The Investing Artist: Art, Real Estate, and Legacy with Mary Erickson (Podcast)

I met Mary Erickson in person for the first time at the 2016 Plein Air South in Apalachicola, Florida. We bonded over cocktails and oysters. (Mary is the only person who has ever convinced me to eat oysters.)

I was immediately impressed with Mary’s business savvy, as I know you will be. Her art sales have paid for her lifestyle, which is comfortable and adventurous, but far from extravagant. She is a discerning investor and wise with her finances.

Mary says she paints so that she can buy real estate so that she can collect art–paintings by other artists. You’ll hear all about it in the latest episode of the Art Biz Podcast. You’ll also hear about:

  • How she started selling and why she believes being involved in your community is key to an artist’s success.
  • How she keeps up with the 8 different galleries that represent her.
  • Mary’s legacy project: High Ridge Gardens, a bird sanctuary and artist retreat on her property, which she will leave with a funded endowment.

And you’ll learn the one finance book Mary recommends you read (if you only read one).

I hope you’re inspired by this conversation with Mary Erickson. Click on continue reading to listen in.

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Transform Your Creative Ideas into Multiple Income Streams: Helen Hiebert (Podcast)

Helen Hiebert artist book

My first contact with artist Helen Hiebert was back in 2010 when she took one of my classes after she heard about my book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio. It’s been fun to watch her grow into a successful artist-entrepreneur.

On the heels of my interview with Dianna Fritzler about transitioning to a full-time artist, I thought it was perfect for you to hear about Helen’s journey.

Ten years ago, Helen didn’t think of her art as a business. Her shift of mindset changed everything and she now makes her living as a working artist. Rather than feeling icky about having a “business,” she embraced it and learned to channel some of her creativity into making money from her talents.

She says:

Probably the biggest lesson for me has been learning how to keep myself entertained (I think any creative loves to do new things all the time) but to create a framework that allows for that. I’m thinking of my blog specifically. I now have a rotation of things I do throughout the month that is fun for me to generate and (hopefully) my readers to discover!

See? You can have fun and run a successful art business at the same time. You only need a structure to contain that fun.

In this interview, Helen and I focus on her multiple income streams, which include (rough estimates):

  • Art installations (10%)
  • Artist books (30-35%)
  • Teaching for hire, in her studio and online (30%)
  • Twelve Months of Paper calendar, how-to books and class kits (20%)
  • Sponsorships (5%)

Much of what she has tried and implemented has been learned from watching what other artists and non-artists are doing, and tweaking it to fit her approach.

We also discuss Helen’s process for creating online content, which has its roots in the analog world she started in. Her success comes from networking, interviewing experts, and collaborating. From that evolved both her blog and podcast.

Helen’s blog is The Sunday Paper – a weekly roundup of news from the world of paper, including news from her own studio. Her monthly podcast, Paper Talk, is the happy result of an unsuccessful grant application to document artists working in the field of hand papermaking.

Please enjoy this conversation with Helen Hiebert.

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Transitioning to a Full-Time Artist: Dianna Fritzler (Podcast)

Over the past ten years I’ve watched Dianna Fritzler go from full-time artist to full-time marketing employee and back again. I had the pleasure of helping her a little along the way.

I wanted to share Dianna’s path so you can hear how she set a target and took deliberate and consistent steps to reach that target in a very short timespan.

During her first year back as a full-time artist, Dianna tested a lot of options for income and gained clarity on what she wants moving forward. And she missed her ambitious income goal by just 10%.

In this interview, you’ll hear Dianna reveal:

  • The moment when she decided that her art could no longer play a secondary role in her life.
  • The steps she took immediately that set her on the path to making her dream come true.
  • The income streams she tested and what has worked (and not worked) for her.
  • The vision she and her husband have for his future full-time role in her business.
  • The amount of time she spends on business v. in the studio.
  • How she structures her day to be most productive.

She also confesses just how worthless she is before her morning java and why she unapologetically embraces freeform Internet exploration in the mornings.

As you will learn, Dianna works her ass off. But her work brings her joy and she’s determined to succeed.

Please enjoy this conversation with Dianna Fritzler about transitioning to a full-time artist.

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Overcoming a Major Setback: Annie Salness (Podcast)

Artist Annie Salness suffered a stroke almost 8 years ago. While many artists would have given up when faced with the trials Annie had, she met the challenge and kept moving forward.

It wasn’t the single challenge of learning to make art again with her non-dominant hand. Annie also had to relearn how to walk, speak, write, and drive. She’s one of the bravest and most determined people I know.

This is the story of a true artist – an artist who has something to say and is committed to making sure her voice is heard; her art seen.

In this interview, you will hear Annie talk about:

  • Her rehab and the determination to paint again – even without the use of her dominant hand.
  • The major obstacles she faces on a daily basis and how she overcomes them.
  • How she continually challenges herself (and why laughter is the best remedy to the frustration).
  • Her teaching and “watch me paint” sessions.
  • Why she wouldn’t want to return to her old self before the stroke.

It wasn’t easy for Annie to share her journey – many people in the same situation would have thought this process of being a guest on a podcast would be too taxing. But Annie celebrated it as yet another hurdle that would contribute to her recovery.

I hope you’re as inspired by Annie’s story as I have been over all these years. She is, without a doubt, one of my heroines.

Please enjoy listening to this conversation with Annie Salness.

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Confronting Your Professional Legacy: David Paul Bayles (Podcast)

Last fall I received an email from David Paul Bayles, who was a member of my class at the time. The email read, in part:

Recently The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley (third largest special collections library in the U.S.) created The David Paul Bayles Photographic Archive to create a home for my life’s work.

I am driving down to meet with them on Monday to place a large number of prints and oral history audio files into the Archive.

Whoa. How cool is that? A major institution deemed David’s work worthy of saving forever – all together under a single roof.

After peppering David with questions, I knew that his was a story that needed to be shared with you.

I have been concerned about artists’ legacies and what they are doing to prepare themselves and their loved ones for their passing. What happens to the work and the records after they’re gone?

In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, David tells us what his professional archives consist of, including his photos, writings, records, and audio files.

He also gives us insight into the process of negotiating with the Library – fascinating stuff. And, yes, it includes lawyers.

Of course, we also talked about his art and why he chose to focus on photographing trees throughout his career. A better way to frame the question is how the trees chose him.

And we ended with a discussion of David’s next big goals. What comes after finding a permanent home for your entire life’s work? For David, it’s an artist residency and a traveling exhibition.

As you listen, pay careful attention to all of the people David has connected with along the way. His story is one of finding and nurturing connections.

And it all started with a fire …

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Quantifying Quality in Art: Elaine Kehew (Podcast)

Everyone says that there’s no such thing as a negative review. That any media attention is good media attention.

That’s easy to say until someone slams your work.

In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, I’m at the big table with Elaine Kehew, who shares the story of a negative review she received last year and the resulting journey to improve the quality of her art.

The critic who rankled her was someone she knew and trusted, so she took his comments to heart. And they hurt.

This isn’t a story about perfectionism. Perfectionism is crippling, Elaine says. It’s not about aesthetics or beauty. It’s about Elaine’s quest to quantify the quality of her work – to ensure that it is getting better.

Elaine is a repeat student of the Art Biz Accelerator, a class in which my students set goals. When I read that Elaine’s #1 goal for the year is to improve the quality of her painting, I asked her how she would measure that. After all, goals are supposed to be measurable so you know when you achieve them.

This led Elaine to explore quality – particularly the research being done around quality management in the 1990s and early 2000s. (In her previous life, Elaine was a researcher for a law firm.)

Listen as Elaine opens up about what happened after her negative review and shares 8 targets she has identified to improve the quality of her paintings.

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What Are Your Legal Priorities? (Podcast)

Do you need to be concerned about copyright? Trademark?

Is it important that you have tight contracts?

It depends on your definition of success and what your business goals are.

I know that “it depends” isn’t a satisfying answer, but it’s the truth. I don’t want you to pay buckets of money to attorneys when you don’t have to.

In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, I talk with photographer and attorney Kiffanie Stahle about legal concerns for your art business.

Kiffanie, who is the founder of the artist’s J.D., has developed the Creative Business Model Canvas to help you home in on legal priorities. Find it here and follow along on this episode.

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Find a Niche for Your Art with Maria Brophy (Podcast)

Author Maria Brophy

Maria Brophy has served as an art agent to her husband, Drew Brophy, since 2001. Since then she has also helped thousands of other artists plan their careers, increase sales, and negotiate deals. Her experience and secrets are chronicled in her new book, Art Money Success.

I asked Maria what she was most excited about these days, and she gave me a pretty decent list.

I liked #1 on that list: niche markets. Done! Now we can talk.

In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, Maria and I discuss:

  • What is a niche market?
  • 4 types of niche markets for artists: 1. Style of art 2. Lifestyle 3. Geographic location 4. Purpose
  • How to find your niche audience.

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The Bumpy Road to Success: Stories from Our Clients (Podcast)

Robin Edmundson painting

I believe in the power of being part of a dynamic group of ambitious people.

You can’t possibly get everything you need from a single person, and I can’t possibly know everything there is to know about artists’ businesses and careers. That’s why I created the Art Biz Inner Circle and why it has grown over the years.

Our members represent a wide range of media, personal goals, and geographical regions – including quite a few who are overseas. Yet they rely on one another for inspiration, motivation, strategies, and accountability.

Throughout the year, we have watched many of our members create and attain their stretch goals – several of them doubling (and more) their income from last year.

We supported members as they struggled and reorganized their plans. Yes, even the ones who attained their big goals encountered bumps along the road to success.

Our team of coaches is top-notch (I don’t trust just anyone with my clients).

In this podcast, I talk with Debby Williams and Cynthia Morris, who serve as coaches for our members in the Art Biz Inner Circle. We discuss the celebrations we witnessed as well as the many struggles our artists faced and we provide numerous tips to help with your artist journey.

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Portrait Project and Museum Exhibition with Lisa Kovvuri (Podcast)

Little gives me more pleasure than watching a client successfully attain a major goal.

In this podcast episode, I share the story of Lisa Kovvuri, with whom I worked in my Art Biz Inner Circle as she was starting her project, The Portrait Experience.

We discuss:

  • How The Portrait Experience was conceived and executed at Whistler House Museum of Art.
  • How she found people to sit for her.
  • What she learned during the process.
  • What’s next.

We also find out that most of the paintings have since sold.

It’s been a joy to watch her progress and the ultimate culmination of her efforts – the opening of her museum show.

I hope you are inspired by this conversation about how Lisa accomplished her colossal goal. Listen now …

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