Napoleon Hill said a goal is just a dream with a deadline.

My hope for you is you take this dream of being a successful artist, take it out of the realm of a dream and you turn it into a plan.

That means really just getting very clear and specific about what you need to accomplish and by when.

Ann Rea

Artist & Mentor

"You can determine your art sales goal using 7 simple steps."

Determining Your Art Sales Goal - 7 Simple Steps​


What is your mission?

Ann Rea: 00:02 My commitment is to try to help as many artists as possible earn more through your art sales than it ever have before.

How did you start?

Ann Rea: 00:11 I had determined that I was going to earn my living as an artist, but I actually didn’t know where to start and I didn’t have a whole lot of confidence in what to do next. So I want to tell you a little story about where I started my journey on December 31st, 2004. On that day I wrote down a goal. I committed it to writing, which was the first step in manifesting it. And I used a very specific and proven formula to help ensure that I actually accomplished this goal.

Most artists don’t have goals.

Ann Rea: 00:51 Most people do not have goals and they’re very resistant to them because a, they have to commit to them. And B, they’re just afraid that they’re not going to accomplish them. And often they don’t because they don’t fit the criteria that I’m about to teach you.

Why should you have goals?

Ann Rea: 01:10 There’s no reason not to have a goal. You will earn a lot more money if you have achievable goals. You will be happier if you have achievable goals. You will sell more art if you have achievable goals. If you don’t have any goals, well then that’s your goal.

Is this difficult?

Ann Rea: 01:30 You can do this. Absolutely. You can do this.

What goal did you write down?

Ann Rea: 01:36 I am so happy and grateful now that I have earned over a hundred thousand dollars of uh, in the sale of my art, right? By the end of 2004, I wound up selling $103,243.

How did you feel by accomplishing your goal?

Ann Rea: 01:51 First thing I said is how am I going to feel? Right? Cause the only reason we decide that we have a goal that we want to accomplish is because of the way we imagine how it’s going to make us feel. If you have an awareness of how you want to feel, you can start feeling that way now.

Make your goal specific.

Ann Rea: 02:06 Now specific, my goal was very, very specific over $100,000 of art sales.

 Make your goal measurable.

Ann Rea: 02:17 Well, it was measurable. In other words, I could measure it if I said my goal is to make great art. Who the hell is going to measure that? We can’t measure that. That’s completely subjective. So if your goal has any subjectivity, it doesn’t meet this criteria. So set yourself up for success and make sure it’s specific and it’s measurable.

Make your goal achievable.

Ann Rea: 02:38 Now for me it was achievable because in the prior year, right, and within 2004 I’d already sold about $23,000 worth of my art while I was working a full time demanding job and I had to commute two hours one way to a job and two hours back. So I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day. And so I only had some time I could cut out on the weekend after I recovered from the job I hated. If I did be enabled to produce about $23,000 worth of art sales under those conditions, I felt pretty confident that dedicating my full-time efforts could produce over a hundred thousand even though I didn’t know a single person in San Francisco, you do not want to copy anyone else’s goals because there’s two things. It may be that their goal is not really aggressive enough for you or it could be it’s too aggressive. This is very personal, so make sure you choose a goal that you feel confident that you can accomplish. And what I would suggest is I gave myself a year. If you haven’t set goals in the past, I would say shorten your timeframe, let’s say the first quarter or within the next month, because that also makes you feel like, Oh, okay, I can do that. Right? You’re questioning whether or not you can accomplish something over the course of a year, but if you shorten the timeframe, it seems much more achievable.

Is this the result that you want?

Ann Rea: 04:07 Make sure that your goal is actually the result that you want. If that’s what you want. If your result is some, you know, maybe your result that you are seeking is, I don’t know, you just want to join the making art making money program. I don’t know. I’m making this up. You get to make it up too because it’s your life.

Make your goal time bound.

New Speaker: 04:27 Napoleon Hill said a goal is just a dream with a deadline. So my, my hope for you is you take this dream of being a successful artist, take it out of the realm of a dream and you turn it into a plan. And that means really just getting very clear and specific about what you need to accomplish and by when.

What goal should I define first?

New Speaker: 04:51 And really setting the goal, your sales goal is the best place to start. But pick a number and a timeframe that you feel like you can accomplish.

Ann Rea: 05:01 Otherwise you’re just gonna feel all sorts of dread and you’re going to, you’re going to undermine your success unnecessarily. So pick a SMART goal.

Continuously evaluate your goal.

Ann Rea: 05:14 And then the E and the R on the end of smarter is E stands for evaluate. So if you write down the goal and you forget about it, that’s no good. You’ve got to look at it from time to time. You have to remind yourself of it. And also I suggest that you evaluate it with a trusted study partner or friend, someone who believes in you and who supports you and who wants to see you succeed. That’s important.

Revise your goal, if necessary.

Ann Rea: 05:43 And then the R on the end is revised. So you revise it if necessary. If it’s smart to revise that goal, go ahead and revise it.

No one reaches their goal on their own or without help.

Ann Rea: 05:54 One thing I’ll tell you about being an artist and selling are in helping students in 20 countries and counting. It’s so important that you have a support network because we don’t succeed alone selling art or yourselves too hard. It’s too lonely and it’s a no damn fun. So take this step, it only took me really just under 60 seconds to write down my goal and it changed my life completely.

Did you feel confident and focused?

Ann Rea: 06:23 When I wrote down that goal, I wasn’t 100% confident, I wasn’t 100% focused and I still had some, you know, reservations like should I want this? Do I deserve this? I had all sorts of head trash and bullshit in my head even when I wrote that. So even with that, even if you have doubts and reservations do this, this could be the one thing that really does change your total success as an artist. And once you’ve defined that goal, if you have someone in your life who you really trust, who has your back, then share it with them and say, I want you to hold me accountable. I want you to check in with me and if you have a goal, I would be happy to check in with you and hold you accountable and encourage you. If you have that person in your life, great. If you don’t yet, don’t worry about it. Keep it to yourself. You don’t want anyone raining on your parade.

What is your mission?

Ann Rea: 07:19 My deepest wish and intention for all of the artists who trust me and follow me is that you take your power back, take your power back from the scarcity and permission-based art establishment, the art, our art is so important. What you do is so important. Why is art so valuable? Because it connects us with our humanity and we need that now more than ever, but if you’re not selling your art and making money, some making art, then your capacity to make art is quite limited. It’s not only uninspired. You can’t do it because you’ve got to spend your time doing other things. So I want you to be successful and prosperous and abundant because that way you’ll make art that matters. Hopefully this will give you some motivation to write down a goal that you can believe in. That’s not pie in the sky. You know you can frickin land. Then if you need help, all you need to do is comment below and we’ll chime in and try to help you along.

7 Responses

  1. Thank you for your encouraging and insightful words of support. I have been painting for over 35 years and I continue to explore ways of connecting my art to collectors. It is a constant struggle… might even say a part-time job. I just wanted you to know that I appreciated your encouragement.

  2. Hi Ann,

    I receive your emails, but only just watched your latest video on setting achievable goals. What you say makes perfect sense, and I’ve just written down my goal, which isn’t any different to the one I’ve had in my head for a few years I started painting abstracts nearly 20 years ago after seeing some work and thinking i could ( and should) do that. 5 years ago, I decided to take my hobby more seriously, and in that time I have exhibited my work in the UK and the USA, which has cost me way more than the value of works sold. I now can’t afford to pay for exhibitions, am making no sales, and need to find a way to connect with collectors. Painting is my passion, but I’ve lost the motivation. I would love to see my large canvases in commercial spaces, but really struggling to find a way in. I really need your help! Looking forward to hearing from you.


    Alan Yaffe

    1. Congratulations. What’s your goal?

      What has it cost you to exhibit your work in the UK and USA and how much art have you sold?

      1. Hi again and thank you for your reply. My goal currently is to sell 3 paintings per month with sales in the next 12 months to be £36000-£40000. I just can’t afford to give up my day job. As far as cost of exhibiting to date, that’s in the region of more than £200000 which includes shipping from UK to USA and back. Over the 5 yrs since I sold my very first painting, which was a commission, total sales have been less than that. Everyone wants a slice of the action. I had an agent here in the UK, he was extremely positive about my work, and I reckon he wouldn’t have wasted his time if he didn’t think it would sell. He personally selected 8 paintings, and agreed my pricing was spot on. But he only sold one piece for a third of what I had priced it at. My USA agent was equally enthusiastic about my style, saying he had nothing else like it, and invited me to show through his gallery at Artexpo19 in NYC. He selected 16 paintings, with a range of sizes and prices. He advised that my pricing was too low if I was to be taken seriously. I therefore increased my pricies in line with his recommendation. None of my work sold. He then showed my work at Baltimore Art, Antique and Jewelry Fair and at a private exhibition in Austin, with none of my work selling. He persuaded me to show again at Miami Red Dot, and did sell one of my larger paintings, and he said that would then set my prices in the US as an emerging artist. But I just couldn’t afford to continue showing with him, as each time it was £3500. So, I’m sure you can now understand why I’m disillusioned and have lost my way.

        HELP! I just don’t have any more money to throw at this. I’m not looking for recognition as “the best new emerging artist”, or anything label like that. I just want to sell on a regular basis for realistic prices to collectors who value what I’m creating.

  3. Thank’s Annrea for the encouraging article. Indeed It’s quite hard to estimate the total sale price for your artwork as most artist fails to forecast the mindset of the buyer.

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