Artist: Sam Bowen; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

QUESTION: What did you want to learn?

Sam Bowen: Better relating to the potential client, or let’s say better targeting the right clients.

QUESTION: What did someone want you to pay them?

Sam Bowen: I received a message on LinkedIn, she wanted a certain amount, I think it’s $1,600 for the whole year. It was shocking how much; “Oh, I love your your art but I want $1,600”.

QUESTION: What did you tell her?

Sam Bowen: Why in the world would you want that much money? But yet you don’t have any official numbers on how much success? I asked her; what’s your official numbers of your success rate as far as viability towards percentage of how much I’m giving you? She couldn’t give a definitive answers.

QUESTION: She was offering to help you sell wholesale?

Sam Bowen: If it’s going to certain art consultants and if it’s going to different people that want to pay a lower price, why should I be willing to pay you for a discounted price?

QUESTION: Did your opinion of these representatives change?

Sam Bowen: It’s funny how years ago I was thinking so highly of them, but then all of a sudden they started doing this and I was like; oh boy, no thank you.

QUESTION: What did her message say?

Sam Bowen: This person says, “Hi Sam. I hope this message finds you well. I just wanted to personally invite you to apply to my annual juried art award competition: Art comes alive (ACA). I am not sure if you heard, but the deadline is fast approaching, August 25th and I don’t want you to miss the opportunity to submit your work. This year is going to be fantastic. We’re giving away over $250,000 worth of cash awards, purchased works and gallery contracts.”

Ann Rea: Gallery contracts? What the hell is that?

Sam Bowen: Yeah, I know (laughs). “More importantly, you get to spend some time with other artists, and you get to revel in all of your accomplishments. That’s why I started ACA to celebrate hardworking and dedicated artists like you.”

QUESTION: What was she offering you for $1,600?

Sam Bowen: “It’s a beautifully designed print source book that includes your artwork and stunning environments, editorial content and your contact information, and it’s distributed to 50,000 interior designers art galleries and consultants nationwide. Any sales that you make are 100% to keep.” It then says “We are closing in on our deadline quickly and so I’m offering a full page for $1,595.” But here is the funniest thing, it says, “Oh, I give you 20% off savings of the normal rate. So with three easy payments (or easy installments) you also get a bonus dedicated email blast…” I didn’t want that. “…to our 30,000 subscribers. To fulfill this spot so we can make our print deadline.”

QUESTION: Have you worked with art galleries?

Sam Bowen: It’s funny because I’m not in the gallery that I used to be in. I was in there for almost seven years. I learned a lot, but then again, it was more of a pay-per-month deal with no contract, no commission.

QUESTION: Are you still working with that art gallery?

Sam Bowen: I had to leave because for one thing the owner doubled my rent. So if I’m not making enough sales for all the investment I’m paying, not including gas, time, and money…

QUESTION: How much did you make with this gallery?

Sam Bowen: $4,000.

Ann Rea: And how much did you sell?

Sam Bowen: $800.

QUESTION: What happened next?

Sam Bowen: One lady who purchased one of my art pieces, actually right after I left the gallery, it was the biggest purchase I ever had. I delivered it and everything. And I’m still here for her as a friend because I want her to know that I’m here no matter what happens.

QUESTION: What matters most?

Sam Bowen: It’s the relationships because people like to purchase from who they like, know and love.

QUESTION: What should artists understand?

Sam Bowen: The initial meeting of you and your art is so crucial.

QUESTION: What’s been your biggest take away?

Sam Bowen: of course I’m glad I invested into it because I like the aspect of self empowerment, and you’re big on that.

QUESTION: What’s been your biggest lesson?

Sam Bowen: I’d say to accept myself and my former mistakes. That was the hardest to do because we all beat ourselves up because we wish that we did certain things in the past, so we hold it against each other or ourselves and I’m so glad that I decided to accept myself.

QUESTION: What else have you learned?

Sam Bowen: The other big thing is forgiveness of myself and also others because if you don’t it takes so much toll on your health.

QUESTION: What should artists know?

Sam Bowen: It’s about the clients. It’s not necessarily about themselves.

QUESTION: What else did you learn?

Sam Bowen: Forgive, and as far as through my family and all that, it’s funny how the one thing with your family; if your family member (including your parent) may have been abusive for decades, and then all of a sudden you realize you see them frail and then you’re thinking, okay, so why not forgive them on their deathbed? So even before their even not really even conscious to even see it. So I had to make sure that I had closure for him and also myself too, and also in the hospital when we all saw my stepdad pass. So yeah, that was a huge part and I just didn’t understand it until it finally hit, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to have that closure.

QUESTION: What changed?

Sam Bowen: Closure is like a thousand pounds lifting off of you.

QUESTION: What is an artist’s product?

Sam Bowen: Emotion.

QUESTION: What else did you learn?

Sam Bowen: What people say is a reflection of themselves and has nothing to do with you.

QUESTION: Is this program different?

Sam Bowen: I’m really grateful that you came along and did something different than everybody else. I’ve seen other coaches, but it just feels like they’re selling you something and here it’s not, and that’s the way it shouldn’t be. It should be about really helping the artist and the person on the inside.

QUESTION: What would you tell other artists about this program?

Sam Bowen: It’s about the community, and it’s more than yourself because without your accountability partners and all, you’ll fail. So by having that support and knowing that you have like minded people, it’s huge.

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