Artist: Clarissa Castillo-Ramsey; Los Angeles, California, USA
QUESTION: What were your biggest challenges?
Clarissa: I just didn’t know how, like I just knew I wanted to sell my art, and I just thought, well, how am I going to do this? And that was really where I was coming from. Basically, when I was growing up, my mom, like my family just said; don’t ever be an artist. You’re never going to make money, blah, blah, blah.
QUESTION: What changed?
Clarissa: I just finally decided screw it. Like, this is who I am and I’m going to go for it. And I just thought, why not? Why not invest in myself and learn?
QUESTION:Why did you want to sell your art?
Clarissa: Well because I feel like it had value and I just, you know, didn’t want to just give it away.
QUESTION: Is it okay to make art as a hobby?
Clarissa: You know, as I have gone through the coursework and everything, I just remember you saying it’s okay if it’s a hobby. Like it’s okay if the art, your art work is a hobby. It doesn’t, you know… Like have peace with that. You know, there’s power in making that decision and that distinction.
QUESTION: What’s been most important to you?
Clarissa: Doing the work of finding, you know, finding your purpose, finding your mission, finding your Why and everything is really at the core.
Clarissa: For me this is something that I had been wanting to do for a very long time. I think there comes a point in your life where you hear things over and over again and it stuck with me and I have been selling my art actually since, since taking this course and I’ve made money. Yes, I’ve made back my $2,000 investment.
Ann Rea: YAY!!!
QUESTION: Why is this important?
Clarissa: So many of us don’t even take the time to really find out what brings us joy. What are we here for? What’s our, you know, what do we want to leave for the world?
QUESTION: How are you approaching selling your art?
Clarissa: It’s an experiment. Like all of this is an experiment and it’s just been fun. And I feel like, you know, I’ve worked so hard to work and make money and make a certain amount of income and I kind of lost, just being creative.
QUESTION: What do you think about visioning?
Clarissa: I totally believe in the power of it. And so many things that I’ve put on there. I mean you have to take action, but it all starts with that creation process and really giving your space, giving yourself space to explore; what do I want? What do I want to create?
QUESTION: What were you told about being an artist?
Clarissa: It will never happen. Just, you know, you’re going to starve. You’re, you’re never, you’re just never gonna make it, I think is the big one, and that artists can’t be business people.
QUESTION: Did you sell your art before?
Clarissa: I did, but really it was so sporadic and like, you know, back then I would do collaborations with other friend artists, but in galleries. So that was what we did like, gosh, 10 plus years ago, probably like 15 years ago.
QUESTION: What’s it like to sell your art?
Clarissa: It’s just been great. And you know, I have a lot of shows that are coming up. It’s fun. It’s been, it’s been really good.
QUESTION: Do you have study partners?
Clarissa: The person that I talk with the most is on the east coast. I’m an early bird, so always when I’m driving to work, I talked to her and it’s always uplifting and you know, we’re there for each other. We’re wired to be in community and not by ourselves. And you know, my study partners have been amazing. It’s such a support driven environment and super encouraging.
QUESTION: What’s your advice to artists?
Clarissa: Don’t overthink because that is just such a big analysis paralysis. I think you just have to, even with your prototype, you don’t, you know, you’re not going to know if it’s going to work until you try it.
QUESTION: What are your biggest takeaways?
Clarissa: Progress over perfection, those are two big things. And I think the last thing is really just, like, do you. Like, you know, don’t copy somebody else. Like what do you want to do? And, so those have been like my big takeaways.
QUESTION: What would you have told your younger self?
Clarissa: Listen to your intuition. I’m a big believer of intuition and despite people telling me; no, I can’t do this, I can’t do that. I’ve even had art teachers that were like; well, just because you like a certain kind of dance doesn’t mean you can dance.
QUESTION: How did you respond to that?
Clarissa: I’m one of those people that’s like; oh, I will prove you wrong. I will prove you wrong. And, you know, if I know in my heart what I want to do, I’m not going to rest until I try it, until I get out there and just see like, you know, life’s short.
QUESTION:What should artists know?
Clarissa: So when I think about my other friends that are artists, I think some of them just get caught up in trying to be perfect, you know, whether it’s with their craft or it is just; well, I’m not going to do this or that. It’s not, I’m not ready yet. It’s that whole, I’m not ready yet, kind of mentality. You can plan and plan and plan but at some point you just have to pull the trigger and go and, and be open to feedback.
QUESTION: Should other artists apply to enroll?
Clarissa: Invest in yourself. Invest in yourself. I once heard if you really… Let’s just pretend you want to make, you know, $300,000, you really should spend about 10% of that either investing in yourself or marketing your product or whatever. So I say invest. That’s what I would say. Take the plunge, learn, grow, develop. If you’re not learning, you’re dying, you’re not growing, you’re dying.
MAKING Art Making MONEY
Someday is Today