Artist & Mentor Ann Rea and Artist John Garloff (transcription)
What’s been your Biggest challenge as an Artist?
– Believing in myself. You know, my self worth. And, just, I didn’t have a road map.
It’s like a shot in the dark determining what my target market would be and, you know, I just, I’ve been stumbling, and then my wife found your program.
– [Interviewer] Oh, thank you.
– Yeah, and so I watched that first video and I just, it just, it felt like the right place. It felt like this was something I hadn’t done, and it’s been a big plus for me even though I’m just in the very beginning of Course One, I’m already noticing a big difference.
– [Interviewer] Awesome!
– Yeah, my self worth is really going up and I feel like I really have some direction.
Do you discount your art now?
– [Interviewer] My self worth has increased from this program, making it difficult to allow others to walk all over me, yay!
How do you respond to discount requests?
– [Interviewer] Asking if I would offer a discount if they purchased two of my spiral cuffs, my reply, “Thanks for your interest in my spiral cuff, each piece is crafted by hand with focus and attention to detail, I’d love to make a pair destined for Australia, but, cannot offer a discount, thank you.” What an awesome response!
– [Interviewer] Which is, it’s gracious, it’s true and you’re very confidently and graciously maintaining your terms and your boundaries, and that’s what you gotta do. Let me tell ya, if you think discounting your art is gonna help you sell more, you are dead wrong. And the reason why is because everyone who’s paid you full price, or you’ve even asked for full price, that’s very unfair to them, number one. Number two, it distorts the perceived value in the collectors mind. People don’t expect to be paying a discount for art unless, and if they’re looking for a discount, that’s not the kinda customer you want.
Why don’t you give discounts?
– ‘Cause I take pride in what I do. And, the pieces that I create, it has taken me quite a while to develop those skills and to do what I do, and so, for me then to turn around and discount that for somebody, it lessens my enjoyment, and that’s, you know, I mean that’s the thing. I put my heart and soul into what I do.
What’s been your experience of most artists?
I would say a little bit more on the negative side. And, I mean, and I think that there’s a fair amount of judgment, depending on what your media is that you’re playing, or I’m playing with, and my style, and that, for me, I didn’t go to art school. And, so I’m a self taught type person. And I like to work with my hands, I like to create. I like to work with metal and machine and build things. And so that’s my creative process. And, some see it, has seen my work and said that they thought it was art, and others said that they didn’t think that it was art, so-
– [Interviewer] And art is in the eye of the beholder.
– And, who cares?
Have you been isolated?
– I’ve been very introverted, ya know? And I just thought that I could just do what I needed to do in my work space, and that I didn’t have to interact with anybody, and that everything would just magically happen, and the sales would happen, but that’s not the case. And, so this program has helped me come out of my shell. And I’m still coming out of it, but definitely making big leaps and bounds.
How did some artists make you feel?
I felt intimidated. I felt intimidated because I felt like, I wasn’t of their class. And so, it’s hard to speak up when you, for me, when I find that the person I’m trying to talk to seems to be so much taller than myself.
– [Interviewer] Right.
– Because I’m not of their standard, but that’s just my stinkin’ thinkin’.
– [Interviewer] Right, I mean, whatever that means, right? And then I think that artists and gallery owners will use that, and you can tell, ’cause they’ve got a snotty voice. Right?
– Right, right.
– [Interviewer] They march out the snobby voice, and they look down their nose, and it’s this whole, you know, an ugly game, but, you know the fact of the matter is this, people who buy art from the artist feel a true sense of honest connection with the artist. It’s true, and it’s not pretentious, you know? It’s true connection and true feeling. And so, you know, if you’re down to earth and you’re honest with yourself and you’re honest with your collectors, you’re gonna be successful. But, if you’re trying to be something other than who you are, or trying to make yourself self important, it’s not gonna work out.
Don’t artists have to compete with one another?
You know, we have artists from 17 different countries. All different levels of experience. All different creative mediums. I mean, it’s a pretty big mosh pit of artists.
– Right, and very supportive group. I’ve been very impressed with the people on the Facebook group and how supportive they are, and people joining in, they say, “Hey, I’m new, I just joined.” People joining in and saying, “Welcome, this is a great course, you’re gonna have great experiences.” Just a wonderful amount of support that I’ve seen. I’ve felt it, and then I’ve also seen it.
Do you need an MFA from a top art school?
– [Interviewer] Some of the most successful artists who I know, did not go to art school. So, I interviewed Ashley Longshore, who was an Instagram sensation, she didn’t go to art school.
– Oh I saw that interview.
– My friend-
– [Interviewer] What’s that?
– I saw that interview.
– [Interviewer] Yeah.
– In Texas, right?
– [Interviewer] No, I think she lives in Louisiana.
– [Interviewer] She majored in English at some state school in Montana, doesn’t have any training. My friend Gordon Huether, who is an installation artist, he creates works of mixed media and glass, he does public art installations all around the world. He has a beautiful, amazing, very productive studio in Napa Valley. He’s pretty big time. He didn’t go to art school. So, I’m not bashing art school. I went to art school, but it’s certainly not a requirement. Colleen Attara, who was one of my early students, you can see her interview, makingartmakingmoney.com. Last time I talked to her, and that was some time ago, she is an eco-artist, she just makes, all of her art comes from recycled materials. And the last time I spoke to her, she had a handmade card line, that was being distributed in over 100 stores throughout the United States.
– [Interviewer] She did not go to art school. Again, I’m not dissing art school, I went to art school. But, I wanna assure people, here’s the thing, it’s not a diploma from an art school that’s gonna make you successful. What’s gonna make you successful as an artist is that you create value above and beyond the art itself, and you serve a target market. That’s what’s gonna make you successful. And, a lot of people think someone’s going to bestow success upon them, to discover them. No one’s coming to save you! No one’s gonna ever, no one’s coming! No one’s coming!
– [Interviewer] Either you do it, you make yourself successful or you don’t. It’s all on you, and the artists who take full responsibility for their success, they are likely to succeed. Those who wait and sit back, you know, it’s no different from any other business owner. You’re a business owner.
Should other artists apply?
– I have not had the level of support, really, as I have found in this program. I would ask them, what do they have to lose? You know, what’s at stake? You know, I mean, for me, being in just Course One, and just the four lessons that I’ve worked on, actually, fourth one I haven’t worked on yet. That’s next, but, I feel so much better from jumping into this course. I feel like I’m with people that are like me, and I have a home, and I have a new family. And so I would highly recommend somebody struggling, as myself, same as many others, to join this program. And the benefits. And I mean, I’m already feeling this way now. By the time I get through to Course Eight, I mean, I can only try to imagine how much better things will be for me.