I had a brain injury a few years ago and being able to focus myself and to think of the right words, I’m still having this problem.

I didn’t sell a lot last year. I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know how to start.

So now it is mid-May and I’ve, getting close to $2,000 so far this year.

Mike Stuart

Artist, Matt Harline

How Did An Artist Turn His Brain Injury Into Inspiration?

Artist Turns Brain Injury Into Inspiration


Matt Harline (00:01):
I live in Roseville, California and I have a studio outside of Placerville.

What were your top two challenges?

Matt Harline (00:09):
Before I joined the making art making money program, my top two challenges. I had a brain injury a few years ago and being able to focus myself and to think of the right words, I’m still having this problem, but to be able to do what I really wanted to do and have the energy that I wanted to do, has been a challenge for me. I can only focus on things for a certain length of time, but I know my limits. So I paced myself.

What was your other challenge?

Matt Harline (00:50):
Not knowing how to get started on something as again with the brain injury, it was difficult to weigh all the different options, and what ways should I go, what’s the best thing for me to do? And I didn’t know.

Since joining us, what’s changed?

Matt Harline (01:12):
The Making Art Making Money program has really, it’s helped me to be able to understand myself and to be able to find ways that I can apply myself, not just in art, but in just my life and what is important to me.

What else has changed?

Matt Harline (01:35):
I feel like I have a path to go on when it comes to art. I’ve been able to do things all my life. But it’s, from an art perspective, I feel like I really know I have a direction to go. I may not know all of the steps, but I’m making one step at a time.

What did you want to achieve?

Matt Harline (02:00):
When I joined the program, what I wanted to achieve was to just have a start, have know a direction to go. A little bit of extra money for the artwork that I was creating. I don’t have a need for the money. I’m not living day to day on the money that I make from art. But, I want to be able to enhance my income and, and I’ve really enjoyed doing art.

What have you achieved?

Matt Harline (02:34):
I have been making some money a lot more this year than last year already. The bonus here for me has been not only am I able to enjoy the art, I’m finding a new purpose to my art and it is much more fulfilling to me than to just doing something that’s beautiful art just cause it’s, it’s art. It’s, it has a purpose. And it really makes it that much more important to me.

How has the program impacted you personally?

Matt Harline (03:06):
What has this meant to me as far as being able to realize that my art has a higher purpose. My parents I think taught me well that my life is not just for me, but is for other people and to be of service to other people. Knowing that I touch other people’s lives, even in a small way, um, is very fulfilling to me. I’m sorry, I’m kind of getting a little emotional thinking about some of this, but it’s, it’s important to me.

Ann Rea (03:41):
No, I think it’s beautiful. I know that you delivered a commission and the person you delivered it to was really inspired and got very emotional. Right?

Matt Harline (03:51):
Yeah. I got excited painting it and she was excited when she saw it.

What would’ve happened if you hadn’t joined us?

Matt Harline (04:01):
If I hadn’t joined the program, I would not have realized or been able to express to others what my purpose, what my mission was. I mean I’ve had this mission all my life, but being able to express it to others, I don’t think I could have done that.

How has the program helped you?

Matt Harline (04:28):
Before I got into this program, I knew that I needed to find some mentors, some other people that were other artists who could give me some advice and suggestions. They are an inspiration to me and they had lots of great advice and I get to help them sometimes too. One of my study partners suggested that I go to a networking event and get to know other people and just kind of connect with other people. And I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t had that suggestion from a study partner. And it’s one of those things where I say, I’m just not a networker, and now I think it’s not as bad as I thought it was. It’s not only, it’s not as bad, but the way I’m approaching it of I’m making contacts with people and I’m finding new friends. And that’s actually where I’m getting the collectors now is from people that I’ve met through those events.

What’s been your favorite part of the program?

Matt Harline (05:38):
The first one has to be, determine what our why is to help develop that mission. That is by far the most important. I also really enjoyed going through, the a four-part code of the other artists. Going back to Michelangelo and Andy Warhol.

How else have you benefited from the program?

Matt Harline (06:12):
Benefited a lot from thinking through what the business plan I need to have and what the business goals I have. You know you talk about smarter goals in your program, but I’ve been in business for a long time and I know all about smarter goals and there’s other things that I’ve been through before. But thinking about it as an artist instead of, in my case as an engineer or something else has been really helpful for me to think differently.

Ann Rea (06:47):
If Pablo Picasso was talking about goals, maybe we should pay attention to goals. Right? Pablo Picasso said, “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

Matt Harline (07:10):

What have you achieved?

Matt Harline (07:13):
Before the program in 2019, I sold about a thousand dollars worth of art for the whole year. And about half of that was selling 50 something calendars that had my artwork on it that I did. So, you know, I didn’t sell a lot last year. I didn’t know where to go. I didn’t know how to start. So now it is mid-May and I’ve, getting close to $2,000 so far this year. It’s not a huge amount by any stretch of the imagination.

Ann Rea (07:53):
It’s double!

Matt Harline (07:54):
but it’s more so, it’s only four months and a little, four and a half months into the year.

Ann Rea (08:01):
It’s double. And we’re not even, it’s just a little over the first quarter of this year. That’s fantastic.

Matt Harline (08:07):
Yeah. And I’m having fun.

Ann Rea (08:12):
And you’re having fun.

Matt Harline (08:12):
I know where I’m going.

How has the program impacted you personally?

Matt Harline (08:16):
How has it impacted me? It is more gratifying to me to sell art that means something to someone and I mean, I do want to get compensation for that in an appropriate amount. I don’t want to give it away. But at the same time, I really want to be able to touch the hearts of people. And that’s what’s really motivating me and making it so that I want to do this more.

Ann Rea (09:02):
And when you touch the hearts of other people, you’ll be paid.

Has your family been impacted?

Matt Harline (09:09):
Meeting lots more people and so they see that I am more outgoing, more reaching out to people, more than I was before. I think my wife especially has been watching me do this and I think she’s excited for me.

Did you almost not join the program?

Matt Harline (09:39):
I almost didn’t join the Making Art Making Money program because I honestly, I didn’t think my brain could handle it. I was concerned about being able to focus on things long enough and get it done. And actually, it’s a self paced thing so I could pace myself. And actually the first month you have to pace yourself just the way it’s structured, which is, I understand why, but after that, I’ve been able to get through the course fairly, fairly well. And there’s still some homework assignments that I need to do, but I was wanting to do something like this for the last couple of years, but it was six months ago that I finally said, okay, let’s do it. And I’m glad I did.

Has it been worthwhile?

Matt Harline (10:48):
It’s been worthwhile. I’m glad that I’m doing it. There are still adaptations I need to make for me. Everyone is different, but we get to, the ideas are there and adapting it to yourself is what is the fun part.

Ann Rea (11:13):
Exactly. Everybody’s different. We have students from 20 countries, 23 different creative mediums. Established artists, emerging artists. We have a lot of variety for sure.

What’s been your favorite part of the program?

Matt Harline (11:28):
The favorite part of the Making Art Making Money program is just connecting with all of the different artists. For me, it’s finding the study partners and meeting with them, getting their ideas, bouncing ideas, my ideas off of them, them bouncing ideas off of me, supporting each other. That connection.

Would you recommend the program?

Matt Harline (11:54):
I would recommend this program to artists that, artists like me or that have never been into this process of how do I sell my art, looking for ways to get started. I would also recommend for people, experienced artists that are looking for ways that they can learn how to market their art themselves rather than counting on someone else to market their art for them. People who want to make real connections with their customers and to meet their own personal higher purpose.

Ann Rea (12:51):
Well, for anybody who’s listening, I hope this was, you know, useful. I hope it was. And if you’d like to see how the program could potentially help you, all you gotta do is click on the link below and we’ll schedule a quick chat and you’ll take a quick little survey takes less than two minutes. And if I can help you, I will let you know. If I don’t think I can help you, I’ll point you in the right direction. I’ll still try to give you some valuable resources so there’s no risk either way. But thank you so much, Matt. You’ve done a great job and you’re not even done. You’re really just getting started. So you’ve done a great job, and I agree with your wife. Pace yourself, pace yourself, because that’s the only pace that’s reliable anyway, is your own.

2 Responses

  1. Hi there I’m interested in your course. Could you give me some information.
    I’m an artist in the west of Ireland I mainly teach art classes to adults and children and sell some paintings at craft fairs and word of mouth. Since the coronavirus lockdown I have not been able to do any art classes and I planned to paint loads of pictures but have not felt motivated. I’m also terrible at selling/pricing my art. I think your course looks very interesting but I don’t have a lot of money
    Anyway I’m rambling Now. Can you give me some more information
    Thank you
    Sandra Gonzalez Griffin

    1. I’m happy to share all of the details about the program including tuition payment options, once I’m confident that I can help you.

      To make it easier to see if I can help you:

      1) Please schedule a 10-minute call here: https://makingartmakingmoney.com/application/application-accepted/

      2) Then complete the short survey (it takes less than 2 minutes.)

      If it looks like I can help you, we’ll hop on a quick call.

      If not, I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.

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