Artist: Nancy Hansen; Crestview, Florida
QUESTION: What was your biggest challenge?
Nancy Hansen: Knowing where to start when it came to selling my art.
QUESTION: What’s Changed?
Nancy Hansen: Finding my ‘why’ was a big one. As you’ve said many a time, it was there all along, because as soon as it came out I started looking at my art and I was like ‘Wow, it’s already reflected there!’ I even started to recognize it in conversations that I have with friends, it was there all along. It really was.
QUESTION: What’s it like to know your why?
Nancy Hansen: It’s pretty amazing just to put that label on it. Like, ‘Wow, okay, now I have a mission, now I’m moving towards something.’ That in itself was empowering.
QUESTION: What have you learned?
Nancy Hansen: As simple as it sounds, during the lesson that you were talking about the smarter goals and writing down six things to move towards your goal the next day. That helped with my focus, and helps keep me focused. I know what I’m moving towards and these are small steps that I can take to move towards it every day. So to me that was really a big revelation because I’m all over the place, most artists are (I believe).
QUESTION: What else have you learned?
Nancy Hansen: Don’t discount your art. (laughter)
Ann Rea: Why not?
Nancy Hansen: I believe you said it in the video today, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. I have an artist friend that does it all the time. She’s like “Well, you know, it’s nothing.” She works with vine and she’s like, “Well, it’s just vine. ” And I’m like “Yeah, but it’s also the time and effort and energy that you put into making what you make. So all you’re doing is cutting yourself short right there.”
QUESTION: What about your niche?
Nancy Hansen: I actually had a revelation when I was speaking with a tribe member that has purchased art from me before. She’s a doctor and I know her through playing roller derby. I sat down with her, we were talking and I asked her her two biggest challenges and then after the fact I was going over some of the other stuff that I had learned and talked about within this course, and she had told me “I buy things sometimes just to prove that I can buy them.” And I’m thinking along the terms of what I make and I’m horrified, and I go “People really do that?” and she goes “yeah!”
Ann Rea: Well, first of all you are not your customer.
QUESTION: How about pricing your art?
Nancy Hansen: I think that was one of the things, when I had pricing in mind, I originally was pricing to make things reasonable for somebody like me because that’s the people that I know. Then I realized they’re not looking to buy art because it is a luxury. It’s one of those extras that you just don’t have to have. I did realize that that’s going very wrong. (laughter)
Ann Rea: I am glad you learned that lesson!
QUESTION: Do you compare yourself to other artists?
Nancy Hansen: I love to go look at art. It excites me. It’s inspiring. I go and start walking around and there are some beautiful pieces there and I am like, “Wow!” I was really taken aback, mainly because of the technique used was beautiful, the style was fantastic. They were all different styles, and the sizes of some of the pieces. And I started checking out prices too, and I just was overwhelmed and I was like “I’m out of my league” as I’m walking around. I had to remind myself: first of all, that’s not why you’re here. You’re not here to compare yourself because comparing yourself to other people and other artists is pointless. And as I’m walking around, I also realize that the style of art that I do, I didn’t see any of that there. So again, there’s no side by side comparison. After that I was like, okay, well, you know, maybe the only reason that I feel out of my league is because there’s nobody here like me and it’s more unique and it fits me better.
Ann Rea: That was not your tribe. You went and that was not your tribe.
Nancy Hansen: Right, right.
QUESTION: What did you learn from those artists?
Nancy Hansen: That I really need to start working larger. My art needs to be bigger. I’m working way too small and I think it would have more of an impact and I’d definitely be able to get more money for it.
QUESTION: Why work bigger?
Nancy Hansen: People would be able to get a more emotionally attached to it, a little bit easier.
Ann Rea: In a luxury home, there are typically bigger walls. Right? And I find that an artist’s willingness to work bigger is really tied to their self confidence a lot.
QUESTION: Have you worked bigger?
Nancy Hansen: I do a lot of stencil work and I use spray.
Ann Rea: You’d be able to work huge then!
Nancy Hansen: Right. The very first piece I did was originally going be a mural on the person’s wall and they decided that if they ever moved, they wouldn’t be able to take it with them. So we went by the hardware store, we bought a drop cloth, I just sprayed it directly onto the drop cloth. So now that you mention it, I actually started out large and then reduce my size and, now I just need to get out of that and go back to bigger ones. I enjoyed it. It was great and I loved the way the piece turned out.
QUESTION: What would you tell the younger you?
Nancy Hansen: To not allow anyone to stand in her way ever. No matter what.
QUESTION: What do you think about this program?
Nancy Hansen: It was the best investment in myself that I’ve ever made.
MAKING Art Making MONEY
Someday is Today