I Found the Art Mentor I Prayed For

I Found the Art Mentor I Prayed For


Artist, Anne Spoon 

Ann Rea: (00:00)
And not be self-conscious.

Anne Spoon : (00:03)
Yeah, sure.

Ann Rea: (00:03)
Okay. I just want you to tell the truth and, um, uh, just wanna also make sure that I have your permission to use this for promotional or educational purposes or whatever purposes

Ann Rea: (00:16)

Ann Rea: (00:18)
Want to make. Sure. All right. So this is rebel. You’ve probably seen her before. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to ask you a question and then just repeat the question back and then your answer. So if I say, for example, I say, Anne, what is your favorite ice cream? You would say my favorite ice cream is, and then you would answer.

Anne Spoon : (00:43)

Ann Rea: (00:44)
That makes sense. Okay. So my first question for you is before you enrolled in the making art making money semester, obviously you were having some challenges with selling your art. So what were, what was your number one challenge when it came to selling your art?

Anne Spoon : (01:05)
Okay. Um, my number one challenge when it came to selling my work was, um, finding an outlet for my work. I had gone the gallery route and, um, whenever four of my galleries shut their doors, then I was faced with them. So I worked myself and I did pretty good, um, in a small town, but, um, then I believe my market was saturated, you know, um, I had my clients and, you know, they own several pieces of my work. And then after that, I didn’t know how to expand that market. So that was probably my, my top challenge.

Ann Rea: (01:47)
Okay. So that’s, that’s common. So, yeah. Um, so what was your, what was your number two challenge?

Anne Spoon : (01:57)
Um, my number two challenge was, um, whenever I stopped selling the work I was doing, um, I was kind of floundering cause I didn’t know what to do. And I thought, well maybe if, you know, I started painting differently in a different style. Uh, you know, then maybe I could. So I tried to being an abstract painter. I tried being, you know, making jewelry. I tried a lot of different things and all the while I was just searching for something that I didn’t know what I was searching for, I was searching for and in, you know, a new way to do things that I didn’t know. I didn’t, you know, I had no mentor and I have to say, I prayed for a mentor. I prayed because nobody I knew knew any more about this than I did. You know, w I have, you know, maybe one or two friends who were really successful in the gallery business, but you know, when I started selling, after those galleries closed on my own and started making a hundred percent of the money, I have to say, I said, I would never go back to that, to that again.

Anne Spoon : (03:12)
So then where are you? You know, you’re stuck. And so I prayed for a mentor. I did, I prayed for somebody who knew more than me, you know, how to carry out, you know, because I’ve been doing this for, um, you know, 30 years. And, um, I’ve had some, some good successes, but the past couple of years I’ve been just floundering really. You know, when you, in,

Ann Rea: (03:38)
When you were trying these different styles and different mediums, you know, trying to make it, they hoping that one of those approaches would work. Where’s your heart in it?

Anne Spoon : (03:50)
My heart was in it when I first started it, you know, when I first dove off into abstract, it was cool. It was a departure, you know, it was, it was fun. But then when it came right down to it, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t enjoy it cause it’s not what I, what I did, you know? And, um, and I wasn’t good at it. And so I learned a little bit, you know, and then I moved on to the next thing, you know, so

Ann Rea: (04:23)
It wasn’t a bad experiment, but

Anne Spoon : (04:27)
It wasn’t. Yeah.

Ann Rea: (04:29)
I think it’s always good to try. I think it’s always good. But now I hope, you know, that, you know, you gotta, it’s got to align with your heart, your soul and your values for it to really

Anne Spoon : (04:40)
Work. Yeah, exactly. You know,

Ann Rea: (04:43)
So, um, my next question is what’s the biggest thing you’ve learned from the semester so far?

Anne Spoon : (04:54)
Um, well, okay. I’ve learned so much, so it’s hard to pick out just one thing. Um, but I think if I had to say it would be, uh, that while trying to build a cohesive body of work was the wrong way to approach selling my art. And so, you know, and, and I’ve learned this, that w I had to figure out why I was, you know, my, why, my why in life, um, which was huge because I’ll tell you, you know, 50 years old, I thought, well, I know myself, I know there’s not much more to learn about myself. You know, boy, how wrong was that, you know? Uh, and so once I did, you know, took this journey and, um, I discovered my, why, you know, I’ve been very close to it, but I didn’t realize. And when I sold paintings, I always knew that those people bought paintings because they had an emotional connection to it.

Anne Spoon : (06:12)
Um, they did, but I didn’t connect, you know, I didn’t connect the dots until now that that is the key. That’s the key to selling art is to make that emotional connection with people. And so it was like, shoot, you know, it was just absolutely huge. Um, and I’d say I went through that the 28 days, and then I came up with my why, and I was like, okay, yeah, I couldn’t wait to find out what my, why was, you know, it was, I couldn’t wait to find out something about myself that I didn’t realize. And then, um, I came up with it and then a few days later I had this meltdown about something. And then that one went right out the window. And my true why, and I don’t know why that happened. I’d been, I completely missed, you know, the most painful moment in my life.

Anne Spoon : (07:08)
I had to list three of them and I listed three of them. I didn’t even list the biggest in my life because it wasn’t an immediately devastating thing that happened. It was more like a slow burn, you know? Um, and so I didn’t write it down and it was, my father passed away when I was seven years old. And that didn’t make my top three because it’s seven, there wasn’t this crushing devastation because I didn’t understand, I didn’t understand what a minute forever to be gone, you know? And so it was just something that affected my life every day for the rest of my life in various ways, you know, he wasn’t there for prom. He wasn’t there at my wedding. He was, you know what I mean? And so it was a slower burn over a longer period of time. And so once I realized that, like immediately came up with my Y,

Ann Rea: (08:15)
So you saw how it’s a process and it’s nothing you, you have, it has to take the time it takes. And that’s why I don’t, um, boot people out, let you stay as long as you need to, to get what you have.

Anne Spoon : (08:30)
Right. Right. So, anyway,

Ann Rea: (08:33)
That’s fantastic. And I’m glad you were patient with the process and you allowed it to unfold because it doesn’t it. How do you feel after now that you’ve now that you know, your, why, how do you, how does that make you feel?

Anne Spoon : (08:50)
It actually, it makes me feel free. You know, I, I, now I know, and now I feel free to move on, you know, um, and started, you know, I’ve started the journey, but now I get to really start the journey, you know, I get to, um, start creating art for people, you know, with, uh, with a purpose. And that feels wonderful. That feels wonderful. So,

Ann Rea: (09:16)
So, um, my next question is, um, would you recommend this semester to a friend or another artist? And if so, um, why would you recommend it? You want to say the question and then give me the answer.

Anne Spoon : (09:35)
Uh, why would I recommend the semester to another artist or friend? Um, because we, as artists, we all who’ve joined the semester. We all have the same problems. You know, we’re all searching for the same answers. And I mean, I talk to my friends all the time and like I said, our problems are the same. And I believe this course is a solution to many of those problems. And, um, I’m not only learning about the business of art and more about myself. Uh, and that that’s right there is huge, you know, and the, the practices with the visualizing and the journal, the journaling, oh my goodness. That has been tremendous. I had no idea I had these ideas, you know, and so I would just start writing and I was like, Hey, that’s a good idea. Would have never thought of that. Just, you know, sitting around drinking coffee, you know, I had one idea leads to the next leads to the next, because once you put it up on paper, then it’s there and, you know, it’s concrete and your freedom, your brain, your mind is free to move on to the next idea.

Anne Spoon : (10:50)
You know? So yeah, I would say definitely. Um, I would love everybody I know, to, uh, to take this course, I really would. It’s fantastic. Um, and I have to set the whole journal. I mean, the whole visual a, you know, I’ve got my board and I’d do my visualizing and here’s the name of that bonus. I’ve lost eight pounds since I’ve been visualizing, seeing fit. And then

Ann Rea: (11:21)
So dig now that is something I wish I could sell. Not only can,

Anne Spoon : (11:30)
You’d be a millionaire, I’m here. Yeah. I have. I’ve been visualizing. And for some reason, I’m like, no, that’s Tom hungry, you know? And I got on the scales the other day. I was like, oh my gosh, I’ve lost eight pounds. That’s pretty cool.

Ann Rea: (11:46)
Awesome. Well, you know, the reason why we go into these, uh, you know, learning about yourself because your art is personal, it’s an ex you know, it’s very personal. It’s not like we’re selling, we’re not selling widgets here. We’re not selling, uh, you know, we’re selling things that are coming from our hearts. So we have to go there.

Anne Spoon : (12:07)
Right. And it’s, it’s emotional and it’s painful when, whenever you’re rejected, it’s so painful. You know, we take it personally. It’s hard not to do, you know,

Ann Rea: (12:21)
But your mission will give you a Teflon coating against that rejection because you’ll realize, you know, it’s just not this person just, that are just not my target market. Is that a big deal?

Anne Spoon : (12:36)
Right. You know?

Ann Rea: (12:38)
All right. So you’d recommend a semester because you can lose weight.

Anne Spoon : (12:47)
Yes. Ma’am,

Ann Rea: (12:52)
What’s the one thing beamed in the make dinner, repeat the question. What’s the one thing that you gained in this semester that surprised you?

Anne Spoon : (13:05)
Um, what, the one thing I gained in this semester that I didn’t expect to lose weight. Um, I didn’t, uh, you know, I had been, um, I go to the studio every day, religiously because I have to, because there was always this sense of, you know, I’ve got to make it, I’ve got to make it, you know, and I don’t put in the work. I’m not going to make it. You know, I had a friend tell me one time, you know, about two years ago. Um, the time is now, if you don’t do it now, you’re never going to succeed. And that could have panic in me. And so I go to the studio every day and I paint and I have not missed, but a few days in the studio in two years, because of the sense of urgency, well, I have gone to the studio now and I’ve been cleaning it, cleaning it out, and I’m happy to just be there because there’s a sense of calm.

Anne Spoon : (14:09)
That’s come over me where this frantic sense of I’ve got to paint something good to make it is it it’s in there. There’s a sense of calm. There’s a sense that it’s a process and, you know, just, you can go to the studio and just leave. Do you journaling? Do you’re visualizing do some meditation. And, and I’m fine with that because I know that I’m on a path that’s leading someplace, you know, before I was done, uh, I was on a path that was going around in circles, you know, uh, with no clear destination. And so I was frantic. And so that’s to, it’s surprising. I used to get really upset and nervous whenever I didn’t go to the studio and work. And so now I’m able to not, and I’m okay with it.

Ann Rea: (15:04)
So you got the side down, you, you got that side down, you got the making art side down. Now. Now it’s time to go to the other side of the coin and learn the entrepreneurial side, right? This is where you got to go now. And

Anne Spoon : (15:20)
Nobody to show me, I know,

Ann Rea: (15:23)
Hey, neither did I. That’s why I do this because it was a fricking tough road, man. It’s I,

Anne Spoon : (15:32)
Well, God bless you am right.

Ann Rea: (15:35)
Thank you. It was hard. It was really hard. And I had a PR, I had no one to fall back on at freaking high rent here in San Francisco. I mentioned. And, uh, I started getting press and artists started coming to me from out of the fricking woodwork. Like, tell me what you did, tell me what you did. And so I took, I’ve taken a lot of time away from my own work. I, you know, I’ve got big commission right now, but I still I’ve taken a lot of time away from my own fine art grant to get this off the ground. I had to learn how to do online education. I know how to do that. Um, but, uh, you know, the thing is you’re you, you guys had determination. That’s the first, most important thing you’re going to have to learn. You’re going to get through the semester and then you’re not going to be done learning. And you got to stay engaged because after this, you’re going to have to rebuild your online presence. And so that you can extend your market outside of your small town, you’re going to need to learn about online marketing. And, you know, you stick around the Facebook group and we’ll, you know, I’ll answer your questions. So just, don’t just, don’t what I’m saying is you’re never going to be done

Anne Spoon : (16:53)
Well, that’s good.

Ann Rea: (16:54)
You never got done. I mean, right now, I’m enrolled in night, end school and digital and digital marketing school with like the best of Silicon valley. I go to the financial district every Monday and Wednesday night. I’m always in class. I’m always learning

Anne Spoon : (17:11)
You, do you have to always be a student or you’ll get left in the dust. Especially in this day and age, you know, technically

Ann Rea: (17:17)
I said, you’re going to earn some money and then you’re not, you don’t want to do, you’re not going to have to do everything. You start earning some money. You’re going to start to tap. You know, you can use Upwork and you can get yourself a virtual. You could start offloading stuff, but right. But you won’t know what to offload. And if you’re offloading into right person until you understand the whole picture. So it takes some time, but just stay committed. If showing up, be consistent day engaged, make friends, you don’t have to be friends with everybody in this semester. I don’t give a down, you know, like that whoever you vibe with is who you buy. Um, but those relationships can be really important, especially when you need a boost or you need to just bounce an idea off of somebody. Um, that’s everything.

Anne Spoon : (18:06)
I have a question. Um, I am at the point where I’m, I’m dealing and you, you’re saying to ask somebody, um, you know, ask a potential client what their challenges are. And I guess, I don’t know, in what context you’re talking about, what are your challenges in life? What are your challenges?

Ann Rea: (18:33)
Yeah. You can know if you just think about it, if you ask somebody, if you just say, just, you just say, look, this is my homework assignment. It’s crazy lady in San Francisco gave it to me, you know, like, get yourself. You can let yourself off the hook that way. And just say, I’m trying to learn more about my I’m trying to get a deeper understanding of my best customers, the ones I love working with. So I can more of you in my life. And so I was told that it’s crazy lady that I should ask you this question. And, uh, you know, just tell me what your, you know, just the question is real simple. What do you think your top two challenges are? If you ask someone with their top two challenges that are, you’re going to learn so much about them, and what’s very important.

Ann Rea: (19:24)
And that’s why you asked the question so that you can get a psychographic profile when you, most people are focusing on like demographic profile, like their age, their income, their, whatever. This is gives you the psychographic profile of your best customers, not the ones that are lame or kind of alright, but you want to ask the best ones because you want more of the best ones. And that’s exactly why I ask artists because I don’t want all artists in the making art, making money semester. I won’t be able to like you and or other people, like I that’s who I want. So I’m going to ask you guys deeper questions so that halogens to attract more committed artists, you know, that are, that’s how I do it. Well, that’s good. Does that make sense? You understand question the question? I mean, it’s kind of a kooky question, but

Anne Spoon : (20:20)
Yeah. I mean, no, if you meant, like what other challenges in body art or what are the, you know what I’m saying?

Ann Rea: (20:27)
They don’t even consider a bite by an artist, not a challenge for anybody. And they don’t even like, they don’t, they don’t even know they need it. So for example, like Kate Bradley, those mothers don’t know, they don’t think that, oh, I need art, but the way she is approaching, she’s not selling portraits. Remember, I don’t believe in selling art, selling arts for the birds, she’s feeling this a way for parents to express their unconditional love for their child and to celebrate the, those very fleeting moments of childhood through what she does. That’s not selling portraits and it would, and EV and perjure painters struggle. But Kate doesn’t struggle. Cakes just, she’s doing real well. And she’s so young, so young, you know, really, uh, so that’s, that’s why cause remember, what, what are we selling? We’re selling emotion. We’re selling, we’re selling emotion. Yeah. Someone where your challenges are, what are they gonna do? They’re gonna pour out their emotion. You’re going to get a profile of their emotional state of being, and you’re going to see a pattern that, the best customers all seem to have this problem. And that’s how you’re going to use the intelligence. It’s just, just try it. Okay. You get

Anne Spoon : (21:58)

Ann Rea: (21:58)
I can do that. All right. Cool. Well, thanks for being here and I’m going to sign off now because I’ve got another appointment. I just want to thank you again for taking time out of your busy day and dealing with all the back and forth to get this set up. And I appreciate it.

Anne Spoon : (22:15)
Thank you for your patience. I am apologizing for the lot of us. Thank you for your patience with us and, and you know, these, all the learning curves, you know, this technology we’re muddling.

Ann Rea: (22:29)
I know, I know I get it. I had my own, I had my own technology. Trust me. All right.

Anne Spoon : (22:39)
Thank you. You too.

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