Goal Setting for Artists
Is your goal to show your art or is it to sell your art?
Ann Rea talks to Sam Shennan about goal setting for artists and what he learned an accomplished.
– Here we go. This is Ann Rea, coming to you live from San Francisco, California with one of my students in the … From the Making Art/Making Money Semester, who’s also from down under … It’s like tomorrow.
– ‘Cause it’s tomorrow where you are. Tomorrow, I think, and four hours earlier than it is here.
– Yeah. Four hours ago tomorrow.
– Yeah. Very confusing. So thanks for taking the time. I asked Sam to … Sam Shennan, is it Shennan right?
– Yep. Yeah.
– Shennan. Sam Shennan. To just share a few things because he’s learned a few things. I’ll start by asking …
– Oh yeah.
– What I always ask Which is simply, before you enrolled in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester, Sam, what was your biggest challenge when it came to selling your art? Just like in one sentence, what do you think your biggest challenge was?
– Biggest challenge was finding an audience with the people who were into it and actually selling it. Like I was finding an audience, but I wasn’t finding an audience to sell to. So throwing all the content out and getting no results. Spinning my wheels a lot.
– Spinning your … so not an original problem, thank you.
– Good, okay. And so, we’re going to talk a little bit about what you shared in a bit but I also like you to share what your biggest take-away has been so far in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester,
– Um, the biggest take-away, the thing that like applies the best to other parts of my life is the Smarter Goals thing. Like that’s just been so good to start smashing out other things in your life and just putting a time-limit on it.
– Instead of having a nebulous, like something I’ll achieve in the future, going, “Alright, now I’ve got to get done by this time,” and like take the positive steps towards it.
– Yeah. So, Smarter Goals are really key to success no matter what you’re doing, whether you’re an artist trying to sell your work or anything in life. I’m so glad you mentioned that. And Smarter is an acronym for: Specific is the S, M is Measurable, A is Actionable, result, is it the goal, is it the result you want if you accomplish this goal? T stands for Time bound because the task takes as long as the time you allot, so if you don’t give yourself a due date, then you have never-ending, you just have never-ending effort and perfection-itis, it never gets done.
– [Sam] Yeah.
– And E-R stands for Evaluate and Revise if necessary. So revise if it’s something smarter you can do. So, to that point, the reason I ask Sam, to speak with me and to everybody else was because you made this really brilliant post that I just thought was fabulous and just made me so happy for you because you didn’t enroll you know like … You did a lot based on the time you enrolled. Here’s what, if I may read it. May I read it Sam?
– Yeah, go for it.
– So it says, “Making progress! Last year I made every three month I set for myself including traveling North America for five months, losing 14 kilos.”
– [Sam] Yep.
– For Americans, I don’t know what that is, but it sounds like a lot.
– 28-30 or something?
– 30 pounds?
– [Sam] 30 pounds.
– You know, it’s so funny because Anne Vernon also said she lost weight after she enrolled in The Semester but I said I can’t really mention that, that’s a really big, it’s like implying that you’ll lose weight if you …
– What a great perk.
– I know.
– Hey, but you did. You did, right? Okay? So did Anne. And, “Paying off my credit card debts.” Damn! That’s huge. “This year I added some stuff to my dream map,” so for those who are … my students make dream maps in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester, so you added some things to that. “Within a week, has all happened in real life, money and lifestyle and art are all lining up for me at the moment. Spooky, awesome coincidences are the results of fate and universe provide opportunities, once you know what you want from it.” That’s the most important thing you wrote, right there.
– [Sam] Yeah.
– “Once you actually know what you want from it.” And that ties directly to having specific goals. Then, Sam said, “I really think deeper and need to set bigger goals and achieve them.” Yes! That is so true. Because now you know you can do it, you don’t wanna think small, you wanna think big.
– And then, Sam wrote, “I really need to think … A familiar quote comes to mind,” I love this quote by the way. ‘Our Deepest Fear’ by Marianne Williamson, from ‘A Return to Love.’ As a matter of fact, Tony Robins just read this …
– Oh, really?
– When I was in Florida, to a group of students in his Business Mastery Program. He read this exact quote, so listen up. ‘Cause he’s pretty smart. “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It’s our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” Amen sister!
– [Sam] Yes. “We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same thing.” True! “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” So glad that you chose that. It’s such an empowering quote. I love that quote and I just heard it. So … So, your biggest take-away so far is about having goals. And you also, just recently, we put together your Four-Part Code for you. How are you feeling about that?
– Yeah, feeling so much more focused, I’ve got direction and yeah, like a massive relief.
– What’s relieving about it? What’s different?
– The clarity, like, understanding that even though … I was saying this to one of the study partners the other day, it’s like even though I don’t know what to do at all, I know exactly what to do.
– So it’s clarity in like Well I don’t know, but I’ve got a very clear direction.
– Yeah, so if you know very specifically what you want. If you know what you want to accomplish, the how you’re gonna get there starts to become evident by you taking action. And you might take action towards creating and it doesn’t work, but that then becomes the lesson for the next action you have to take. And so you have to really embrace fallin’ on your ass quite a bit.
– Oh yeah.
– And then you’ll get there. The point is, just don’t ever give up and have clear direction. I see a lot of artists who don’t have focus, who don’t have a specific goal, yet they’re taking massive action and then they become frustrated. Which is what you eluded to when we started this call, that you didn’t have a focus on who your audience was so you were kind of spinning your wheels …
– And spending a lot of time on online and what were you doing exactly?
– I was listening to business podcasts. Like design business podcasts, I was reading books, studying everything, going in like one year, I was in 24 exhibitions in a year, and still was barely making any sales out of it all, but wasn’t letting it stop me so it was just like really hustling really hard all the time but not getting much traction in any of it.
– So that’s a testament to your ability to take action, but now hopefully it’s smarter, you know? And as you gain more experience, you’ll get smarter and smarter and smarter.
– It’s just never-ending.
– It’s an iterative process.
– Yeah the opportunities start to pop up too, because like I said, once you get your goal in mind then things happen that you can’t control that just pop up and help you get to where you’re trying to get to.
– Yeah. I think the biggest thing, too, is you knowing your mission, which is number two in the Four-Part Code.
– And then you can play with the How. You can play with the How. But you got to be rock-solid in your purpose, your creative purpose and then your mission. And then you’re kinda like good to go after that. So I’m really very proud of your effort. You don’t have any confusion. I swear to God, sometimes artists will make it hard because they think it needs to be hard, but …
– Yeah, but it’s simple.
– Once I got to the end. I was struggling with it before Christmas and then had to take a little break ’cause I was just getting frazzled by the whole thing and then I spoke to you the other day and it’s just like Duh!
– Alright, so, let me just ask you one last question.
– [Sam] Yeah.
– If you could speak to someone who’s considering enrolling in the Making Art/Making Money Semester, or applying, ’cause you can’t just enroll, but applying to enroll …
– [Sam] Yeah.
– And they’re sort of sitting on the fence, and they’re not sure that they’re gonna get anything out of it or they’re not gonna get what they need, what would you say to them?
– I’d say just do it. The cost of not doing it is ridiculous. Like you’ll be sitting there trying to freestyle, trying to do other things, maybe try a bunch of different courses from random places and they’ll all add up to spent money that once you do this … ‘Cause once you pay off the course, to finish the course,
– So that’ll force to you actually finish it. It’s just waste of money to not do it. ‘Cause you’re gonna spend time, effort and then look back, say if then you did commit it in the future and you look back and go, Oh, Why didn’t I do that like a year ago?
– A little more important than money is the waste of time ’cause you can recover the money, you can’t recover the time.
– Yeah. And then once …
– And then what you also just mentioned is I have a new requirement that is that my students are required to earn back their tuition investment, in order to officially graduate from Making Art/Making Money Semester. And I wouldn’t make that stipulation if I didn’t think you could do it. I think if you follow the … If you study, if you grasp the concepts, and you take action, there is no reason why you can’t earn significantly more than your tuition investment and kick-start your business as a result of the final project.
– Yeah and the understanding admission, or understanding the why is way more valuable than any money part of it ’cause that just gives every part of your life way more direction and clarity.
– Doesn’t it? It’s pretty …
– [Sam] Yeah.
– So many people I think are really hungry and know what their purpose is. And it’s because that people are, I think, I believe, innately generous and want to be of service, but they’re just not sure how to go about doing that. They don’t know what they’re purpose is. But everything that lead up to you, determining your purpose, served a very specific lesson and it had meaning and it had significance. And now that you’re aware of it, you’re gonna be able to channel that into your art in such a positive way and you will serve people, which is, you know, I mean that’s the best. It doesn’t get any better than that.
– Yeah, for sure.
– Or you could keep exhibiting, how many exhibits did you do?
– That one year I did 24, so it was like more than two a week.
– Sam, you’re a better man than I am.
– That was an insane year.
– Wow, that is insane. Well, I just want to thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to chat with me and to share what you’ve learned and to congratulate you and just tell you you’re not done, you are just getting started.
– Yeah, just warming up.
– Alright Sam, have a good one, and I look forward to seeing your progress in the Facebook group.
– Fantastic. Thanks Anne. See ya.
"A year from now you'll wish that you would have applied today." -Ann Rea, Artist Mentor