Ann Rea, Artist & Mentor and Jessica Wayne, Artist, Chicago, Illinois
What was your challenge as an artist?
– Belief that I could even make any money as an artist, and that I didn’t have to follow the system, the regular way of making art, making money as an artist, cause my background’s in graphic design, so I thought that was the way you made money as an artist.
Is it possible to make money as an artist?
Absolutely, yeah, yeah, I think spending the time going through the course really helped prepare me to see that there is another way, that I have options.
What were your other challenges?
I would say knowing who my target market was, but I think stepping back even further, it was like, well, what would I even say if I knew who they were? So I think it probably was further back, when I realized it was actually my why that I needed. Cause I think I found you looking for, how do I figure out who my target market is? And then I read one of your blog posts and was like, oh, there’s so much more to this.
Why is your copyright important?
– I wanna preface this by saying, I have students from 18 countries, and there are more than 18 countries who are listening to this. We’re not allowed to give legal advice, because first of all we’re not allowed to in this country, but secondly we’re not allowed to because the copyright laws in your country may be very different from the copyright laws in the United States. However, international copyright law exists, and it’s designed to protect intellectual property. Do all countries respect it? No, China is one that doesn’t. And it’s an issue, however, it is still your property, even if people are trying to steal it, or even if you don’t think you can protect it, it is still your property, so if you wanna leave it out in the open for people to take, then they’re going to. And if you want to take just reasonable measures to protect it, then you’ll likely be able to protect it. So, I just wanna give that little caveat.
Is filing your copyright hard?
– Not that scary and hard, and it’s so incredibly important. It just added an air of legitimacy to everything, that really was kind of like, I’m taking this seriously, you’ve mentioned about, is this a hobby or is this a business? And I think taking the time to do my inventory and have it ready to fill out this form that, government forms are kind of, not daunting, but they’re just serious, so being prepared for that, and feeling like I can do this, that this is, and if I’m okay doing this, then I think that this is really, they’re taking me seriously, that this really is a business.
How did you file your copyright?
– [Ann] People are looking at you like, well it must be easy for her, so, Jessica, it was easy for Jessica, what was a hot mess before you enrolled in the program? What were you like, what was a mess? Admit.
– I would say all of it, but I suppose that’s not. I would say all of it, specifically since I just mentioned it, my inventory was a pile of canvases and a bag full of paintings.
– That’s nice merchandising, Jessica.
– Yes, yes, yes, I didn’t want to say it that loud on the internet, but yup. Also just things like, a hot mess as far as, clarity on what I wanted to do, what was my mission? What was I, when I first read the article that you had written, your blog post, and realized that your mission should be bigger than your art. The reality, the reason you’re here, no matter what you choose to do, that was really inspiring, and I realized that I kind of was lucky or very lost on what exactly that was.
– [Ann] How you feel now?
– Very clearly, very grounded and like, ah.
What was it like filing your copyright?
This first submission I had 100 pieces, and had more than that, but chose to go with 100 for that first one, so very cool to also see how much work I had, but then the organization, learning the power of knowing how much work you have, and the value of that work.
How are you feeling?
Feeling empowered, a lot of feeling legit. Like, I know what I’m gonna do going forward, I know all the areas I need to cover, cause I think when I started this semester I didn’t know how much I didn’t know yet, and then I think just that confidence in knowing how to go forward with exploring my how and my who, because I have my why now, and it just, yeah, just a sense of relief. Feels so much clearer, and after having our discussion I just feel like, ah, okay, alright, now I can do this.
– Great, yeah.
– This semester, I was like, I don’t know what I’m doing.
Really feeling confident that I can do this now. I’m excited to move forward verses like, in the past, when I found your course this semester and decided to take this on, it was very like, overwhelming, and I wasn’t really sure if it would even really work out, so definitely a lot more confident.
What helps you remain confident?
Go back to code with joy, listing the six steps of what I can do to get to my smarter goal, thinking about what my smarter goal is, and what next steps are, what I can handle right now.
– Right, and also, evaluating and revising your goal if necessary, like is it still smart? Maybe something smarter?
– Yeah, yup, I was like, too ambitious, or unclear, or yeah.
What’s your advice to other artists?
Considering what you actually wanna do versus what you feel like you should be doing, because having spent a lot of time in graphic design there was a lot of feeling like that was where you’re supposed to be versus doing something that maybe is charting my own path, which is really what I wanna be doing.
What’s your advice to other artists?
Having this community that you can go to for questions, or even just to have a cheering session to inspire you is amazing. I have a design community here but not so much in the art community, yet, so it was really great to have that built in as a starting point.
What is this program like?
– It’s not your typical online course, it’s a comprehensive, interactive program, but I don’t know, I’m selling it, they might not believe me, what would you, do you think that’s true? Is that how you would describe it?
– Yeah, absolutely, when I signed up for the course I don’t think I realized how comprehensive it was, and how much content there is. It’s awesome how much content there is, and I feel so well equipped now going forward because it covered the realms, and when I read that first blog post about figuring out what our why is, that was like, okay yeah, that’s exactly what I need, but then you’re finding out that all of the other realms, there’s so much more to it than that.
Going from the part about why and how it feels for you and your mission to how to write a profit and loss statement, and how to copyright stuff so that when I had my show in front of people, you’re going to get it documented, that can prove to you that you own this painting, and all of the stuff around copyright, it made me feel very legit.
– It’s your intellectual property, it’s no one else’s, and no one can help themselves to it unless you give them permission in writing.
– And that was really cool cause even in graphic, when I was in school for graphic design and having a career in that, we had not really talked a lot about copyright, and I didn’t realize how much we should be owning our own stuff, and really…
What has this program done for you?
– It has done so much to help me figure out who I really am, but it’s hard to put money on that, but also beyond that it helped me have the confidence to know how to move forward, too. Having gone through it all, and I think, you hear this before, or you hear this about you should invest in yourself because it’s, you’ll see it tenfold, or whatever the sayings are, but having gone through it and understanding that when I first signed up I was a little scared, I actually signed up as birthday gift to myself. And was like, I don’t know, and then when I started digging in I was like, this, it’s all absolutely worth it. I think, before course two even, I already knew. This is all, well more than it was, the cost, but it was worth it, cause there’s just so much, even in the first ones about getting organized, getting over your fears and all of that, that is so valuable, and then once you figure out your why and start to, or start to work on your why at least, and then you start getting into the like, no, now we’re a legit business, it’s such a huge range of content that, I think every single one of the realms is valuable, so to get all eight of them is just, it’s super awesome.
MAKING Art Making MONEY
Someday is Today