#35 Tonia Jenny: Creatively Editing, Writing, and Coaching

Tonia Jenny has edited and acquired dozens of art and craft books. She has spent a career working with artists, first by helping them to enhance their art through framing, and later by helping them create and design books. She was also instrumental in the introduction of mixed media art to the world. She has established a business where she provides editorial services, coaching, and online art courses. If you’ve ever considered writing an art or craft book, this interview is for you.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Tonia Jenny in Sedona, Arizona.

Artwork by Tonia
You can find this mini course on Tonia's website.
Do you need help writing about yourself? Check this out on Tonia's website.

Here are some of the things we discussed in this episode (click on the names to follow the links):

This is Tonia’s website: toniajenny.com

She also can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

Tonia offers mini classes on her website here. 

Here is the link to her class “A Sampler of Circles.”

Tonia also offers Life Purpose Coaching on her website.

The Editorial Services that Tonia offers are Editing Packages, Book Proposal Creation, and Copywriting.

Tonia offers a great Bio-Writing Kit to help you in writing your mission statement that explains all about you.

Look back at Tonia’s website for a future class that she offers periodically called “Discover the Book Within You.”

One of her earlier exposure to mixed media art was from the magazine Somerset Studio.

Two of the books she worked on that we talked about are Kelly Rae Roberts’ book Taking Flight and Creative Awakenings by Sheri Gaynor.

Tonia works with Connie Solera on 21 Secrets, helping to find instructors for the classes. 21 Secrets is a set of online mini art classes, and a new set comes out twice a year.

Here are some takeaways from this episode:

  1. If you are applying for a creative job, make a creative resume. It’s in your best interest to show them your best self.
  2. Don’t be afraid to propose something new and unusual to your team, like Tonia did when proposing the first mixed media art book. She has a knack of spotting trends, and you’ll be able to do the same in your area of expertise.
  3. There are many reasons to write a book, and they are not always just to make money. A book can be used as a sort of calling card, to show potential customers and partners what you do.
  4. When working with a publisher, plan on at least a year between when you sign the contract and when your book should be completed.
  5. When writing a query letter for a book, you don’t need to have the book written; you don’t even need to have all the chapter headings ready. That’s what will be worked on with your editor.
  6. When using a publisher, they will pay for the costs of publishing your book.
  7. When self-publishing, you will pay for the costs of publishing. However, you won’t have to pay up front if it is a print on demand book.
  8. When self-publishing, you will have more freedom in choosing your book’s title and design.
  9. For self-publishing, you will have to pay for an editor for your book.
  10. Publishers will have distribution channels to independent booksellers.
  11. Whether using a publisher or doing it yourself, you will still have to promote your own book.
  12. Online art courses can be any length and any price. Find the one that is right for you.

Do you think you’ve got a book in you? Do you need help with any of the writing related to your business? Tonia’s the one to call. She has years of experience helping artists find the right words and methods for getting their art out there. You can email her at tonia@toniajenny.com.

#34 Building Your Art Business Network

An art business network is all the connections you have made with people that can help your business. Artists should build a strong network of art contacts that they can tap into for exhibits, collaborations, and income opportunities. Of course, the connections go in both directions, as you can help other artists and businesses too. You can exhibit with artists, collaborate on art pieces, meet customers and collectors, and utilize the expertise of artists, like for photographing your art or for graphic design.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Meeting friends at an art show. Renata Rodrigues, Suzanne Redmond, Craig McInnis (Episode 33). Above is artwork by Renata Rodrigues.
Suzanne with Cynthia Simmons and her artwork.
Suzanne with Shakeera Thomas and her woven wire creations.
Networking with artists at a local arts organization, the Wellington Art Society in Florida.

#33 Craig McInnis: Artist, Musician, and Creator of Haunted Houses

Artist Craig McInnis has taken his talents into so many areas of his life. He’s a fine artist, a musician, a muralist, a painting and drawing teacher, and the Creative Director of Fright Nights, a Halloween event in West Palm Beach, Florida. Craig has also formed artist groups and helped to create a yearly large pop-up gallery that showcases the work of over 70 artists.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, CastBox, or Stitcher.

New Freedom of the Press
Blind Patriotism
Flight to the Pinnacle
Amidst It All

Craig McInnis, as Egg Man, his alter ego at Fright Nights.

Here are some of the things we discussed in this episode (click on the names to follow the links):

This is Craig’s website: craigmcinnis.com

You can also find him on:



Craig’s band, Raised by Wolves

You can find Craig’s artwork at The Brewhouse Gallery and Contemporary Living.

Craig teaches art classes through Lot 23 and the Center for Creative Education.

Craig works with Anthony Burks and Trina Slade-Burks each year on the Continuum pop-up gallery.

If you live in Palm Beach County, Florida, you can take a little tour of Craig’s public art murals at the following locations:

West Palm Beach — Narcissus and Banyan parking garage stairwell, collaboration with Steve Marino; police department garage, collaboration with Eduardo Mendieta, Tony Hernandez, and Jay Belicci; inside Hullabaloo restaurant, Respectables, KAPOW Noodle Bar, and Subculture Coffee. Jupiter — Subculture Coffee. Lake Park — The Brewhouse Gallery inside and back alley. Boynton Beach — East Ocean Ave.; Boynton Beach Art District; Boynton Beach Community Center. Lake Worth — adjacent to City Hall.

Here are some takeaways from this episode:

  1. Find artists who are putting on art shows in your area. It’s a great place to sell your work and to meet other artists.
  2. Meet other artists. Whether it’s from teaching or working at the local art store, or joining an artist group, get out there and meet artists you can learn from and collaborate with.
  3. Make your own opportunities by forming art groups or creating pop-up galleries.
  4. Try other ways of earning income with your art, like painting murals, doing makeup or body painting, teaching, or set design.
  5. Look for non-traditional spaces to show your art, like Craig has at The Brewhouse Gallery.
  6. If you want to teach but don’t have experience, read about techniques and work on writing down the steps you take to make your art.
  7. Work to develop your style of fine art, like Craig did when he started painting abstracts.

I hope Craig has inspired you to get out and meet the artists in your community and to try new types of art.

#32 How to Develop Your Online Brand

Artists can use their website and social media to develop their online brands. Your brand is simply what people think of when they hear your name. For artists, you’d like them to think of your art. But with the advent of the internet, and the ease at which you can tell stories, you’ve greatly expanded what your brand is. In this episode, I’ll give you lots of tips for how you can build that brand so that your customers can form a relationship with you and they will want to buy your art.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, CastBox, or Stitcher.

What do you want to include in your brand? What do you want your customers to know about you? You’ll decide what you’re comfortable with so that you can expand the story of you and your art.

#31 Jodi Ohl: Author, Artist, and Creative Instructor

Artist Jodi Ohl lives in North Carolina, but travels far and wide to teach her painting classes. Her style ranges from whimsical to abstract, and she has published a book called Abstracts in Acrylic and Ink. She also teaches online classes and hosts art retreats with her partner Jean Skipper. Because Jodi previously worked in the corporate world, she has created a successful business with a left brain strategy.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Jodi Ohl

Zen Houses
Wandering Heights Zen Houses
Bird Collage
Far and Away, abstract on paper
Art journal sample
Art journal face
Serenity Shore, coldwax
Minis, coldwax

Here are some of the things we discussed on this episode (click on the names to follow the links):

You can find Jodi’s online classes, live classes, retreats, and her book on her website.

You can also find her on:





Her Etsy Shop

Her Blog

Her online group classes are on this page of her website.

Her classes are also listed on CreativeWorkshops.me.

Her studio and some of her art can be found at Art Works Vass in Vass, North Carolina.

She and her ReMe business partner Jean Skipper host ReMe Retreats at two locations in North Carolina.

Jodi previously taught at the Art is You Retreat in Stamford, Connecticut.

Jodi has written for many publications, including Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.

Jodi worked with Tonia Jenney on her book. Tonia has her own business where she helps creatives with editorial, writing, and coaching services.

Here are some great takeaways from this episode.

  1. Use what you know in business to start as a creative entrepreneur.
  2. Consider submitting articles to publications that are in your genre. If you are emailing your submission, be sure you have great photos of your artwork.
  3. Don’t discount the years of posts you made on your blog. It’s still your history, and you can use that as the source for class material or magazine articles.
  4. Work your favorite social media site, like Instagram or facebook. It’s a great way to get noticed within the art world.
  5. To find teaching venues, look at where your peers are teaching.
  6. When creating artwork for a book, you don’t necessarily need to create large pieces.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals for teaching.
  8. Keep pushing yourself and honing your skills in art and business.
  9. The stronger we can be on our left brain side, the more successful we can be as artists.

I hope Jodi has inspired you to try your hand at teaching a class, or writing an article for a magazine, or painting some abstracts.

Would you like to sign up for Jodi’s newsletter? Click here.

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