Artist: Sheryl Benjy; Beverly Hills, California USA
QUESTION: How can you sell your art without feeling like a sell-out?
Sheryl Benjy: I felt completely lost. Like I was in the dark. And I was just moving around in the dark. And trying to figure everything out on my own. And I didn’t really have that guidance. And support system. You know I felt all alone in this artist world and like, I don’t know. And going to art galleries and trying to figure it out. And being rejected. And, it was difficult. So you know. And when I saw your videos, it just resonated with me. You know I was like, “Okay, so there is a different way of going about you know, with this.” And you just created this different realms. Different world that I wasn’t really aware of. And I wanted to be a part of that. And it made me very excited. You seemed so authentic and that’s what really resonated with me.
QUESTION: Selling your art, all by yourself, is too lonely, hard, and no damn fun.
Sheryl Benjy: Totally supported. And such an amazing group of artists. And you know, the partners I have made. Like it’s empowering you know, to be in this group. And to learn from each other and to be motivated by one another. Like I just had these cheerleaders around me of artists. And creatives. And I don’t feel alone anymore. Because I am making friends and they are just they have been so amazing and so supportive. It’s been a really great, great experience.
Ann Rea: Oh good.
Sheryl Benjy: I’m happy. I feel good. Like I just feel like this is such a beautiful journey I’m starting on.
QUESTION: What was hard about selling your art?
Sheryl Benjy: I didn’t have the courage, you know? The confidence. That was lacking. You know, and to see the value in my work.
QUESTION: Did you stop giving away your art?
Sheryl Benjy: I remember in your videos before I had gotten into the program and you were like, “Don’t give away your art!” And I was doing that.
Ann Rea: No!
Sheryl Benjy: Yeah, and I was listening to it and I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” “What have I been doing?” Someone asked me you know, will you donate your work? And that’s when I went into the group and asked the Facebook group. And you gave me what form to. I mean, I felt so good to have all that information in my hands and be like, “Here you go!”
QUESTION: How did Sheryl sell her painting for three times more?
Sheryl Benjy: Well I wrote everything down that I was gonna say. And yeah, I just told her this is gonna take me some time and this is how much I’m asking. And that’s my price. And if you’re okay with it then we can move forward. And she was like, “Yeah, absolutely.” I called my husband And I was like, “Guess what, guess what?” And that’s three times the amount of what I’ve been typically asking for. So it felt so good and now you know. I just started the P’s. Now I feel like, “Okay, I’m worth it.” And yeah, it felt damn good. Like it was, wow. And now, you know? Now I know my worth. And I’m having an Appreciation Art Show coming up in June.
Ann Rea: Good.
Sheryl Benjy: I’ve been doing my Facebook Lives every week. Like, you know. Leading up to it. And I know, I know what I’m gonna price my work. I just feel so much better than I did before the program and just I have so much knowledge. And I just have this wonderful plan and roadmap. And it feels good.
QUESTION: How did you sell your art in the past?
Sheryl Benjy: In the past? I don’t know, I would’ve been. Not as confident. You know? With my tone and “Um, if you want.” “You know, it’s okay with you.” “This is my price.” “And if it’s too much we can do three payments.”
QUESTION: What don’t artists know about selling their art?
Ann Rea: What they don’t know is you’re actually better at selling if you’re an introvert. Because you talk less and you listen more.
Sheryl Benjy: Yes.
Ann Rea: And then number two you don’t have to sell yourself. No one’s buying you. They’re buying the art.
Sheryl Benjy: Yes.
Ann Rea: What do you think about that? Did you before, did you think you had to sell yourself? What were your notions about selling that have changed? What’s changed?
Sheryl Benjy: Yeah, I thought it was about the art. Like about my skill level. That I had to, you know. Well eventually, maybe 10 years from now I’ll start making, you know? The amount I wanted.
QUESTION: What else is different about selling your art?
Sheryl Benjy: Last show, where I sold five pieces which you know, has not happened like that in a while. And it was because I told them my mission and you know, I gave this speech. You know during the show and I mean the whole room just had tears in their eyes.
Ann Rea: Oh. That’s perfect! So you shared the mission from the program. And then people started tearing up. So that’s very common and I had to make an expression, “Make ’em cry and watch ’em buy.”
Sheryl Benjy: Well yeah and that’s what like afterwards. Like there was one woman who was on the fence about you know, getting a piece or not. I mean afterwards she just like took it off. The chisel.
Ann Rea: Mine!
Sheryl Benjy: She did because there were two other women who connected to it. And you know, I had all the women go around and talk about their symbol. ‘Cause I talked about symbols which is part of what I do with my artwork. And you know, they connected to that one piece. And so there are two other women who wanted that and it was just very, just interesting. And there was another girl who was like, “How much is that?” “Okay, I wanna take that!”
QUESTION: Was it hard to share your mission?
Sheryl Benjy: No. It was actually, it felt so good. It felt so natural. You know and authentic. And that’s what I’m all about. That’s why I was attracted to you. Because I felt your authentic energy. And so, that’s what I wanted to convey myself. You know, I don’t like the whole salesy and you know, just wanting to just sell a piece of artwork. I wanna go deeper than that and that’s what this has allowed me to do. That’s been the best. Like knowing my mission and I’m grateful for you and your program and I thank you. And it’s just been so inspiring and so eye opening. I mean, yeah. I’m happy that I enrolled.
Ann Rea: Yay! This is what I do it for. This is why I love it. I’m just like I love watching artists just take their power back. It’s already there but just.
Sheryl Benjy: That’s what it is. That’s exactly what it is. Getting our power back and that’s what I feel. Yeah.
QUESTION: Should other artists apply?
Sheryl Benjy: Don’t hesitate. Just do it. Jump in, pull the band-aid. Just do it. You know, it took me to see my father pass away. To come into the program because I remember you kept saying, “You know, life is short.” You know? In an instant, like you just don’t know what will happen. And I saw that and. You know, then I saw one of your Saturday programs. And it’s like, “Okay, that’s it.” “I need to move forward.” You know? And I gave that gift to myself and it was one of the best gifts. And it paid itself back. Like, quickly. It didn’t take that long. So the money thing should not be an issue. But I think it’s worth a lot more. It feels like school to me. Like a year of going to University for selling your artwork.
MAKING Art Making MONEY
Someday is Today