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Breaking Art Calendar Records & Deadlines with Elaine O’Neil

How Textile Artist Elaine O’Neil Broke Records in her business / Photos by Barbara Tyroler

Elaine O’Neil is an award-winning textile collage artist, a stellar client, Spring Into Action Bootcamp student and 2015 Essential Edge Live attendee. Her signature Luv This Place® North Carolina art calendar, which supports the N.C. Cancer Hospital, is carried by retailers such as Crook’s Corner, Quail Ridge Books, Lynn’s Hallmark, and A Southern Season.

This year, Elaine unveils her Luv This Place® AMERICA art calendar and breaks her own productivity record.

Believe it or not, most people wait for their big break to find them, when in reality, preparation and deadlines are still what get the job done.

Elaine O’Neil is certainly used to deadlines. She has been in business as a self-employed artist for over twenty years and has been publishing her Luv This Place® North Carolina art calendar for five.

This year, on top of meeting client deadlines for custom commissions, designing signature ornaments, and managing her normal workload, Elaine produced not one, but two art calendars made from her original collage artwork. She produced the Luv This Place® North Carolina and the Luv This Place® AMERICA art calendars; both are on schedule to sell out.

Elaine starts her projects with a sketch before cutting any fabric. This year was no different, but she had to double her art calendar workload in time to finish twenty-four originals, get calendar mock-ups created, and get two different calendars printed.

And here’s the big kicker: she did it all before July! That’s not only a record breaker for the amount of work she created for this line of her business, but it was all done in record-breaking time.


How this might apply to you:

In your creative business, you likely experience a swell of activity during one or two seasons. When you have predictability in your calendar year and your business’s seasonality, you can prepare to meet demand and meet deadlines.

If you don’t know when your business’s seasonality is, think about how 2014 shaped your schedule. Were you getting more phone calls, orders, or walk-in’s in a particular month? Were you up to your ears in projects at one point?

Perhaps you discovered an opportunity after it had already passed. Hindsight is 20/20, which means you can be ready to take that opportunity the next time it comes around.

An exercise to help you prepare for your big and small breaks.

First, think about what worked and what didn’t work in your art business in the past two years. Building on what worked, where do you want to grow your creative business? What top 3 goals do you want to bring to life?

Next, create a list of those top 3 goals to pursue and add a realistic deadline:

  • I want to double my project load and income by mm/dd/yy.
  • I want to have at least one showing of my artwork every other month.
  • I want to finish 20 new canvases by next October.

Specific, measurable goals allow you to break your big goal into sub-goals. From here, take your big top 3, and add a bulleted list of what it will take to reach each goal individually.

With the help of specific goals and deadlines, you’ll be able to show up for your goals and break your own art business records!



To learn more about Elaine O’Neil and order a “Luv This Place” Calendar, visit www.ElaineOneil.com.

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2 Responses

    1. Hi Susan!

      The video series is delivered by email each week. It will take about 5 minutes to read/watch and it’s up to you whether you want to use the promotional tip for that week or not. And, there are no costs tied to the series. Hope you’ll join us by subscribing above.

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