How are fine artists getting started with NFTs?

How are fine artists getting started with NFTs?


Artist, Kelly Hsiao,  
Hawaii, USA

Artist, Brendan Miggins, Connecticut, USA

Brendan Miggins: (00:00)
Myself aligned here

Ann Rea: (00:02)
Already everyone. So I want to introduce a couple of my students who are going to join me for a little chat. We’re going to talk about NFTs. We’re going to talk about life as an artist. We’re going to talk about two very different artists from two very different places meeting up and becoming friends. So Kelly, why don’t you introduce yourself? Tell us your name, where you live and what kind of art you do, and then your next Brendan.

Kelly Hsiao: (00:28)
Okay. Hi, my name is Kelly Hsiao. I’m doing sea alchemy online and I’m living and working in Maui, Hawaii, and I specialize in underwater photography that inspires self-love, self-worth, and trusting your own path.

Ann Rea: (00:44)
Nice. All right, Brendan, give it to us. Where are you? Where do you live? What kind of art do you make in?

Brendan Miggins: (00:51)
Hi, I’m Brendan Miggins. I live in Connecticut, United States. The art I create– I’m kind of an eclectic artist. Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of abstract modernist work, and I believe all my work really is about championing people’s self-expression and creativity, letting people just be fully-expressed as creators and inspire people to that.

Ann Rea: (01:20)
Okay, cool. Hey, I see a former student is here, and he’s saying “Hello.” Brady from New York city. Welcome! Nice to see you. So I’m just going to ask you a few questions. And then we’re going to dive into NFTs and kind of your experience so far with NFTs, but I’d kinda like to know like before, and we’ll go one at a time, but before you joined the program, what was like– Kelly, what were your top two challengeswhen it came to your being an artist?

Kelly Hsiao: (01:57)
Okay. Well, at that time I joined the program is in December of last year and we were dealing with the pandemic. I mean, my gallery shut down. I wasn’t making any sales. So I think I was searching for collectors searching to be seen and just not having the confidence really and knowing what to do.

Ann Rea: (02:19)
That’s a big one. Confidence. Okay. So you’re searching for collectors and your confidence was taken a dive. It sounds like.

Kelly Hsiao: (02:26)
Yeah. Not knowing where to start.

Ann Rea: (02:29)
Okay. And Brendan, what were your top two challenges before you joined?

Brendan Miggins: (02:33)
I would say one of them would be connecting with collectors, but there’s the other thing that became apparent to me and was helped through the course through the program was finding my voice. Really to be getting clear on my voice as a creator, but also my own voice as a person. It really came through particularly course two in the program.

Ann Rea: (02:58)
Beginning course. Yeah.

Brendan Miggins: (02:58)
And the way I ended up kind of discovering NFTs and getting into clubhouse in particular, I discovered my voice as a person in a much deeper way. And, and it’s all because of really Course 2

Ann Rea: (03:14)
Yeah, Course 2 is pretty foundational. It’s not the only one, but it’s a pretty important one. And so just so for those of you listening, so Making Art Making Money program is a comprehensive program for fine artists, and it actually has– it actually has nine course. actually it’s 10 courses. Course 2 is called “The Visioning” course, and that’s where my students really find their purpose. And as you heard Kelly and you heard Brendan just share their purpose, they share their mission. And it’s really key. And they’re gonna explain how that’s been playing an important role in the NFT market for their art. But I wanna hit a couple other questions cause either kind of common questions that, you know, artists who’ve never heard of me, never heard of the program, they kind of want to understand what is this all about anyway. So, let’s see. The next question I have for you is, I guess, I’ll take this one at a time. Kelly, if like, let’s just say if nothing changed and things stayed the same before you joined, what do you think would’ve happened?

Kelly Hsiao: (04:22)
Oh my God. I don’t think I would have gotten any sales. I mean, I would certainly wouldn’t got, would not have gotten into NFTs because it was through meeting Brendan and the program and learning about clubhouse that I learned about NFTs. And yeah, it just went on from there and it’s yeah, finding the voice is super important. I mean, it was through Course 2 and I think through Course 4, I first started selling prints, right out of the bat. I don’t know, month or so into the program. I found my voice. You, I don’t know, you allowed us to formulate and put meaning back into our work and into our purpose and I sold some prints right away. So, I find it truly amazing.

Ann Rea: (05:06)
Yeah, I remember that. Yeah. I mean, I think those are, I mean, I’m curious what you guys think, but those artists’ statements are the most stifling thing there is, because they’re just not real. They don’t– they’re not real. They’re not from the heart. They’re not real. How about you, Brendan? If nothing changed like you were, what, what would have happened, do you think?

Brendan Miggins: (05:26)
I wouldn’t have connected with that inner mission, inner voice inside me. I think between finding it in Course 2 in particular, also within the community of Making Art Making Money, you’re practicing, you’re studying. And I was really amazed that you didn’t sell this harder, when you were selling. We know, kind of introducing the courses, that the community [inaudible].

Ann Rea: (05:53)
Is huge. I’m going to tell you. Do you want to know why? Do you want to know? Isn’t it huge? It’s like, I cannot tell you how many artists from all around the world said, “You know, program’s incredibly valuable. Absolutely love the course. I would have paid double, triple, for just the community. But you know why I don’t lean on that so hard? I’d say, I’ll let you guys in on a real secret. I know once you get in there, you’re going to freaking love it. And you’re going to make friends. And even if you’re really different, you come from different parts of the world, I know you’re going to get your support network. You’re going to find your people, but artists are– they’ve been so, they’ve been so hurt and frustrated by competitive and jealous and snobby artists that a lot of people were like, “Oh, a steady partner! And that’s the last damn thing I want.” That’s actually why I don’t lean on it as hard, but I’m glad to show you too. Cause like, you guys are really different, you come from different places, yet you’ve learned from each other, you just met up in New York City to go to the NFT conference. And it’s just freaking proof like, look, you know, you can make friends with other artists and they might not be anything like you.

Brendan Miggins: (07:06)
And we’re not competing with each other.

Ann Rea: (07:09)

Brendan Miggins: (07:09)
That was the key in the program, and the study partners. And also even in the NFTs space. It’s interesting. You’re not competing with each other. You’re– it’s just beautiful. And there’s a lot of cooperation in that space too.

Kelly Hsiao: (07:22)

Ann Rea: (07:23)
Yeah. I feel like, and I think Kelly, you touched on this in our last live class. Like in kind of the NFT space and ideology reflects a lot of this similar tenants or values that are part of the Making Art Making Money program, which is there’s no need to compete. There’s playing go rounds. Do you. Be yourself, and that’s how you will stop competing.

Brendan Miggins: (07:47)
Yeah, it’s true. And in the NFT space, what you’re teaching is for artists, independent artists to connect with collectors directly. And that is exactly how it works in that space.

Ann Rea: (07:58)
Exactly. So what I teach is a really basic principle. For those of you who are not aware what the heck we’re talking about, I teach artists that they don’t need 29 different strategies to sell their art. That don’t freaking work, that they have to pay for. You need one. One! It’s called “referrals.” Real relationships equal revenue, particularly in the luxury marketing place. And when you have your mission and you have, you know, these forums like “Clubhouse,” and other places where you can share your mission. You can actually connect with them. I think Kelly, didn’t you have a story like you actually– you had one of your collectors you had a conversation, and you shared a personal story about the mission. Can you share a little bit about that? Like what that looked like, and how that was for you and how that was for him?

Kelly Hsiao: (08:52)
Gosh, there’s been so many, so I’m not sure exactly which one is that.

Ann Rea: (08:55)
You can pick one.

Kelly Hsiao: (08:56)
Okay. Well, I guess one of my– okay, so when I entered the NFT space, it was March, April, I was listening a lot. I realized the rooms were very male, very masculine. So I decided, you know, I want to look for a female, you know, empowered room, and I did. And I waited probably about 45 minutes to speak. And at the end I felt like sharing a piece that was, that really spoke to what we were talking about in that room. That space and the very first person, the very next person after me ended up being my collector. And she bought a print from me. She was like, “I’m going to buy that print from Kelly that she was talking about with her mission and everything.” And what was really amazing was she opened so many doors for me because I found out she’s kind of in this Dow and she’s she created this whole metaverse, “Queens and the Metaverse” like Twitter space. So I got introduced to like, I don’t know, 60-70 women space.

Ann Rea: (09:49)

Kelly Hsiao: (09:49)
And just by her re-tweeting me, I got another sale.

Ann Rea: (09:54)

Kelly Hsiao: (09:55)
I wasn’t even promoting myself.

Ann Rea: (09:58)
Yeah. So what you got to know about referrals, you guys, it is– it’s great for introverts.

Kelly Hsiao: (10:02)

Ann Rea: (10:02)
Because they do all the heavy lifting for you. And when someone is referred to you, that person is 82% more likely to buy from you, and spend more money. And I’m going to ask Kelly, do you guys feel like you’re ever selling yourself? Because that’s a phrase I hear, “Oh, I don’t want to sell myself.” Do you ever, Brendan, do you ever feel like you’re selling yourself?

Brendan Miggins: (10:27)
No, I’m sharing myself, more fully. And, again, you know, just I found my voice to the point also where I found a voice like I overcame public speaking anxiety in Clubhouse, which I know that’s not exactly part of this course, but it was finding my voice in Course 2, sharing myself.

Ann Rea: (10:48)
No, it is. You know what, Brendan, I can’t tell you how many painful introverts come through the other end of Course 2, the visioning course, and they’re like, “I would rather die than speak in front of people.” And all of a sudden they are brave. Don’t even mess with them. They’re there on a mission, because they’re on a mission, and they don’t care anymore. So that– I’m not surprised you’re saying this.

Brendan Miggins: (11:10)
Yeah. And to the point where now, Kelly, who will understand this, in addition to selling my art, I actually now have established sort of a platform on Clubhouse and Twitter where I, I have, I quit my job by the way.

Ann Rea: (11:25)

Brendan Miggins: (11:25)
And then I now have this, “I quit my job.” Now what club on Clubhouse and Twitter? And I interview artists.

Kelly Hsiao: (11:33)

It’s weird. It’s just this wild thing that I just fell into as well as being an artist.

Ann Rea: (11:38)
You could be signing up for the Student Reward program, Brendan.

Brendan Miggins: (11:41)
That’s a good point.

Ann Rea: (11:47)
You could be making some money doing that.

Brendan Miggins: (11:47)
But it’s extraordinary because that fell out of the program, which led me down this path that I never would have found. I never would have found any of that without this program. And finding my Why.

Ann Rea: (11:58)
I just love hearing this because like, that’s really what I want for artists. I want you guys to take your power back. I want you to find your voice. I want you to feel confident again, because so many artists are exposed to so much unnecessary criticism and rejection. And it’s because they’re using those 29 strategies that don’t freaking work. But anyway, all right. So let me go onto my list of questions here. Want to make sure I cover a few points cause we don’t have a ton of time. Let’s see. I guess, I’m curious Kelly, cause I know you’re married, and you have children. Has this like, what you’ve learned inside of this program, has it had any effect or benefit for your family?

Kelly Hsiao: (12:49)
Oh wow, absolutely. I think I really inspired my husband, you know. And I encouraged him to, you know, dive deeper. I think actually this program can be for anybody. You know, like anybody,

Ann Rea: (13:01)
Not everybody. We do have an application process.

Kelly Hsiao: (13:04)
But I mean, you know, entrepreneurs like anyone with a creative spirit, I guess, because it really helps you just yeah, finding your voice. I mean, finding, it goes so deep. I feel like I, it just gives you so much confidence, and so much purpose in your life. And you don’t have to second guess, you know, how to rewrite and reframe and you know, like, like the horrible artists bios, you know. And in terms of my family, I’ve inspired my daughter to create more, and just to make NFT art.

Ann Rea: (13:39)
Oh, I hope she does. I would love to hear that. I would love for that to happen. Brendan, I don’t know what your family’s situation is or what, but I’m curious, like, you know, I can hear in your voice, your confidence has increased. Like you’re not the same Brendan who had the orientation call.

Brendan Miggins: (14:02)
No, I’m not. And everyone tells me that my voice is stronger. I’m also, in a weird way too, finding my voice has a lot to do with getting out of my head. I just kind of speak in the moment extemporaneously. It actually makes a bigger difference with people. I’m just present with them. And I just say what comes out. I’m not in my head trying to script something to sound good. And it just comes out.

Ann Rea: (14:31)
Right. Which is why we don’t have artist statements. We don’t have any mission statements. Burn them in a big fire if you do. Cause they don’t work. They’re awful.

Brendan Miggins: (14:39)
Yeah. You’re mission comes out every time a little different. But it’s still a mission. It’s there.

Ann Rea: (14:44)
Yeah, exactly. So, okay. Let me make sure I hit all the points here. Obviously, I’m not Oprah. You can tell., right?

Brendan Miggins: (14:52)
You’re fine.

Ann Rea: (14:52)
Let’s see. What are my other favorite questions to ask? This is a great question to ask. I love this question. I’ll go with you Kelly. First. I almost didn’t join the Making Art Making Money program because?

Kelly Hsiao: (15:15)
I mean, I thought I would fail. I thought it was a lot of money, you know, to invest. I thought I really– what if I, yeah, I think I was really afraid of failing.

Ann Rea: (15:25)
Yeah. And how about you, Brendan? I almost didn’t join because,

Brendan Miggins: (15:31)
Well, I think it’s similar. It might be that. It seemed like a lot of money at the time, but then I thought, “Well, what the heck am I waiting for?” You know, this is sort of my, you know, this is the time, and the way circumstances worked out. My job was cut in half, and because of COVID and stuff. So this is the opportunity to do something like this. And to be an entreprenurial, and I decided I’m going to invest in myself, and do it. And, you know.

Ann Rea: (16:01)
Yeah. I guess the next question, which people want to know is like, has it been worth it? Did you get a return on your investment?

Kelly Hsiao: (16:07)
Oh my God, absolutely. I mean, yeah. It’s incredible, Ann. It’s incredible. I I made that. I don’t know. I don’t know, almost more than twice my tuition by now.

Ann Rea: (16:21)
And you’re not even done. You’re just getting started, really.

Kelly Hsiao: (16:23)
Just getting started. Yeah. But, just incredible. Just so many things open up. And I think just having that faith, you know,. Me too, at some point I just thought, “Well, where am I going to be if I don’t do this?” You know, I did ask myself that question, like, “Where am I going to be?”

Ann Rea: (16:37)
Yeah, I think that’s a really good question to ask yourself when you’re making any big decision. Like, “Okay, where am I going to be one year from today if I don’t make a change? I don’t want to be in the same place. And is that something I am okay with? You know, like that’s the question.

Kelly Hsiao: (16:54)
And not to do it alone, you know? Cause we were all holed up alone, and this gave us an opportunity to meet. I mean, me and Brendan met, and so many other people. And I mean, Brendan really brought me into the world of NFTs and Clubhouse, and you know, and then I met so many people from there. We each met all these, you know, we have circles that evolve, that we all each have our own kind of, you know, circles as well. But it’s just it opens up so much of that stemmed from having that confidence in your course, and just learning about Clubhouse. Where will you learn about clubhouse if it wasn’t

Brendan Miggins: (17:28)

Kelly Hsiao: (17:29)
[inaudible] a student in Clubhouse.

Ann Rea: (17:32)
[inaudible] Did I put the first invite out there? Or did you put the first invite out there, Brendan?

Brendan Miggins: (17:35)
You talked about it and you said, if you– you said something about that, and then about– “You should get on clubhouse if you can.” Then I heard NFTs. If you want to learn about NFTs, you should get in Clubhouse. Then it took me a month to get an invite, and the invite came from another student in our program.

Ann Rea: (17:51)
Okay, cool.

Kelly Hsiao: (17:51)
Yeah, me too.

Ann Rea: (17:55)
Good. Yeah, I mean, I mean one of the things that I know, like art. Being an artist can be a really long endeavor, because you’re physically isolated in your studio, and then there’s this whole like vibe of competition that the art establishment creates. And it just seems like, you know, you’re obviously, you two are not feeling that at all. You’re– so what was the name of the NFT conference that you went to? You want to share with that one?

Brendan Miggins: (18:19)
It’s called “NFT NYC,” and I think there were 500 people that went to it last year and now they’re estimating 10,000 people went to it this year.

Ann Rea: (18:28)
Nice. Is there another conference that you’re going to go to? Either one of you.

Brendan Miggins: (18:33)
Art Basel is coming up in December and I think I might go to that too.

Ann Rea: (18:39)
But is it going to have NF — I mean an NFT conference?

Brendan Miggins: (18:44)
Yeah. And I will say, which is really interesting, cause I remember I shared with you that I was in a, like I’ve been in like eight exhibition since like April.

Ann Rea: (18:55)
I know.

Brendan Miggins: (18:55)
And I remember when I shared this in class, someone said, “Well, did you pay to get exhibited?” And none of these exhibitions that I’m in, in this community, where we’re really paying, we’re paying at all. It’s, I don’t know, it’s just, there’s a lot of– oops, sorry, that’s my phone. Sorry about that. Oh gosh. There’s a lot of sharing and community-oriented.

Ann Rea: (19:18)
Yea. It’s not a pay-to-play.

Brendan Miggins: (19:18)
It wasn’t pay-to-play. I mean, there are some that are doing that, but it wasn’t in my case.

Ann Rea: (19:27)
Oh God! It’s okay. Shut the phone off, everybody.

Brendan Miggins: (19:33)
I’m so sorry. I don’t know what that’s about.

Ann Rea: (19:35)
So, I guess let’s see. Everyone’s phones are shut off now. I hope.

Kelly Hsiao: (19:43)
And I just want to say that being in I think the Making Art Making Money program, it just accelerates your learning because there’s so many people you can learn from. I mean not everyone you will click with and jive with or whatever, but it’s like, well one, just that one person can lead you to so many different [inaudible].

Ann Rea: (20:01)
It change your life. I mean, really.

Kelly Hsiao: (20:01)
Yes, absolutely. And you have so many.

Ann Rea: (20:05)
It’s so true. Like we, I always say “We is smarter than me.” Like I’m pretty smart, but you guys collectively are way smarter. And so what I employ in the Making Art Making Money program is something called “Peer Learning,” which is shown to be so much more effective than like the straight up, like study by yourself, and pass the test. We don’t do that. We have “Peer Learning” as evidenced by Kelly and Brendan. And then we also use something called “micro-learning.” I don’t like to waste people’s time. So my lessons are all under five minutes each. And we do like, we get the sh*t done. We’re not– no long-winded lectures are allowed. I guess I would add one other question that I have, like going backward in time. Kelly, if you could like the Kelly, whatever her age she was when she decided she was going to be a photographer, artists. What, if you could travel back in time in a time machine, and give her a piece of advice, what would you say to her? It might be the same advice you’d give to your daughter, but let’s think about you.

Kelly Hsiao: (21:08)
I think it’s trusting yourself, you know, trusting. Yeah, trusting your path. It’s– I mean I think that’s what’s so great about this NFT space. It almost brings me to tears because it’s like, it’s really a digital revolution and it’s, it’s like artists are finally getting recognition, and the value that they deserve. You know, people are seeing it, people are feeling it. And the art is, is utility. Art is value and it’s where I– it just– someone had a really funny tweet, and I just want to share that. It’s like, you know, in 2008 or something, you know, parents want their kids to be doctors or lawyers, right? And in 2021 it’s like, “No, become an artist.” You know, cause this is our time. I think this is our time.

Ann Rea: (21:54)
Yeah, I sure hope so, because I think that, you know, artists are– feel so undervalued. And the fact is we’re so powerful. Like if you just listened to your missions, and the fact that you have like, think about it, you guys. When you share your mission,, and you sell your art, is there a Ferrari or a pair of designer shoes that is going to have that level of emotional impact and meaning?

Brendan Miggins: (22:20)

Ann Rea: (22:20)
I don’t think so.

Brendan Miggins: (22:21)

Ann Rea: (22:22)
You know, we’re– how about you, Brendan? If you could go back in time to that moment, when you decided you want to be an artist, what would you tell him? What would you say? What would your advice be?

Brendan Miggins: (22:35)
Well, take this course, because you end up working through your self-limiting beliefs in a way I’d never encountered before in the “Code of Joy” and the Course 2. It’s extraordinary that I was able to overcome trauma that I had done work on years ago, but it just didn’t seem like this is a way to really break through a lot of those self-limiting beliefs, like public speaking anxiety, and things like that. Letting, keeping my voice squelched, which I think I’ve done most of my whole life. I kind of always, I was, you know, I had a career as an architect too. And I’m really stepping out as a full-creator artist, everything, you know.

Ann Rea: (23:19)

Brendan Miggins: (23:19)
And I was really squelching my voice. My whole career as an architect, I was kind of sitting in the background. I used to call myself “the unicorn chained in the corner” sometimes. I feel like I have a magic, but I was out out back, and I wasn’t out up front with my creativity. And this has allowed me to do that. And in a whole way I’d never expected before.

Ann Rea: (23:43)
I love hearing that!

Ann Rea: (23:45)
I love hearing really like, “Damn! It’s a lot more than I thought I was signing up for.” Because I hear that a lot. And, I actually love hearing that. [Inaudible] It makes me feel happy.

Brendan Miggins: (23:56)
I was just going to add that the NFT community is so focused on, there’s literally like a new art Renaissance happening, and it is the artists. We are– we have the power. It’s really about a creative empowerment movement that’s happening. [Inaudible]

Ann Rea: (24:15)
I’m going to talk, I want to talk to you guys later about some of the influencers in this space, because I want to see if I can do some interviews with them. We can get a little deeper and deeper dive

Brendan Miggins: (24:25)
Chris Helm would be a wonderful to interview.

Ann Rea: (24:27)
Drop it into our Facebook group. Just drop it in there, and let’s see. So I guess my last question for you two is simply if someone was sitting on the fence, cause I can’t tell you how many artists just sit on the fence, and wait to join this program. Sometimes I’ve even heard 10 years. I waited 10 years. Like, what the f*ck.You could have been selling me so much already, but whatever. If the– if you were like Kelly, if someone was sitting in front of you, and like, “Oh, I don’t know if I should. Maybe I should. Maybe I shouldn’t.” What would you honestly say to them?

Kelly Hsiao: (25:02)
I would say, you know, get rid of that skeptic. You know, you just have to kick that skeptic out of the door because that skeptic isn’t helping you. You know, it’s– I mean, just, you’ve just given us so much. And I mean, from the books, I mean it’s life changing. You know, the books that you’ve recommended and just the– our mindset needs to change. And it starts with joining a program like this because you have to get, you have to believe that you can do it, and believe that there’s, there is gold at the end of the rainbow.

Ann Rea: (25:34)

You have to walk down that path and believe that this path is going to lead you to somewhere beautiful. You have to believe that about yourself. If you don’t believe that about yourself, then I don’t think anything is going to help you, because you’re always going to have that, you know, skeptic about everything, you know. And it’s not going to work out. And I’ve taken your Creative Live course. I have, I I’ve researched you for years, you know. And if I could have done anything differently, it would have taken this course earlier when it was even cheaper. I remember.

Ann Rea: (26:01)
It was. It’s going up again, by the way you guys. It’s really going to go up again because my mentor [inaudible].

Kelly Hsiao: (26:05)
It’s absolutely worth it.

Ann Rea: (26:07)
My mentors are saying, “You are not charging enough. You are not. It’s not reflective of the value that you’re offering. You’ve got to increase the price.” So I will be increasing the price. But besides that, Brendan, if you could like talk to someone. They’re sitting on the fence. They’re not sure about applying to enroll. What would you honestly say to them?

Brendan Miggins: (26:26)
Just do it. It’s about getting bigger than, you know, you’re in self-limiting beliefs. If you’re doubting yourself or doubting the value, and it really is, it allows you to get bigger than yourself, and get bigger than your own limitations.

Ann Rea: (26:45)
I would say too, like, “Don’t beat yourself up about having self limiting beliefs. Like no surprise we have them. Like, “Are you kidding?” We celebrate a story, archetype of an artist who suffers, and an artist who was poor, and an artist who somehow doesn’t care about money, which is complete bullshit, you know? And so those are the stories we’re celebrating. And with using all these different strategies that lead us to rejection, of course you feel like hell. Of course yourself is full of self-doubt. So, you don’t need to heal your self-doubt before you apply. That’s what we do. I’ve even had people say, “I have to figure out what my niche is before I can apply.” I’m like, “No, you don’t.” You don’t. But I love this. I love for you to just like when you put some links in our Facebook group, so we can talk about like maybe some other interviews, maybe like people that I could talk to.

Brendan Miggins: (27:47)

Ann Rea: (27:47)
But I just want you to keep me up to date on how you guys are doing on this. I think this is the next wave. But I’ll tell you, if you’re thinking about getting into NFTs, you’re still gonna need to know what your mission is. You’re still gonna know how to cultivate referrals. It’s just a different currency. You still have to create value above, and beyond your art, and service to a greater mission.

Kelly Hsiao: (28:16)
That’s true.

Brendan Miggins: (28:17)
Yeah, I agree. And if I were to do it differently, so I haven’t really talked to you in depth about where I am in the program, Ann. So I, you know, I was, I went along and I did Course 2, and I was into Course 3, and then the whole NFT thing, like just opened. And so I went down this rabbit hole, and I sort of had a double major now in Making Mrt Making Money and NFTs. And I’m still having to catch up with this program.

Ann Rea: (28:46)
That’s okay.

Brendan Miggins: (28:46)
And, you know, but I’ve done so well, but I want to catch up with it, and finish it. And, I mean, I’m sure I’ll graduate as we speak, cause I’ve made the tuition back. Although I didn’t do it to declare to my Prototype Project. So, I’ll probably [inaudible].

Ann Rea: (29:04)
You want to do that, Brendan. You want to do that, because it’s like it’s our SMARTER goal, right? It’s our measurable goal. And so that’s why it’s a good idea, but you will. Look it’s five minutes a lesson, Brendan. You can do it.

Brendan Miggins: (29:17)
Exactly. I’m going to finish it. But what I would, what I would say is about getting into NFTs is do this program first.

Ann Rea: (29:26)

Brendan Miggins: (29:26)
I kind of jumped in, and then it was sorta hard for me to do both at the same time. And I would just say, you need the program to be powerful in the NFT space.

Ann Rea: (29:38)
So you have the foundation. And okay, I’m not saying that. Brendan is saying that.

Brendan Miggins: (29:43)
Yeah, if I were to do it again, I would have finished the course and then gotten into the end of these things. Now I’m playing catch up. I’m going to do it.

Ann Rea: (29:52)
So what? You know what? All I care about, Brendan, is you’re making progress. You made like you made so much progress. I don’t care about perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist. Perfect is just like perfect will screw your head up, and it will kill your creativity. So don’t think about that. Just think about like, “Damn, I’m on fire. I’ve got a mission, and I’ve got a community. And that’s what you want to focus on. So I’m just gonna read real quick. “I’m loving this,” says Haley. And then Jane says, “Stepping away from the gallery contest tradition.” Oh contest. F contest. The only one who– the only ones who win art contest are the organizers, and they’re accountable to no one. No, no, no. I know you spent a lot of time, Jane, but you are here now, and you’re not going to do that stuff anymore. So, we’ll anyway, you guys have been great. Thank you so much for your time. Thank you for sharing your experience in the program with each other, with NFTs. I’m really so proud of both of you. You both have different voices. I wish I, you know, I think it’d be an interesting to experiment to like take a sound clip of the voice of the new student in a like, you know, like during the orientation call, and then the after sound clip.

Kelly Hsiao: (31:10)
A before and after.

Ann Rea: (31:11)
You sound different.

Brendan Miggins: (31:13)

Kelly Hsiao: (31:13)
We totally are. Yeah. I think we do.

Brendan Miggins: (31:15)
Before we go, can I brag about Kelly a little bit?

Ann Rea: (31:20)
Yes, please.

Brendan Miggins: (31:20)
We were in New York city last week, and we were at a club, and it was just like, it was crazy. It was like Moulin Rouge inside. And Kelly’s art was being projected huge on the wall with people dancing in front of it. You know, it’s like, I mean that’s so incredible. Like, you know, that was so meaningful for you.

Kelly Hsiao: (31:44)
It is totally amazing. Yeah.

Brendan Miggins: (31:46)
And then, and then you were able to meet with some of your collectors. I was able to meet with my very first collector in New York. And now we’re working on two projects as well.

Ann Rea: (31:58)
Nice. Look at you.

So it’s like, there’s so many things happening, you know.

Kelly Hsiao: (32:02)
There’s so many things happening, and yeah, it really blew me away to see my work on big screen. Like it just raised my confidence that, “Wow, it could be seen this way. It’s valued this way. People appreciated it.” And I closed the sale today on my auction. [Inaudible] so it got higher . I know someone got connected with my mission, and somebody that I built a relationship with, you know. We were kind of friends, and so you’ve made the bid, and it just moved me so much. And also female, 2 female collectors bid on me, which is rare because we’re still so underrepresented in that space. I think 15%.

Ann Rea: (32:39)
But you’re going to change that, Kelly.

Brendan Miggins: (32:45)

Kelly Hsiao: (32:45)
I hope so.

Ann Rea: (32:45)
Yes, we are. And Brendan’s going to help us. Yes we are. You know, what I love about this is like, you know, when you share, you guys share your wins and especially like in an art private community, and Making Art Making Money, instead of people getting all jealous. They’re like, “Yay! Well, if they can do it, I can.”

Kelly Hsiao: (33:03)

Ann Rea: (33:05)

Brendan Miggins: (33:06)
Yeah. Win for you, is a win for me. It’s a win for everybody. It’s a win for life, you know.

Ann Rea: (33:13)
Yeah. There really isn’t a competition unless you are the only one. The only one imposing the competition on you is this scarcity and permission-based art establishment. You guys, you don’t need them anymore. You haven’t needed them in a long time. So please free yourself. And, look at Kelly. Look at Brendan. They’ve only been, they haven’t even finished the Making Art Making Money program, and look at the results so far. So just don’t take my word for it. You’re hearing it here. And thank you again. I could talk to you guys all day. Maybe I’ll meet up with you at an NFT conference sometime. You can send me the info.

Brendan Miggins: (33:50)
Yeah. Or meet up in San Francisco sometime or whatever.

Kelly Hsiao: (33:53)
Yeah. That would be awesome.

Ann Rea: (33:58)
Yeah. [inaudible]. Yeah, I would love that. I don’t get to meet my students in person a lot, but when I do, it’s really a delight.

Kelly Hsiao: (34:07)
Someone is asking, “What is an NFT art?” Do you want to answer?

Ann Rea: (34:10)
Do you want to answer?

Do you want to answer that, Brendan?

Brendan Miggins: (34:13)
Actually, yeah, I have a really good answer for that. So it takes up a minute or two, but.

Ann Rea: (34:19)
Go ahead.

Brendan Miggins: (34:19)
So everyone knows what the Mona Lisa is, right? So.

Ann Rea: (34:24)
They should.

Brendan Miggins: (34:24)
And everyone knows that there’s a Mona Lisa, there’s millions of copies of the Mona Lisa all over the world. And, um, uh, and uh, yet everyone knows that the real Mona Lisa is hanging on a wall in the loop and that’s where all the value. Right. Um, uh, and so in, oh, I didn’t explain it. NFT stands for non fungible token and

Ann Rea: (34:55)
None. Tell us, let’s just take this as break this down. Okay.

Brendan Miggins: (34:59)
So what is fundable, explain what

Ann Rea: (35:03)
Fundable is and why is it a token and all that good stuff. Let’s break that down.

Brendan Miggins: (35:08)
Yeah. I should have started there and they’ll get, but we’ll get back to Mona Lisa. So fungible means, um, so say if you have a dollar and I have a dollar, and we exchange them, they’re fungible. They’re basically a mutually interchangeable or identical.

Ann Rea: (35:23)
Of equal value.

Brendan Miggins: (35:24)
Of equal value, and then you can just interchange them if they’re in the same value. Non-fungible means that they’re two things that are not identical. Now at the moment and time of the transaction, they’re established to be the same value, but once they’re exchanged this will have a life of its own. And so, the token is a function of the Cryptocurrency market that allows an exchange to happen inside the transaction, inside the token tokenized transaction. I might not be explaining this like.

Ann Rea: (35:59)
Let me ask you, because we’re running out of time. Can we do this? Can you guys recommend a place for people to go to get a basic definition of NFT? What would you, where would you send them, Kelly?

Kelly Hsiao: (36:15)
Well, I think the NFT S Tips Website.

Brendan Miggins: (36:19)
That’s what I was going to say, NFTs website.

Ann Rea: (36:21)
So go there, and check it out. Bottom line is this. If you want to get paid for anything in life, you have to create value. And it has to be, you have to create value that serves a niche, which is a group of people. It’s got nothing to do with your art, and they have to perceive more value in what you’ve created than the money they have in their account. Then they’ll give you their money in exchange for your art. If you don’t know the value that you offer, it’s going to be hell. And one other thing, you know, and so this is– my point is this, NFTs are just another form of currency, and they are a great brand new growing market where the playing field is a hell of a lot more level, than the art establishment will ever be. So those are the two big takeaways that I’d recommend you focus on from this, from our conversation. Does that sound about right, you guys?

Brendan Miggins: (37:30)
I think that those are valid points. Yeah. And it’s a brand new art market. And I think artists, you know, I think eventually every artist will need to have an understanding of the NFT game.

Ann Rea: (37:38)

Ann Rea: (37:41)
I think, I think I want to meet you guys in person at the next NFT conference. So look around. Look around, see what’s up. Remember, I’m in San Francisco. Okay. So, I’m happy to go to New York, but, you know, check it out. Let me know what you guys.

Brendan Miggins: (37:56)
Art Basel. There’ll be NFTs there.

Ann Rea: (38:00)
Yeah, that’s a possibility. So drop that into our community.

Brendan Miggins: (38:04)

Ann Rea: (38:05)
All right. You guys, thank you so much for your time, and so much for your hard work, and your progress, and sharing your success, and helping each other. That’s the part that I really like to see.

Brendan Miggins: (38:15)
Ann Rea: (38:15)
All right. Take care     

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.

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