HOW WE BEGAN

Ann Rea​

Dear Artist,

When I graduated from art school, I needed to make money, not art. Over a decade later, I started painting again to ease my anxiety and depression. When I wanted to sell my art, I didn’t know where to start. I lacked focus and confidence. Many artists were competitive, jealous, or snobby. 

With Wayne Thiebaud’s recommendation, I gained representation with a reputable gallery, Solomon Dubnick. Although the gallery didn’t own my art, they discounted my art, taking over 50% in sales commissions. The gallery wouldn’t allow me to display my prices on my website or sell my art unless I paid them a full commission. I couldn’t work with other galleries without the gallery’s permission, and it refused to provide my collectors’ records. 

The art establishment’s unfair standard practices motivated me to study marketing, but I found it hard to relate to as an artist. Then I realized that conventional marketing plans are designed to sell goods or services; an artist’s product is emotion. My collectors wanted to know me and the inspiration for my art, not my representatives. I asked collectors for introductions to their friends and family, and I started selling over 80% more art and keeping 100% of my money. It was freeing not to have to compete with other artists.

Watching my co-worker Angela struggle with stage-four breast cancer made me realize that I needed to stop dreaming of becoming a successful artist and start planning. In 2005, I quit my job working for a manager whose colleagues had nicknamed him “Snotty Scotty,” and I moved to the San Francisco coast. Then I fired my representatives, yet I sold $103,246 of my art during my first year as a full-time unknown artist with no connections or support. I received national press attention, and artists from around the world began asking for my help. 

Then my intern graduated from the San Francisco Academy of Art University with a BFA in fine art illustration. She graduated with over $200,000 in debt and no prospects. Her father lost his job, and her mother passed away. I knew that I had to do something, so I developed the Making Art Making Money® program. 

If you’d like to join us, apply now by scheduling a 10-minute application call so that I can see if I can help you and that we have a good fit. If you’re accepted, you’ll immediately gain access to the program and our community, and you will start connecting with Study Partners. You will officially graduate once you’ve earned back your tuition investment, at a minimum, through the sale of your art during your final project. A plan to sell your art, without a plan, is a plan to sell no art. If you don’t invest in yourself today, where will you be a year from now? We can earn back our money, but we can never restore time. Is it easy to sell your art? We all know that it’s not. Is it possible? Absolutely!

Ann Rea

Artist & Mentor

Ann Rea Artist and Mentor