Post-Thanksgiving Painting Video

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a smashing Thanksgiving yesterday, and are now lazing around with bloated bellies until it’s time to dig into your leftovers. To give you an excuse to avoid getting into another political fight with your crazy Uncle Albie, here is another instructional video for one of Artistic Abandon’s paintings, Blue Window.

If you’re interested in licensing our paintings (all of which are copyrighted) for your own paint and sip business or classroom, please contact us at artisticabandon@gmail.com. If you’re a budding artist and just want to paint along at home (not to teach or to sell as your own painting or financially profit from in any way), you are welcome to use this video free of charge. Have fun!

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Instructional Video – Misty Woods

We’ve created videos for how to teach a few of our paintings! We’ll be releasing more over the coming weeks. While these videos are meant for instructors, and give tips for how to avoid the pitfalls of teaching them, individual budding artists are welcome to paint along at home. If you’re interested in licensing our paintings (all of which are copyrighted) for your own paint and sip business or classroom, please contact us at artisticabandon@gmail.com. If you’re a budding artist and just want to paint along at home (not to teach or to sell as your own painting or financially profit from in any way), you are welcome to use this video free of charge. Have fun!

Shifting Focus

After 10 years in the paint and sip industry, I’ve decided to shift focus. This decision came about for a number of reasons. I realized that I wasn’t getting as much enjoyment out of teaching paint and sip classes and running the day-to-day operations as I used to. I also realized that I’ve been getting way more satisfaction doing the consulting work because I’m getting to facilitate people changing their lives on a grander scale. The consulting work is what really has meaning for me at this point.

In the midst of coming to these realizations, two things happened. First, a new opportunity came along to start a different business, and the idea really excited me. It’s a chance to learn a new medium and enjoy the challenge of opening a new business from scratch, with a bonus of helping out some fellow artists. Second, the plaza where our brick and mortar store was located was purchased, and when we attempted to renew our lease for another year, the new landlord doubled the rent. When we negotiated our lease initially, we didn’t know what we were doing and didn’t include any protections in it that would protect us this many years later.

We had three options at that point. We could scramble to find a new space to lease and reestablish Artistic Abandon, and pass up the other business opportunity that has so excited me; we could close Artistic Abandon and focus on the new business; or we could go mobile and do offsite-only parties, which would allow me to still pursue the new business. We chose door number 3.

So we closed down the brick and mortar location, found storage space for our supplies so that we can keep doing parties in our customers’ homes, offices, churches, bars, clubhouses, etc, and are in the process of opening a new business. My husband and I talked a lot about whether we should continue offering consulting services for people who wanted to start their own paint and sip studios but not pay insane franchise fees. It is a good deal of work, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew I’d miss it. I want to fill my days doing things that I find meaningful, and it doesn’t get much more meaningful than helping people change their lives. So, I’ve stepped back from teaching as much and have less day-to-day work running Artistic Abandon, and I am diving head first into a new business, but I’m going to continue offering consulting services even once the studios I’m currently helping are self-sufficient. I’m just not quite ready to give up something so rewarding.

So cross your fingers for me that the new business turns out to be as exciting and challenging as I’m hoping, and celebrate with me that I’ve recognized what’s important to me and am finding ways to make it all work!

Tradition at Stonewater 8-17-17

Smart Meetings

Artistic Abandon has been featured again! The magazine, Smart Meetings, even included a picture of Emily teaching. One of the fun things you can do as a paint and sip studio is team building events. There are so many options for customizing it for each company that comes in for a painting class! We’ve done everything from small doctors’ offices to huge tech companies and everything in between. It’s a great way for coworkers to get together and use a part of their brains that doesn’t always get tapped, and it’s a fairly level playing field: generally, the boss has no more painting experience than the entry-level employee, so it puts everyone on an equal footing as they get to know each other a little bit better.

We’ve Been Featured!

Hi everyone, sorry for the long gap in posts, but I’ve been hard at work on a variety of projects. I thought I’d pop over to share some fun news with you: Artistic Abandon has been featured in the February/March 2017 issue of Professional Artist magazine! Here’s an excerpt of what they had to say:

“Emily Page taught for Painting with a Twist, and when she decided to open her own paint-and-sip studio, she wasn’t happy with the franchise deal the corporation offered her. She had created many example paintings for the company, so she thought she’d just make more. And, she could contract someone to build a computer system for her for a lower price than the franchise would offer for their systems, she said. And in her heart, it just didn’t feel right to franchise.

‘It didn’t really seem to me like a very good deal,’ she said. ‘I watched franchise owners get frustrated at wanting to try something different and being told by corporate that that’s not the business model.’

She opened Artistic Abandon (artisticabandon.com) in Raleigh, N.C., five and a half years ago. There are a couple things that set her studio apart from the franchised ones: The painting library is ‘less cartoony, more like real paintings,’ and the teaching style is more comprehensive. ‘I figured out how to break it down in a much more step-by-step method,’ she said.

Independent studios have some unique challenges. The franchises have the name recognition, and they can put locations anywhere, and sometimes they don’t separate them out very well, Page said. It can be hard to compete, especially in the beginning. And, if new owners don’t partner with other indy studios, they will probably have to pay more for art supplies because they won’t have access to bulk pricing.

Her advice to artists looking to start a paint-and-sip of their own? ‘You have to have patience. It is a customer service job…If you’re not willing to repeat yourself a bunch of times, it’s not the job for you.’ She also warns artists to make sure they understand the liquor laws in their county. Contact the state department of alcoholic beverage control to find out what can and can’t be done.

A couple years after opening Artistic Abandon, Page was approached about franchising her business. ‘It seemed hypocritical. If I wasn’t willing to do it [join a franchise], it seems unfair for me to offer it,’ she said. So, instead, she started a consulting business – kind of like franchising lite – to help artists and non-artists alike open their own studios…

She’s helped seven studios open so far. She offers tools, including a library of paintings, guidelines and suggestions. The studios have banded together to get wholesale prices on materials. Unlike in franchising, the studio gets to pick its own name and doesn’t pay a royalty fee.

In addition to running and teaching at her studio and consulting, Page makes what she calls her ‘real art,’ original paintings, to sell through emilypageart.com. She said during the first couple years of having her paint-and-sip, her art took a backseat, but now that the studio is established, she’s able to spend more time making art, and, maybe more importantly, marketing it.”

professional-artist-magazine-snapshot

Franchiser Is Trying to Re-brand at Franchisee’s Expense

It’s come to our attention recently that one of the major paint and sip franchisers is revamping their brand, making changes to everything from their logo to the look of their franchisees’ studios. What I find really disheartening for those franchisees is that they invested their hard earned money into designing and decorating their space, and now their corporate bosses have decreed that they should redo all that hard work and spend more money to do it. To change over, they’ll need to purchase new aprons, wall decals, and other promotional materials to include the new logo. They’ll have to pay to change the interior decor of their studio spaces. To be fair, corporate has agreed to offset some of that expense to existing studios, but they won’t eliminate the amount completely or make up for the days studios will have to close for the renovations. And all of that comes after they’ve paid exorbitant buy-in and royalty fees to open under that brand name in the first place.

But even putting that aside, corporate’s need to redo their look tells us that they’re not doing as well as they claim they are. If they had strong paintings and their staff had been trained how to teach properly so that customers could do better paintings, they wouldn’t need to pump money into a re-branding effort. Clearly, their customers aren’t getting a good enough painting experience, so they’re trying to make up for it by glitzing up their spaces.

As a studio owner and artist who opted not to go the franchise route, I hurt for those franchisees who have been so let down.

How Soon Can We Be Open?

A question we get a lot is what the time frame is for opening a paint and sip studio. Honestly, it varies pretty wildly. We helped a studio open within a month of them signing with us, and we had another that took almost a year. The biggest factor is finding a studio space and the state of the space you decide to rent out. If it requires a large build out that requires pulling permits, it can take several months. A lot of times the build out is fairly simple, but contractors get stuck waiting for the city to give them the permit. So when you look for a space, obviously, the less you have to do, the sooner you’ll be able to open.

The other aspect that takes some time is hiring your artists. It takes a unique person to teach this kind of event, because they have to have good people skills, a sense of humor, be a little bit of a showman, and be able to not only paint well, but paint quickly, and explain exactly how they’re doing it. Finding artists that fit that criteria can take a little time, but it’s worth it because it will help set you apart from other studios that are less concerned about the quality of their instructors.

The rest of the prep work for opening can go fairly quickly, but again, it’s entirely up to how much time you’re able to devote to it and how fancy you want to get with it all. You can choose to do your own website, or our tech guy can do it for you. You can go with the furniture we recommend, or you can choose to have it specially made. Because we’re consultants and you’re not franchising, we give you all of your options and you’re free to choose what route you take with everything, so there are no rules and there is no set time frame.

On average, I’d estimate that the studios we have helped have opened within about 4 – 6 months of signing the contract with us.