How do you market and sell your art during COVID?

Artist must stop trying to sell themselves.


Artist, Temi Ayodeji

Dothan, Alabama

Temi Ayodeji (00:01):
I’m sorry, I don’t have my mask on. Ha! Ha!

Ann Rea (00:04):

I’m not scared. Okay.

Before you enrolled, how much art had you sold?

Temi Ayodeji (00:10):
$300. And I was very proud of that because.

Ann Rea (00:12):
Hell yeah.

Temi Ayodeji (00:15):
I had just started, I had left occupational therapy, which had been doing for 25 years to go back into my first love, which is art. That’s what I had my degree in. And I was proud to say $300. I thought you were going to laugh at me, but you didn’t, which surprised me. And then you told me basically, you know, you discussed, and I’m just paraphrasing our conversation, but in terms of like having a goal for what I should have this last year, but last year I did make $700 in sales and I will say.

Ann Rea (00:47):
Nice! More than double you guys.

Temi Ayodeji (00:48):
Yes. And the reason why that’s really important is because I was doing other things. I homeschool my son. There’s so much that goes on in my life. I’m extremely busy and a lot of people know that. And even the shotgun. I’m even having a business, but I’m like, you know, Hey, as long as that my mind is set on doing something, I’m going to do it.

Temi doesn’t sell herself, she share her mission.

Temi Ayodeji (01:08):
Yes. I shared my mission with, I had, you know, advertised on social media and everything. A few families came and I shared my mission with them and I sold one of my pieces there, which was a 48 by 48 inch painting that I did was that painting that everybody gravitated towards because my pieces do grab people. I’ve been told that several times and I’m like, I’m happy it grabs you. I just want you to put the money down. I say that to myself for it.

Ann Rea (01:38):
Grab your wallet.

What was the price of the last painting you sold?

Temi Ayodeji (01:42):

Ann Rea (01:42):
Hold on a second, $4,200! Okay, so just to be clear. When you and I spoke less than a year ago you’d made $300 and you sold something for $4200. Can I just, can we just have a moment of celebration right now?

Temi Ayodeji (02:04):
Sure. Here. It’s called coffee.

Ann Rea (02:12):
Wow. Oh my God. Boom. You’re amazing. Way to go!

Temi Ayodeji (02:15):
That is amazing. You’re amazing. That’s what I’m going to say. I just humbled myself. It’s like, Lord you, you’ve, you’ve done this.

Ann Rea (02:25):
You did the work though. I can only help artists who want to help themsleves Tammy and you obviously want to help yourself. I live for this! I freaking live for this. I love this. I love this!

Temi Ayodeji (02:31):
That’s even, that’s one of the paintings. There was one that I actually sold before then in January 20th.

Are you marketing your art?

Temi Ayodeji (02:49):
You put a fire in my rear end the other day, two days ago. Literally because I’d be sharing it with people that I, that I know they’re very close to me, which is, but I’ve not picked up my, I had not had not that’s past tense. Picked up my phone to literally call someone to say it. So two days ago after the meeting that you had here with us, the whole forum, I said you know what, I can do this. Everybody knows I’m crazy. Anyway, I started texting. I’m even getting a phone call right now. I’m not going to answer it.

Are you marketing your art while you Shelter in Place?

Temi Ayodeji (03:23):
I am so happy that you put that fire cause I’m so excited right now about doing this.

Ann Rea (03:30):
Oh yay!

Temi Ayodeji (03:32):
And it’s made it easier like for each call it got easier and easier. I spoke to three people the day before yesterday, spoke to two people yesterday. Um, I have somebody scheduled at 2:30.

Ann Rea (03:44):
Look at you! Yes ma’am, look at you. She’s not sitting on her hands. Everybody look at this. Everybody look at this.

Temi Ayodeji (03:54):
So I mean it’s, it’s, so it’s, I just, I, I thank God for you. I’m seriously, I’m not, I’m not trying to brown nose you. I mean I’m already Brown so I can’t I promise.

Ann Rea (04:04):
A beautiful brown by the way.

Temi Ayodeji (04:11):
Um, I, it’s, it’s been great.

Why do students have to earn back their tuition to graduate?

Ann Rea (04:15):
You’ve obviously earned back through tuition or way more than your tuition. This is, this is, this is my goal for my students because I don’t want to owe you guys anything. I don’t want to own you guys anything and I want to, I wanted to tell you a little bit real quickly about this, why I do this, right? If you don’t already know. So I created the making art making money program because I had an intern studying at the Art Academy, and she had incurred over $250 thousand dollars worth of student loan and credit card debt. She had a fine art degree with no marketable skills and no freaking clue. Her father just lost his job. Her mother just passed away and she was screwed. And when she shared with me what she had learned. It was precious little.

Did your graduation requirement get national press?

It was featured Inc. Magazine. My graduation requirement that you all got have to adhere to is featured in Inc. Magazine because they were like, what are you doing? It was newsworthy. I was like, isn’t it common sense? But it was actually newsworthy.

How do you feel about sharing your mission?

Temi Ayodeji (05:24):
I’m very comfortable sharing my mission. I have um, an Instagram account. I have about a little over 4K followers. Um, I’m not really concerned about the number of the followers. It’s more about that.

Ann Rea (05:37):
Yes. don’t. It’s a vanity that’s called a vanity metric. You guys.

Temi Ayodeji (05:43):
I was really happy with the feedback that she got. She said yes, that, you know, I, I heard you the other day, but even hearing you again, it really makes sense with what you’re doing. And she started brainstorming, brainstorming, and she sent me a name last night.

Thank you.

Temi Ayodeji (06:02):
I’m perfect. God bless you.

Ann Rea (06:03):
Thank you. God bless you for showing up and freaking doing the work.

Temi Ayodeji (06:10):
And I meant to, when I said the other day that I love you, but I’m straight. Um, I really meant it. That’s how I tell my friends here, I love you, but you know, y’all, I’m straight.

Temi Ayodeji (06:22):
Thank you much for doing as you’ve, and I’m just going to say this, I know this is might be too much, but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t care. Um, but as you’ve blessed me and you blessed thousands of other artists out there in the world who’ve decided to take that step, it was a hard step. It was hard for me to say I was going to put down the money for your program. I will be honest, but I thank God that I did it because nothing that you invest in that is quote unquote expensive, um, would ever come back to you without good fruit, without yielding results and yours has. So I thank you for the information that I’m going to use towards a lot of things beyond this business, by God’s grace, God gives me the strength and will. So thank you so much Ann and may you be blessed.

Ann Rea (07:13):
My pleasure, man. This is what I live for. I live for watching my students. I live for watching artists taking their power. I live for it, so thank you for sharing that with me as awesome. I’d give you a big hug if I could, but I can’t.

Ann Rea

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.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *