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. I asked other artists for help but they were often competitive, jealous, or snobby. 

With Wayne Thiebaud’s recommendation, I finally gained representation with a “prestigious” gallery, Solomon Dubnick. Although the gallery didn’t own my art, they took over 50% in sales commissions, and they discounted my art. The gallery wouldn’t allow me to display my prices on my website and I could not sell my art myself unless I paid them a full commission. The gallery owner demanded that I gain her permission before seeking additional representation and she refused to provide my collectors’ contact information. 

The art establishment’s onerous practices motivated me to study marketing, but I found the subject hard to relate to as an artist. Then I realized that conventional marketing plans are designed to sell goods or services; but an artist’s product is emotion. I noticed that 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 mother just passed away and her father lost his job. 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 15-minute application call so that I can see if I can help you. 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