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For B.C.'s artists who paint or draw
 

The 

Artist's Journal

February 2024 anouncement.

From the editor: My apologies for the length of this message. I am very sad I have to end this publication, and venting is an excellent therapy for me!

The Artist's Journal

will stop publishing next year

March 31, 2025, will be the final day for The Artist's Journal. After 27 years, it was a tough decision. Unfortunately, The Artist's Journal – my "labour of love" – has become more labour than love.

When I created The Artist's Journal in 1997, I intended to provide a convenient, single source of the Calls for Entry throughout British Columbia. I was confident it would save artists (like me) from joining multiple Arts Councils and Groups (and paying their membership fees) just to learn of their exhibiting opportunities. The Artist's Journal also provided arts organizations a cost-free venue to inform all B.C. artists of their events.

Then came the Internet. Its popularity grew quickly: it was convenient and had the potential to reach large audiences cheaply. Many art organizations began using social media or offered their own free newsletter online (much cheaper than mailing it). Artists can sign up to receive art information online from whichever areas they choose. Unfortunately, this has made The Artist's Journal redundant: It has outlived its usefulness and purpose. In addition, fewer organizations are informing the news media (like The Artist's Journal) of their Calls for Entry. The days of sending a "press release" seem to be over. I noticed a considerable drop in submissions from many who regularly provided their news in the past. And that's understandable, given the lack of time and staff – and the many cutbacks in arts funding.

With fewer voluntary submissions, I often missed publishing many calls because I wasn't aware of them. I am continually signing up to receive online "newsletters" to avoid this – many are the same groups who willingly sent me their news years ago. But there are over 90 Arts Councils in British Columbia and hundreds more Art Groups, Galleries, etc. When I open my email inbox every morning, the amount to read is daunting. I am at my computer for long periods daily, surfing the Internet or reading everyone's newsletters and tending to The Artist's Journal's many 'business' and production needs (and did I mention I have no staff?). 

Having to re-introduce The Artist's Journal to arts organizations and services is another reason voluntary submissions dropped in recent years. When staff, board members, or volunteers of organizations change, I often have to reacquaint the "new people" with this publication – even though I had communicated with that group for years. It is discouraging to receive a "Who are you?" e-mail, often requesting I remove them from my mailing list (at some point, a previous staff member or volunteer signed up to receive my regular "Reminder" to send me their news). In many cases, I have to honour their request and delete their contact information. I then add their newsletter or social media page to the growing list I must read daily, because I don't want to risk missing any of their opportunities for artists. It is frustrating to struggle to get this publication known and then have to start from scratch with many of my regular contacts! But as I mentioned earlier, I understand operating a non-profit group can be confusing and complicated, especially with a lack of funding.

As the years passed, the vital income from paid advertising also decreased. But that's not surprising: It's far cheaper to advertise your business and services on social media. However, I kept working at The Artist's Journal, happy to volunteer my time for a worthy cause: Helping our talented artists get the exposure and income they deserve. I certainly wasn't making any money at it. In all the years of producing this publication, any income went to production costs, like printing, paper, and mailing when it was a 'hard copy' publication – and later, when it became an online publication, there were website fees and yearly fees for the website title, website security (virus detector and VPN), Microsoft subscription for Word & Excel, Website Analytics services, Adobe InDesign software for graphic design needs, email and Internet services, and updates of equipment and software that always seem to become outdated and "incompatible" far too soon. 

At first, I accepted The Artist's Journal as a very expensive hobby. But soon, I realized that while volunteering part-time is noble, volunteering 24-7 is just plain stupid. Times have changed, and although this digital era can make running a business more convenient and less costly, it has negatively affected publications and news providers like The Artist's Journal. With little revenue from paid advertising and a gradual decrease in subscriptions over the years – plus my increasing workload now that fewer groups submit their Calls for Entry – I decided to end this publication. I've worked hard at it for 27 years. I don't have the energy or interest to reinvent or rebrand The Artist's Journal for our digital era.

I chose March 31, 2025, as the final publication date in fairness to those who have paid to receive the New Call Notices. The majority of the current New Call Notices will expire by then, and the few remaining recipients will be offered reimbursement. Rest assured, until March 2025, business will continue as usual: Calls will continue to be posted, and any new New Call Notice payments will be prorated. 

Thank you to so many . . .

 

I have many to thank for their loyalty, support, and encouragement. There are many businesses who supported me in this publication's early years with paid advertisements, allowing me to get The Artist's Journal off the ground in 1997. Some are no longer in business. There was John Maxwell at Maxwell's Artists Materials, Dave Martin at Creative Corner Framing, Rod Steere of Final Touch Frames, Bill & Karen McKay at A Touch of Elegance Custom Framing, Randy Green at Frame Right, Jessica and her mother at The Gallery Art Supplies & Framing, Shawn Wong at Dragon Arts, Nadine Nickull who handled the advertising for all Opus Framing & Art Supplies locations, Grant & Dawn Smith of Canadian Picture Framers School, Goodridge's Picture Framing, Zheeclay Arts, and Oscar's Art Books. And as the years passed, many other businesses helped me cover the publishing costs.

I am also grateful for the three advertisers who appeared regularly in The Artist's Journal this past year: Wendy of Art by Wendy, Jessica of Gallery Framing & Art Supplies, and Leah of Leah Murray Digital Arts Services. In the past, Jessica (and her mother), Wendy and Leah did huge favours for The Artist's Journal. I invited them to place a complimentary business ad to show my gratitude – and to serve as "advertising examples." I hoped it would encourage other businesses to place display advertisements. Well, that didn't work. But I appreciate Leah, Wendy, and Jessica agreeing to be guinea pigs. Thanks also to those who make my tasks easier – like Aurora van Roon, Communications Coordinator of Place des Arts in Coquitlam. She is an editor's delight, always submitting her news exactly as The Artist's Journal would 'word' it (and remains, to date, my only news contributor among thousands ever to do that).

I want to thank everyone who supported and encouraged The Artist's Journal, particularly those who paid to subscribe. I am grateful for the random notes of thanks, the stories of positive experiences due to The Artist's Journal, the artists who continually "spread the word" about this publication, and the many who voluntarily submitted their news. This publication had a long 27-year reign, thanks to them.

Sincerely,

Eve Lees, editor/publisher (and sole staff)

The Artist’s Journal

Contact Eve by e-mail

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