"Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art." - Andy Warhol
So I got off the phone with an applicant to The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester, who was late to her phone appointment. The first red flag.
I asked her some of my usual questions.
"Just to confirm, you do understand that is is not a sales call but an application call and you are prepared to enroll at the end of this interview if you are accepted?"
Her answer "Yes."
"You do understand that we only have ten minutes for this interview?"
Her answer "Yes."
However, she kept insisting on giving me her life story and talking over me.
My bad. I should have stopped it there. Against my better judgment, I asked her the next question.
"And you have carefully reviewed the FAQ page and it has addressed all of your questions about the program?"
Her answer "Yes."
"How much art did you sell in 2016?"
Her answer "$0."
"How much do you think you will sell in 2017?"
Her answer "Not sure."
"Do you have a written plan to sell your art?"
Her answer "No."
"Do you have a support network to help you build your artistic enterprise?"
Her answer "No. I have no support."
She asked, "Have you reviewed all of my work on my website?"
My answer "No. I don't offer art critiques. This not only falls far outside the scope of this program, but it's also unrealistic to expect that any one person will be an expert in every creative medium. Most importantly, I am not your target market."
In a very high highfalutin voice, "Then how do you know the caliber of my work? I'm very skilled. I wouldn't want to be with other artists who don’t match my caliber."
Remember. She hasn't sold any of her art, which is okay but she is somehow assuming that she's better than my students. Even though she has no idea who my students are or what they have accomplished.
This applicant also does not have a plan to sell her art, and according to her, she does not have a support system of any kind. Is it any wonder?
My answer, "First. The caliber of your art is entirely subjective, and it is only one factor that will determine your success. We are focused on building businesses and community in this program."
Her answer, "Well. I don't want to be with 'lesser' artists like some amateur watercolorist."
Because she paints in oil. OMG! Who cares?!
My answer, "Application denied."
Here are my some of my student's responses.
"Ouch! Who needs her?"
"Woah. She needs help, but it's so amazing that you stick to your guns to keep this community alive and safe like that Ann."
"Not a good fit for either her or us."
"Am happy you are doing these interviews. Can tell you a lot about a person."
Ann Rea, "I can't argue with an artist who is committed to defending their limitations. Don't have time for that when there are artists who want to help themselves here."
"I just find it amazing that how many people are resistant to
improving, and don’t have open minds."
"She wasn't meant to succeed. She is looking for value and thinks she has "privilege." Clearly off her game and not on target. Thank you, Ann, for sharing the bumps in the road that you come across. Even you are challenged with those who do not understand your service. I think of you as our Mama Bear and appreciate your honesty and your involvement with us."
"A brilliant example of knowing who your work can help and who it can't. Thanks for keeping our community energy high and clear."
"I've known plenty of talented artists who made no money and plenty of not super technically skilled artists who made a lot of money."
"Wow. Again, wow. Why would she bother applying for this course in the first place?"
"What an ego. That's cringy as f*ck."
"Wow. I think she may be, on some level, stuck in that old (immature) paradigm of "but, but...look at what I can do!" Sort of approval-seeking for external validation. What I have found to be a golden key, in this course, is the truth of creating (and selling) value above and beyond the artwork. And that is a big deal! Clearly, she hasn't figured that out...nor is interested in doing so."
"Obviously, she has not been on the Saturday Web classes, or she would know this program is different. Not a good fit at this time. She's set in a different concept...what we learn at MAMM is unique."
Ann Elizabeth Rea "The astonishing thing is that she has!"
"Sounds just like someone who has never entered the arena, sitting on sidelines criticizing those in the fray. Thanks for sharing, brings it home how valuable this is."
"If the person is not a good fit, you can move on...Next! (So different from the I have to be desperate and take what I can get)"
"Thank you for keeping us safe:) and thank you for sharing this. I know conversations like this will happen when we talk to potential customers/clients."
“see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.”
"There are many artists who pretend to know better and have no clue that there is a different way/ mission perspective. No one can change that. We know that art has to come from the inside out...and you need to be humble to serve."
"It makes me sad to think of what she is missing out on based on the preconceived notion that she “might” be more skilled than other people in this awesome group. All art styles are subjective. She may (in fact) be a brilliant artist, but without a community to help support her vision based on her mission, (if she even knows what that is yet) it will be a tough road to travel. I am grateful for all the study partners I have had here, for Ann, and for the self-growth of this course. Let’s continue to build each other up."
"Well said. Being humble and confident is important to go forward."
"Lol! I think you saved yourself (and us) from a whole lot of annoyances. Thanks for sharing!"
"There are some unhappy, toxic folks out there who thrive on discord and feed it with contrariness. I think we are all better off with healthy boundaries (generally and in this instance)."
"O my goodness, sounds as if this person is very insecure and is so afraid of failure that she will use whatever tools she can to keep from exploring her potential - on any level/topic/consideration....on the practical side she probably hasn't had the physical need to support herself in this world."
"Hmmm, the last thing that this group - or ANY group - needs is an art snob! Especially one who isn't able to sell their work!"
"Thank you for guarding our safe community against “toxic” thinking. I appreciate that you consider the mindset of applicants. Maybe more than anything else, The Semester has taught me about the law of attraction. Our attitude is freaking everything! And I am grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate with positive, open, curious, excited, dependable, ethical, wonderful artists. I’ve learned to reframe how I look at many things. I feel like I am figuring this out. I am not holding on to limiting beliefs. We can do this together. Thanks, Ann. 😊"
"A good example of a self-sabotaging attitude."
"Attitude is everything. Too bad hers sucked."
"I have only been here few days but already feel the support and positiveness in this group. The world around us needs enthusiastic, passionate and open-minded people who know their weaknesses and not afraid to ask for help."
"Unfortunately she's probably representative of a bigger pool of artists than you might think. Colossal ego, nothing to show for it, look down their nose at everyone. I've seen some of the comments on Ann's ad for this course and there are many who are a version of this woman, and they make me cringe. I have met some of them, too and they are totally convinced of their own superiority. I cannot be around them."
"I feel that the narrative for this person is so deep-seated in her belief system that she is not ready and may never be ready to "Join The New Creative Class". She has completely missed the inspiring, motivating and the "Hell Yes!" 8 points listed on your home page, Ann."
But if you are an artist who is ready to sell your art without feeling like a sell-out, we're ready to help you!