Archive for Michelle McSpadden


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 29, 2010 by artlovemagic

The ArtLoveMagic Board exists to guide the overall strategic vision of the organization. Big picture things, like the pursuit of our status as a national not-for-profit, or the yearly budget, or decisions like how many shows we can put on the calendar.

We’re proud to announce that our board is growing, through the addition of three voices.

Nicole Busby has a professional background in marketing and event management. She enjoys writing, volunteering, and supporting artistic minds. She brings a detail-oriented approach and desires to impact ArtLoveMagic’s organizational health.

Elizabeth Trosper has a background in public management and the visual arts. She earned a Masters of Public Administration from the University of North Texas, and is a proponent of developing the visual arts as a key element of a strong local economy. She first joined ArtLoveMagic as a painter at our events, including girlShow.

Michelle McSpadden is a painter and producer who has led several artlovemagic experiences. She’s painted live at nearly a dozen of our events, has produced two Art & Coffees, and has taught with us at our kid’s workshops and the Dallas Museum of Art. Michelle is also the author of a series of articles for this blog that focus on teaching Art & Business (example).

This strengthening of our board will help us realize our goals in new, larger ways. ArtLoveMagic has grown, now having touched nearly 600 artists and performers in the DFW area, and having produced more than 50 separate experiences. Having a healthy organization that can support our vision for impacting this city’s art scene is more important now.

I look forward to working with these three ladies. Each of them brings a mindset and skillset that the board needs.

The future looks bright. May we be our best.


***ATTENTION Creative Thinkers***

Posted in Artists, Community, Shows, Uncategorized with tags , , on October 1, 2010 by artlovemagic

Do you have unique ideas for interactive projects for Art Love Magic events that you would like us to try?   If so, you’ll want to get in on the following contest:

Art Love Magic Interactive Idea Challenge

The winning idea will be selected from the Board of Directors and used at the November Art & Coffee.   The creator of the winning idea will get mad props and a free coffee beverage at the event.

Interactive Art Projects:
* need to cost less than $30.00 in supplies
* need be family friendly
* need to be environmentally friendly (no harsh toxins please)
* need to take up a relatively small space during the show
* need to be somewhat easy and not too labor intensive for participants

How to enter your amazing idea?

Simply email it to: 

(You’re more than welcome to enter more than one idea and if you don’t have a “new” idea, just remind of us an oldie but goodie you’d like to see make a comeback….it’s all good!)

-Michelle McSpadden

A little sharing….

Posted in Art Business, Artists, Uncategorized with tags , on June 16, 2010 by artlovemagic

This year has been incredible for me…artistically speaking.  I’ve been so blessed to participate in several shows, some large and small, but all of them have been awesome in their own way.    This week in particular has been super busy…I have 2 small showings this week and I’m getting ready for a larger show with ALM (girlShow) in July.    As a result of all these opportunities, a demand for changes in my life, art and art processes has arrived too.   Since I’m learning as I go, I wanted to share a little of my journey with you.

** The Recession – has helped me to get out of the box by working a little smaller than usual in order to produce cheaper artworks for patrons who are being more cautious with their budgets.  The quality is the same as the larger works and there has been a good response to the newbies so far.  AND, since everybody loves a sale, I’ve also discounted some older paintings.  (I can’t eat these things….)

**Art Inventory – I read a quote by O’Keeffe in which she advised that every serious artist should have 3 shows worth of work on hand at any given time so that they could be ready to take advantage of opportunities with little advance notice.    WOW, that’s awesome advice, but very challenging.   I only have about 1.5 shows worth of work on hand, so when opportunities arise, I get stressed and wonder if what I have left over from a partially sold series will work.    IF I had a large enough inventory, I wouldn’t have that problem.      What are some other benefits of having 3 shows of artwork on hand??    It keeps the artist busy producing new things,  which should help advance skill levels and concept development, plus it shows a diehard dedication to your craft to patrons/collectors.    What am I doing about it?  In the past 2.5 months I’ve created 38 paintings and have sold some here and there.  (Most of the newbies are small and are not on my website yet.)  My goal is to have another 20 paintings completed by the end of September, so I’ve been sketching like crazy.

**Getting Focused – For me, this means less TV, less talking on the phone, less time on the computer, less time hanging out here and there and more time behind the easel or drawing in the sketchpad.    These days, I don’t mind saying “no” in order to stay home and create, so this has been a huge leap, because I love to serve and help others, but establishing boundaries and knowing when to take time off is essential if goals are to be achieved.     

What are you doing or learning during this season of your artistic journey to hone your skills or advance your art career?       (Please feel free to share with us)

-Michelle McSpadden

The evolution of Art & Coffee

Posted in Artists, Magic, photography, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2010 by artlovemagic

post by Michael Lagocki
photos by Kelsey Paine, Josh Dryk, and Eddie Walker

I imagine most of you reading this have been to, or at least know of, Art & Coffee. This is our longest running show, a monthly Open Mic and Live Art experience that we do at coffee shops. The idea first started in 2008, when I met Bill Priestly, the owner of a new coffee shop, Saxbys, in North Dallas. I loved the shop and after talking to Bill, I wondered if artlovemagic could be impactful in bringing an audience out to a new establishment like his.

We were. For the next year or so, we did monthly shows there that were a little bit of a twist on the artlovemagic model. We opened the mic up to the audience and brought out a handful of live artists for a free show. Attendance was strong right from the beginning.  And we noticed several people would show up month after month. Art & Coffee was a success.

These days, we’ve moved the show down to Deep Ellum and we do it at the wonderful It’s A Grind. Again, this just came from one of our leaders walking into the place and having a conversation with them. They asked us to come and do four shows (that were very successful) and then we contracted for the rest of 2010.

One of the great things about this monthly show, is now that we have a few HUGE shows under our belt (see Underground & girlShow), we’re pretty comfortable doing a show this size. (Art & Coffee usually has about 6 artists in it- girlShow this year will have 60). We’ve become masters at setting it up, and especially tearing it down. We’re usually out the door 30 minutes after Art & Coffee closes.

It’s also become a learning ground for new producers. Melody Hay,  Amanda Davis, Josh Dryk. Michelle McSpadden, and many more first learned the ropes producing A & C before moving on to our BIG shows. Producing A&C entails selecting a group of artists, running a pre-meeting, supporting their team through marketing and getting ready for the show, and then being the lead person on the floor night of.

Producing is a blast. I always say that the production role is where you really get to author the stories in ArtLoveMagic. It’s not for everyone, but I’m thankful that we’ve found a few really great producers who love putting these shows together. And I’m thankful that we have a few dedicated souls who love this show and help it happen every month. Deb, KZach, Mario, Bookworm, Hammer, Eddie, Dugger and others… thank you so much.

But the best part of Art & Coffee is the talent. I LOVE scheduling talent to do these shows. There are two groups to schedule each time Art & Coffee rolls around- the live artists who will create during the show, and the feature performers who hold down the mic. While most of the mic is open to the audience, we always have a feature poet and feature musician, who each perform twice during the night.

I believe having a feature performer does two things that work well within our mission. First, it ensures the mic will have some strong performances. Usually this isn’t a problem as our audiences are pretty talented. More importantantly however, I believe it can grow the artists. It’s easy to find an open mic to perform at. It’s less common to find a feature spot, where you’re asked to be a lead performer and to set the tone, performing multiple times, and being annouced as someone to pay attention to. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to find performers who play solo shows all the time, other times we get to bless someone who hasn’t been honored this way and they get to grow.

So where are we now? Mid 2010 and the shows have been incredible lately. Last night Josh Dryk produced an Art & Coffee that I thought was just fantastic, everything it should be: a strong group of diverse artists, great crowd, incredible open mic with excellent features.

The show goes on. I’m producing the next Art & Coffee myself (July 2nd, 2010). It’s a veteran show. Given that it’s only one week before girlShow, I needed to staff it full of Art & Coffee vets who already know what they’re doing (including people like Justin Nygren, Eddie Walker, Rachel Deniger, and Tim Dugger).

Josh and Kelsey are lined up to produce an upcoming Art & Coffee, as is Michelle McSpadden. We’ve talked about doing a “family” Art & Coffee that would happen mid-day and focus on stuff kids and adults can do together. We’re talking about bringing back the “painting with coffee” interactive that was so popular at Saxbys. We’re looking for new talent that want to create, sing, recite, and produce. All in all, we’re loving it.

Art & Coffee continues to happen first Friday of every month at It’s A grind. It’s a great show, a very welcoming show, and I’m proud to say it’s become an important puzzle piece in this crazy story that is ArtLoveMagic. Come hang out with us and see if you love it to.


!!!Art Opportunity!!!

Posted in Artists, Community with tags , on June 2, 2010 by artlovemagic

Happy Wednesday Everybody!!

I wanted share an art opportunity with you…A great artist friend of mine is helping to organize a neighborhood Garden Tour on 6/05 and he wants to have artists set up at his home and around other areas in the neighborhood.  They have 5 artists already and would like to have about 5 more.  Artists don’t HAVE to be creating during the event, but it would probably be good for people to see the creative process in action.

No commissions taken on artwork sold

No fees for set up

Artists need to bring all their own tent or booth for setup/displays.

Artists will be in shaded locations, but outdoors, so dress comfortably and bring snacks & water.   (And maybe a fan too.)

Setup time: 7:30-8am   (Garden Tour starts at 9am and goes till 3pm)

If you’re interested or know somebody that is, please call Curtis Fesser at 214-319-6989 today! 

****Alger Park / Ash Creek Neighborhood Association Garden Tour****

posted by Michelle McSpadden

Photos by Tom Peal from Arts Fest

Posted in Artists, Deep Ellum, photography, Shows with tags , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by artlovemagic

The good images from the last weekend keep on rolling in. These photos were by local photographer Tom Peal. The play by play is from Michael Lagocki.

It was great to see Deep Ellum filled with people all weekend, loving the scene and the local businesses.

Kids and adults enjoyed our inteactive art section all weekend. It was great to see so many of you create with us.

Here local painter Jason Ice, and artlovemagic co-founder David Rodriguez discuss setup for the show. Our Artist's Alley included five live stages, four gallery sets, an interactive area, and a merch booth. There was a lot to think about.

This is local songwriter Spencer Garland performing in front of a painting that David Rodriguez had done the night before. Spencer is one of many local musicians featured on our radio station at

Big big thanks to all our producers and volunteers. Getting the word out about artlovemagic to thousands of new people at the show took a heroic effort from an unpaid staff. Many of us worked the festival all three days, not to mention all the pre and post work. Here, our Music Director Deborah Driscoll talks with Michelle McSpadden who painted live with us on Sunday.

There's that painting again. The performer is Jenni Mansfield Peal, Tom's wife, who opened up our Sunday stage with an inspirational set.

I got nothing for this one. It's just awesome.

!!! HUGE Art Supply Sale !!!

Posted in Artists with tags , on March 11, 2010 by artlovemagic

HAPPY Thursday Everybody!!

I just wanted to let you know that a fantastic sale is going on at Aaron Brothers Art & Framing off of Midway and Frankford.    They are closing the store and EVERYTHING is on sale for 50% off.    They have a nice variety of  paints, canvases, sketch pads, brushes, easels, pens, professional portfolios, framing supplies, frames, etc.      The sale is only at this store and ends on 4/30, so now is a great time to restock your studio!!

 Have FUN shopping!

Michelle  🙂


Posted in Artists, Community, Service, Shows with tags , , , on January 26, 2010 by artlovemagic

We’re just days away from the first Major show of 2010….UNDERGROUND @ Southside, 8pm on 1/30!!!     I’m so excited about seeing all of the new talented artists joining us for their first show and having the opportunity to serve/volunteer; it’s going to be an electrifying event!!

As I was thinking about the show this morning, I had a few random thoughts that I wanted to toss out there…

***Underground Artists – Do you have everything you need for your setup?    This may include: a chair, table, lights, extension cord, power strip, black tablecloth, price tags, calculator, receipt book, plenty of business cards, pens, a tablet for note taking, paper towels, Advil (just in case), tape, duct tape, pins, twine, your art supplies to create during the evening, etc.

***Be cool and arrive on time for setup.  (4pm)    🙂

***Some food is being donated by The Angry Dog and Deb Driscoll, but wouldn’t it be awesome if we all brought a small snack (salty or sweet) to share?

***Send out email reminders to your friends and family and tell them to prepay online to save some $$.  (Don’t forget to include the art love magic link in your email.)

And yes, it’s supposed to be cold on Saturday night (26 degrees), but where there’s art & music, there will be warmth, so tell everybody to come on out and join us.   🙂

Dreaming about art,

Michelle McSpadden


Visual Artists – Developing Your Career

Posted in Art Business, Artists with tags , , , on July 13, 2009 by artlovemagic

Have you been keeping up with Michelle McSpadden’s excellent series of blogs about Art Business? It’s our first attempt at formally sharing some of the collective’s knowledge about careers on this blog. Michelle has some really simple, really good ideas on how to go from a hobbyist to a professional. This is a great place to start if you’d like to see your art start to supplement your income.

Read on.

Building a Body of Work

Sole Proprietorship for Artists

Pricing Your Art

Art Marketing Part 1

Art Marketing Part 2

Increasing Your Profit Margin