"Artists Inspiring Artists" Ann Rea with Andres Bustamantes

Ann Rea with Andres Bustamante

Ann Rea: (00:00)

Hello everyone. This is Ann Rea coming to live from San Francisco, California. I am a fine artist. I’m also the creator of Making Art Making Money®, which is the leading global business program. It’s the most reputable program of its kind. Have been going strong for over 15 years. And I thought, you know, maybe it would be good to start talking to my students again for a bit and spotlighting them because it’s one thing for you to listen to what I have to say and what I have to teach. It’s another thing to talk to a student about what they’re actually learning. So I’m going to bring on one of my students and he’s just going to share what he’s learning, and hopefully, you’ll enjoy it. So here he comes. I’m going to put his head next to mine now. Hi, there! You’re muted. We can’t hear you. Okay. There we go.

Andres Bustamante: (00:51)
Hi there, Ann. How are you doing?

Ann Rea: (00:52)
Good. Nice to meet you.

Andres Bustamante: (00:54)
Nice to meet you. Thank you for your time!

Ann Rea: (00:56)
You’re welcome. Pleasure to have you. So I’m just going to ask you a few questions and I just want to share what comes to mind, but real quick, tell us your first, your last name and where you are sitting on the planet right now.

Andres Bustamante: (01:11)
Absolutely. My name is Andres Bustamante. I am originally from Cali, Columbia. Living in Nashville, Tennessee.

Ann Rea: (01:18)
Oh, you guys have beautiful emeralds.

Andres Bustamante: (01:21)
Yes.

Ann Rea: (01:23)
I’m wondering if you could get me one of those.

Andres Bustamante: (01:26)
My dream is to go back to Columbia. I actually haven’t been back since I was 10.

Ann Rea: (01:30)
Oh, really?

Andres Bustamante: (01:31)
It’s part of my mission actually.

Ann Rea: (01:33)
Oh, that’s pretty cool. Okay.

Andres Bustamante: (01:35)
Yeah.

Ann Rea: (01:36)
All right. Excellent. I love this. All right. So, we have such interesting people who come into this program from all over the globe. It’s really pretty fascinating. So what I’d like to do is just kind of travel back before you joined the program. What were your top two challenges and what did you want to achieve when you joined the Making Art Making Money program?

Andres Bustamante: (02:01)
It’s an excellent question. Really I wasn’t aligned with my purpose, with my “ikigai”, my reason for being. And that was my number one challenge. I was just pursuing things because, you know, I thought, yes, art is something I love and it makes money. Right? But I was missing other pieces of the puzzle.

Ann Rea: (02:24)
Right.

Andres Bustamante: (02:25)
So that was, I believe, my biggest challenge. Being misaligned. Out of alignment. And really not understanding boundaries and parameters. So this program has truly helped me in that.

Ann Rea: (02:40)
Can you give us an example of how, just one specific example, of how you are more aligned now? You know your purpose. You know your know Why. And how did, like what’s one example of how that showed up so people understand with this abstract concept really means for an artist.

Andres Bustamante: (03:03)
Yes. I appreciate that question, Ann. So I have been on the mentality that I’m willing to be coached and I’ve always thought coaches, you know, books, programs, etc but I had the issue that I wasn’t following through and I wasn’t truly taking it to heart. But the things that really captivated me were the fact that you, this program, made it very clear that it’s within me already and that I needed to truly align to what was most genuine and authentic to myself. So what I truly enjoy is that you didn’t start– the program didn’t start with “Here’s how you sell art.” Boom!

Ann Rea: (03:57)
No, that would be an awful place to start, actually.

Andres Bustamante: (04:00)
It was, it was like, it was like challenge first. Dig deep first. What’s important? What is meaningful? What is the meaning? What are the emotions behind why you create? Do you just create pretty things that hang above a wall on a couch and, “Yay! You got a pretty thing that hangs above a wall.” And if it’s that way, it has no spirit. It has no soul, no essence. So, I’ve been, I guess, a self-empowerment self-improvement on that path for quite a few years now, but what this program was able to do was put the puzzle together. And it was truly already within me.

Ann Rea: (04:49)
Yup.

Andres Bustamante: (04:50)
It made it clear and it made it bite-sized.

Ann Rea: (04:54)
Yes.

Andres Bustamante: (04:55)
I’m– I tried to swallow the whole thing sometimes but the way that it was structured, the way that program is structured, it’s like dig deep bite sizes, because this is big, heavy lifting emotionally, spiritually.

Ann Rea: (05:10)
Yes. If you’re an artist, right? If you want to call yourself an artist, your job as an artist is to inspire That’s in spirito, right? You have to touch with your own spirit if you’re going to touch someone else’s spirit so that’s why we do have to dig deep. We have a different job than other entrepreneurs have. So that’s wonderful. I’m glad to hear that. And you also mentioned something about boundaries, which I’m big on. And unfortunately, a lot of artists have had their boundaries encroached upon, and, or completely violated in many cases, which I stand firmly against. And I like when my students really hold clear and healthy boundaries, because I want you to all take your power back from the scarcity and permission-based art establishment. That’s my aim. So can you give us, like, was there a specific example, like that happened where you said you defined your boundaries and you maintained your boundaries?

Andres Bustamante: (06:09)
It’s it’s so beautiful how the universe works. When I was trying– I hear an echo.

Ann Rea: (06:21)
Yes, you might, it could be your feedback.

Andres Bustamante: (06:24)
Okay.

Ann Rea: (06:25)
Yes.

Andres Bustamante: (06:25)
When I was trying really hard and I was forcing things to happen and I was misaligned, the galleries weren’t knocking at my door. The collectors weren’t knocking on my door, the opportunities, the murals. And I was forced, I was so angry. I was like, “Why are these galleries not noticing me?” And then I was–then I became more and more aligned and in tune with the frequency of my purpose, my reason for being, my mission. And I realized, “Wow!” Like, “Wow, I’m chasing galleries?! They should be chasing me. I’m chasing, giving somebody else 50% of my hard work.”

Ann Rea: (07:17)
You’re giving more than that. More than that. All your referrals.

Andres Bustamante: (07:21)
Yes. And putting so much of my heart and soul body mind into something. And they, they have barely any skin in the game for me as my brand. And they want all that. So it’s like, I was chasing all of that without boundaries. And the universe was– I kept hitting a block. The universe was like, “No! No.”

Ann Rea: (07:46)
Of course.

Andres Bustamante: (07:47)
And now that I’m self-empowered and self-aware and realizing, “Wow, it’s already been within me. I don’t have to force things to happen.”

Ann Rea: (08:00)
No

Andres Bustamante: (08:01)
Collectors have just been knocking at my door which is what I love. Galleries have actually been, and I’ve had to turn people down.

Ann Rea: (08:13)
Good.

Andres Bustamante: (08:13)
So now my standards and my boundaries are like hmm.

Andres Bustamante: (08:19)
50% off. Interesting.

Ann Rea: (08:21)
Actually, that’s the least of it. Right? Because if you work with the art establishment, you not only have to give them half of your money, but that’s the least of it. They also, even though it’s an illegal practice in most jurisdictions, they will not allow you to get your own collectors’ contact information. Now, the reason why they’re obligated to give that to you is because those are your customers. They’re not their customers because they haven’t purchased your inventory. They’ve only consigned your inventory.

Andres Bustamante: (08:52)
Yes.

Ann Rea: (08:53)
So you have every damn right to your own customer list and there isn’t a business in this world that would just be able to thrive without having a customer list. And so when you have your customers’ contact information, you develop relationships with them. And then you can generate referral sales, which account for 80% more sales on average where you keep a 100% of your money. So they’re the bigger– the bigger cost isn’t the commission. It’s the fact that you can’t contact your collectors and you’re not gonna share your mission. They’re not gonna share your mission. You’ve got like heart and soul, and meaning, and you’ve got your How that you’re working on. That’s not going to get translated in a gallery environment ever.

Andres Bustamante: (09:38)
It’s all energy.

Ann Rea: (09:39)
Yes. Yes. So good. Good for you. All right. So we got a few more questions here that I’d love to ask. So I guess the question I have is like, if nothing changed like let’s just say you just kept doing it, right? You just keep getting angry that the galleries were not responding to you. What are a few ways, maybe three ways that you think that that would’ve impacted you personally?

Andres Bustamante: (10:08)
I would’ve had to go back to some corporate job and forfeit my business. I would’ve had to give up on my dreams, and my mission and my marriage would probably be hurting too, because the more aligned I’ve become the more truly on purpose I live my life.

Ann Rea: (10:34)
Wow.

Andres Bustamante: (10:35)
I’m showing up stronger than I have before.

Ann Rea: (10:38)
Nice.

Andres Bustamante: (10:38)
So I tell my wife, “I honestly don’t even think you are an art business coach. You’re a life coach.” We just happened to–

Ann Rea: (10:49)
I don’t call myself a coach, by the way.

Andres Bustamante: (10:51)
Mentor! Mentor.

Ann Rea: (10:51)
Like, I freaking hate the term “coach.”

Ann Rea: (10:54)
I’m like, you know why? Because people just go and they take these courses and they get a little certificate and they call themselves a coach. I’m like, “No!”

Andres Bustamante: (11:04)
And it’s like a sticker like when you got in school, like a little gold star.

Ann Rea: (11:08)
Yes!

Ann Rea: (11:08)
I don’t want it. I don’t want it. I just like– all I want to do is like, all I want to do is share what worked for me and share what I see and I have seen working with other artists for 16 years from all around the world. Cause you know, I see what’s working for them.

Andres Bustamante: (11:25)
Yes.

Ann Rea: (11:25)
And I’m just trying to, like, “Here it is. I’m telling you what the best practices are. I’m telling you what’s working.” But you know, coach, I’m not– I’m not a good coach. I swear.

Andres Bustamante: (11:37)
You’re a mentor. You’re a mentor. And I told my wife, “You know, I don’t think I bought into an art sales program. This is way, way more than that. So the value– you could easily be charging 10 times more than that.

Ann Rea: (11:58)
Oh, I know. Actually, my mentor, one of my– I have a mentor who’s like, “When the hell are you going to raise the price?” And I’m actually about to raise the price, but they’re like, “Oh, that is not even near enough.” Because, and you know, and I’m not bragging. You’re the one saying it. Right? I’m just like, I have these conversations with students, the ones who do the work, by the way.

Andres Bustamante: (12:19)
The ones who do the work.

Ann Rea: (12:20)
Not the ones who don’t do the work or who bitch and whine and complain. I cannot help them. They’re not a lot of them, but that just happened. But then the ones who do the work like you’re doing the work. I mean, they really do. It’s so funny. Their lives transform. And it’s so funny because Jina also told me this program saved her marriage.

Andres Bustamante: (12:40)
Yes.

Ann Rea: (12:41)
She’s like– and I said, “How did it almost save your marriage?” She said, “I was so frustrated as an artist and I was trying to figure it out and I’d go to my husband and he’d try to figure it out and we’d get into a fight. And he couldn’t help me because he’s not an artist and he didn’t know what to do. And so, yeah.” It was– I think that, you know, we all need a guide and we all need community. We need people to help us and who care and who like feel inspired when we win, versus what typically happens in a lot of artists’ environments. I’m sure you’ve seen this where they’re all competing with one another. They’re jealous. And then that snob voice comes out. You know, the one I’m talking about that snobby voice

Andres Bustamante: (13:26)
Yes. Most definitely.

Ann Rea: (13:29)
We just don’t do that. There’s no reason. There’s plenty to go around and–

Andres Bustamante: (13:33)
There’s so much abundance.

Ann Rea: (13:34)
There’s so much. You just– you have to create value. That’s the key.

Andres Bustamante: (13:38)
Create value.

Ann Rea: (13:39)
So I guess, I’m just so glad to hear. You’re not caught up in chasing permission.

Andres Bustamante: (13:49)
Right.

Ann Rea: (13:51)
From the art establishment and you get it. And I think one of the things you also mentioned, one of the books on my recommended reading list is “Go Givers,” which I think is just really basic but If you get that, like it’s not hard, is it?

Andres Bustamante: (14:07)
No, it’s, it’s just living life with higher standards and higher principles, and challenging yourself to renew your mind. We already are creative. We already are artists. Abundance is already readily available.

Ann Rea: (14:24)
Right.

Andres Bustamante: (14:25)
It’s tapping into that, allowing it to happen.

Ann Rea: (14:28)
Right. And you got to do the work in order for that to happen. It doesn’t happen magically. Right?

Andres Bustamante: (14:34)
Exactly. Exactly.

Ann Rea: (14:35)
Like you have to move. You have to get things done. You have to be willing to fail then you have– then you learn from that failure. Just like when you’re making art, you know. You make a lot of crap. Let’s face it. We make a lot of ugly art and you have to because it’s part of the process and it’s not a bad thing. It’s just part of the creative process. It’s that creation and that destruction. I guess– here’s a question for you. I almost didn’t join the Making Art Making Money program because?

Andres Bustamante: (15:06)
Of limiting beliefs that were holding me back and self-sabotaging.

Ann Rea: (15:11)
There you go everybody.

Andres Bustamante: (15:13)
I, to be honest with you, I have worked with a lot of coaches or mentors before bought the programs, bought the postcard. Been there, done that.

Ann Rea: (15:23)
Yes.

Andres Bustamante: (15:24)
But it wasn’t until I was challenged by you personally.

Ann Rea: (15:31)
You’re, you know, this program is not for everybody.

Ann Rea: (15:35)
No, it’s not.

Andres Bustamante: (15:36)
It’s just not.

Ann Rea: (15:37)
That’s why we have an application process. We don’t let everybody in.

Andres Bustamante: (15:41)
Not everybody can join because not everybody’s willing to do the work and it wasn’t until you challenged me. And I was like, “Oh, okay. Oh, I’m investing, you know, and it’s important. And I have to do it because I invested. And it’s important for me to challenge myself and be challenged.” And actually you reminded me and still do of my first ever life mentor or they call it “Life Coaches.” She calls herself that. But, she was strict. Polite but strict.

Andres Bustamante: (16:17)
Not taking people’s excuses.

Ann Rea: (16:19)
Right.

Andres Bustamante: (16:20)
But also leading them like, “No. Go that way. No. Do the work. Go back to the program. Go back and listen. Did you read this? Did you do that?”

Ann Rea: (16:29)
Right.

Andres Bustamante: (16:31)
So I love the sense of structure that there is, but it’s also bite-size enough to wear the squirrly brain.

Ann Rea: (16:40)
Yes.

Andres Bustamante: (16:41)
The brain can be like, “Okay, no, no, no. Okay. Go to step one. Got it.”

Ann Rea: (16:45)
Yes. That’s very deliberate because artists, creative people, tend to have shorter attention spans. And so I employed something called “micro-learning” so I don’t have long-winded lectures. I can’t stand long-winded lectures.

Andres Bustamante: (17:03)
No. Yes, I get it.

Ann Rea: (17:05)
They’re unedited like– and without purpose, I can’t. So yes. That’s good. All right. So, I guess the last question I have for you is if someone was like sitting on the fence and they weren’t sure about applying– actually, Joie, if you wouldn’t mind putting the link into the chat for people if they want to apply. But if someone was like sitting there like, “Oh, I don’t know if I should apply to enroll or not,” what would you honestly say to them?

Andres Bustamante: (17:41)
Use my referral link

Ann Rea: (17:42)
Yes! That’s right.

Ann Rea: (17:44)
Actually, you know what? You know what?

Andres Bustamante: (17:45)
Do you know one or more two people just like you?

Ann Rea: (17:47)
Actually, yes. So by the way, I do reward my students if they introduce a student, because they’re the better judge than the Facebook ads about whether or not someone’s actually going to show up in this community and do the work. And so I do give my students a little love in the form of money. If they refer a qualified artists who then enroll. So yes. I mean, if you’re open to having people hit you up and talk about your experience, there you go. There this– there you go. He’s got it right there. So talk– you, you don’t have to talk to me. You can talk to {inaudible}.

Andres Bustamante: (18:24)
I’ll hop on a call and tell you how amazing Ann is.

Ann Rea: (18:27)
Awwww

Ann Rea: (18:29)
Well, you know it’s because you’re doing the work, you know. I get other people say, “Oh God, she’s just this– she’s awful.” Right? But what’s the common denominator of all the artists and there’s not been many, but there have been some who say, “Oh, this program sucks. And she sucks.” They didn’t do the work. And the one thing is this. I can see that they haven’t done the work because I can see from the back-end that they actually haven’t done the work. So if you’re someone who looks to blame other people, well, first of all, don’t apply to enroll in my program. But more importantly, understand that if you’re looking to blame other people, like you are blaming the galleries for a while there.

Andres Bustamante: (19:11)
Oh yeah.

Ann Rea: (19:11)
You’re screwing yourself. You’re just, you’re going to have so much freedom. And so many more options visible to you once you take full responsibility for your success. I think what happens is artists don’t even know that there is a way to take full responsibility for their success. And so they become independent upon the art establishment. But I’m telling you now the art establishment is under severe disruption.

Ann Rea: (19:40)
And since the pandemic, the affluent have started buying more real estate and remodeling. And with that, they are buying art and there’s tremendous opportunity, but don’t take my word for it. I have a student here. You can ask him.

Andres Bustamante: (19:54)
Yes.

Ann Rea: (19:55)
And he’ll tell you that things have shifted and you don’t have to be giving away 50%. That’s ridiculous. Don’t do it.

Andres Bustamante: (20:03)
And Ann didn’t pay me or, or pull a tooth out of my mouth to try to get me to talk about this. Like literally every time we hop on a Monday session, group coaching call, or group mentoring call, I’m like, “Yes, Ann. You rock.” Like this is rocking my world. Oh my gosh! And so I’m saying this out of the kindness and truth of my heart.

Ann Rea: (20:28)
Thank you.

Andres Bustamante: (20:29)
So I really and because I am part of this community, I say, if you’re ready to get your life changed, not just your art business, but your life and your mindset and then you want to align to your truest, most genuine version and your sense of purpose.

Ann Rea: (20:51)
Nice.

Andres Bustamante: (20:52)
If you’re willing to do the work, please sign up. If you’re like on the fence and you’re just like, I’m not gonna actually take action. Literally, if you have three to five minutes, three to five minutes everyday, that’s what it takes to actually engage in.

Ann Rea: (21:06)
Yup, that’s it. That’s micro-learning

Andres Bustamante: (21:09)
If you don’t have three to five minutes every day or every other day, even–

Ann Rea: (21:14)
You don’t want it.

Andres Bustamante: (21:16)
{inaudible}.

Ann Rea: (21:16)
You don’t want it. Right? If you don’t have three to five minutes, that’s how long you’re spending, looking through your Instagram feed or whatever you’re doing.

Andres Bustamante: (21:24)
Yes.

Ann Rea: (21:24)
So if you don’t have three to five minutes every day, you don’t really, you’re not really an artist and you don’t really want this. But it is designed for super busy people because people are super busy in this program. They have a lot of obligations. And so it’s deliberate. But I’m so proud of you. I’ve seen you evolve since the start of this program. And I’ve also watched you connect with other artists in the program, which I just love, cause I love seeing my students make friends with other students and start to build and strengthen their support network so that you’re not trying to do this all by yourself.

Andres Bustamante: (22:00)
Right.

Ann Rea: (22:01)
Because it’s just too hard and too lonely. And it’s no fun. It’s so much more fun when you can celebrate, “Hey, I sold a piece. I just got a commission. I just hosted an appreciation party.” And that’s just so much more invigorating. Isn’t it? Than like trying to do it all by yourself in your studio.

Andres Bustamante: (22:18)
Exactly. Absolutely.

Ann Rea: (22:20)
Yes. Awesome. All right. Well, when you go back to Columbia, you let me know because I really want– I want an Emerald from Columbia.

Andres Bustamante: (22:30)
Well, send me a good vibes. There’s a lot of immigration stuff that has to be figured out, but send me all the good intentions and I will {inaudible}.

Ann Rea: (22:38)
I do.

Andres Bustamante: (22:39)
In Columbia.

Ann Rea: (22:39)
You know, I would go to Columbia just to go Salsa dancing. I haven’t been Salsa dancing and it’s so long.

Andres Bustamante: (22:44)
Oh wow. Yes. Yes, that’s worth the trip.

Ann Rea: (22:48)
I used to, so that’s what I used to do for fun. I used to go Salsa dancing and yeah. I mean, it’s just, oh, that’s the best. It’s the best!

Andres Bustamante: (22:58)
Most definitely. And next time I’m in San Francisco, I have to say hi.

Ann Rea: (23:02)
I hope you do.

Andres Bustamante: (23:03)
Or if you’re in Nashville, if ever.

Ann Rea: (23:04)
You know, I was in Nashville a while ago. Maybe three years ago? Two, four years ago? And I went to a Honky Tonk and saw Vince Hill and I was like–

Andres Bustamante: (23:15)
Okay.

Ann Rea: (23:15)
And I had all this disrespect against country music. I was like, “No way in hell am I going to,” but I have to tell you it was amazing! And the people he would call up on stage, clearly they were famous because they were amazing.

Andres Bustamante: (23:30)
Wow.

Ann Rea: (23:31)
And I loved it! And who knew I would love a Honky Tonk, but I did!

Andres Bustamante: (23:36)
Yes. It’s the energy of the people and, you know?

Ann Rea: (23:40)
Yes. All right. Well, if you come to San Francisco, just like Jina did, I’ll take you to my coffee shop.

Andres Bustamante: (23:46)
I love that.

Ann Rea: (23:46)
It’s this round coffee shop right next to the south tower of the Golden Gate bridge, which is less than one mile from where I’m standing. So that’s my promise. Okay?

Andres Bustamante: (24:00)
Wow. I was just in San Diego with my wife, like last week.

Ann Rea: (24:02)
Oh, okay. All right. Well that’s far. Alright when you get up here. Okay?

Andres Bustamante: (24:06)
You know, we’re going to make it happen. Absolutely.

Ann Rea: (24:09)
Okay. All right. Good. All right, I’ll see you then.

Andres Bustamante: (24:12)
All right. Okay.

Ann Rea: (24:12)
Thank you for sharing.

Andres Bustamante: (24:14)
Thank you, Ann.

Ann Rea: (24:14)
I really appreciate it.
 
Andres Bustamante: (24:14)
My pleasure. I’m on it.
 
Ann Rea: (24:16)
And I’m proud of you. Just keep up the good work. Okay?
 
Andres Bustamante: (24:18)
Thank you.
 
Ann Rea: (24:19)
All right. Bye.

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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