders off, and save the generosity for your day to day human interactions - not for your business life.

  10. Get to know yourself. Love yourself. Understand your value. This goes for everything. No one will buy your work or pay for your services if they don’t understand who you are and why you are special. Take the time you need (remember the investment lifestyle tip) to figure this out for yourself. It is your most valuable asset - to know your value and communicate it properly. We help artists with this all the time

  11. Be smart with money but also know what to invest in. You learn to be scrappy VERY quickly when you start your own business. You will cherish that life lesson forever. But do not replace scrappy with cheap! One simply cannot do everything. Hiring for services you are not good at or do not want to spend your time doing allows you to free up your time (& ENERGY) for the clients that will actually make you money and raise your value. Hire out for the right things.

  12. Cut cords & be okay with rejection. It’s not personal. Not everyone will like you and you won’t get every client you pitch to. Just know that, and move on. Pitch to more clients so that when people disappear or do not follow through it doesn’t affect you. You should already be on to other things. Same scenario for vice-a-versa. You may need to move on from relationships (professional or personal) that hold you back from your dreams/goals. We’ve all been there. Pull up your big girl panties and cut that toxic cord. Shed that layer of skin and hug yourself for respecting yourself.

Happy to respond to comments/questions…

A Course for Emerging Artist & Curators by Marta Staudinger

I receive multiple inquiries a week about artist & curatorial mentorship. I have been thinking about how to respond to these inquiries for quite some time: to provide advice of value to multiple points of emerging creative interest. Such has required much research on my behalf of what tools that already exist.

We are currently living in such an interesting time, that is changing rapidly. With the presence of Instagram: the traditional commercial art gallery, art dealer, and art consultant models are changing. As technology expands, replicated art is becoming more ‘acceptable’ - in some instances preferred. And as blogging and Pinterest-ing become more of an art, everything now can be “curated”. So what advice can I possibly give that can predict something that will continue to change over the course of the next year?

I mean, I’ve been there. You learn some strategy: how to “curate” your social media feed, strategize what type of content you’ll provide to market yourself, etc…. and then trends change. And you need to start all over again.

Or as you’re getting started: everyone you know has an opinion (it’s call business-splaining… and still usually comes from men). It’s a truth that individuals who operate from the creative side of their brain have a harder time shutting out noise, prioritizing and moving forward on a few important projects. I think the most difficult lesson for me to learn was prioritization: you just simply cannot do everything and be everything. There is a difference in the art field in that you can merge (for examples artists are also teachers and collective organizers, or curators are also art historians, critics and professors). But building that divide takes time and it’s important to weave your interests together in a way that they work together rather than overwhelm you + make sense to other people + cross-promote your other assets.

In response, I have designed two workshops (which will be manifested through Latela Curatorial) entitled ‘Business How-To’s & Marketing Strategies for Artists + Curators’ & ‘Proposals & Contracts for Artists + Curators’.

Business How-To’s & Marketing Strategies for Artists + Curators

In this workshop we cover: how to build your creative portfolio, identifying & understanding your audience, marketing your artwork, determining price/worth, assessing the pros and cons (& confidence + monetary factors) of where you stand between hobbyist and full-time creative professional, and implementing essential marketing strategies to cut your logistical time in half so you may work smarter. This workshop is ideal for emerging artists & curators, and also appropriate for anyone who is in the first 3-4 years of a creative career, contemplating rebranding or contemplating making their passion project a full-time lifestyle.

Our aim is for you to leave this workshop with action steps to increase your client volume and feel confident with the business reality of your creative life.

Proposals & Contracts for Artists + Curators

In this workshop we cover: how to vision board & understand what kind of art opportunities you want (corporate clients, murals, gallery exhibitions, a combination, etc.), key points in cataloguing/inventory practices that are necessary for proposals and submitting artwork, creating an artist catalogue to show your work to potential clients at the click of a button, key points in proposals (for corporate projects, murals, and exhibitions), key points to contracts (for corporate projects, murals, and exhibitions), and key points to getting into galleries & the bloody truths about gallery representation. This workshop is ideal for all levels of artist, curator & creative professionals.

Our aim is for you to leave this workshop with templates + action steps to begin working smarter, protect yourself with contracts & propose to the right potential partners and clients.


Latela Curatorial hopes to host at least one workshop monthly. Workshops will be held by myself and Meghan Masius. Please refer to Latela Curatorial’s Calendar for the workshop schedule.

We hope you can join us at a workshop!

For those not able to attend a workshop, check out our other Artists Services as well as our 1-on-1 Consultations which may also be conducted via Skype.

"Whatever you love you are" -Rumi by Marta Staudinger


Simple loving truths. “Whatever you love you are” - Rumi 
The practice of discovery. 
The practice of clarity.
The practice of minimalization. 
The practice of compassion.
The practice or acceptance.
The practice of love.
Is. The practice of artistic voice.

Flow into your spiritual truth thru love, and then genuine expression shall follow thru your physical state (body).

To Basel, or not to Basel by Marta Staudinger

Last night we hosted one of the most beautiful moon circles ever at Latela Curatorial.


i admit, i struggled going into this week. my original plan was to go down to miami for #artbasel - something i was initially excited for when i planned the trip months ago. as an art consultant and an artist, i love to discover new artists, galleries, concepts, etc. it's all inspo eye candy heaven. but as i sat last week manifesting my goals + preparing for the potency of this last moon cycle of 2018, i realized that my body & mind were telling me to stop moving around the globe & to sit still a little longer. i take in so many external ideas + energy vibrations from others all day long in my multifaceted art life... plus, I am an ever-curious person by nature. sometimes, those external ideas become too much input and I need more time than I anticipated to process... & man, is the processing of ideas and inspiration such a heavy element in the artist creation practice.

It took a lot of courage for me to sit and admit to myself that I still had a lot of processing to do with ideas sitting on my crown chakra before digesting them down into my greater system to make room for the unforetold new. this was also tough as EGO told me 'i should' be there anyway since it was the 'art-professional' thing to do. Oh, and then there's FOMO. but, the practice is to separate from ego right?

Following that #thirdeye i decided to stay, and sit, and therefore pop into Latela's Sagittarius #newmooncircle ~ @cirossy so graciously invited me close our circle with a 30-min  #nidrameditation which wasn't included in the ticket description but i welcomed her invitation with open arms - it had been since this summer that I'd participated in one of the gallery's #mooncircles.


Last night i met so many beautiful humans. the gallery was filled with such vulnerable yet potent energy at the same time - it was all just so real and raw. & feminine. we honored our 2018 journeys and struggles. and stillness. we planted seeds for our 2019 love movement. and stillness. and we honored our internal flames…


Here is to embracing an equal balance of solid, liquid & air states of being. #soakinginstillness

Welcoming 2019 by Marta Staudinger

A thought on resolutions as another year embraces us:

I hope that resolutions materialize more into quality over quantity: more stillness, reflection, meditation. For artists & creative voices: I encourage you to appreciate the down time & see its vital importance in your practice. I hope all can see that the quest to self knowledge is not a linear journey, but yet circular with constant shedding of skins no longer serving. And i encourage us all to simplify + invest in the energies for our homes: the spaces in which we dream, breathe, nourish & love when you are not walking amongst nature in the open air. The artwork chosen to live in such space is vital to the narratives & energies YOU curate into YOUR personal orbit. Let me help you find that art…

For 2019, I hope that thru my personal platform & Latela Curatorial that humans continue to see the connection between art & meditation thru pauses, process, revision & stillness... & value in such as it's crucial to our lives as humans, to the creative process & knowledge of self + to those appreciating/investing in such creations from pure forms of manifestation... however that may look, translate or transpire.