"Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art." - Andy Warhol
Artists self-limiting beliefs, how to overcome them.
- And we're live here with Laurel Greenfield, who is an artist who is thriving in the Making Art, Making Money Semester. My name is Ann Rea and I am the teacher and a San Francisco based artist. And I actually, look what I did Laurel. I took your quote.
- [Ann] And I made it silly big. So, Laurel... I asked Laurel what she thought of the Making Art, Making Money Semester. And what she wrote was, "I didn't expect to learn "how to break down my negative beliefs "about becoming a thriving artist. "I've completely restructured the way I think about my future "and now, and now know "that being a successful, full-time artist "is not a dream, but a real possibility." That's some potent stuff.
- It's true.
- So what's really interesting about this is that a lot of... The biggest hurdle that artists have to get over is the belief that it's even possible to make art that they feel proud of and make a good living. And so I'm really glad that you overcame that. That's huge. Because that really is the biggest obstacle. It's not that people are not buying art, it's a better time than any time in our history to connect with potential collectors and customers than ever before. This is the biggest hurdle. So, thank you so much for sharing that and being willing to come here and talk about it. So let me ask you this. What was... I just want you to tell me what pops into your head. When you talk about the self-limiting beliefs, what was the first one that you had to encounter when you were going through the process?
- That this could be a great viable side option, but I needed to find a job. And that this was going to be maybe a really great side gig, but I also needed to find a job. And it was causing me so much anxiety.
- Finding this other thing... The thought of finding something else that I was as passionate about was giving me physical anxiety until I realized that this can also be the main thing.
- Right. And to be really, you know, clear and practical, you might have to have a job for a while.
- Right. But a career doing something else.
- But, yeah. So that's different. So you can... You're going to need funds to feed yourself and clothe yourself. But there is absolutely no reason in this day and age that you cannot start building a viable stream of income from what you love, what delivers value to a target market and grow that in a natural and sustainable way. So that if you wish becomes your full-time stream of, or your main stream of income. So, yeah. It's more possible now than ever before.
- Definitely. And I came from a very supportive background. No one has ever directly told me, "No, you can't do this." It's just that cultural belief of, this probably won't work because there aren't a lot of mainstream models for it. So, even from a supportive upbringing, there's still that belief.
- Right. So that's, that's also significant. So I'm glad you didn't have to encounter that. But most, so many artists have to deal with family members or spouses or loved ones. By the way, this is my puppy Rupple everybody. If you're wondering what I'm doing. I'm trying to keep her out of trouble. So many shout you down and say that's not possible. They use disrespectful slurs like the starving artist. They call you artsy-fartsy.
- You're flaky. You don't understand money. You can't conceive a business. So, so even with support you still had to overcome this belief that it was a viable option, and could be profitable.
- Okay, what's another belief that pops into your head? You personally had to confront in the process in the Making Art, Making Money Semester?
- Believing that, this goes back to perfection, but believing that in order to make it work I would have to come up with this perfect plan, perfect options, perfect art right away. I would see artists who have been doing this for a long time and be like,
- "Well, if I don't have the level that they have right now. "It's never going to work." So the perfectionism is the second one, for sure.
- Right. You never see their crap art and their crap plan
- and their crap website, right? Cause they weren't on anybody's radar then. But you have to make a lot of crap first. So, I'm really glad you mentioned this whole dynamic of perfectionitis. Because I'm a recovering perfectionist and I say to you guys all the time, "It's progress, not perfection." Perfection doesn't exist. It's very punishing. The other thing that you mentioned was comparing yourself to others. When you compare yourself to other artists, other people, it's the most disempowering thing you could possibly do to yourself.
- And it's not fair because as long as you're making progress you've got nothing to worry about. It's a process. And it's an iterative process. So your first, just like your first piece of art is pretty crappy and you work on it again and it gets better, it gets better. It's the same thing with growing a creative enterprise. I'm so glad you learned the perfectionitis lesson.
- Yeah, the learning, every day.
- Yeah, well you know if you're just mindful of it it won't, it won't cripple you. Right?
- [Laurel] Definitely.
- I mean, you can... If you're mindful that perfectionism kills creativity, when it creeps into your consciousness you can put a stop to it. You can redirect the energy in a more productive way just by being aware that it's not a good idea to strive for perfection.
- Okay, can you think of one more belief or self-limiting belief or pattern that you confronted during this semester?
- I think I also deal with that, which is a strange fear, but the fear of success. Where if this goes so well, how am I going to keep up with it? Or if people really like it then I have to prove that I'm really good at art. Or self-questioning things I already know. I've already gone through my art skills. That's not why I'm here. But, just the confidence in myself that if it becomes successful that, that's okay too. That's a good thing.
- Right so, I always call B.S. on the fear of success. I think it's absolute B.S. No one's afraid of success. Everybody damn well wants success. Here's what they don't want. They don't want the responsibility that's associated with being successful. That's what people are actually scared of.
- And no one, don't worry, it's not a problem. Artists do not become overnight successes. It's a really, it makes for great moves and TV shows, but if you talk to any artist, that's not the way it is. And if you look at the press, it's presented that way. I mean, even the press that I've received presents it like, "Oh, she just waltzed into this "and just made it happen." Hell no I didn't. I've been at it for years doing part-time and working in a job that I mostly hated. And, you know, scaling up my sales year by year. So, if you're worried about overnight success or, yeah you don't really... And if, I hope you have that problem. You're not likely to have it, right?
- Oh no, no. It's definitely the, it gets that lable if you're a success, but it's those outside things of the other people. What will other people think? Which is another garbage belief. And...
- Well let's go to that one as a bonus one. So I was going to ask you to deal, to kind of share three self-limiting beliefs that you've confronted. But, let's talk about what other people think. So, it that something, I think we're always going to have some level of concern about what other people think because we all want to be seen, heard and loved, right?
- But now that you know a little bit more about target markets, right, does that, how does the fear of what everybody thinks or what other people might think, where are you at with that now? What were you, how did you feel about it before and how do you feel about it now?
- Oh, well I can tell you when the shift happened because it happened yesterday. I...
- Oh yeah, okay, this is timely.
- Yes, I reached out to a prototype using the language that I learned in the course. Talked about wanting to put something together and before I could even explain that it was part of a class she was so on board and she was like, "I'm on board because "I connected with you." I met her in person, but I didn't know her before. She goes, "I connected with you, "I connected with what you stand for, I'm on board." And I was like, that's, these are the people. It doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. I met her and a group of 20 other people. One out of 20 doesn't, that's it. She's great. The other ones don't matter.
- You need one to say yes and if the prototype works out, for those of you who are listening, my students, I ask my students to create a prototype series to prove their concept. And I ask them to just approach likely prospects who would likely be very interested in their offering and be able to afford their offering. And I tell my students to just tell the truth and just say, "This is part of my homework assignment. "I need to do x number of prototypes to prove my concept and to test my target market. "I think you might be my target market. "Would you like to volunteer so that "I can do this prototype? "You may purchase the prototype. "There's no obligation to purchase it. "There's no pressure. "You may purchase it. "I'm going to give you a certain amount of time. "If you want it, you want it. "If not, it's going on the market." Many of my students have not only paid for the Making Art, Making Money Semester proving their concept in this way, it made even more money and they've started their businesses. Just by doing their damn homework.
- [Laurel] Yep.
- So, good, oh good, oh good. I'm so glad to hear that. So, and was it easy to have the chat with her?
- It was easy because she was the right person. It was exactly my target market. Someone who could afford what I was putting out. Someone who needed what I was offering. And it was great. She was like, "Oh, I'll pay you whatever. "I'm on board; isn't this a commission?" I was like, "Yes it is."
- So it was great.
- Oh that's awesome. I love, I love to hear when my students have like, they get to the point where they've paid for their tuition and they're, like, sailing past it. It makes me so ha... My goal is that all my students do the work, first of all, and be, get to a place where they have not just paid off their tuition, but they're making more. That's my goal for my students. Of course you all have to do the damn work. I can't make you do that, but if you do it, it works. See? It works.
- [Laurel] It does.
- Awesome, alright, so if you could give let's say there's somebody kind of sitting on the fence about enrolling. They are just gobbling up all my free stuff. They might be going to my webinars for free. Sitting on the fence, maybe they took my creative life courses. They're not sure. Should I do this, should I not do this? What would you tell them?
- I would tell them if you're serious about sharing a part of who you are, sharing what you stand for and you don't think you can do it, you can.
- The free stuff is great. Just take it even further because it's all the tools that you'll need in one place, so.
- And it worked, it's working for me so far.
- Yeah, yeah and you know, and that' s they key, working, right, so far means that you don't just go through the semester, do a little bit of work and then you're done, you coast right. This is an ongoing thing. Building a business, growing a business is an ongoing thing. So, you'll have to set new goals. You'll refine your target market. You know, it'll evolve over time just like your art has, right? Awesome. Wow, well thank you so much. So, I'm just going to read this one last time everybody. "I did not expect to learn how to break down my "negative beliefs about becoming a thriving artist "by enrolling in the Making Art, Making Money Semester. "I have completely restructured the way I think "about my future and now know that being "a successful, full-time artist is not a dream, "but it's a real possibility." Laurel Greenfeld Look, if you never enroll in the Making Art, Making Money Semester I hope you walk away with this understanding that the success is a head game. And you're life is a story you tell yourself. And the story you tell yourself is based upon either conscious or unconscious beliefs that you have about being an artist. And you need to examine them closely. And you need to figure out which beliefs are serving you and which ones are holding you back. Because you're not going to live forever. Life goes quickly. Time goes quickly. So, you're lucky Laurel. You started out young. You've got an opportunity. You've got a longer runway than most people. So, congratulations and I'm looking forward to seeing your progress. And keep me posted on this prototype and other prototypes that you get in the Facebook group.
- I will thank you so much Ann for everything.
- You're welcome. Congratulations. Go get that, go make art and go make money. Awesome.
- I will.
- Alright, talk to you soon. Bye.
"Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art." - Andy Warhol
WHERE TO START TO SELL YOUR ART
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- Ann Rea, Artist Mentor