Artist: Sarah Pirrottina
QUESTION: What was your biggest challenge?
Sarah Pirrottina: Just the lack of confidence
QUESTION: What didn’t you understand?
Sarah Pirrottina: Trying to get people to connect to my work and trying to figure out how to talk about what I’m doing. I thought I just needed to know how to market myself, which is part of the course, but it’s not ‘you just teach me the tricks and I’ll do that’ It’s so much more than just learning tricks about how to market yourself.
QUESTION: What have you learned?
Sarah Pirrottina: People care about what you could do for them.
Ann Rea: Exactly.
QUESTION: How do you sell art?
Sarah Pirrottina: If I’m talking about something that I resonate with, they’re going to go “oh, tell me more” and then I’ll get a sale out of that. It’s not me trying to go “please, please buy my work” It’s not even like, “this is what I do, are you interested in selling this in the shop?” or “this is what I do, are you interested in this?” It’s just like “this is my mission and this is how I’m expressing my mission” and they’ll be interested or not, and if they’re not, it’s not part of what you’re doing.
QUESTION: When did you stop suffering?
Sarah Pirrottina: I think I stopped suffering when I dove into the book list you’ve got as part of the course. I’ve read another one since we spoke and I read ‘Big Magic’, which was amazing. I read ‘Code to Joy’ of course, I’ve got so much out of that and that started to change me more. I was already on the path to change before I came to this course, but this is just validating everything and enhancing it even more.
QUESTION: What boosted your confidence?
Sarah Pirrottina: ‘A Whole New Mind’ really gave me more confidence to such a different way of thinking about things and how, we all contribute in some way and creativity hasn’t been looked upon as something that was important. It was fluffy and nice but it’s such a big important part of our world. If we didn’t have creativity, it would be so boring
Ann Rea: Well we wouldn’t exist, we really wouldn’t exist.
QUESTION: Must an artist know themselves?
Sarah Pirrottina: I had done a lot of self development before the course, so I thought I was up there; I thought I was an eight starting the course. I actually figured out so much more since doing the course. So I was probably sitting at a five and NOW I’m an eight. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I knew that I was stronger and I knew all of these things and they’re all inside, but when you flush it out and when you get everything out and just put it all in front of you and go “oh, that was when I was meant to learn that” and “I’m really good at Blah Blah Blah because I learnt that” and “I’m really good at this because I learnt that” and “I’m really good at this because I learnt that”. That’s the best way I can describe my experience coming into this because I actually thought all I needed to know (I always need self development. I always believed in that we’re always learning), but I came in thinking that all I needed to do was just have you show me how to sell it. You show me the tools to sell my work.
QUESTION: Do you know your mission?
Sarah Pirrottina: I’ve had another breakthrough. Whereas when I feel like you’re on that path, like I flushed everything out and I went “Yes, I know my <why> and I know my <what> and I already knew my <how> coming in, well sort of. I knew about a quarter of it already because I was developing the ideas, but since I found out my <why> and my <what>, my <how> is like ten-fold.
QUESTION: Why does your sense of self matter?
Sarah Pirrottina: If you’re changing on the inside, I think change will come to you. You’re attracting the people that you’re resonating with and you’re thinking “I’m on this path” and then more people come and give you advice and give you ideas and go “I didn’t think of it like that” and it just keeps evolving.
QUESTION: When did you know your mission?
Sarah Pirrottina: It just hit me like a bolt of lightning. There’s an increase in young girls, (like 70 percent increase since the seventies of young girls) self-harming, self-loathing, and committing suicide in their teens and early twenties and I went “Oh my God! All those lessons that I learnt when I was young. I went through that. I felt that. I did that. All of that. That’s my mission. My heart just exploded and I don’t think I would have found that if I wasn’t in this course.
QUESTION: Why does a mission matter?
Sarah Pirrottina: I think with also with the confidence thing is that as you say, your mission is bigger than you. I don’t like talking in front of people, it’s just not my thing. I like to sit and paint and have my coffee and listen to music- that is my world. But your mission is bigger than you and if you just sit back and go, “Oh that’s a fantastic idea and I’d love to help all those people” and you just don’t go through with it, you’re not feeding this and you’re not helping others and it is so much bigger than you and I’m kind of faced with people already coming to me going, “I love this idea. Let’s do a workshop” and, I’m going, “Oh, that means I got to talk to people!” but what I want to do for people in my mission is bigger than me and my fears are just going to have to go. Sorry, they’re just gonna’ have to take the back seat, because this is important.
QUESTION: What undermined your self-confidence?
Sarah Pirrottina: When I was eight years old, when my grandmother just lovingly said, “Oh, you know, artists only make money if they dead”. That was probably the turning point for me going from a magical place of ‘I love what I’m doing’ to, ‘oh, maybe that’s a bad idea, I don’t want to die.’
QUESTION: Do you discount your art now?
Sarah Pirrottina: I start to say to myself “maybe because she’s bought an artwork before, maybe I’ll drop the price because you know, that’ll get the sale”, and then I went “No! No. There’s a reason why there’s a process on that” and I’ve poured so much into it more than, if you just put a couple of squiggles on a canvas, which a lot of people are doing, they’re just like, that’ll do. I’ll just sell it for 30 bucks or I’ll sell it for 100 or whatever. But there’s no thought and process and heart and mission going into that. So when I had these pieces for sale and she was humming and hawing and I’m like, oh, maybe I should drop the price. And I went, no, not dropping it. That’s what the price is, and then within a day she agreed. I said it to myself, “these are the prices. If she’s not meant to buy them, she won’t buy them and if She’s meant to buy them she will.”
Ann Rea: A+ Sarah, A+
QUESTION: Is our community competitive?
Sarah Pirrottina: The opposite. It’s just I’ve had two study partners so far and I know I’ll have more, but it’s been great each time. I think there’s been 12, but I’ve made a really good connection with one of them and she just happens to be in Australia too, so we’ve got more in common than I thought that I would have with anyone.
QUESTION: What if an artist is not sure about applying?
Sarah Pirrottina: Well that was me. I was one of those ones. I did all the free classes that you offered. I think there was a “Creative Live” one that was $50 I did and I thought, ‘That’s a lot of the information that you gave out for free and also for very cheap’ and I thought ‘Yeah, that’s all I need. There’s heaps of information here.’ But this course that I’m doing that you have created – it just blows my mind and I didn’t think I would get out of it what I have already and I’m not even complete yet. I’m still going through and ticking off things to do. There’s things that will take time and there’s things that might take you longer than a year. There’s things that you can go’I already do that’ or ‘that’s a good idea’. It’s just what works for you. There’s a lot of good advice. There’s a good community in the Facebook group. I was going to sign up and then I went, “No, no, I don’t need it because, I just need someone to teach me marketing.”
QUESTION: How has this changed you?
Sarah Pirrottina: I can’t describe it. It’s made me think outside the box too. I didn’t know that I could push myself that far and I’m a quarter of the way of where I want to be, or need to be, or hope to be. But I just thought I was selling my paintings and now I think it’s so much more than that.
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- Ann Rea, Artist Mentor