Getting grants and or funding for artist business education. You don’t have to be rich you just need to be resourceful with US County Arts Councils, Small Business Administration, and private fundraising.
– Okay, hello, everyone. This is Ann Rea coming to you from San Francisco, California and a student of mine, Terry Willis, is joining me from Price, Utah and she’s just passed her Knowledge Check and she is about to start a really exciting and interesting prototype project where she is gonna earn back her tuition many times over.
That’s the goal and it’s also a requirement to officially graduate, but she’s passed her Knowledge Check and she’s also gone through all the e-courses.
But what’s interesting about Terry is she’s very resourceful and she found I think I will let you explain Terry, but I think what you had said was through the Small Business Administration you were able to get reimbursement for half of your tuition. So, is that, can you explain what happens? Just in case it’s available to other artists in the United States.
– Yes. Before I, after I researched this course and decided it was a good fit for me, I set up an appointment with the Small Business Administration, our local office and asked them if there was any help for tuition on this kind of project. And we have a state project called Custom Fit and it helps businesses with their educational needs. So, I could do it not just for this course, but I could go back again if I wanted to take a course in bookkeeping, or in design, or in anything that I needed. And there is not a limit on how many courses, but you do them one at a time.
– That’s wonderful! So, that’s through the Small Business Administration which is a national organization. But you have a special program that you call Custom Fit. Is that correct?
– That’s correct.
– I would assume that most states have a similar type of project because it’s geared toward economic development.
– So, you would not necessarily have a custom fit but you would go in and ask them what type of programs they have.
– Great. So, and just as a side note, I work with a lot of small business development centers. So, that’s a whole different program. It’s not necessarily going to give you funding, but it is a program that has additional resources. And also through County Arts, by the way, everyone this is Rebel if you haven’t met her. Also through your County Arts Council, depending on your county. There also can be what’s called a professional development grant available.
So, I don’t actually advocate that people go and try to find grants. I actually have a fundraising idea that I think is probably a better place to start if it works for you. If it doesn’t work for you then I think what you did, Terry, was really resourceful. And I just wanted to share it in case other artists, at least in the United States, could find access to something similar. Was it hard? You know, what did you have to do?
– The process was fairly easy. I brought in the information that you provided on your website, showed what the course outline was. I had to just fill in information. I did have to have my business already in place, registered with the State of Utah. So, it had to be a legitimate business already in place, show them those items of how the business was registered, that I had a business license to do business. And other than that the approval went through very quickly, and I just kept track of the payments I made to you and the receipts you gave me and at the end I was able to take that email that you sent and verify that I had completed the courses. And they were like, “okay, you will “see money in two weeks.”
– That’s awesome!
– It was very painless.
– Just FYI, yeah, so, just FYI, I just sent an email to Terry and I just said yeah you passed your Knowledge Check. You completed eight courses. When Terry enrolled and the requirement to earn back your tuition was not yet in place. So, it didn’t apply. But, I think you will be doing that pretty soon.
– I still will be following through with that and can’t wait to tell you that I’ve done that so.
– I can’t wait until you tell me and you tell everybody else in our Facebook group that you’ve done it, how you did it, and what you learned. What worked and what didn’t work. And there’s a lot of rich lessons that are available. So, let me just ask you this. Before you enrolled in The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester, what was your number one challenge when it came to selling your art? I just want to see if you have something new.
– Probably nothing new, but I would find that I didn’t know how to target where I sold. So, I felt very futile and, you know, I’d go out there and got a lot of compliments. If I could make money off of just compliments I’d be sitting really well.
– I always say you can’t deposit compliments in the bank. They are really nice, but you can’t deposit them in the bank.
– But, now that I’ve been looking at targeting I’ve already started putting some of that in place and I’m really feeling a difference in my confidence in the way I’m approaching. And I did go to an art festival this year that I had gone to the year before and when I hit that period where I wasn’t selling anything I actually took a step back, did my Code to Joy exercises. So I did that.
– And de funk and it helped a lot. And the way I presented was much better that way.
– So, the number one challenge you had was just not knowing how to find your target market or knowing your niche. Is that right?
– That was the biggest part. Yes.
– And what was the second challenge?
– And the second one was letting my emotions get through when I didn’t feel like I was making a connection.
– What do you mean?
– I would feel, take it personally.
– Okay. So, when someone rejected purchasing your art you felt like they were rejecting you. Was that what you felt?
– These are not, are these new, like, this is like, I’m only asking, I know what you’re already going to say, Terry, but for the purpose of this interview I just want other artist’s to know that you don’t have a unique problem. Like, these are all the issues that we tackle inThe MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester. Right? I mean…
– Code to Joy helped you with dealing with rejection and emotional overwhelm and negative emotions, right?
– And through the courses you found your, you found your, you’ve already narrowed down your niche considerably. So, now it’s just a matter of testing it. Right?
– Right. And now having a better approach even talking to that niche. Knowing how I’m going to approach them and talk to them.
– Yeah, how are you, what are you going to say?
– My “why” and my “what,” not my art necessarily.
– Let me just ask you this, Terry. Do you think you will be using your artist statement?
– No.I will be using my “why” a lot more.
– Are you sure you don’t need to edit your artist statement?
– I’ve edited my artist statement to death and it never has helped me.
– Alright. So, if you could, if there is an artist who is listening and they are sitting on the fence. They’re not sure if they should apply or enroll. They don’t know if this is a bunch of hooey. What would you tell them honestly? Unedited. What would you tell them?
– Honestly, it was a great investment for me. I wanted to be, I want to sell my art. I haven’t been selling my art and if I continued doing the same thing I was always doing I would never sell my art. I have learned so much and made a shift, mentally, and emotionally. That it is worth the investment. Even if I hadn’t got the tuition reimbursed, it was worth the investment. And in the middle I got stuck. And, you know, I looked at that paying for a phone call with you and I kept going, Oh, I just don’t have the money. And then I said you know what you’re stuck. You’ve got to invest. And that phone call was huge. I, you helped me see what I wasn’t seeing. And, every bit of money I had spent on this course was worth the investment.
– My art, in my life in general.
– Just with the Code to Joy issues and everything else. So, it was well worth the money and the time spent.
– That’s awesome. Did you make some new friends through study partners?
– I did! I did and I’m continuing to follow and stick with them as friends and can’t wait to see different successes of the new people that are starting right now. So…
– Isn’t it interesting, like, on the whole, that you’re eagerly awaiting, the other artists’ success? Because a lot of artist’s are in a mode of competition and so, they get jealous or feel insecure when another artist is succeeding. How about our community? Do you think that’s part of the community? Do you think there’s jealousy or competition?
– There is and I, myself, have experienced that watching other artists sell while I’m not selling. And, again
– Do you see that in a main is my question?
– What’s that? Within this community, here, no. I feel like the sharing we have done, we’ve put that aside.
– And definitely with my study partners and what we see in the Facebook group there has been a great amount of support.
– Yeah. And you need that because selling art is something you can’t do by yourself. It’s too hard. It’s too lonely. It’s no damn fun. So, you gotta have people around you who understand you. Why do you even want to make art in the first place? Why would you want to sell it? That’s a peculiar thing for a lot of people. They don’t if they’re not artist’s themselves. They don’t really understand it. So, it’s important to be around people who are like-minded, but who are positive and who are supportive. And for you to give support and for you to receive support. So, and I see you doing that. You’re cheering people on. So, thanks for doing it. Thank you for helping make the community, the vital community that it is, and that I am proud of. So, appreciate it.
– I’m glad to be a part of it.
– Great! And thanks for taking time out of your busy day to share an additional resource and how one of the many ways, you know like, I, there’s a, if you want to enroll, if you want to apply to enroll, first off you have to apply. But, if you want to take it and get it, you know, you can do it. It’s really, there’s a saying, I think it’s Tony Robbins, I’m not really sure whose is, You don’t have to be rich, you just have to be resourceful. So, you were resourceful in finding reimbursement for half your tuition. I found a way to not only fund my, one of my studies with a mentor. I actually made a profit from it and it kick started my business. So, if there is a will, there is a way. So, thanks for demonstrating that.
– Thank you.
– Alright, Terry. So, I’m going to hear from you next about how you’ve earned back your tuition many times over. And I want to hear about your progress. So, make sure you stay in touch. I want to see how this thing goes.
– Okay. Alright.
– Thank you so much.
– Alright, bye.