Who needs another online course on selling art?
Parts of online education need fixing. How do I know? I am an online educator and I have enrolled in many online courses.
That’s why I decided to make The MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester much more than an online course. It is a complete program.
Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE online education. Why? It’s challenging conventional education that is focused on theories rather than results and practical experience.
Traditional higher education is also shackling our future population to inescapable student loan debt. The average tuition at one of the top 42 art and design schools in North America is currently over $50,000.
The average fine art and craft graduate will stop making art about two years after graduating.
Attending the Rhode Island School of Design costs more than attending Harvard Law School. Because art school endowments are underfunded, so are grants and scholarships.
Online education is breaking down in five ways.
1. The completion rate for typical online courses is low.
That is why I implemented the Study Partner Program where my students meet with fellow students, of their choosing, via video calls using specific guidelines.
This program is allowing artists to build a safe system of accountability and peer support.
Building an artistic enterprise all by yourself is too hard, too lonely, and no fun!
Unlike many artist communities infected with competition, jealousy, and snobbery, my students gain inspiration from their fellow students’ successes.
Many online educators do not cultivate a collaborative community, and they allow disrespectful students to bread negativity.
If someone can’t behave respectfully towards other students or me, although it rarely happens, I remove them. Why? Because:
- it is unfair to my other students
- it is unfair to me
- if artists can’t maintain a minimal level of civility, they’re not going to be successful anyway
2. Typical online courses do not offer a valid test of your comprehension and commitment.
Some online courses might contain a few short quizzes, but that’s not enough to test your full comprehension and to create the results that motivated you to enroll.
I require my students to earn back their tuition investment, at a minimum, through the sale of their art during their final Prototype Project.
This way my students can integrate all that they have learned into action or understand what they need to go back and review.
3. Conventional online courses are typically available forever, or access is limited to a specific schedule.
I don’t believe in imposing a schedule on my students because they already have a life and agenda. My program allows them to learn at their own pace and according to their timetable.
This freedom helps artists learn how to manage their time. When you own your own business, no one is going to tell you what to do and when to do it.
The problem with having access forever is that we complete tasks based on the time allotted. So if you give people forever, they’ll take forever.
I have changed my course access to one year which is plenty of time, and I provide an additional annual membership if necessary.
4. Experts create courses as a form of passive income, and so they are not there to answer student’s questions, or they hire social media manager to do this.
I delight in my students progress, and I care deeply about their learning, so I’m always in our private Facebook group, and I teach my global community of students every Saturday at 1 o’clock PST during live online classes.
5. On-line education courses are designed to solve only one problem.
Here’s the problem with that. Success is 80% psychology and 20% strategy.
The first of the eight courses in my program, Accomplishing, is focused on the psychology that is relevant to creatives. In fact, my friend Dr. Goerge Pratt, a noted performance psychologist, gives my students specific exercises to do throughout the program.
Many students report that not only have they learned to sell their art without feeling like a sellout they are also experiencing significant breakthroughs in their relationships to themselves and others, their health, and their finances.
So what I’ve created is different from most online courses but don’t take my word for it you can listen to the chat I had with three students above.
– It’s self-paced. It is an online, global course. I have friends that are in London. I have friends that are in like on each coast. I have friends like in Australia. It’s really, really cool. Don’t know each other at first, right? And we meet for study partner sessions, where we go over lessons together. And we have lots of things in common because we’re all trying to figure out how to make a living as a artist, which nobody teaches you how to do. I would say I went to college, where they taught me how to make art, but they didn’t teach me why I wanted to make art or how to make a living at it, not that any of them did it themselves.
– Ann knows how to do this. She puts her schedule C statement up. There is a picture of it of her first year of sales. So, she made over $100,000 her first year. I don’t think I’m gonna do that my first year. I have different goals for myself. But like she puts this up as a piece of evidence that she has made money as an artist. So that’s one of the main reasons I signed up for the course. You just get on and go through the lessons, and it’s really exciting to have instructions on how to do this because I’ve never seen them before. And then, it’s just so unexpected that it goes into who you are as a person. You learn these things about yourself that people are usually too uncomfortable to dig down and do. So, you come up with this understanding of yourself, which is just such an unexpected value in the course that I didn’t know I was gonna get. And it really cemented why I want to do art, and it makes me excited to move forward. So, there’s friends in the course. It’s all self-paced. Go. Sign up.
– I describe you, Ann, as a doer and a done-r.
– You have to put the dash in there, so it’s in reference to doing and having done something. Because I think to me that’s my biggest selling point. She’s basically done what I’m trying to do, and she’s describing to us in great detail how to do it. And she’s even kind of doing it to us because she’s kinda turned her course or turned her own course on herself. If that makes sense, and I think that’s, to me, that’s where the most value lies because it’s not like you show up with a book and you read and you have quizzes and blahbly blah. You basically show up because we are your paint on canvas, technically. And the emotional part is what we’re developing as we go through the course and as we figure everything out in order to help get us closer to our smarter goals, acquiring our milestone map accomplishments. So, it’s hard, very hard to describe it but feeling it is kinda guaranteed. So, it’s like sending them, like Nadine mentioned, sending them to the Saturday webinars. I think that’s definitely a place to start because then it’s something that they can do on their own that isn’t really pressure or me trying to show them something or hey look, at this video of her or read this blog post she wrote. It’s kind of a, look at her in her home environment and listen to what either the students, or non students the participants are saying and asking and just to figure out that there’s another way to sell your art. Than the conventional wisdom way.
– And I think for me, the sustainable part is what got my attention. And it’s not just learn how to sell this widget. It’s learn how to make your artistic/entrepreneuristic endeavor, sustainable, and growable as you are doing with your offerings to us.
– Wait, yeah.
– So I do kinda get tongue tied, trying to describe, no it’s not a scam no she’s not taking you for a ride. But yes she is, taking her own course by herself and teaching it to us, kind of way.
– Mhhhm, yeah.
– So it’s almost like never before seen, doer and done-r.
– I don’t teach you anything that I haven’t done,
– That hasn’t worked for me like, I don’t just, repurpose
– and that’s what I try and stress to people.
– Yeah. I don’t repurpose other people’s lessons. A lot of hard creation, just so you guys know, is repurposed recycled lessons. This is all stuff I’ve done, or I do. Like for sure. Okay, so sounds like it’s more than an online course then.
– It’s about as interactive as life could get.
– [Nadine Voiceover] Okay so this program called MAKING Art Making MONEY Semester is this interactive, online course where you learn from an artist mentor, who has actually made not just made, but sold, over six figures of her own art for over a decade, and she’s been training other artists to set up their own art enterprises and learn how to make money from their art as well. And she does this by teaching us how to create value above and beyond our art and actually sell that.
– So I get this a lot, what does that even mean.
– So that means, what you do is you, because as artists your product is emotion you actually learn how to understand what you stand for, and what you stand against. You actually learn how to understand what your creative mission is. And you learn, you basically from that mission you realize what one problem in the world, that you can help solve, and you can actually use your art and all of your skills and your life lessons to accomplish that and actually really help people. So that they understand the value in handing over their credit card for that piece of art and for that experience that you offer them.
– Is that something Nadine, you feel like you can deliver now? You can, do you do that now?
– Offer value above and beyond your art?
– I already have, and this is hilarious because instead of showing any, instead of showing a creepy artist statement at my booths and art fairs, I actually have written a mission statement and I’ve actually had people come into my booth, read it their jaws drop they look at me with goosebumps and sometimes tears in their eyes.
– And say oh my god this is so spot on and then they stay and have conversations with me and them just reading what I had to say and what I’ve learned in my own life experience gives them value. Whether they buy anything from me or not they’ve gotten value just from that conversation, just from that reassurance that they’re not crazy and that they’re dealing with all of these distractions and that they feel a little bit sad, or disempowered and this is a way to help to feel their own inner guidance again and that they’re not alone, and that they can connect to first themselves. And then literally to all of live around them in a way that works for them. But what’s really cool about this program is that you get to claim all of who you are. Not just as an artist but as a person because my life lessons and my life experiences are very different from all the other artists that are there and even if we have similar purposes all of our skills and abilities help us to come up with very unique ways of serving our collectors. And what’s amazing is because of that, we understand that we’re such unique individuals that there’s no point in trying to compete, there’s no jealousy it’s just supportive. There’s no, you know, nobody’s going after the same piece of the pie. We’re all creating what we’ve learned about is a blue ocean strategy, and it creates a lot of positive momentum. ‘Cause you get all the, you get access to all these minds from all over the world with different perspectives but they’re all very helpful to you. You can connect with various study partners, and they’re all people that, they’re people of your own choosing, you don’t get assigned. You basically gravitate to the people that you enjoy and that can help you and that you can help. Because what’s really interesting too is sometimes you teach something that you’ve learned and that actually just helps to cement it even more.
– Definitely. Yep.
– [Ann] Wow.
– Where’s my PENUP?
– Yeah really, you can’t.
– Nadine, you could be like, a radio host, you’re so like, articulate and to the point.
– [Brady] Articulate.
– I guess, I’ve been practicing this stuff in real life that’s what I love about it,
– is my way of doing the course. Just a little different than everyone else’s, like I enjoy being a student but I really find the power of this course is I’ll learn something and then I go out there and actually do it for real.
– And when I learn, yeah I learn how to make it better every single time I practice.
– Yeah you don’t need to wait, until the end. You can start right away, right? If you start in the beginning, you can start off using code to joy right away. You can start on, as you’re coming to your why use that right away. And that’s how, it was designed intentionally like that. So you don’t have to wait until the end, implement and start iterating and benefiting and I’m, you sure you don’t want to use an artist statement? Nadine, like, are you sure?
– Those things were always so creepy to try to write when I thought I needed one
– And it’s so funny, because I’ve never, I can’t do that. ‘Cause also I worked in advertising for a really long time.
– oh better.
– Where my whole life training as an employed person is how do you make something relevant, how do you make it about them and not you. And I always thought that artist statements were really creepy and full of BS and I used to just secretly laugh at them and actually had some ad concepts about horrible, obtuse artist statements as the idea for ads where we’d just laugh at them. And they’re appalling.
– They’re, have you seen artybollocks.com? Where you can generate your own artist statements that you don’t have to.
– That’s hilarious, I haven’t seen that then.
– For real.
– But yeah, I have actually now had people asking me to mail it to them or can they take a picture of it.
– Sell it! Sell it!
– Yeah, one woman.
– Hold on a second, Nadine, letter press that. Letter press that stuff and sell it.
– That’s what someone told me to do. Just the other day.
– And I’m like, damn.
– sell it.
– definitely that’s on the list for sure.
– Okay you got it.
– Your mission statement?
– Prettymuch, yeah people love it like they fall in love with it Abbey.
– If you wanna read it at home it’s a thing of beauty on its own, or like you think it’s a good idea to monetize the idea.
– It’s giving itself. Absolutely, that’s your intellectual property Nadine. Go make some money.
– Yeah and you’re this is amazing because actually it might have been Ruth-Ann that said, you need to make a poster of that and sell it.