Marketing for Artists: Lightbox SF and Shana Astrachan Team Up with TechShop for DIY Marketing Class

When I heard Genevieve Brazelton of the creative coaching super duo Lightbox SF was teaming up with San Francisco jewelry designer Shana Astrachan, also of Fox & Doll to share some of their favorite ideas on marketing for artists, I rushed to sign up. The class, taught at TechShop San Francisco, featured best practices for helping your brand stand out from the competition.  The best part?  Genevieve and Shana featured design ideas and inspiration that can be created on some of the super-cool high-tech equipment at TechShop.  Laser cutter, here I come!

Tech Shop San Francisco

TechShop was the host of a recent DIY marketing class in San Francisco that featured countless ideas on better marketing for artists.

DIY marketing pros Genevieve and Shana are experts on putting your best business foot forward by creating a memorable and cohesive brand identity.  Genevieve empowers creatives to take over the world through one-on-one, in-person, and phone coaching sessions to help clients define what makes them different from the competition, who their ideal customers are, and the best way to reach and communicate with their ideal customer. To help businesses grow, Lightbox SF believes in a strong web presence, authentic creative marketing strategies, and being active in the community.

Genevieve Brazelton and Shana Astrachan

Class presenters Genevieve Brazelton (left) and Shana Astrachan (right) believe that telling a personal story is key for artists when marketing their work. (Photos © Portraits To The People 2011)

Shana has been designing jewelry for the past 15 years. Her work focuses on the exploration of unexpected materials, like sequins and felted yarn, that are not found within the context of traditional jewelry materials. Shana’s jewelry has been exhibited across the United States and has been featured in many books including Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing, Wire in Design, 1000 Rings, 500 Necklaces, and Felted Jewelry.  Additionally as part of the make-up artistry team Fox & Doll, Shana gives women flawless skin, beautiful makeup, and gorgeous hair for weddings, TV, and film. 

Because Genevieve and Shana have so much experience under their belts, I was really excited to hear what they had to share about marketing for artists and making your brand stand out. In my mind, I figured creating a memorable and professional-looking brand for my business would entail a lot of money, a team of designers, and countless trips to the printer to edit proof after proof.  To my delight, with high tech tools like a laser cutter, vacuum former, embroidery machine, vinyl cutter, and other TechShop equipment, it is easy to create your very own business cards, rubber stamps, packaging and display, and countless other marketing materials to support your brand identity.

DIY Business Cards

Cohesive marketing materials like these DIY business cards, labels, and stickers, help you build your brand.

Genevieve and Shana encouraged class members to make their DIY marketing materials personal. They stressed using the story behind your business as a way to connect with customers and create a cohesive look, from design and product all the way to packaging.  Marketing materials like business cards, boxes, and product tags need to be memorable to stand out. The idea is to create something that will stick in your customer’s memory or is just too darn cool to throw away or misplace.  

Shana and Genevieve suggest making the most of multiuse marketing materials — postcards can also be used as thank-you notes, business cards can double as product tags, customers can reuse boxes and packaging, and stickers can decorate boxes, shipping materials, and store displays.

They also stressed the importance of supplying retail stores with your own displays or suggesting display ideas to create a small shop-within-a-shop that is cohesive with your business's overall design aesthetic and branding.  Brilliant!!

Samples of Strong Business Cards 

Samples of strong designs and fun laser-cutting tools inspired students to create their own marketing materials.

Genevieve and Shana also spoke from their own experiences as creative rock stars about actions that helped them to stand out from the crowd:

• Make it personal! 

• Know your style, target market, and what makes you different from your competition. 

• Use what you know about your business as a thread to sew a cohesive message throughout all that you do. 

Great ideas—thanks, ladies!

Signing off by the Golden Gate,



R. Elliot

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for posting this. I wanted to say that I agree so much with what Genevieve and Shana said about telling the story behind the pieces. We've noticed the same thing, which is that when crafters/artisans don't do this, all to often they end up having to compete on price.

Also, since the majority of craft businesses tend to be small home based operations, Lightbox's emphasis on multiuse marketing materials is not only creative but very practical. Coincidentally, we just published a related post that covers a few super simple and non-technical marketing tips that crafters can use to take their business to new heights.

So glad to have found your post. Thanks!

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