Ann Rea, Artist & Mentor interviews Artist & Student, Eimear Kavanagh, Liverpool, England
– This is Rebel. This is what, the star of the show, but we also have Eimear, right?
– From Liverpool, England, which is actually where my family’s from. And I’m coming to you from San Francisco, California. And Eimear is a student in the MAKING Art Making MONEY semester. And I’ve just been watching her posts in our Facebook group and I can tell she’s making some progress. So I always like to highlight, oh hello, I always like to highlight that. And I always like to find out why is this, what is this student doing that’s helping them make progress so that other artists can benefit from it.
What were your challenges as an artist?
– The not having money and not having any direction. I was stuck in the sort of mentality that the good things don’t come to me and don’t happen to me, and that it was too difficult to make a living out of my art. But actually before I started the course, I was, I think, to a year leading up to that I was beginning to feel that I was kind of not really in the same groove or vibration as everyone else around me. So I’ve always been within art communities in Liverpool and I never really felt that I was lonely because I always had people around me, like in studios and stuff like that.
But when I look back now, I think I really was lonely because I didn’t have the same sort of support as I’m getting from the semester from the group. And the fact that it felt that everyone around me was like my competition and there was no kind of genuine sort of feeling of happiness for each other when somebody achieved something. So, all that has changed for me.
Definitely my outlook, the way that I feel about myself, and my approach and my confidence is like skyrocketed.
– [Ann] Nice.
– So I joined end of January, and I’ve had four commissions in a row, one after another.
– Which is like more than I’ve achieved in 10 years. Everyone is approaching me. Like I’ve not even been going out to look for the work, which is amazing and I think that I just feel like I’m manifesting it, that I’m putting it out there. Because my confidence is improved so much as well, the way that I’ve been presenting myself to people has changed a lot, like massively. And I feel really professional when I’m talking to people. So I think a lot of my fears seem to have gone.
So it’s like you just feel like you’re in this really safe space where it’s okay to sort of express your achievements and you know that people aren’t gonna be jealous around you. And you’re not alone in trying to achieve your goals and everybody is on a bit of a high.
– It’s just so refreshing, it’s so refreshing.
– For those of you who are not enrolled in the program, just a word to the wise, if you’re around people who aren’t happy for you when you accomplish things, you have got to get away from them or they’re gonna pull you down.
Where do you start to sell more art?
– Absolutely, yeah.
– Those of you who are not in the program, it’s just so, so important to understand that we listen to what you’re saying. You’re really talking about your psychology shifting more than anything and that’s what yielded tangible financial results. It’s 80% psychology, it’s 20% strategy. So you’re so on the right track, and if you’re out there and you feel like you’ve got a low sense of self-confidence and focus, you really do need to work on your psychology because it will have an impact, a real tangible impact.
– Yeah, it totally does. It’s a complete inside job, and I feel like it’s such a sort of a spiritual journey and process on this course, which is what attracted it to me in the first place because it’s different to any other sort of business course.
What if I want to quit my job?
– I can tell you if you don’t like your day job, if you have a goal and a plan to get to that goal, your day job’s gonna be 10 times more tolerable because you’ll see it as a means to an end, you’ll see it as a bridge to where you want to go.
Why artist statements don’t work.
So what she wrote was, “Last night I removed my artist statement from my website, “and it felt good,” all caps, GOOD. “Excuse me, people, I’m changing.” So, I am gonna, I am unapologetically not a fan of artist statements because I think they’re horrible, self-involved, cringe-worthy exercises that no one can relate to. They are just as painful to read as they are to write, and they’re useless. And what you really have to do is connect with your target market by sharing your mission. That’s what you should be talking about and not your process or when I was a child I wanted to be an artist, usually starts like that. So,, how did that feel? I mean, why did you say, okay, I’m getting rid of this thing? What made you do that? What changed?
– It was making me cringe for years, and I felt that I was doing it because that was what I was supposed to do.
Where are opportunities to sell your art?
– Because there are arts councils and nonprofit organizations that commonly put out these emails and RFPs, and here’s the thing, what you gotta realize is there’s thousands of other artists trying to nab that one small opportunity, and you’re hoping that someone will bestow it upon you, but you’ve got to change your mindset. And you have to go from instead of hoping that someone will give you a crumb, you have to shift it to say I’m gonna go create value and I’m gonna get paid for it. And I’m gonna go find my opportunities. And that’s a very different way of looking at the world.
– Yeah, totally agree.
Should other artists enroll?
They’ve got absolutely nothing to lose, and I just feel like it’s gone way beyond what I was expecting just in the first couple of months.
And it’s just, for me, I just feel like my life is just turning around. It’s just so rapidly, and I’ve just had the most amazing study session with someone. And it’s just the energy that you get from that and it’s just such a safe, loving community.
And, yeah, for me the first time I discovered it as well and I started looking into it, the biggest fear of money came up and I was like, oh God, can I afford it?
And then just within a short space of time of sort of looking into it and thinking about it, I realized that that was what I needed.
And I just found the money, I borrowed the money, and now it’s like that money feels like pennies. It just, it’s worth everything and I feel so guided and just energetically very happy and safe.
– That’s awesome. So you had four commissions. Have you earned your tuition investment back?
– Yes, I have!
– You’re an even–
– Which is amazing. And I started off thinking, oh my God, I’ve only got a year to make that money, you know? And it’s nothing.
– No, it’s not. I mean, it’s to, you have to, I mean it’s designed to help you succeed. I’m notpeople forget that it’s designed to help you succeed. I want you to succeed
– Yeah, it totally worked, 100% worked.
– As long as you do the work, right? I mean you’ve done the work, and I know you’re not even through all eight courses. Where are you at?
– I’m only getting towards the end of the first course.
– Oh, geez, you’re kidding me. Okay, so just everybody, there are eight courses.
– I know, and I’m like I love getting to the end of each lesson and waiting to see what the next one’s gonna be. It’s just so exciting. It’s lovely.
– Wow, so imagine where you’ll be after course eight.
– I know! Yeah, I’m so pleased.
– Well, that’s fantastic. I just, I love to just share, let my students share that there is a different way of looking at the world of selling their art, and it is possible. And of course you don’t have to take my word for it, you can listen to my students. And if you’re not enrolled, then at least pick up some of the things that we talked about here, which is mind your company. You’re gonna be the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and they’re having an effect on you. And your psychology is the foundation. The strategy, I have lots of strategies and they’re very effective, but they’ll only penetrate your brain if you’re receptive and you have confidence in yourself and you’re willing to take risks and open up. So, good job.
– Yeah, I try.
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