Ann Rea, Artist & Mentor and Maria Beadell, Artist
– I’m in London, UK
– Okay, cool. There are a lot of Londoners.
– Yeah. There’s a lot of us.
– I can’t wait til the Queen enrolls.
– I know. It’s only a matter of time, obviously.
– It is.
What were your challenges as an artist?
– I’ve painted, I’ve always painted. Mainly portraits, but I’ve never really had a focus on what kind of portraits, where I’m going with them, what I’m doing, why I’m doing them, so no real focus at all.
What was your other challenge as an artist?
The most obvious one is complete lack of confidence, you know, I mean, that’s the first thing.
What was your other challenge as an artist?
And also not being able to talk about my work at all, and not knowing what to say, so people sort of, you know, I’ve exhibited, you know, and spoken to people about my work and they’ve asked me about my work and they’re sort of like, “Oh, so what is all this about, then?” And I’m just kind of like a bit clueless about what, “Oh, well, I just thought about, was quite a nice person to paint so I painted them.” You know, it doesn’t mean anything. It just felt a bit meaningless.
Have you written an artist statement?
Oh, God, I mean, yeah, when I’ve got time to think about it, I have done artist statements, and I have made a load of, like, really cliched, shitty stuff up that I’ve just picked up online that has no relevance to me whatsoever. And I just thought, “Ooh, buzzword, I’m going to put that in, I’ll put that one in.” And then just stood there and felt really uncomfortable and just talked a load of bullshit and…
What does Ann Rea think about artist statements?
– They are conversation killers, is what they are.
– Yeah, yeah, I totally agree. Yep.
– And so if you can’t, if they kill the conversation, and you can’t connect with the prospective collector and then you kill the sale. And you kill your self confidence because you know you’re full of shit when you’re writing this stuff.
– Exactly, and it must come across that you’re full of shit. I mean, it must, it must be obvious.
What did Maria learn about selling her art on saatchiart.com?
– So, I received a newsletter from Saatchi, because I’m signed up to them, I’m on their platform, just informing me that now and again they offer their collectors promotional discounts.
Yeah, and it was just casually mentioned and it was sort of like, and it was just a really brief summary of it just saying, “And the artist and Saatchi will share the cut.” So, I thought, “Oh, okay, this is interesting.”
And I just emailed the support, you know, help line, just to see what that was about.
And I got what I now realize was a stock response that is cut and pasted and sent to everyone who asks this question, which was this, “Oh, we must remind you that you signed up to this, it’s in our terms and conditions,” and it was basically that they offer, in order for the collectors to see, apparently to see work that they wouldn’t previously be exposed to, they occasionally offer promotional discounts on selected artist work, but they don’t explain who the select, I think it’s random.
And then the artist gets a 65% cut of the final sale price and Saatchi gets the 35%. And that’s how it works.
I then emailed and said, “Okay, well, can you show me where it says that in the terms and conditions,” and they sent me the link to that, but it was really brief, you know, just didn’t really explain all that detail at all. It just said, “We occasionally offer discounts.” And didn’t explain that it would affect my cut, ’cause I woulda kinda think, “Well, if they offer discounts and don’t ask the artist, then, you know, they should really be taking the cut out of that, not the artist.”
I mean, come on, that’s not really fair because I haven’t chosen, as the artist, to apply a discount.
Why shouldn’t you discount your art?
– You shouldn’t because it will really hurt your reputation with people who you’ve already paid you full price, or you’ve asked to pay your full price. It hurts your front end
– Yeah, exactly.
– And the valuation of your art.
How does Saatchi decide whose art they discount?
I asked as well, “Well, how do you, can you explain how you choose which ones?” And he didn’t answer that question, just kind of ignored it.
– So, Saatchi, if you’re listening, you might want to answer the question, It’s a very valid question.” I’m going like this imagining Saatchi were to mess with me.
– Imagining Saacthi in the clouds up there in their ivory towers, ivory tower.
Can you sell your art on saatchiart.com?
– I have students in 19 countries, so I talk to a lot of artists, and I have not met a single artist whose had success on Saatchi, or other platforms like Saatchi. And it’s because you’re in this really crowded space, and it’s near impossible for you to differentiate yourself in this mosh pit of art.
– So, I don’t believe, like I believe that you should zig where everyone else is zagging. That’s fundamentally why it’s, why making art and making money program is fundamentally different, because I don’t believe in duking it out with other artists.
What alternative does an artist have?
Well, I believe in creating distinct value above and beyond the art itself in service to a target market, and you can let all the other artists duke it out for the scarcity, from the scarcity and permission-based art establishment, which is what Saatchi is.
Have any students, from 19 countries and counting, sold their art on saatchiart.com?’
I did have one student tell me she sold one piece, I don’t know for what price, and I don’t know at what discount, and that was after two years.
What else did Maria learn about saatchiart.com?
– Sounds like it was really, this is, you know, this is your product, this is your inventory, and it sounds like it was really difficult for you to get an understanding what was happening about them slashing your price.
– Yeah, exactly, it was very veiled. I mean, I don’t think they expect people to actually ask about it. Another thing I found out was that I, I actually emailed them, as well, to ask, you know, I’ve been on there for about four months, and I haven’t had a single view? Not even a single view, so I emailed them and said, “Okay, I’m not having much success on your site, could you perhaps, you know, explain why, what am I doing wrong?” or something. And they replied, the same guy again, and he said, “Okay here is some,” you know, stock tips. And the first one was, “lower the price of your art.” That was the first thing. Now, I’m not charging a ridiculous amount, like, they email every week a newsletter of all the, apparently, the art that sold, which I don’t even believe. And it’s like thousands and thousands of dollars, or pounds.
How much can you be paid on saatchiart.com?
– I do want to mention there is one student, also from England, who told me she sold a piece on Saatchi, I take back the back, there’s two students I know of the 19 countries, however, she sold it, and then she had to pay so much foreign exchange tax, she wound up with $10.
– I saw that, yeah, in the Facebook group. Yeah, I know, which kind of just, you know, it’s totally pointless then.
– Right, because then you don’t know, you might be, if you’re exposing yourself to some risk there, if that sale, if there’s a transaction that happens on Saatchi and you don’t know, you’re liable for all this tax. Do you really want to do it?
What else did Maria learn about saatchiart.com?
– No And another thing that confirms what you say is the other tip was to enter their competition.
– I saw it and then I just heard your voice in my head, like, “Don’t enter competitions!” I was like, “Oh my God, it was just like the classic, too put down your prices, enter our competitions,” and I think you have to pay to enter them.
– Oh, of course you do, it’s another revenue stream for them, of course.
– Oh my God, and, the other thing, what was it? Oh, put up an artist statement, and biographical..
– No! Freaks rights!
– It was just like, what? Seriously.
Will you gain real “exposure” on Sattchi?
And it’s free to, anyone can sign up, so can you imagine how many thousands of artists they have on there? I mean, what’s the chance of you actually getting seen at all, so, yeah.
Hey Sattchi. Not cool.
– You should not have had to work this hard to find out that, by surprise, that your art was about to be discounted and that you were about to receive far less than you originally thought you were agreeing to.
– Right, exactly, yeah, and I’m sure there are plenty of other platforms, not even just Saatchi, that are doing that, you know, so, people have to be aware of it.
Should other artists apply to enroll in The MAKING Art Making MONEY program?
If you want to… ‘Cause it’s not even just about art. If you want to find your purpose, find what you’re here to do, I mean it goes so beyond that for me so far, it has. It’s worth it just for that alone, even, like, way above and beyond any art at all, so I think it should just be a required course for all of humanity, I honestly think. I honestly think, I really think that, I mean, not even just for artists, it should be for everyone.
– Just do it, yes.
– Sign up, just do it.