Artists' frustration when selling their art


Artist Jina Kim Raleigh, California

Jina Kim: (00:00)

A lot of artists have a very complicated idea around the marketing, which I did too. I thought. I was like, “What? Marketing?” When I hear marketing, there are so many things– I’m like, “Okay, I need to hire this person, that person. I need to do that.” I spend money on this one. And then I thought that was marketing. So I understand their frustration around the marketing.
Ann Rea: (00:22)
Right? Okay. Yes. So this is really, I think that’s a great point because artists do have a very complicated idea of what’s going to be required in order to sell more of their art and order to sell at a higher price point. Please, rest assured, what I’m teaching is not complicated. You can all do this. But let’s– Jina, is that true? Do I teach you really complicated things?
Jina Kim: (00:50)
No. I mean, right now, if, if, if everyone, if I– so a few years ago, if I’m looking at myself, I may say, “Wow, you’re doing something that’s very hard!” But in the program, you lay, you lay it out like in a very, very simple way. And like while you’re following it, you’re like, “Oh, this is simple. This is simple.” And then at the end, “Oh my gosh, I’m doing this!” Yes.
Ann Rea: (01:16)
Yes. Alright. But networking. Not a fan of networking. Not a fan. You know why no one wants to be networked with? No one wants their brain picked nasty. It’s real connections, authenticity. Real relationships equal revenue.  Transactional relationships do not equal revenue. Transactional relationships do not feel good. Inauthentic relationships, pushy, manipulative behavior is not going to work anyway with the affluent. And the affluent are the ones who buy art. They’re smart, they can smell it. So just be yourself even if yourself is awkward or shy or maybe not all that confident yet. Still there’s so much power and just being who you are where you are now. Alright. Jane says, “Sounds awesome. Okay, I asked because I’m joining the Lexington Art League here in Kentucky.” I don’t know what the Lexi Lexington Art League is, Dino. But my sense is that it could be  you’re not selling art to artists, Dino. Okay? So it’s fine if you want to do that. Here’s my watch out for this, Dino. A lot of artists get together and you know how they bond with one another. This is not just artists. This is people in general. They bond over problems. They bond over, “It’s so hard.” They bond over whining. I’m not saying that that’s going to happen in Lexington, Kentucky. I’m just going to say watch for that because it’s so common. Very, very common. And if you’re bonding with other people about problems, guess what? You get more problems, more frustration. Okay? So we are about solutions. We are about taking those problems, which are a real concern legitimately and working on the resolution. Alright? What do you have to say about that, Jina? Do you ever notice that with artists before you joined Making Art Making Money that they were?
Jina Kim: (03:37)
I think it’s anything. If you I think so too. Yeah. Like maybe if you’ve been through a lot of jobs, you would experience it with your coworkers, and a lot of artists. But because I guess artists have more complicated minds and a lot of thoughts and emotions. Not that that’s bad, but if they don’t find the right solution to their emotions and thoughts, they tend to like take it out. And then that becomes the, I guess, the way to bond to each other, right? And which is kind of dangerous also.
Ann Rea: (04:14)
Yes. It’s not unique to artists, but it’s something to be very, very mindful of. If you are bitching and moaning about your frustrations, then you’re not finding solutions, right? It’s just, it’s really important to notice that because your energy flows where your focus goes. So different actions, different results. I’m going to ask you to take different actions. You might not be comfortable with these actions. Here’s what you’re going to be a hell of a lot less comfortable with doing thing over and over again. That isn’t working. But people will do that. They will do that. So be careful of that. Dino says, “Great point about bonding over struggles. I’m good at weeding out negativity.” Good! “Only seeking solutions and new ideas. Excellent woundology.” Yes. So true. Makes an artist are full of it, full of woundology. And part of this is really not their fault. Part of it is we are living and have for many, many millennial. We live in this whole culture that literally celebrates our struggle. We’re not going to make a movie about my mentor
Wayne Thiebaud, because he had a functioning life. Jackson Pollock, yes. You know, he died in a car accident. He was a big old, boozy alcoholic. Great movie, right? Same with Frida, right? So what happens at Van Gogh, right? So this infects the norm. This is infects the culture. And the culture starts to believe that this is the norm. It’s not the norm. Okay? And then you have a society that literally they use the phrase without even thinking about it. They’ll use the phrase “starving artist”, which is really disrespectful. Don’t use it in my Facebook group because I will kick you out. I’ll tell you right now, I’ll kick you right out. Because I am not willing to support such a negative and disrespectful belief, right? So if you have a culture that’s coming at you and a society that’s coming at you, expecting you to fail, it’s really hard not to develop some pretty serious self-limiting beliefs. So that’s why I’m asking you to be even more mindful of what you believe.
Ann Rea

Ann Rea, Fine Artist & Mentor

Ann Rea is a San Francisco-based fine artist. She created Making Art Making Money, the leading and most reputable business program for fine artists since 2005. Rea’s art and business savvy have been featured on ABC, HGTV, Creative Live, The Good Life Project, in the book Career Renegade by Jonathan Fields, the San Francisco Chronicle, Art Business News, Fortune, and Inc. Magazines. Rea’s artistic talent was commended by her mentor, art icon Wayne Thiebaud. 

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