113 – Art, Money, and Success with Maria Brophy

In this week’s episode, Laura and Nikki interview Maria Brophy, the author of Art Money Success. Maria discusses her journey from corporate cubicle life to becoming a successful art business owner and coach. She is a proven expert at marketing, licensing,  and selling artwork, having played a key role in growing husband Drew Brophy’s successful art career.  We chat about tangible and proven strategies you can use to network in-person, getting your artwork in front of potential buyers and how to battle money mindset issues.  We know you’re going to learn so much from Maria who has literally written the book on art, money and success!

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ethnika

As promised, Drew’s underwear collaboration with Ethnika!

Laura

0:00
After a 15 year corporate career, Maria Brophy escaped the cubicle grind and began acting as agent and brand manager for her husband, Drew Brophy’s lifestyle art brand, helping him become the top licensed surf artist in history. She is the author of the book Art Money Success, and an expert in licensing, marketing and promoting art. She also runs the Brophy Art Academy, teaching a variety of art, business and mindset courses, while her husband Drew teaches art technique classes. Maria is a great example of a Startist who believes that anyone can create the amazing life they want. It just takes deciding what you want and gradually making it happen while you chip away at the things or the people that hold you back. We can’t wait for you to hear this conversation and for us to dive into the seemingly taboo topic of making money.

Hi, this is Laura Lee Griffin.

Nikki

1:01
And this is Nikki May with the Startist Society, inspiring you to stop getting in your own way and start building an art biz and life that you love.

Laura

1:10
We are artists who believe strongly in the power community, accountability, following your intuition, taking small actionable steps and breaking down the barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you stuck.

Nikki

1:22
Follow along with us on our creative business journey as we encourage you on yours.

Okay, Maria, please forgive me this extra long intro, but I want to get the story in of how we connected. Back in episodes 91 and 92, Laura interviewed me about two large public art commissions that I was awarded. And if you haven’t listened to those (shameless plug) please take a listen. In 2021 when I was first asked by the City Planning Department if they could license my art to place in the windows of three story building in downtown Paducah, of course, I was thrilled. But also I had exactly zero idea of what or even how to charge for it. We’ve talked a lot on the podcast about licensing things like surface pattern design and illustration, but a three story building. Yikes. So I googled “pricing licensing for public art” and came across an old blog post that Maria Brophy wrote, which led me to her consulting offerings on her website. I had purchased her fantastic book, “Art Money Success” several years earlier. So when I saw that she offered a service to buy her lunch in return for answering my licensing question, it was the perfect situation. I sent her payment and within 72 hours, actually quite a lot less, thank you, I got a quick and perfect response. I used her advice to put together my proposal, and I got the job, which led to another big commission. So of course, after that, I knew we had to have Maria come on the podcast.

Laura

2:55
Maria, welcome to the Startist Society. We’re so excited to chat with you today.

Maria

3:00
Well, thank you, and thank you for those wonderful intros, I really appreciate it. Well,

Nikki

3:05
We just, you know, have to occasionally fangirl over a guest. So we’re just thrilled to have you here.

Maria

3:11
I am thrilled to be here, because we’re going to talk about the things I love to talk about and I could talk about day and night.

Nikki

3:18
Art and money.

Maria

3:19
Art, money and success and success.

Nikki

3:21
Of course. So we always like to start our interviews by having you share your Startist story. How you got started with the career that you have, and what led you to doing what you’re doing now.

Maria

3:37
Well, you know, it’s funny, like, I never really thought I knew what I wanted to do for a living, so I just ended up in the corporate world and I ended up in the insurance, industry. Nothing exciting there. And I always thought, you know, one day, I’m gonna figure out what I really want to do for a living. And what I realized, just in the last few years is that I knew all along when I was a kid, because I think a lot of us do, we just discount it because when I was a kid, I always said I wanted to be the manager of a rock and roll band. But I had no idea how to do it. And I also said I wanted to write books. And I did always write I write, I wrote poetry, I kept journals. And I did start writing a book when I was a teenager, but I never finished it because I didn’t know how to write a book.

Nikki

4:29
What was the book about? Was it a teenage romance?

Maria

4:31
You know what, it’s really funny. It was actually a great story that never got finished. It was about a teenage girl, 13 year old girl had really big boobs. And a father named Jimbo, that was really cool. No, it’s funny because I didn’t have either. I didn’t have boots. I didn’t have a cold dad.

Nikki

4:53
Sorry, dad.

Maria

4:54
So, yeah right, you write what you want to come true. But the way I got into the art business was when I met this really cute surfer guy named Drew in 1996. And he was painting surfboards for a living. He was a full time artist with the most unusual job of painting surfboards and occasionally doing t-shirt design and things like that. And when I met him, and I saw what he was doing, I was blown away. And I was so fascinated by this lifestyle that he had, because he would travel the world surfing and doing art. And really soon after meeting him, I started helping him with his marketing because I started thinking bigger, like, Oh, my God, there’s so many things you can do with this art.

Nikki

5:48
I need to marry a Maria.

Maria

5:54
Well, I’m glad you said that, because I want to, you know, I’m kind of ready to get back to that in a couple of minutes about, you know, people thinking they need a Maria, but they really don’t.

Nikki

6:05
Absolutely. But let’s get back to your story for now.

Maria

6:07
So, so anyway, I started working with Drew just a little bit helping him out here and there. And then we got married and he kept trying to get me to quit my job and work with him full time and I wanted to, but I was afraid because I knew that if I quit my job, and I was making good money at my job. And I had all the benefits, you know all the stuff, right? I knew that if I quit my job, I’d start working for him and making literally zero. And it would be starting from nothing. But eventually, I did. Eventually, after a few years, I finally just completely left that job. And I did start making zero.

Nikki

6:55
Everybody starts at zero.

Maria

6:57
It was oh my gosh, it was that first year was really rough. Because Drew was you know, he was making enough money for himself. But he wasn’t making enough money to pay me and I needed to get paid.

Nikki

7:12
That was your job to figure out that part of it.

Maria

7:15
So over time, we figured out how to make more money, how to get leverage with his art, make more money off the same images over and over again. And that was really the trick. And we did figure it out. And you know, we didn’t figure everything out all at once. We figured things out over the years. And then I started teaching what I learned to other artists and that that’s how it turned into a book. And online courses and coaching.

Laura

7:48
So you mentioned about a turning point for you was kind of with the the putting art on products. So I assume you’re referring to art licensing.

Maria

7:58
Art Licensing is a big part of the turning point for us. Yeah, art licensing, and then also figuring out how to make money off the same image again, and again. And again, not just through licensing, but with art prints, and selling things to art collectors, other than original paintings. Because when you, one thing I realized, and this is it’s kind of a crass way of putting it, but I’m gonna say it anyway,.

Nikki

8:29
Please do.

Maria

8:30
At some point, it hit me and said, oh my gosh, Drew, if all we do is sell an original painting, and then we make the money off that one painting. And then you have to paint another painting to make money again. It’s like digging ditches, you’re gonna go there, you’re gonna do the work, you’re gonna dig the ditch, you get paid. But if you want to eat again, the next week, you have to dig another ditch. And so that was the way I started looking at it, like, we have to find a way to take one piece of art and make money off of that over and over and over again. And that is leverage.

Nikki

9:10
We talk about licensing, and we talk about that sort of thing we talked about, we use the word leverage, too. But how did you get that going with Drew’s work?

Maria

9:20
Well, in the beginning, so back in like the early 2000s, like the year 2000. Right around there was when I started working with Drew a little bit more, I was still at my old job, but I’d cut back on my hours. So I was like sort of working my way into it. We had, it’s funny, we were already doing licensing, but we didn’t know we were doing licensing. So it was before we were just starting to learn like what does that mean exactly? Because the word itself is kind of intimidating. You know? It’s like whoa, licensing. So legalese, there’s so many things you need to know about it.

Nikki

10:02
Oh my god, contracts.

Maria

10:03
Yeah contracts and like copyrights and negotiating and royalties and all these things. And we kind of fell into it accidentally because a lot of people were coming to drill at a small companies for coming to him saying, we love your, I love your art, we want to print your art on t-shirts. And I’m gonna back up just a little bit. And before that, like there was a, there was a party we went to, and there was an agent there, it was a guy who is the agent to one of Drew’s favorite artists when he was a kid, an artist named Rick Griffin. Now Rick had passed, he had died, wasn’t that old, he died young. Like, I don’t even think he was 50. And he was from this town that we live in. Anyway, we ran into his agent one night at a party. And Drew was asking the agent, all these questions and, and the best bit of advice, he said to Jerry said, look Drew, never give your copyrights away to anybody. Because if you keep your copyrights, you can license your art and you can make money off your art over and over again. And Drew came to me and he told me what Gordon said needs like oooh license, like what does that mean? And we didn’t know. So we just started looking into it. We’re like, Oh, it’s a thing. It’s a thing people do. And we’ve realized that musicians do it. And brands do it. You know, Disney does it. And so what we realized was that Drew had already been licensing his art that is allowing other companies to print his art on their products, but without the contract, and without the royalties and just with money, you know, one time payment, leaving a lot on the table, in many cases, leaving a lot on the table. Oh, yeah. And even, you know, the first few years when we started really learning about licensing and then I there’s that there was actually a licensing school that I went to. And it was through Lima, which is the licensing industry Manufacturing Association. I think that’s what it stands for cool. And it was a one year program. And this was in the olden days before online courses, online courses didn’t exist back then. So I would have to go like sometimes I have to go to LA, some of the classes were in LA. And some of the classes were actually in New York, at the licensing show where they used to hold that conference. And so that was when I did a lot of the live classes. And that was how I learned a lot about the contracts and negotiating and how it all worked. As far as the money end of it was so frustrating I because I remember I took a class, and the title of the class was royalties advances, what to charge? And I thought, oh, yeah, I’m finally gonna get answers if I sat in the front row. And this was at, you know, the the licensing conference, and I’m got my notebook, and I’m ready to take notes.

Laura

10:07
Right.

Maria

10:27
And let me guess, no answers.

No answers. The answer was, it depends.

Nikki

13:26
It depends.

Maria

13:27
It depends. And so I started just compiling my own data on, you know, what, I could get paid. And, and it does depend. How big is the company? How little is the company? What are they making? How many are they making? You know, there’s just so many it is all over the board.

Nikki

13:52
It really is. So how did you figure it out? Just trial and error. I guess.

Maria

13:56
I am so freakin stubborn. I just never give up on anything. And I would just make it up as I went and, and I learned you know, I started looking for patterns and things. And so I do have you know, at now I have a process for pricing things, and it’s not exactly scientific. But I don’t get stumped on it anymore.

Laura

14:27
Well, a lot of our listeners are just getting started right and licensing is new to them. They have no idea how to price their work, right. What would your advice be to somebody just getting started with them when they go, I got no clue?

Maria

14:37
My advice would be if they were approached by someone who wants to use their art for something, forget about the money for the first conversation, never discuss money in the first conversation. First, you want to ask a lot of questions.

Laura

15:03
Okay.

Maria

15:04
First of all, I would thank them. Thank you so much. I’m so glad you’re interested in my art. This sounds really interesting. And can I ask you, what do you want to print it on? How many do you think you’re gonna make? Where do you sell these products? I mean, I just had this conversation today with a guy. Are you working with other artists? And how long have you been in business? I mean, a lot of these things you can find by looking online, looking them up online? But how many images do you want? And when do you want them? You know, get it get a really good feel for what they’re planning on doing with it. And then, with that data, so you know, and then you determine, is this a big company? Is this a little company, okay? The little companies, and when I say little, I mean, like really small companies that are making less than a million dollars a year, you know, or they’re, they’re doing small volume, and you know, what you’re going to charge them is going to be very different from a huge company. So I’ll give you a couple examples. I mean, even though I feel like we’re at a really high level now, because Drew’s really well known. He’s very professional.

Nikki

16:25
He’s been doing it for quite a long time.

Maria

16:27
We’ve been doing this for so long. And so we can, you know, we have a lot more confidence in our charging than we did 25 years ago, of course, and his heart has gotten better, and he knows more about what’s going to sell and what’s not going to sell and all that. So you know, you have to take a lot of that stuff into consideration. You know, I mean, if you’re, there’s a lot of things to take into consideration. But let’s just say that you’ve been creating art long enough to where your art is good, you know that it prints really well. You are pretty sure it’s going to help sell products, because that’s the important thing. That’s why they’re putting your out on their products to sell their products. Right, then, you know, looking at a deal from a small company versus a big company. So let’s say a small company could be a small, a small brand, where they do less than a million dollars a year, and that’s pretty small. They might sell 500 t-shirts, let’s just say, you know, you have to do the numbers on that third are gonna pay you $5,000 royalty or $5,000 license fee. If all they’re selling is 500 t-shirts, there’s no, they’ll lose money. So you have to be like, kind of reasonable with the numbers. So then you have to ask yourself, and this is what Drew and I look at, okay, this is a small company. We can’t charge them what we want, because they can’t pay it, right? Don’t even want to bother. And a lot of times, the answer’s no, we don’t want to bother. We don’t want to bother with it, because maybe we can only charge them $1,000. And is it worth it?

Nikki

18:15
But if this is your first chance at getting something licensed, then you’re in a completely different space.

Maria

18:21
Yes. Exactly. Exactly. Then do it. And sometimes, heck, I mean, just this year, I did a deal where it was only $500. And I was kind of miffed that that was all they wanted to pay at first, I was like, oh, because I knew they could pay more because this company actually does the higher volume with the product. They sound like let’s see what the product is. Because I don’t want to throw them under the bus. Right? I’m nice. They’re nice people know, but at first I was irritated. I was like, $100, what do you think we are? But then I started looking into their products and what they do, and they have a very avid fan base that is in the action sports industry. And I thought, Okay, well, we’re going to use existing AR, I wouldn’t let them use the first pick. Because their first pick was a newer image. And I said no, for that amount of money, my letting use that one. But I’ll let you use this other one that we’ve had for, you know, 15 years. And it looks great. But what they brought to the table more than money for us was they introduced Drew’s art to a whole new fan base because it was a action sport product that Drew had never had his art exposed to before. So that was why we agreed to it. And they were really cool people too. I really liked them. So we’re like, okay, 500 bucks, whatever. No big deal. We’ll do it.

Nikki

19:49
So maybe less upfront, but a potential whole new audience to open up to.

Maria

19:55
Yeah, and they and they have like a million TikTok following and so they’re going to expose brand new, they’re TikTok people and Drew only has like 350 followers on TikTok because he’s new on there. So that was really the way I, that was what was clicking for me.

Nikki

20:14
And there’s compensation beyond money. There’s all kinds of different compensation that you have to take into consideration.

Laura

20:19
Yeah. But let’s talk a little bit about… people have come to you for opportunities. But if you’re just getting started, and you want to license your art, did you ever approach another company?

Maria

20:29
Yeah, I pursue a lot of companies. I’ve approached a lot of companies. And, you know, we get turned down by a lot of companies. I just approached Stance, Stance Socks, and I’ve actually talked to them. I know a couple of guys that work there. It’s a sock company. They’re pretty big. They’re great. They’re and they’re, they’re local here. So I run in a lot of those people at parties and stuff, like locally. It’s a small community here in San Clemente California. But the guy I talked to there was like, Well, you guys just did a license with this other company. That’s kind of our competitors. So, so no. And I was really disappointed, because I don’t consider that other company, a competitor of theirs, because they, they focus on different products, but but whatever. So yeah. So um, so yes, I do, we do approach other companies. I’ll tell you a great story. Last year, Drew was doing a live painting of a surfboard at this event called the surf Park Summit. And we wanted to do that because it was going to be all these big investors there. And we wanted to expose him to these people. And it was a three day business event. And I love these events, and any artists listening, if you really want to meet people, and I mean, this, this is how most of our deals come about, by the way, meeting people in person at events that you can’t otherwise get a hold of people. So Drew was painting, doing a live painting there for three days. And we didn’t really know hardly anybody there. But this guy came up and he kept checking out the painting and and he was like, Yeah, I work at a company called Ethika. And Ethika makes these really cool underwear products and he was like Drew, I think your art would look maybe look good on on our products, but…

Nikki

22:34
I want my art on underwear!

Maria

22:38
It’s really cool. I’m going to show it to you in a minute.

Nikki

22:43
Maria, sit down and put your pants back up. Just kidding, she didn’t do that.

Maria

22:53
They do make really cute ladies and cute ladies’ things and cute men’s. So these are like ladies briefs. T

Nikki

23:00
That’s adorable.

Laura

23:02
So Maria, you may have to send us a photo of those so we can attach them to the show.

Maria

23:06
I will, I have a good picture Drew and I holding them up.

Nikki

23:10
Cool.

Maria

23:10
But anyway, but this card wasn’t the right guy to talk to at the company, because he didn’t work in that department. He was like, warehouse guy or whatever, you know, he doesn’t even work there anymore. But I said is there any way you can give me the name of the person that I can talk to. And so that was kind of like my in. So I had him make an introduction between the guy at the top and me and he just, I just kept bugging this guy until he finally did. Because I got his phone number. And I kept reminding him, I’m like, hey, remember you were gonna like send an email intro. And finally he did. And that was it, like, here we are a year later and just a couple of weeks ago, they dropped, they’re in major stores right now, major department stores.

Laura

24:03
Wow.

Maria

24:03
It’s really a big deal for us. And they’re, it’s it’s a great company.

Nikki

24:07
Awesome. It’s definitely helpful to be out there getting to know people. I mean, I’ve gotten I’ve gotten my best gigs by just people knowing about me from meeting them out like that. And I know that you talk about in person events and networking and making connections like that a lot in your book, which was written before COVID. And has COVID changed any of that for you? I mean, I know for a couple years, Drew’s situation aside, with the world shutting down for a year or two and opening back up again, has that landscape changed? Are there as many in-person opportunities as there used to be or how has that changed for you?

Maria

24:55
Well, definitely during the first two years of COVID, everything was like, everything went dead. And that was a real bummer. In some ways, I mean, that was a really awful time for everybody. But I see, everything’s in my world, everything’s 100% back to normal. So I don’t know if maybe there’s other parts of the world where things are not. But, you know, I mean, people are doing more things online than they used to. But people are so tired of doing things online. You know, and I find that when you are at an event, like a conference for multiple days, you make friendships with people that you can’t in any other way.

Nikki

25:44
Yeah. Are you still finding as many of those happening because I’ve seemed to notice that some things that shut down during COVID never came back. And some things went online and just stayed online. That used to be live events and now are virtual events. Are you not finding that affecting you at all?

Maria

26:03
Um, it doesn’t affect me. No, I agree, though. Yeah, there are a lot of things that canceled and just never came back. And that’s a bummer. Because some of them were things for artists, you know. There’s always a million things going on. So any artists listening, if you live in a big city, or near a city, or within driving distance of a city, and when I say driving distance, I mean, even five hours, okay? I don’t mean five minutes. I mean, like, you can get in your car and drive there, it counts. Yeah, every town has things going on. And I don’t try to get involved in things that have to do with art. Because I find there’s more success if there’s no other artists around, or very few artists.

Laura

26:56
Interesting.

Nikki

26:57
That makes total sense.

Laura

26:59
Give us an example of of a type of event like that, that you think would be successful for someone.

Maria

27:04
I’ll give you a great example of something that Drew and I did for years and years and years. There’s a trade show, called the Surf Expo. Has nothing to do with art. It’s all companies selling clothing and surfing products, and even scuba gear, you know, anything to do with water sports, right? And it’s in Florida, it’s nowhere near where we live. And many for many years, we would go to that trade show. And we would team up with a company that had a booth. And we would say, Hey, let Drew come and do a live painting in your booth. It’ll draw people to your booth. And it will enable Drew to meet people. And that was how he developed so many relationships with so many companies in that industry. Just by being there doing live painting.

Nikki

28:08
That’s a great idea.

Laura

28:10
That’s amazing. But clearly Drew built his career on a very focused niche.

Maria

28:16
Yeah

Laura

28:16
And a lot of us are a bit scared of niching down and we kind of don’t really know where to begin. So how can an artist identify and sort of laser focus on their target market?

Maria

28:28
Well, so give me an example of something. I mean, okay, so if you’re an artist, and you’re not working within a niche, but let’s say you paint flowers on some days and portraits, on others and dogs on other days.

Laura

28:48
Right, okay, that’s me.

Nikki

28:49
Yeah. She’s looking at you, Laura.

Maria

28:51
Okay. Perfect. Okay. So choose one of those themes, right? Dogs are the easiest, easiest. And you look at the town, nearest you, city nearest you, and start looking for dog events. You know, there’s all kinds of pet conferences, trade shows. I mean, there’s so many things going on, like any given week with dogs.

Laura

29:21
A vet conference.

Maria

29:23
Yeah, yes, exactly. And then, okay. And then what I would do next is I get on the website of the conference, and I look up all the vendors and and start looking for the vendor that has the most boring product. Okay, and let’s say a vendor that sells pet insurance. How do we get people in their booth? They are

Nikki

29:48
Boring.

Maria

29:48
So boring, right? So here you are. You call them up and you go, Look, I’m an artist. I want to reach companies in this industry and What I’d like to offer is, let me display some of my art in your booth. Let me do a live painting and you’re good. Let me give away an art print of a dog portrait to one of your customers. And you’ll benefit from it, and I’m going to benefit from it.

Nikki

30:18
That’s actually really brilliant.

Maria

30:20
Yeah. And it works. And then if they say no look for the next boring company. You know, and it doesn’t have to be a boring company, but something like insurance, they need all the help they can get for that.

Nikki

30:36
Because you worked in insurance.

Maria

30:38
Yeah. And I used to set up my insurance company booth at trade shows. And man, my booth was the most boring booth.

Nikki

30:47
That’s because you weren’t modeling Drew’s underwear.

Maria

30:50
I know, back then I could have gotten away with it. I know, back in the good old days. Um, so that is, it works. We’ve done it many times.

Laura

31:05
That’s it’s such brilliant advice. But I have a question for you.

Maria

31:09
Yeah.

Laura

31:10
Not everyone feels comfortable in big crowds. Meeting people. There’s a lot of introverted artists out there. What about them? How do they approach something like this? How do they find their first company to license to how do they find their first collectors even when they’re when they’re brand new and they don’t necessarily have that confidence to or the desire to be social and be in groups?

Nikki

31:34
I know the answer to that, Laura.

Laura

31:36
What is it bourbon? Now, Nikki has to say bourbon in every episode.

Nikki

31:44
Nikki’s coffee cup that you might see her drinking out of this bourbon and not coffee.

Maria

31:50
It’s good. I’m drinking tea.

Nikki

31:53
Well come to Kentucky.

Maria

31:58
Oh, yeah, I wouldn’t do that Kentucky bourbon.

Nikki

32:00
There’s like a Bourbon Trail.

Maria

32:02
Yeah, I’m gonna do that.

Nikki

32:04
I’ll take you. We’ll go on the bus.

Maria

32:07
I would love that.

Nikki

32:10
Okay. But if you actually are an introvert, which I clearly am not that much of one.

Maria

32:17
Well, okay, so I’ve got a couple of things to say about that. First of all, I married an introvert. But when you meet him, you would know he’s an introvert. Because he’s taught himself how to talk to people. And I remember, the first time I made him, give a live talk to an audience of 100 people.

Laura

32:40
That’s cruel and unusual punishment.

Maria

32:42
I mean, it was really, really good for him. One day it hit me, if he could speak to audiences, and do like live paintings and talk about the painting, we could sell more art, and he’s like, I’m not gonna do that. And I go, Well, I’m gonna book it. I’m gonna book you this trade show to give a talk. I said, you can do it. And I made him do it. And he was so nervous. And I’ll never forget, we were both nervous, but I’m watching him and I’m like, biting my nails. Because I always had a fear of public speaking too,

Nikki

33:21
Which is why you made him do it.

Maria

33:24
I was feeling the pain right along with him. When he he did great. I mean, he was really nervous. And I remember his like, mouth was getting really dry. And he was like, stuttering, but then after like, 10 minutes, he he got in the groove. And he started agreeing to do it more and more, and he got better and better at it and more and more comfortable. And now, I can put him in a in front of 500 people, and he’ll get nervous, but he’ll do it. He’ll do it and he’ll do okay.

Nikki

33:54
So this is the perfect place to ask. If we don’t have a Maria to kick us in the butt and sign us up for things…

Maria

34:03
You do have me to kick you in the butt, I’m doing it right now. I’m telling you. I’m telling you, look, okay, so there’s no magic potion. I can’t say this magic elixir. Maybe the bourbon has a little bit.

Nikki

34:18
I’m drinking it.

Maria

34:19
Yeah, there’s a little bit in the bourbon. But you really, look, everything you want is on the other side of your comfort zone. And that is no cliche, that is a God’s honest truth. And I’ve had to deal with it myself.

Nikki

34:32
Well, cliches exist for a reason.

Maria

34:35
Yeah, I mean, okay, so introverts. I know a lot of introverted artists may I think most artists are introverted. I have so many friends who are professional musicians that are afraid on stage but they do it anyway. It’s it’s really astounding to me.

Nikki

34:55
You have to get it out there.

Maria

34:57
Yeah, they can’t make the music with I mean, they can make the music without going live. Yes, they can, with their less love, they’re not going to build a fan base hiding in the closet.

Nikki

35:09
Because people want to make that connection. The connection is so important.

Maria

35:13
And alright, so for all of you shy people, I have advice, I have a tip for you. It’s not advice. It’s a tip that helped me and it could help you. It could help you get out of your head a little bit. And that is, when you’re feeling shy, you’re feeling uncomfortable, uncomfortable in your own skin. And you’re feeling awkward. And we all have those moments, some of us more than others. But, um, it’s because you have to realize why you’re feeling that way. It’s because you’re thinking about yourself. What do I look like? How do I sound? What are they thinking of me? Do I look stupid? What am I even doing here? You know, like, it’s all these thoughts. But if you can take a moment and shift from me, me, me, too. There’s people here that actually want to get inside my head? Because they’re fascinated by the art that I do. Because there are people out there that think that artists are magical unicorns, and they just want to know more about it.

Nikki

36:22
Well, we are.

Laura

36:24
You are magical. Unicorns.

Nikki

36:26
magical unicorns?

Maria

36:27
Absolutely. And you’re giving people the gift of insight when you talk to them about your art when you answer their questions. And you know, the questions are always the same question, how long did it take you to paint that?

Nikki

36:44
Mm hmm.

Maria

36:45
Where do you come up with your ideas? You know, it’s the same questions over and over again. But the people asking those questions, they genuinely are so intrigued by what you do. And it’s a gift for them?

Nikki

36:58
Well, we don’t realize, I think a lot of times what comes really easily for us. I mean, I could draw from the minute I wake up until a minute I go to bed and never run out of ideas and never get tired of it. And you know what’s second nature to me, is really foreign and fascinating to other people. And we forget about that, right? So we don’t, I don’t think we have to be the most eloquent people in the world, we don’t have to have something profound to say, people just want to, they want to hear about it.

Maria

37:31
Yeah. And you might just be talking about your process. Well, I get up in the morning, and I do this, that I do that. And to you, it’s boring, because you do it every day. But to somebody else, it’s fascinating.

Nikki

37:44
So just make yourself do it.

Maria

37:47
Well, the alternative is, here’s the alternative to that is that if you want to, you can reach people through Tiktok, and Instagram and all these online platforms. And you can and some artists are really good at that. But really, if you want to sell art, you have to reach people on a deeper level, you have to reach buyers, people with money that are going to buy art. And the way to make that connection, the best way to make that connection is in person at art shows or at events. Otherwise, you just you just going to spend so much time trying to do it online and meeting people in person. It’s just a another way to do it.

Laura

38:30
Okay, so let’s say you meet somebody in person, you have a connection with them, then what? Well,

Maria

38:36
you want to make sure that you get in touch with them, you stay in touch with them. So using that example, from a year ago, we were at that surf Park Summit. And we met this guy named Darren, and he was my in, you know, he was our in into that company. And I got his phone number and I’m like, Can I have your number and put it in my phone. And usually, like the rule of thumb is you want to reach out to somebody within 24 hours after meeting them.

Nikki

39:11
So they don’t forget you.

Maria

39:13
Yeah, and it’s so simple. It’s just you just send them a text or a message through Instagram or whoever you’re messaging. There’s a million ways to message people these days. And you just sent a message saying it was so great to meet you. And hey, if in one of the conversations that you had with them, they there was something they showed interest in and you know, have a video that they’d be interested in you send them a link to that, you know, just like send them something that has nothing to do with you nothing to do with you know, it’s a gift you’re giving them Oh, you said you were you were interested in learning more about how to do this one thing well, here’s a video I watched it’s really good. There’s a link. So that’s how you connect with people. You you give your be of service in a tiny way. Stay in touch. And don’t be afraid to ask for help with something.

Nikki

40:05
People actually love to help as long as it’s not taking up a huge amount of their time.

Maria

40:11
Yeah, some people do love to help, it makes them feel important. And if they like you, if they connect it with you, they want to help you. So that’s the other thing is don’t be afraid to ask for something. And it’s not like you have to go in for the kill and go, Oh, I’m gonna do this big thing with your company. You can say, You know what? I love the stuff that your company does. I’d love to one day collaborate. Use the word collaborate? Because that’s a fun word.

Nikki

40:41
Yeah. And working together rather than a transactional thing.

Maria

40:46
Yeah. And you plant the seed in their mind. You plant the seed, you let them know, because people don’t know that. Don’t assume that they know what you want, because nobody knows what you want except you.

Laura

41:01
True. So one of the things you mentioned, I think you talk about this a bit in your book is around systems. Are there systems that you recommend if there’s like one, one item or one system or one action that you think people should be taking, when it comes to pricing money?

Maria

41:20
Yes. So try to have a little bit of structure around the way you price things. And there’s so many pricing structures I have around what we do. So we sell original paintings, we have a price structure around that, mostly broken down by the square inch with like a sliding scale. So the bigger the painting gets, the square inch cost goes down, right. Another way you can do pricing with painting, just as an example, if you find that you’re painting, mostly painting, like three specific sizes, have a specific price for each size, you know, if you paint a 24 inch by 24 inch painting, you know that you’re going to charge $2,500 for that size. I don’t know making up numbers here. But you know, and then you go to the next bigger size, and you know that that’s 3500. And then the next bigger size is 5500. And the great thing about having that structure is then in a conversation when you’re talking to someone, and this happens all the time with artists who are getting known for what they do, you will have somebody say, oh, I want I’d love to commission you to paint this, how much would it cost? Well, that’s a big question, how much What do you want? You want to paint in this bigger, you would paint this big? But you can answer with? Well, it depends on size and complexity. But in general, here’s the three main sizes. And here’s my three prices. And you know, if there’s something you want at a different size, I can price that out for you. So that way, it kind of rolls off your tongue,

Nikki

43:11
or if it’s way more complex than the usual stuff I do that sort of thing.

Maria

43:16
Yeah, then I’ll add to the price slice of conditions, in my opinion, need to be significantly more than just buying a painting that I did on my own because you’re working to somebody else’s ideas, and there’s a lot more back and forth. So there’s a lot more that goes into it than just buying a painting that I’ve already made. And some artists just hate doing commissions, but they do them because they have to.

Nikki

43:44
Yeah, yeah, I know.

Maria

43:46
I know, a lot of artists that charge like 20% more for commission.

Nikki

43:51
Well, I think that’s very reasonable. That’s fair. Yeah. Because twice in my life had a commission that was I want exactly what you do. So just do it. And that’s a beautiful thing. But usually, it’s like, I want exactly what you do, but change it to this totally different thing.

Maria

44:11
And then add my dog in there and then add my motorcycle in there. And then can you add this symbol in there? Because yeah, like it means something to me. And then they want you to add all this stuff.

Nikki

44:21
And here’s a funny example, at at an art festival that we have here in Paducah, Kentucky. I was drawing… this was, I don’t know 15 years ago, I was drawing on my car. And I was drawing nude women and florals. And this guy just watched me for the longest time and was like fascinated by it and said I would really like to hire you to draw a fighter plane on my truck. What part of this makes you think…

Maria

44:53
Oh my gosh. So sometimes you just say no. We did the work is requests. This guy brought an ostrich egg, you’re gonna paint.

Nikki

45:03
That’s a whole art people like, like engrave and cut them.

Maria

45:10
It’s cool. But you know how hard it is to paint around object?

Nikki

45:14
I do. I did, because I, I did somebody’s motorcycle helmet once.

Maria

45:20
Oh yeah. Yeah, Drew drew did a couple of those in the past, he won’t do those anymore. There was a time where you’d paint anything. You brought him anything, he would paint it, but now he’s he’s older now. He’s older now. He’s like, No, now he’s learning how to say no.

Nikki

45:35
Well, that’s good. Saying no, is a really good skill to learn.

Maria

45:38
It is or, you know, an even better skill is to steer people towards what you want to do. Yes. So I try not to use the word no. In general, I try not to ever say No, unless I’m fighting with someone. And I’m just like, No.

Nikki

46:04
Well, yes, if they can be steered, but I really don’t think that guy wanted nude woman on the side of his truck. He really wanted a fighter plane.

Maria

46:14
Well, you know, it’s like, I do, like, try to steer people towards Okay, well, he’s probably, you know, that’s probably not going to work because of whatever but about this. Yeah.

Nikki

46:27
And I like to if I can, if it’s something that I’m not suited for, or don’t want to do, will try to make a recommendation of somebody else who, you know, that’s not my area of expertise. But have you looked at this person? Yeah, plenty.

Laura

46:43
So when it comes to pricing and success and money, what mindset shifts do you think are really essential for artists to transition from sort of seeing themselves as just creators to being entrepreneurs and becoming in you know, successful, we can talk about what is successful even mean?

Maria

47:03
Well, first of all, success is whatever makes you happy. So I mean, of course, money needs to be a part of that. If you’re relying on your art to support you. You don’t have to rely on it to support you, you can choose to do something else for living, like your art, just be your side hustle, and that’s fine. But even regardless of whether you’re a full time artist, or a part time artist, you still should be paid. So the mindset thing, you know, that word mindset is so cliche now, but it absolutely dry drives your actions, it drives your words, it drives your pricing, and how you handle things when it comes to money. So if you have a poor money mindset, if you’re so how do you know if you have a poor money mindset? I’ll give you a few examples. And this is just off the top of my head. If you complain about money, a lot, you have a poor money mindset. Money is running your life. And it’s because of the way you think about money. Okay, and you can shift that, okay, if you choose to. You also have a poor money mindset if you consistently underpriced you value. Now, how do you know what your value is? You know, you know, you know what your value is, you know what your work is valued, you get a gut feeling. You know, when you’re underpricing yourself, you have a poor money mindset. If you’ve been taken advantage of more than a couple of times, it’s your fault, because you aren’t taking care of things because of your mindset. And the good news is you can shift that and you can fix that, so that it never happens again. And don’t take these strong words coming out of my mouth as being judgmental. Because I’ve done this. I’ve been there. I grew up poor. I grew up with a very bad money mindset. And I worked on it and worked on it worked on it until I completely shifted it. And I’m still working on up leveling it because once you shift it when you make a big shift, you see the results of it in more money flowing into your life. And when you make that big shift and you actually do it, the money actually starts flowing in pretty quick. And then you’re shocked and you’re like whoa, where where has this been all my life?

Nikki

49:45
Why didn’t I do that sooner?

Maria

49:48
And then you’re shocked.

Laura

49:50
I have had experiences like that before. I remember once I I wanted to go on this trip to Paris to see this art exhibit. And I didn’t have the cash and I kind of shifted The money mindset and somebody came to me and said, I want you to to create some custom jewelry with my artwork in it. And I literally priced it out at exactly what I needed to go to Paris and I got the deal.

Maria

50:14
Oh my gosh, okay, that is the best story ever. And I wrote about this in my book, not your story, but that, that knowing how much you need, okay? Your story right there is like it illustrates the magic behind deciding how much money you want to make every month now, not deciding some crazy number. Like if you’re only making $300 a month in sales. And for some artists, that’s really good. But I’m just making up numbers here. Don’t say, Well, I want to make $100,000 a month because that’s a little crazy. You’re mice mindset won’t even allow you to shift with that number that’s so far out of reach. Yeah. But let’s say you’re making 300 a month, and you’re like, Okay, I want to make 1000 a month. Now, that’s a leap, because it’s more than double. But it’s very doable. And you write this down, and you’re like, Okay, this is what I want my monthly income to be. And then you break it down into weeks. And that’s 250 a week. Okay, what do I need to do to make $250 a week? Well, I need to sell one or print or one little tiny painting or one, whatever, right? I’m the decision that this is going to be your focus, this is how much money you’re going to make every month, and you start taking action towards it. And then when somebody comes to you, or when you’re you’re setting up at a tradeshow, you’re in a, you’re in a position where you’re selling art, and you’ve got somebody who says, I want to commission you to do this, or I want to buy one of these things from you. And it’s $250. But you know, the month is almost over and you steal $500 to go to meet your goal. And you’re gonna say to that person, why don’t you buy two, it’s only $500. And the person says, okay, and you’re like, oh, my god, that was so easy. Or, like for me, because I have a set amount of money that we have to make every month. And I pay attention to it. Every week, I’m looking at the numbers, Drew and I look at the numbers together. And if we’re coming up short, and the month is, you know, almost over, we start going okay, what are we going to do we start clicking, we start looking, making a plan? What event is there? What painting do I have? Who can I call that showed interest in a painting and actually the list on my, on my wall of like people to call that showed interest? And I might call five people in one person says, Yeah, you know what? I was just thinking about this the other day, yeah, I’m ready, I’m ready to buy now. And then boom, we met our monthly goal. But there’s magic in having that number, knowing how much you need, and then making exactly that amount.

Laura

53:18
Well, and I do believe a lot in sort of the law of attraction. I’m the woowoo side of this, this podcast, partnership, Nikki, Nikki is not but but I also like what you were talking about, sort of your mindset generates action, right? So it’s not just all woowoo. And just that if you if you shift your mindset on things, you actually take action in and take action in alignment with that, things will happen for you.

Nikki

53:49
Right, but also, on a really, really practical side of it. The fact that you actually know, this is exactly the amount of money I need to bring in every month, every week to make my bills and meet my goals, and figure out how to actually do that. That’s where I’m lacking I actually need help on the figuring out the whole financial side of it and the planning and budgeting. Laura has a day job in finance. She’s good at that part.

Laura

54:23
Yeah, the money part isn’t as big for me.

Nikki

54:26
I’m really good at spending money and wondering where it all went.

Maria

54:31
A lot of us are.

Nikki

54:32
I need to work on the figuring out what I actually need to make.

Laura

54:35
But the other side of that though, is if you’re getting to the end of the month for some people that could be really scary or frustrating or intimidating or like oh my gosh, now I’m desperate. Like so part of the mindset thing, I think is also as what if this was a game? What if this was a game of this is how much money I’m making this month, and what can I do? What game could I play to get to that end result without having it to be done? is like a super serious, I guess, stress inducing type thing, right?

Maria

55:07
Yeah. Well, that that was what I did. I did a couple things to overcome my mindset. And one of them, I worked with a coach. And she taught me this. She said, make it fun. Every time you catch yourself saying, I can’t afford this, I can’t afford that. retrain your brain and say, Oh, I have all the money I need, and make jokes about it. Because you know, that’s not true right now. So you make a joke. And then you laugh at yourself. And so I start, I got the habit. And I started doing it. And two things happen. One, I noticed that a million times a day, I was thinking to myself, I can’t afford this. I can’t afford that. You know, like, I couldn’t believe how many times I had negative thoughts about money. And I had never noticed that before. The second thing was that I started saying out loud, it’s a good thing. I’m rich. And I remember, one day, we had a problem with one of our tires on our fan. So I took it to the tire shop. And the guy looked at all my tires. And he’s like, Yeah, you need all four tires like this is dangerous. And I was like, Well, how much is that going to cost? And he’s said $1,800. And that was a lot of money. And I didn’t have that money. But I had a credit card I could put it on. But I made a joke out of it. So there was a guy behind me in line. And I said, Well, that’s a good thing. I’m rich, because that’s nothing to me, even though it was. And the guy in line behind me was like, wow, I wish I was rich. And it was funny. And I just started having fun with it. But it’s doing that practice started shifting. It started shifting for me. And then I did start taking action as if I was going to be successful with things. And then I did something really crazy. And the crazy thing was..

Nikki

57:13
You bought a school bus. Oh, wait, no, that’s me.

Maria

57:17
I really would have bought a school bus.

Nikki

57:18
You might find it’s not too late.

Maria

57:22
I might buy one. I want to buy one already decked out because I’m just terrible at decorating. And I wanted to look cute.

Nikki

57:29
Oh, that was the fun part for me.

Maria

57:31
See, I’m terrible at that. I’m just like, just give it to me ready to go with already with the cute curtains and all this stuff?

Nikki

57:38
I’ll design it for you.

Maria

57:40
All right, you’re on. I’m coming out. We’re going to drink bourbon and you’re going to you’re going to decorate my bus.

Nikki

57:46
Yes, actually, I’m coming out to you. I’m coming out west.

Maria

57:50
Okay, good.

Nikki

57:51
Anyway, you were saying?

Maria

57:53
Okay, so then. So this was 2016 when I was really starting to shift my mind on things and 2015, 2016. And then there was this online course, trying to remember the name of it. Okay, you guys, it costs so much money. And I,

Nikki

58:16
We probably both bought it. Knowing us.

Maria

58:20
I really wanted to do it. Because it was like it wasn’t for artists. It was for entrepreneurs that wanted to see them so wanted to present themselves as high value providers.

Nikki

58:38
And wasn’t Marie Forleo was it?

Maria

58:40
No, no, never.

Nikki

58:43
It wasn’t B School was it?

Maria

58:44
No, it was not B School now. I wouldn’t, I don’t think I would have made it through B sShool. But no it was a $7,000 course. Now, that’s hefty. And you know what super hefty crazy. But the guy teaching the course like I watched a lot of his videos, I’ve read some of his books. I was just sold on this idea that there were secrets in this course that would help be worked with some of the like, like charge more and like learn the secret language to charge more money with some of the corporate clients that we had that drew was creating illustrations for so I took the course and I didn’t tell drew drew would have killed me.

Nikki

59:34
Wait, does he know now. I Well, I’ll tell you the story is can we blackmail you now?

Maria

59:41
might have put it on a couple different credit cards. But I took this course and like soaked up every single lesson. And I learned I did learn some secrets that helped me and the timing was perfect because this really big company came to us, and they wanted to hire drew to do all these illustrations for this new brand. Now, normally, for illustrations for a brand, for a company like this, we would have charged like $4,000 for an illustration, right. But I realized that this company wanted was, well, there are a couple of things I realized when this company was giant, it was the biggest company we ever did business with. Like, I knew that they had already gone to an advertising firm to do the illustrations. And after a year, it failed.

Nikki

1:00:44
So you know, they already paid a ridiculous amount and didn’t get what they wanted

Maria

1:00:49
hundreds of 1000s of dollars. Yeah, they had a full art department and their art department couldn’t give them what they wanted.

Laura

1:00:58
Wow. And so that’s knowing your value.

Maria

1:01:01
One guy at the company was convinced that Drew’s style was perfect. So knowing this, and then I just taken this course. And I learned like all these buzz words, put a proposal and then like, I did something crazy. And I quoted them for the one illustration $16,000 And it was the most that I had ever quoted for anything at that time. And they said yes. Didn’t even question it. Wow. And then.

Laura

1:01:38
So then, dang, I should have said 25.

Maria

1:01:42
That paid for the course. Let’s think about that.

Nikki

1:01:45
Right? And then some, and then paid for it twice.

Maria

1:01:51
And then some Yeah. Then so we got that first illustration underway. And then they were then they were like, Okay, this guy can do what we need him to do. And they made it 30 Oh, my God. 30 illustrations. And so then, but they they

Nikki

1:02:08
Wait a second, I can draw in Drew style. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.

Maria

1:02:13
Alright, so you guys aren’t gonna believe this, but so that I worked it out where, like, we ended up getting signed up the price. And we ended up getting, oh, my god, so much money from this. And, and they were happy. They were super happy. Um, we ended up like, by the end, it was ended up being a two year project. We ended up getting like $24,000 in illustration. Wow. So the price just kept going. And they had no problem with it. And the reason like I have reasons for upping the prices, like sometimes they would get really complicated and I and things would just take way longer because they would get micromanaging and stuff. And so they had no problem with it. But if I had never done the money mindset work I was doing. And if I had never taken that course and taking that course. Oh, and going back to the price of the course, Drew said he kept saying, yeah, how much was that course? And I kept being like, ah, oh, oh, wait, where are we going out to dinner with our sound. So Saturday night, like I just kept changing the subject night, and it was fine. Like six months later, when we saw he couldn’t like we were both shocked at what we were able to make. Right?

Nikki

1:03:38
So he really couldn’t criticize it at that point. Yeah,

Maria

1:03:41
He was like, I can’t believe you spent that much money on that course. But hey, we’re gonnapay it off. It did.

Nikki

1:03:48
So speaking of courses, I would love to hear a bit about… So you started with your book, I believe, before you did any online courses, I would love to hear how the book came about. We own the book, we’ve read the book, but I’d love to hear in your words a little like a summary of the book, and how that came to be. And then how that led into the courses that you’re now teaching. Because I see that you’re going heavy promoting the courses on social media. And it was all I could do not to buy it earlier today. But I’ve promised myself I’d finish all the courses I’ve already bought before I buy another one. But I’d love to hear that progression from just supporting Drew’s career and growing his career to the book to the courses and all of that.

Maria

1:04:46
Okay,well first of all, I just want to say I don’t promote my courses hardly ever and it my bad but but last week, I did go on like Well, five day blitz.

Nikki

1:04:56
Yeah, the Black Friday Cyber Monday thing.

Maria

1:05:00
Yeah. And I just I decided to discount it for five days, which I never do. I never discount it. But my courses, I don’t charge enough for my courses, I should like quadruple the price.

Nikki

1:05:12
Now your prices are pretty amazingly reasonable.

Maria

1:05:16
They are and the reason. So going back to your original question, How did I get into writing the book and all that? I love helping people. I mean, that is what I do. And I’ve always been that way. And I always saw myself like, I always saw myself as being like a Dear Abby, because I love when I figure something out for myself, I love to share it with other people. And when I started figuring out, you know, when Drew and I, you know, and I say me, but it was he and I together, figuring out this business of art thing. And we figured out how to make money, how to raise kids at the beach, you know, what a very expensive place to live, and how to survive the ups and downs of the art business in the economy and all that stuff. And artists always came to me for advice, they would go to Drew for advice, but he’s not he doesn’t mind sharing, but he he’s not as good at teaching. Like the details of how things are. It’s like all in his head. I’m a natural teacher.

Nikki

1:06:18
Let me draw, go ask my wife.

Maria

1:06:21
Yeah, pretty much. He’s like, ask Maria. She’ll, she’ll explain it way better than me. And it’s kind of like if he takes you out to teach you how to surf. He’ll take you out in the big waves. And then we’ll go yeah, just paddle and stand up and catch it.

Nikki

1:06:35
Oh, is that all?

Maria

1:06:37
And then you get clobbered and almost die and never want to do it again.

Nikki

1:06:40
Note to self don’t ask drew to teach me to surf?

Maria

1:06:44
Yeah, so um, so I just love teaching people. And I think I’m good at teaching things because I analyze everything. And so with the analyzation, I can tell you for detail, like why something worked and when something didn’t work. And so I started writing a blog, because I had so many artists coming to me for advice, that I got tired of talking to people all the time. And so in 2009, I said, Okay, I’m just gonna start answering all these questions in a blog. And my blog got really popular, then I started coaching artists just on the side, and it’s still do really, really part time. Because I don’t have a lot of time to. I’m running this art business still, you know?

Nikki

1:07:25
Yeah. I mean, that’s the other question is, how do you fit all of this stuff in?

Maria

1:07:29
I don’t know. I want to. I don’t know how I do it. If you asked my husband, he’d tell you. She’s, you know, getting by by the skin of her teeth. Like, she’s got all these balls in the air, and she’s letting half of them fall. That’s what he’ll tell you. Which is probably true. But

Nikki

1:07:46
can I feel so bad then? Yeah,

Maria

1:07:49
I’m, yeah, I do way too many things all at once, but you don’t want it works for me. And I’m okay with that. Right. I used to try not to be all over the place. And I finally except that about myself. I’m working on that. I am very ADHD. And so that’s, that’s why it took me years to finish this book. Art money success. I wrote it. I started writing it probably in 2010. And then I finally publish it in 2017. Mm hmm. How crazy is that? It took me that long.

Nikki

1:08:26
And I bought it in 2018, which I realized because I went back and looked at my Amazon account to see when I got it.

Maria

1:08:36
And I’m really proud of it. I’m really proud of my book. Because

Nikki

1:08:39
yeah, so tell us how it came about?

Maria

1:08:43
Well, it just so many people were asking me and I started answering and I and I had I had written so many blog posts about so many things. And then finally has just started putting it all in a book. And like I mentioned earlier, my dream as a kid was to be an author. And I did always dream myself being a novelist. But I realized, I’m not good at writing novels. I have a great imagination, but I’m not very good at writing it down. I’m good at writing how to do something that I’m good at. Because I analyze things and I’m really good at breaking it down in an easy to follow steps. So that’s why my book is so popular. It’s got over 605 star reviews on Amazon. It’s been on the Amazon bestseller list many times. It’s amazing. And I’m really I am very proud of it because I get thank you messages almost every day from somebody. That’s fantastic. One woman wrote me she’s I forget she’s from an Asian country relocated. I forget which country she’s from, but she relocated to Canada, and she wrote me and said because of your book. I am now making $10,000 a month off my art and supporting my entire family.

Nikki

1:09:58
That’s amazing. That’s great.

Laura

1:10:00
So in your book you cover, okay.

Maria

1:10:02
So I do cover mindset, like we talked about, I go into pricing, how to sell art, how to actually sell art, how to connect with people, your network is your net worth. That’s one of the chapters, if you need a cash flow infusion in your business, I have a whole chapter on what to do, how to get money, quick, how to work with galleries, I have one chapter on licensing your art, it doesn’t go real into detail, because it’s just one chapter. But it skims the surface and gives you a general understanding. One of the chapters that I think will help a lot of artists is how to deal with charities. I think, if you were to ask me, What are the parts of my book that made the biggest difference in artists lives, I would say the first couple chapters where I guide you in a journaling exercise to write down what you want. And I give you a number of prompts to answer these questions. There’s another chapter in there that walks you through pricing and setting your money goals, and how to use those money goals to price things out. I think that really helps artists that are not sure how to do it. Not sure how to deal with the money part of it. Actually,

Nikki

1:11:31
Maria, I just discovered when we were doing some research to prep for this, that there’s a PDF out there. That’s worksheets to go along with the book. Do you mind if we share that with our listeners?

Maria

1:11:44
Please share that with your listeners. Yeah, absolutely.

Nikki

1:11:47
It’s got a great PDF. That’s it’s a little workbook that talks you through some of these things that she’s mentioning. And so we’ll share that with you in the show notes.

Maria

1:11:56
Yeah, perfect. Yeah, I mean, you can do the exercises even without the book.

Nikki

1:12:02
Well, of course, we recommend the book. Yeah,

Maria

1:12:04
thank you. Well, I appreciate it. I mean, I have some artists that want to set up a coaching call with me my coaching calls, my short calls at $5, for 20 minute $175. For I say 45 minutes, we always go an hour. But I’m very reasonable. Some artists, I tell them, Look, just spend $20 on the book. And then if you still need the coaching call, we’ll do the coaching call with the book. It’s changed so many people’s lives.

Laura

1:12:36
Now, if somebody does want to go more in depth on something, then this is where the courses come in. Yes,

Maria

1:12:43
so I have a number of courses. One of them is art licensing. And that was the one I was promoting pretty hard last week.

Nikki

1:12:52
And that’s the one that that probably the majority of our listeners are looking for. That’s, that’s kind of the way our audience we we have a variety of of listeners, some are more fine artists, some are more interested in licensing, but I think that a lot of people will be interested in this course. So if

Maria

1:13:12
anybody wants to look it up, while you’re listening, you can look up Brophy art academy.com, and then click on the business course tab. And you can look at the descriptions. But basically, so I have three different courses, and I sell them individually and as a bundle. And I did that, because the first course just gives you the general overview of art licensing. And I thought, you know, some artists might just want to learn how it works, but they don’t want to go deep into the next course, which is my joke is basically hold your hand and lead you to get your next licensing deal. If you do everything step by step, you’re going to be guided to your next licensing deal. And one of the things I have you do is go to small companies in your local area to get practice, and small companies are sometimes the best types of companies to collaborate with because they need you as much as you need them. And so it’s a win win win. And it’s easier to get in with a small company. Some examples would be like a wine company or a beer brewery, or a small gift store that prints their own products. There are so many opportunities for art licensing and a lot of people just don’t even realize it. Yeah,

Nikki

1:14:49
actually, that’s really good advice. I mean, you’d be hard pressed to find a town these days that doesn’t have a local brewery that comes out with a new Beer. Yeah, all the time and needs a label for it. Yeah, exactly. I’m in a little small town in western Kentucky. And we’ve got two breweries. So one up. Yeah, yeah. So how long have you had these courses out there?

Maria

1:15:17
So let’s see, I started the art licensing course. Gosh, when did I come up with that a couple years ago, I think I came up with my first course in 2019. And that one is all about how to do art exhibits, and it’s called art exhibits that sell. And anybody that takes that course, it’s not just about doing our exhibits at galleries, because I recommend not doing them at galleries. I don’t recommend against it. But I tell us more about that. There’s oh my gosh, there’s so many different ways to do art shows. You can do, you can do an art show at Mall, you could do them at a trade show, like a five day trade show, you could do an art exhibit at somebody’s home, somebody who has a large home that loves to entertain, to their wealthy friends, there are people that do that. You could do it at a real estate brokerage firm, luxury real estate office where they sell luxury real estate, you could team up with a company, oh my gosh, they’re just so many. There’s so many possibilities are

Nikki

1:16:34
all really great ideas, hotels, boutique

Maria

1:16:37
hotels. So in the course, I tell you how to do this. And I give you lots of examples of artists that have done it and how it works. And it’s it’s just such thing, there are so many ways to do it away from art galleries, and in my opinion, you’ll make more money because a lot of the places that you can do an art show with that’s not an art gallery. They don’t even want any of the money. They there’s other things they get out of it.

Nikki

1:17:10
I love that.

Laura

1:17:11
So Maria, where can our listeners connect with you online?

Maria

1:17:16
Okay, so let’s say I have talked about being scattered. I actually have two websites, and I’m trying to figure that out right now. One is mariabrophy.com.

Nikki

1:17:27
Well, if you need to hire a professional website designer, I happen to know one.

Maria

1:17:34
I need to I just need to like figure out how to connect them. Yeah, it’s a whole thing because you know, when you’re evolving, and I’ve been evolving the last few years, but okay, so mariabrophy.com. That’s my blog. There’s a lot of information there. And then if you go to brophyartacademy.com. That’s where all my courses are. And then if you’re on Instagram, I love Instagram. I’m an Instagram junkie. So it’s just my name on Instagram. Maria Brophy, I’m also on Tik Tok. I don’t use it that often, but sometimes I do.

Nikki

1:18:14
We’ll link to all of these in our show notes.

Laura

1:18:19
So Maria, thank you so much for being on the show today. This was awesome. It’s got ideas kind of spinning in my head of ways that I might be able to promote my art and sell my art and price my art and have a better money mindset.

Nikki

1:18:31
Oh my gosh, so many ideas. Thank you. To learn more about Maria and read today Startist Society show notes go to startistsociety.com/mariabrophy.

Laura

1:18:43
if you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, we’d love for you to leave us a five star rating and review reviews help us reach more Startist like you and keep us inspired to create new episodes.

Nikki

1:18:54
Maria, thanks so much for coming on. And to our listeners, thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.

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