• By Carol Taylor-Kearney

A Golden Pen: Profile of Andrea Karen Hammer


My love of words, writing and storytelling about artists and creative entrepreneurs remains an insistent call.

Andrea Karen Hammer, 2018

Visual artists (and many others) are not especially comfortable with the written word. For today’s entry, I went to journalist and PR guru Andrea Karen Hammer for information and advice. She is the founder and CEO of Artsphoria International Magazine (https://www.artsphoria.com),Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center (https://www.artsphoria.biz) and Artsphoria: Food for the Soul (https://artsphoria.live).

Andrea is a frequent contributor to Moore College of Art and Design’s Moore Women Artists(moorewomenartists.org) and Foreword Reviews (https://www.forewordreviews.com). Her work has also appeared in Sculpture Magazine, Dance International Magazine, Main Line Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and many other print and web publications. Moreover, she has been a freelance editor and proofreader on projects for The Pew Charitable Trusts, Annenberg Foundation, Dorland Sweeney Jones, Springer Publishing, W.B. Saunders, American College of Physicians, Associated University Presses, Prentice Hall and Little Brown and Company.

Andrea’s story with Artsphoria began while she was working as the managing editor of a quarterly magazine and freelancing on the side. With practical acumen in the arts, writing and publishing world, she decided to strike out with her own online magazine

” As the name suggests, the purpose was to promote the arts. Her reasoning: “I have a longtime commitment to advocating for the arts, which consistently remains an energizing force in my life. I also want to support visual and performing artists while providing a centralized hub for arts lovers.”

Initially launched as newsletters with city editions, Artsphoria focused on arts and entertainment in various cities. In 2004, it went digital to reach an expanding audience and cut down on printing costs. Since then, Artsphoria has grown to Artsphoria International Magazine(https://www.artsphoria.com)—a title conveying its worldwide scope and expanded format. Artsphoria: Arts, Business & Technology Center (https://www.artsphoria.biz) grew out of an interest in the ways that the arts and business fields impact and enhance each other. Begun as Artsphoria: Arts and Business Vitality, this exciting intersection continued to expand.

Articles examining the market trends of artwork to book reviews on positive (and creative) business practices to coverage of art exhibitions and performances related to technology are just some of the topics typically covered. Additionally, services are offered including directory listings, publicity, development of book proposals, meeting and conference presentation packages, preparation of media kits, research reports, scripts for podcasters and speakers as well as answers to custom requests.

Over the years, Andrea has proved to be a person of ideas and entrepreneurship! Aside from her Artsphoria online publications, she had opened Artsphoria Craft Boutique and Shop online to offer custom lines of arts-related accessories, home décor and gift baskets. The gift baskets and other items are available on request at artbiz@protonmail.com. (To see a few examples-- there are baskets for everything from a new home to selections for baby to Paris and art-themed to hugs gifts-- go to www.artsphoria.com/hugs-gift-basket and thumb through the images by hitting the “Next” button.) She had also written a children’s book, Blue Bird and the Kitties, about a real-life visitor (a peacock) to her garden which included personal photos of the event.

Even now, she is pursuing new goals. Some of these include development of apps and paying other writers, reviewers and creators for their submissions. She would like to collect some of her many interviews into print and digital book formats to share instructive insights. Recently, her experimenting with new storytelling formats has included Artsphoria's Animated News Desk, which includes a series called “Star of Your Own Show.”

“When you explore areas of interest, creative direction evolves constantly—one of the exciting aspects of emersion in the arts,” Andrea says. “When you are juggling work on multiple sites and projects, priorities are essential to remain focused on top-of-the-list goals.” She advises artists and other creatives to approach their work with a business mindset—that is, deciding whether something is part of their essential focus and how to emphasize their message.

This is hard enough when working in your own field in the visual and performing arts, but for some artists and creatives it is especially difficult when it comes to writing and promotion. Here, Andrea also has good advice. She encourages artists to stand back and objectively check to see if they would pause to look at a promotional piece in a non-stop stream of news.

“The watchwords for writing, particularly online, are brevity, clarity and simplicity. The best publicity for anyone requires eye-catching images and videos as well as personal storytelling from a unique angle,” Andrea says.

If all else fails or you find that making your artwork requires total attention and concentration, professional marketing assistance can be the best approach for attracting interest and potential sales. Of course, a good person to contact is Andrea Karen Hammer through Artsphoria communications and media services. The easiest way to start is by sending a brief email to artsbiz@protonmail.com with details about your project, assistance needed, timeline and budget.

“Questions about any custom request are always welcome,” she says.

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