114 – Maria Brophy’s tips for achieving success with your art

In our last episode, we introduced you to Maria Brophy, an author, teacher, art consultant, agent and brand manager who wrote the incredible book Art Money Success. This week, Maria is back to share her 5 best tips for achieving success with your art.

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Download maria’s tips for achieving success as an artist

Sign up for our email list to download Maria’s Tips for Achieving Succss as an Artist and be notified when our weekly episodes are released! Once you sign up, you will be sent straight to the downloads page where you can grab this list and all our other helpful downloads!

Laura

0:06
Hi, this is Laura Lee Griffin.

Nikki

0:08
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

0:17
We are artists who believe strongly in the power of community, accountability, following your intuition, taking small actionable steps and breaking down the barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you stuck.

Nikki

0:29
Follow along with us on our creative business journey as we encourage you on yours.

Laura

0:39
In our last episode, we introduced you to Maria Brophy, an author, teacher, art consultant, agent and brand manager who wrote the incredible book Art Money Success. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to that episode yet, be sure to go back and give it a listen.

Nikki

0:56
Today, Maria is back to give us her five best tips on achieving success with your art.

Laura

1:01
Maria, thank you so much for coming back to chat with us today. So what is your first tip for us?

Maria

1:07
Well, thanks for having me. And so my first tip is know what you want, to know how much money you want to make, know what milestones you want to hit with your art and write it down.

Nikki

1:24
Ya know what success looks like to you.

Maria

1:28
And then the second part to that is let every decision you make be in alignment with what you want.

Laura

1:40
I think I need to write what I want on my bathroom mirror or something, so I look at it every morning.

Nikki

1:47
Do you know what you want, Laura?

Laura

1:49
Well, I want all the things. All right.

Nikki

1:52
Don’t we all. I just want to draw pretty pictures. Okay, Maria, what’s your next step for us?

Maria

2:00
Okay, so my second tip is to do things your way. Do things your way, not the way that everybody else thinks you should do them.

Nikki

2:11
Amen.

Maria

2:13
Unless what everybody else wants you to do is in alignment with what you want. And I speak of people in our lives, family members sometimes have an idea how things are supposed to be done and it doesn’t fit with what we want to do. The art world, you know, the fine art world often has rules. And I don’t think there should be any rules.

Nikki

2:37
So many rules.

Maria

2:39
They’re brules, you know, bull-rules.

Nikki

2:44
Bullshit rules, say it out.

Maria

2:47
Exactly what I meant. Okay, and then the next one is experiment with things, experiment with ways to sell your art. Ways to expose it to other people. Try a lot of different things and analyze what works and what doesn’t. That might sound like a no brainer, but a lot of people don’t do that. What happens is, okay, so a lot of times I’ll be working with an artist and the artists will say, Oh, gosh, you know, I just I haven’t made enough sales last couple months. But I did so great in the spring. And I’ll say, Well, let’s look at what happened back in the spring. Let’s dissect what was working. What were you doing back then? And then the artists will say, Well, you know, I did this special promotion where I was like creating this new art and I was promoting it in a certain way. Or whatever they were doing. And I say, Okay, those are our clues of what works. So let’s do those things again. You can do the same things the same way over and over again, until they stop working.

Nikki

3:59
Yeah, that’s really good advice. Because, you say it may sound like a no brainer, but I don’t think we spend enough time analyzing what we’re doing. It’s like, Huh, I haven’t sold that many of my calendars yet this year. Well, how many times did you actually market it? Once? Twice?

Maria

4:18
Okay, that doesn’t work. You need to do it like 20 times or more.

Nikki

4:22
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, analyze it and try a lot of things, yes, but analyze each one and figure out what’s working and what’s not and do more of what’s working. So that’s great advice.

Laura

4:34
And also, if you happen to be selling work, let’s say at a market or something, and you have certain prints that are selling way better than others, or there is a certain type of product that you’ve created or a certain style of painting that’s doing so much better than the others, then you might go Hmm, maybe I should do a little bit more of that.

Maria

4:53
Absolutely. Yes.

Laura

4:58
Hi, Drew.

Nikki

4:58
Hi, Drew. What’s your next tip for us, Maria?

Maria

5:04
Okay, the next tip is get help from other people, if you want to reach another level of success, you can’t do that alone. So I hear a lot of times someone will say to me, Oh, well Drew’s so lucky because he’s got you. And so that’s why, you know, all the good things are happening for him. And I say, Well, yeah, Drew. So when Drew started, he was by himself, he plateaued at a certain level and he really couldn’t get beyond that level by himself. So then he had to bring me on. And of course, I get paid. It’s not like I’m working for free, I am not working for free. So if you don’t have a spouse or a family member that will help you, you might have to hire somebody to help you.

Nikki

5:55
You might buy a book, you might buy a course, you might buy consulting.

Maria

6:01
Right?

Nikki

6:01
We know, somebody who offers all of those.

Maria

6:05
Exactly, yes. Get more information. Sometimes there are easier ways to do things. And you just have to learn what those easier ways are.

Nikki

6:15
There are also some great podcasts out there you might listen to. We have one. Maria has one. Lots of people have them.

Maria

6:23
Yeah. And you guys, your podcast is great, because you really dig in with your guests on how to do things. You do a really good job with that. And so anybody listening, listen to every episode, because there’s a nugget in every single one of them.

Nikki

6:42
Ooh thank you. We’ll pay you for that later.

Maria

6:46
Okay, you can pay me in bourbon.

Nikki

6:48
Oh, I will happily do that.

Laura

6:53
All right, what’s your next tip for us.

Maria

6:55
Okay, so the last one is, it kind of dovetails with the one we just mentioned, which is constantly up-leveling your skills as an artist, because and you know, just creating art everyday up-levels your skills, the more you do something, the better you get, but also learn new skills, take classes in things that maybe you normally wouldn’t do. So if you’re a painter, take a sculpting class. Expand your creativity. If you’re a painter, but you’ve never used a certain medium. Let’s say you usually paint, let’s just say usually paint with acrylics and you haven’t mastered oils, take an oil painting class. Just constantly up level what you’re doing.

Nikki

7:44
Yeah, that’s really good advice, too.

Maria

7:46
Yeah. Because the more you experiment with different things, the better you’re going to be overall at everything you do. And then of course, do that with your software. Like, you know, one of my artist friends, love him dearly. Professional artist his entire life. He’s like 65 years old now. Still not using an online bookkeeping program, like QuickBooks. I’m just like, Dude, you can’t be emailing people handwritten invoices this day and age.

Nikki

8:20
I mean, you can, but you shouldn’t.

Maria

8:22
That’s why people aren’t paying you on time. Nobody writes checks anymore. You gotta get with the program, get on, get on a professional QuickBooks program. And I know not all artists are ready for this, but for those who are doing this full time, you really should have like professional software programs to take shave time off of your work and make things easier for you.

Nikki

8:49
Definitely. That’s really good advice. So that was fantastic. Thank you. Thanks for coming back and sharing extra knowledge with us. Those are great tips.

Maria

8:59
You’re welcome. Thank you. And anytime, like I love your podcast, I love everything you ladies are doing. You’re making artists’ lives better, because anytime somebody listens to one of your podcasts and they just take one of those little nuggets and they apply it, their life is better.

Nikki

9:18
Thank you very much. That means a lot coming from you. And we would say exactly the same thing about your podcast and book. I can’t say courses yet, but take my course I probably will very soon.

Laura

9:34
To get a free downloadable PDF with Maria’s top tips on achieving success with your art, visit startistsociety.com/mariastips. When you join our email list, you’ll also get access to our vault of dozens of free resources and will be notified when new episodes are released.

Nikki

9:53
Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.

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