Should I do art?

Should I do art?


Artist Oliver Hojas
Zurich, Switzerland

Ann Rea: (00:00)
Hey Olive! This is Oliver, one of my students who has graduated from the program. Oliver, tell us your name and where you’re sitting on the planet.

Oliver Hojas: (00:11)
So yeah, I’m Oliver Hojas and I’m in Switzerland, in Zurich.

Ann Rea: (00:15)
In Zurich. Okay. So my name is Ann Rea. I’m coming to live from San Francisco, California. I’m the creator of the Making Art Making Money program. And I’m also a fine artist. So I get it. And Oliver was one of my students this past year. And I thought I would bring him on to sort of share his experience of being a professional artist. And I’ve seen him grow and evolve over the past year. I’m really proud of him. And I just want to ask you a few questions about your experience. Is that okay, Oliver?

Oliver Hojas: (00:46)
Sure. Yes.

Ann Rea: (00:48)
Great! So, before you joined the program, what do you think your top two challenges were?

Oliver Hojas: (00:57)
I would say the first one was doubt. So I was not sure. I did things and some things worked, but I didn’t know why. So I didn’t know why people bought my art. Why anyone who buy art, I had still a lot doubt. And then I would say there was the first challenge and the second one was like having a clear system and structure because again, like I did things, they kind of work, but I also didn’t know how. And through the program, then I learned this new structure about the mission and the prototype and how to talk to people. So, yes.

Ann Rea: (01:29)
Right. I think when we don’t have a structure, it’s like if you walked into your bedroom and you had no closet and you had no drawers to put your clothing away. You would have no hangers. It would just be a mess. Right. It’d be very confusing. It’d be very hard to find an outfit to use a fashion analogy. But when you have a structure, it helps quite a bit. So what is it that you wanted to achieve? You enrolled and you wanted to achieve something. I know you’re ambitious and you know, you want to really do well, but tell in your own words, what did you want to achieve?

Oliver Hojas: (02:05)
Yes. I wanted to make, first of all make more money. But also have this clarity and these systems so like I can trust myself and I know that I can repeatedly make money from my art and you know, that I can live from it and then make a lot of money. That was my goal. I really want to make a lot of money from my art.

Ann Rea: (02:26)
And I’m all for it because the name of this program is Making Art Making money. And I know you’re very keen on prosperity. We share an interest in one of my former mentors, Bob Proctor, who was a really great influence in my life. And that’s I think that’s one thing that we have in common that I think is gonna help you a lot. So let me just ask you. If let’s just say you didn’t join the program, you didn’t make these specific changes, what are three ways that you think that that would’ve impacted you?

Oliver Hojas: (03:04)
If I would not have joined?

Ann Rea: (03:06)

Oliver Hojas: (03:09)
That’s a very good question. I don’t know. I think when I joined, I was– before I joined, I was very, very confused and got really frustrated. So I guess this frustration would’ve grown and continued.

Ann Rea: (03:24)
Yes, and frustration can lead to you giving up. You know, that’s the other thing. It’s a danger zone.

Oliver Hojas: (03:29)
Exactly. And also had not many artists actually like friends that were supporting me. So it was like, felt like a big, and I was actually really doubting. Is it the right thing that I, you know, to do? Like, should I do art? I mean, I’m an artist. I want to do it. But you know, can I really make a living for a longer period and take care of myself and artist and the family and so on. So I really, you know, started doubting and I can remember then on one point I even had some other business ideas to, you know, to maybe try something new. So yes, I guess maybe at one point I would’ve given up. Yes.

Ann Rea: (04:05)
And then you said you wouldn’t– how about friends? So now do you have friends as a result of being in the program? It’s lonely if you try to do this by yourself. I think it’s impossible doing it by yourself.

Oliver Hojas: (04:18)
Yes. Yes. Now I have great friends. Andthere are many, many great people in the program. They are like some favorites and one is a favorite. And he was just like so supportive, like incredible, because most artists are very competitive and they’re not sharing much. And in here it’s the complete opposite. It’s like many coming are from abundance that there is more than enough for all of us, for all artist. And we are all unique because we all have our mission.

Ann Rea: (04:48)
Right. Exactly. And your mission is very specific to you and your reason for being on earth. And I think that when you look at the art establishment, you know, they’re coming from scarcity and competition. They’re pitting artists against one another. And so it just, it creates this rivalry and it creates jealousy. And then it creates snobbery, which is a way to, you know, if you act like a snob, it’s a way to protect your fragile, broken ego. So I think that that’s, you know, if someone’s being an art snob, that’s usually what’s going on. So okay, so you would’ve not had friends, you would’ve continued to get frustrated and you would’ve possibly even given up. It sounds like if this, if you hadn’t turned things– and I wanna be really clear, Oliver turned it around, right? I provided a framework, but Oliver did the work. I can’t do it for Oliver. Oliver did it. So that’s really really important to remember, like, no one is coming to save you. You are not going to be discovered. No one’s going to fix your business for you. No one’s going to find collectors. You have to do it. You have to take full responsibility. So let me just ask you, Oliver, what are like, what are three things that you achieved as a result of what you learned?

Oliver Hojas: (06:07)
Three things like, one thing I can share from May maybe, because that was my record month. And it happened like within three days. I made really one sale after the next. And like in these three days I made 10,000 SFr. That’s roughly the same in USD, so yes.

Ann Rea: (06:26)
Nice. That’s pretty good pay day.

Oliver Hojas: (06:28)
That was really cool. And that also, because you know, like many things you said. Some things are implemented with the mission and the appreciation party and these things. But other things they– so maybe you just mentioned it and I didn’t implement that. But I think at one point you said about, you know, some scarcity, right? Not having all these paintings available and maybe like the guy.

Ann Rea: (06:50)

Oliver Hojas: (06:50)
Yes. The guy who only makes 12 paintings. So at one point I just had the idea, “I want to burn my paintings.” And we actually had this conversation. And out of this post, I made three sales for 10,000.

Ann Rea: (07:03)
Ah, do you see it freaking works? John Singer –o who I’m referring to Oliver when I mentioned that strategy, that’s just from John Singer Sergeant way back in the 1800. I just– you pulled from history and he was a millionaire in his time. And so what he did was he only did 12 grand portraits a year and the aristocracy and the very wealthy American merchants– what was their pain? They wanted status and having your grand portrait done was a trophy of status. So they were vying for position to be one of the 12. And so that’s why he was able to become a millionaire. And then he would also do these things called “mugs,” where they were just really quick sketches. And so he also made money off of that too. But they were quick.

Ann Rea: (07:56)
Like they didn’t take him the time that it took him. So yeS, this John Singer Sergeant knew what he was doing. This is why I do the revised Art History lesson. Because we can learn so much from John Singer Sergeant, so much from Ai Weiwei, so much from Andy Warhol. Like we don’t, we don’t have to start from scratch you guys. We really don’t. There’s people who’ve gone before us. If you look, if you know where to look, you can find all sorts of hints. So alright. So you had that grand sales day. What’s another thing that you accomplished as a result?

Oliver Hojas: (08:35)
Yes, I would say my customers. I started nurturing them and I started seeing the value in them. And {unintelligible}. So these are two things actually. So the mission as well, like having the mission and out of that my prototype. And my first customer for the Prototype was a famous person. And so this is another really cool thing. And that came because I had this prototype because it was really exciting and I made a proposal and he was like, “I want to be your first customer for that.” And so that’s the big thing I achieved. And then I also used that for my existing customers because it’s something new that I never offered them. So I actually had a lady. She bought one in end of April. She picked it up in, I think in June. Took a while to do. And now she took a big one. She saw a bigger one at my plate and she took it home to have a look how it fits there. So eventually she’s going to buy a second one. And that leads up to almost 12. No. No, over almost 12,000.

Ann Rea: (09:36)
Nice. So let me ask you Oliver, if you let’s say the famous person who bought that prototype–our Prototype project, just so you’re aware. This Making Art Making Money is a comprehensive program. It has 9 courses in it. The last course is the Prototype project. And really, I don’t, I’m not going to give you a diploma or a certificate of graduation because who the hell cares. What I want to know is have you learned what you need to learn in order to go make money with your art? And so my students test their comprehension through the Prototype project and they learn who wants to buy their art and why and who doesn’t want to buy their art and why? So they don’t have to take it personally when they’re rejected. They know who’s not going to buy their art and who’s going to, but let me ask you this, Oliver. Do you think that that famous person would have wanted to be your first customer if you didn’t know your purpose, if you didn’t know your mission?

Oliver Hojas: (10:35)
Probably not. No.

Ann Rea: (10:37)

Oliver Hojas: (10:38)
No. he actually saw my art before. He saw my art before, but he never wanted to buy.

Ann Rea: (10:44)
Yes, exactly. So that’s the difference. That’s the huge, huge difference. You have to like,this is so key, you guys. Nothing you’re going to ever learn in art school and it’s nothing. You’re never going to learn it in business school either. So I guess the one question I have for you is like just how has this impacted you personally to know your mission, to know you can sell your art, to increase your sales the way you have, how does it make you feel?

Oliver Hojas: (11:17)
It makes me feel good and confident because I know I have this strategy of my mission and I have this strategy and I can always come back to it and I will always find new customers because it already showed that it works and people want it and buy it with the right ones.

Ann Rea: (11:32)
Yes. Yes. And you’ll get better as you go, you just get better just like making art, you get better and better and better. You’re never done learning how to make art. You’re never done learning how to build a business. It’s just just like doing pushups, you know. It’s just like exercise. And so I think the big mistake I see is people think, “Oh, there’s just like, oh, I just follow steps one, two, and three, and then I’m done.” No, that’s not the way it works. yeah. I’m going to ask you this question and I want you to just kind of hypothetically fill in the blank. I almost didn’t join the Making Art Making Money program because? Why?

Oliver Hojas: (12:12)
I was not sure if it’s for me.

Ann Rea: (12:15)
What does that mean? What were you thinking? What, why weren’t you sure it was for you? What were your thoughts? You can be honest.

Oliver Hojas: (12:24)
Yes., I was not sure if I can learn. I was first of all confused about all the different information, and different cultures. So I was just, yes. Wondering, you know, if I invest in this program, if this will help me or if I’m just, you know, having–

Ann Rea: (12:41)
Oh, did I lose you? Uh-oh, you froze.

Oliver Hojas: (12:46)
No, I think I lost you.

Ann Rea: (12:48)
Yes. So you said, so I hear this a lot. It sounds like you had a lot– you were looking at a lot of different programs and a lot of different coaches and you weren’t sure. Like who do I pick? And I hear that a lot actually. There’s a lot of people– I’ve been doing this for 16 years. So just so everyone’s clear, this is not my first rodeo and this is why you have to be discerning. You have to decide if it feels right. But you also have to understand what, look, whatever you’re looking program, whether it’s an art related one or not. Has that person accomplish the results that you want to accomplish? Yes or no? How long has that person helped other people accomplish those results?

Oliver Hojas: (13:38)

Ann Rea: (13:39)
That’s really all you have to look at. I mean, in my opinion.

Oliver Hojas: (13:43)
Yes, that was actually when I made my decision when I ask myself the question, “Who do you listen to?” And you should listen to people that were where you are and or where you want to be.

Ann Rea: (13:52)

Oliver Hojas: (13:53)
And so I thought all these people teaching artists how to sell art, but they actually never in their whole life sold a piece of art. They’re not even artists.

Ann Rea: (14:01)
Or even made art. They even haven’t made art.

Oliver Hojas: (14:01)
Yes, exactly. So I’m like, “Okay, I need to learn from someone that actually made art and sold art. So that’s when I made the switch and decided to sign up.

Ann Rea: (14:13)
Yes. And that’s key for anything you do, not just my program, but anything you do. Ask yourself those questions. It’s really, really important. So I guess the last question I have for you, Oliver, is if someone was kind of sitting on the fence and they weren’t sure about applying to enroll in this program, what would you honestly say to them?

Oliver Hojas: (14:38)
Yeah, I would say the best investment you can do is in yourself.

Ann Rea: (14:41)

Oliver Hojas: (14:41)
And if you want to, if you really serious about making money with your art, you have to learn from a coach because otherwise it takes so much longer. And I would always learn from someone that actually did what you want to do. That is also an artist and sold art.

Ann Rea: (14:56)

Oliver Hojas: (14:57)
So that’s why I would say this is also the right program.

Ann Rea: (14:59)
And I will tell you there, I actually don’t know of an effective program and I’m not just saying this because it’s my program. But I think Oliver, I don’t, you can say this too. I actually do not know of a nationally recognized artist who successfully sold their art and, and successfully helped other artists sell their art for 16 years. Go try to find that. You’re not going to.

Oliver Hojas: (15:30)

Ann Rea: (15:30)
And those are the things, whatever you’re weighing, like I don’t, whatever you’re weighing, this is by application only. I’m only going to accept people I feel confident I can help, but any time you’re evaluating this overwhelming amount of information, I would say look at that criteria. But Oliver, you’ve done such a good job. I have full confidence that you’ll continue and you just, you know, serve your mission and learn from your mistakes. And it’s important too to, you know, celebrate your successes along the way, or what’s the point, right?

Oliver Hojas: (16:03)

Ann Rea: (16:04)
You know, give yourself– you’re “your boss.” You’re “your employee.” So be a good boss, be a good employee and celebrate what you’ve done over the past year.

Oliver Hojas: (16:14)
Yes. Good point.

Ann Rea: (16:16)
Yes. It’s easy.

Oliver Hojas: (16:17)
Yes. She’s always pushing on celebrating and enjoying.

Ann Rea: (16:23)
It’s easy to forget because we get so focused on our goal. I do the same thing. So I’m telling you something that I have to do myself. Like just remember like, look what you’ve done. Look at how the people you’ve impacted. Look at how you’ve changed. You went from someone who was doubtful. You went from someone who was thinking of giving up all together and now where are you? Right.

Oliver Hojas: (16:49)

Ann Rea: (16:50)
So anyway, that’s all. I’m going to end on that note. And I wanna thank you very much for your time, Oliver, and your participation. I think it’s so helpful for other artists to see other artists who are succeeding, to see other artists who are generous and who are willing to share. So thank you very much for doing that for me and for everyone listening.

Oliver Hojas: (17:11)
My pleasure. Thank you too, Ann.

Ann Rea: (17:13)
You’re welcome. Bye.

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. 

Learn The 5 Perspectives of Prosperity, Making Art Making Money®. 

One Response

  1. Good stuff Ann Rea!
    And you live in a bueatiful city…
    Went to school there……
    It is going through growing pains and social conflict.
    But still geographically outstanding.
    I will think more about getting involved as i am in a transition in my life…
    Den Swinburne

    Good read…,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.