TRANSCRIPT Ep. 299: Successful Artist Insights


Priya Gore: The most important thing, which I have really thought about and have made a lot of strategies around, is treating and behaving as a very high-end gallery. Like thinking of yourself. If you want to sell art, think of yourself as a high-end gallery and present yourself to the world. Post your in-situ pictures, post testimonials, post close-ups of artwork. But it’s not necessary to post in-progress videos and things like that. It’s absolutely unnecessary.

Speaker 2: It’s the Inspiration Place podcast with artist Miriam Schulman. Welcome to the Inspiration Place Podcast, an art world insider podcast for artists by an artist where each week we go behind the scenes to uncover the perspiration and inspiration behind the art. And now your host, Miriam Schulman.

Miriam Schulman: Hey there, it’s Miriam Schulman, and you’re listening to episode 299 of the Inspiration Place podcast. I am so glad that you’re here today. Today, we have a very special episode. It is my successful Artist Insight panel. I pulled together artists from all over the world – think Canada, Australia, the US, and do you have any other countries I don’t remember? Oh yeah, Ireland. So we have Europe, Australia, Canada, and America all represented in today’s show, and all different kinds of artists. We have a realistic bird painter, a landscape artist, a felt artist, an abstract artist. So no matter what kind of art you create and where you live in the world, they’re going to share the strategies that have made them successful, as well as the mindset that you need to thrive as an artist. You’re absolutely going to love it, and you’re going to want to – if you’re not driving your car – you may want to take notes. You may want to bookmark some pages for that. Stay tuned.

Welcome to our Successful Artist Insights call. Our next guest is a born and raised Vancouver Islander who moved away to the Prairies for 14 years. The beauty of the island she once took for granted has been magnified upon her 2004 return, and she now spends much of her time exploring and painting this amazing place. She aims to remind herself and others to stay connected to nature through her paintings. Please welcome, Cindy Mawle.

Our next guest uses wool fiber to translate the world she sees into hand-felted artwork and home furnishings. She incorporates wool from her small herd of alpacas and natural dye and inspiration from her flower garden in rural PA, allowing her to express her view of nature in a harmonious and organic way. Please welcome, Linda Doucette.

Our next guest creates a form of expressionist abstraction inspired by the mystery of life and her need to describe it in paint form, portraying a sense of the unseen, ethereal energy. Born in Belfast, she gains inspiration from the rugged coastline and the wild landscapes of Northern Ireland. Please welcome, Ciara Gilmore.

Alright, now I want to introduce our next guest who has a deep love for art as a young child. She’s from India, she became an engineer (her family’s expectations) but she sought out time to sketch wherever her work took her. After settling in Australia and becoming a mother, she left her engineering career behind to pursue on a new bold and beautiful phase of her life as a full-time fine artist, inspired by the Australian wilderness. Please welcome, Priya Gore.

We’ve got all our rock star artists who all of them are Artist Incubator alumni, and all of them are featured in my book, except for Priya, whom I didn’t know about until after I started writing it. You’ll find Linda, Cindy, and Ciara all in the book.

So, our first question: How has the Passion to Profit framework equipped you with the necessary business skills to sell your art? So basically this is the framework that’s both in the book as well as what you’ve had inside the incubator program. Linda, why don’t you go first?

Linda Doucette: To start with, As you know, productivity was not ever my problem, but I was selling my work too inexpensively and couldn’t keep up. So the profit framework helps people that need to figure out their production abilities. But that wasn’t my issue. My issue was pricing and then managing my time and my pricing. And so learning how to to do that was a major, major thing.

Miriam Schulman: And remember all the conversations we had where you would come to me and you said, “My problem is I can’t create fast enough.” And I said, “There’s an easy solution to that.”

Linda Doucette: You’ve to slow down the sales by raising the prices. And then that kind of didn’t even work.

Miriam Schulman: Which meant you had to keep raising it more, right?

Linda Doucette: Yeah. Yup. And I’m in a situation now where I’ve just done another increase. I have a show this weekend so I’m like a little scared, but, you know, being brave and doing it. So up they go. So. And that was.

Miriam Schulman: Just give some idea so people can really put some concrete ideas around this. Can you share like maybe where your prices were before and now what they’re going to be at this next show.

Linda Doucette: My mid-size pieces, I used to sell for like $200, $250. They went up to $500. They’re now at $650. So it’s been almost a three fold increase.

Miriam Schulman: Congratulations. I know they can keep going more, by the way. Ciara,, how about you? How has it affected your business?

Ciara Gilmore: I was kind of relying on just having good art or what I thought was good art and any kind of basic business skills that I had, but I really didn’t understand the sales process. So that was really important. You know, you can’t just ignore that. You can’t just be a painter and hide away in your studio. You have to connect with people. You have to learn how to sell your art. And that really was something that those skills I had, I mean, my art business has just exploded since I did the incubator. It’s amazing. And I use those skills every single day. And one of the best things that that I really that the productivity was, was my problem and batching my workload, you know, prioritizing was really important to learn how to do that. And, and also, whenever I met you first, I was starting to paint big and my prices were for me, I thought, you know, as high as they could go. But learning more about the psychology of selling art and the importance of a connection and selling emotion.

And I knew that that my art was worth more than than than what I was pitching it up even at that that time. And I just didn’t have the confidence. But with those types of skills and understanding the teachings behind me, I was able to increase my prices and increase them regularly probably 3 or 4 times a year. And and I went from selling probably 5 or 600 pounds and the top would have been about 900 to 1000. And now I’m selling on average pieces that are two and a half, 3,000 pounds. And I’m even selling those from my website, which I never thought I could do because I thought people had to see art in person, in a gallery or in a space. But it’s just everything. It’s funny, you know, whenever, these positive things happen, I go, Oh my gosh, I know that I couldn’t have got to where I am without the incubator, for sure. There’s no doubt about that. So, yeah, it is amazing.

Cindy Mawle: Well, I think my prices were already up there pretty good when I started. But what I needed more than anything was like I told you, Miriam, right at the beginning was I needed to get my ducks in a row because I had a great ideas here, here, here. I was working on my art. I was doing this. I’m teaching classes and I felt like it was all just flying out there in the universe and I needed to pull it all back in and get some kind of get my ducks in a row, get some kind of an organized thing going on. So it definitely helped me, I need to pop in and say hi to Miriam once in a while

Miriam Schulman: How has the framework armed you or equipped with the necessary skills?

Priya Gore: Yeah, like for me, it’s very similar to Linda’s experience. So with me, my production was not slow as such. I paint fast, but because I paint big, I don’t produce as many pieces in one year. So my limitation is like 30 to 40 as per current. You know, um, the way I paint, the problem was, I had no inventory at one point. I used to have like two pieces available online at three, four different platforms and they used to just get sold. And I think the biggest for me is pricing. So I used to sell like one by two meters. So three by I think three by six, roughly size, three feet by six feet for $4,000 before, which was for me pretty huge. It was really good pricing for me. But after I doubled it, my rate at which I was selling slowed down, which is which was actually the strategy, but I still was selling at a slower rate and I was selling at double the price. So it all made just perfect sense. Like when I look back from last year, first two months when I didn’t join this program, what I made is actually a little bit less than what I made in last the first two months of this year, even though I ended up selling less than half of the product.

So it’s really like the whole dynamics completely changed. So I have to now I can just relax, and focus on my production. there is still demand just that it’s not selling at that rate, but it will because it’s something new and it’s still selling. The pricing was a big, huge takeaway.

Miriam Schulman: I love that. All right. And I love the way everyone is sharing. I think it’s really important, especially for us women, to to learn, to get comfortable talking about money and sharing the prices. That’s something that men do easily. And women are taught that that’s not okay. And that definitely hurts us when we can’t collaborate and share and talk openly about these things. And I really appreciate that y’all are sharing this with everybody because otherwise it’s too vague to talk about. I raised my prices, but to hear that you went from $4000 to $8000 for the same art and it’s still selling or everything that you all are sharing, it’s so helpful. Okay. So the next question is what specific strategy did you learn that has helped you in your sales and marketing effort? Linda.

Linda Doucette: Specifically that selling art is about listening. You know, you discuss that in the book as well. But that was a really important point, not to just start talking to people and telling them my story. I mean, the story is important, but it has to be, their story is part of it too. And that, art is an emotional purchase for people. So you have to really engage with them on that emotional level. And so for me, it was people are always interested in my technique and I’m—don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about the emotion of the piece. And so making that transition is really helped, just gently steer people back into the emotional connection with the work. And it really has helped with sales tremendously.

Miriam Schulman: That’s beautiful. And what I want people to understand is that a lot of times our collectors will ask us questions that are concrete, questions like how long did it take you? Or what is your process? And they’re only asking that because they don’t know what else to ask you. And you don’t have to answer things exactly. I’m learning this all the time as a podcast guest now that I’ve been on this podcast tour. When people ask me questions and I’m like, “That’s a great question. But what’s really interesting is…” so I feel like a politician. I just like pivot. This is the question that I want to answer. Too bad what you asked me, Cindy, what was the specific strategy that has helped you?

Cindy Mawle: Um, is email considered a specific strategy?

Miriam Schulman: It absolutely is.

Cindy Mawle: You remember how I kind of pushed back on that and I was like, no way, no way. I’m not doing this. I’m not sending an email to everybody on a regular basis because I don’t want to bother anybody. But that is the best thing I could have done, because for me, it also tapped into my writing abilities. I love to write and and so I try to keep it short, sweet and I’m building a relationship with people and I get so many compliments when I’m at outdoor shows, people will come up to me and say, I love your email, but they come up to me like, “Hi, Cindy, how are you doing?” And I’m like, who’s this person, But they’re on my email list and they’re a friend, right? So it’s, it’s helped hugely, and a really [inaudible] really high open rate. So it’s good. And a lot of them have bought art and they are very interested in what I’m doing. So yeah, that’s probably my favorite. I got a list of them, but that’s, that’s number one. I think for me.

Miriam Schulman: I love that. How about you, Priya?

Priya Gore: Yeah. So for me it has been two things. First thing is, you know, I used to believe and feel that I’m very confident person because I have led huge teams like, you know, not huge, but very important teams in big, huge organizations over the years. And I used to feel I’m the most confident woman out there. And when I actually started participating in events or small art showcases and things like that, I realized that I have zero confidence when it comes to selling. Like it constantly reverberates in my mind, taking up space, right? How comfortable men are taking us. Literally, they stand like this, literally like this. I have observed it like they they block people’s way. And all the women are like kind of, you know, body language. It’s so apparent everywhere. And that’s what actually the biggest takeaway I took, like when it comes to sales and talking to people in person is just standing up straight and taking up space. You know, you are the center of attention there and you should, you know, behave that way and you should talk to people that way. And like you have to be bit commanding and bit authoritative, so that people are trying to, you know, reach out to you, come to you, like these things really matter. And I think for me, the biggest thing is kind of mindset. At the same time taking up space. And the second major thing for me, Miriam, was which I think, we have had a lot of, discussions around it is nurturing the customers I already have and hand out cards every month. And again, email is part of that. You know, you keep on nurturing and nurturing every year. I tend to thank them in a little bigger way by sending them few of my things. So things like that, I think it makes a huge difference, like just valuing the customer base you already have.

Miriam Schulman: Love that. All right, Ciara.

Ciara Gilmore: And one of the best strategies I learned, again, like some of the others, was related to email. And I think a really important point was that social media is not a stable way to run your business. Yes, it’s a useful tool to help with your marketing and you can kind of use it in conjunction with other tools. But having your own email list and having those people that are signed up and you know, they have decided to give you your email so they want to invest and hear from you. But I had been really relying on Instagram too much. Didn’t understand the importance of an email list. And so, you know, developing lead magnets and, you know, ways kind of to entice us or invite people to come and join and subscribe to your email list. That was really, really useful information and, and was able to build on my email list every single week. And it’s great because whenever I started off, I think I had 100 maybe, or maybe maybe 150 or something. Now I’ve got over 8000, so that’s within a couple of years, you know, doing consistent building and and always a call to action, subscribe to my email list, all these little details that you don’t think are important.

And one of the main things is that call to action. It’s about telling people what to do. It’s giving them an action. And at the end of each of your conversations with them, whether it be an email or social media, having that, you know, click this button and go and have a look at my new collection here and subscribe to my email list by doing this and guiding them to to make that action. That was really important, a very simple thing, but a really important thing. And I find that that’s really useful. And also with email and it’s about relationships and building connections and, and didn’t really understand that. I remember when I first started writing my emails, it was all about me. Look at me, Hey, I’m a great artist, but you taught me it’s not about you, Ciara. You know it’s about them. It’s about what you can do for them. And that really was a revelation. And once I got my head around that, I started writing better emails. I’m still not very good at them, but I’m getting there. They’re not as scary anymore.

Miriam Schulman: You’re good enough.

Ciara Gilmore: Oh, thank you.

Miriam Schulman: One thing that I’m always getting asked from people who either read my book or they’re thinking about doing the incubator program is, is it necessary to have an online class to make a business as an artist? So both Linda and Ciara actually came to me at the same time. And Linda, you never put in place your online class, is that right?

Linda Doucette: No.

Miriam Schulman: So how would you answer that question? Is it necessary to have an online class and have a thriving art business?

Linda Doucette: Clearly not. My business is rocketing last year and I have no online class. I do the occasional in-person workshop, but. I was really thinking I needed an online class. And it just as you said to me, if you haven’t done it by now, you really don’t want to do it. So I’m not doing it.

Miriam Schulman: I don’t remember saying that. But yes. Priya, is it necessary to have an online class to be an online class teacher?

Priya Gore: So not at all. So, you know something which I really thought about over the last one year is actually medium. A lot of artists, you know, they follow other artists. What happens is, you know, you see on YouTube all the successful artists, even though they are not, from sales point of view, but you feel they are very successful because they have 100K, you know, followers on YouTube or 200K on Instagram. And what do you see them doing? You know, posting different tips and techniques for artists, posting videos, how to and posting in progress videos. I think the most important thing, which I have really thought about and have made a lot of strategies around is, treating and behaving as a very high end gallery. Like thinking of yourself. If you want to sell art, think of yourself as a high end gallery and present yourself to the world. Post your in-situ pictures, post testimonials, post close ups of artwork. But it’s not necessary to post in progress videos and things like that. It’s absolutely unnecessary. A collector is not necessarily interested in that. They want to see how the artwork will look in their home, how the stretcher bar quality is, what quality of paint you’re using, how archival it is, you know, consider it as a product and just take two, three different galleries who are doing really good. Make them your role model and follow their Instagram strategy. Follow their email strategy, follow—just behave as a gallery because you are your own gallery, you know, online, physical, whatever it is. So that is something which I found really important when it comes to your brand and social media present presence. If you don’t teach as a, you know, your main profession or things like that. If you do that, that’s amazing. You know, and having artists as followers is always good, but that is not what you’re catering to.

Miriam Schulman: I love the way you phrased that. It’s brilliant. Thank you for sharing. Ciara, I’m very curious what you’re going to say.

Ciara Gilmore: Well, the last time we spoke, I had just completed, I think I had about three different courses and, and they were running and doing, they did extremely well. And then I got to a point in my life where I had to make a decision. I had to decide, do I want to focus solely on my art? I wasn’t getting enough time in the studio, even though I was making a lot of money from these courses and. I kind of decided to to shelve them. And I mean, they’re still in the background, you know, but I’m not promoting them. And I am making more money now from just selling my art. And it’s easier because I’m just going into the studio and like Priya saying and you’re doing a big piece, you’re selling it for more money and and you know, there’s a lot of extra things involved with running an online course. And I learned so much from that which I’ve been able to transfer over into my selling art business, you know, rather than selling courses. And the experience has been so fulfilling and I probably will still think of another course and do other courses. You know, that’s there’s I haven’t stopped, but it’s not my focus. My focus is painting, it’s art, it’s commissions. It’s my passion. And I used to think that I had to in order to make a really good, salary or income as an artist, I would have to do online courses. And I went through that and learned it. I experienced it, I loved it. And then I decided I love painting more. So that’s my focus now. So things have changed a bit, but it’s all been an amazing experience.

Miriam Schulman: All right. And Cindy, I’m not sure how you’re going to answer this question because you are building an online art class.

Cindy Mawle: I did the first starter acrylic course and that went really well and I’m just waiting to just leave it on my site so it’ll just be evergreen. And then I’m doing a tree painting course. So, um, it’s fun and, and I’m all about having fun, like, and, and if you can make money while you’re having fun, well, all the better, you know? So that’s kind of how I look at my art and my classes and, and everything I do. I would just like to have them on my site so then I can get back to really seriously concentrating on my painting and I’ll have that little bit of money coming in in the back door all the time as people sign up.

Miriam Schulman: I love that. I think the question that I get asked is, do you have to have one to be successful? And I think unanimously we’ve all shown that you do not have to have one. Can you share a specific success story from the past year or the past two years that created a shift in helping you sell your art? We’re going to start with Ciara.

Ciara Gilmore: Probably commissions. So I used to freak out. Get a little bit stressed out and pressurized and get myself into a big tizzy over conditions but I’ve learned to embrace them and I’ve set up a process which makes them a lot easier for me and for the customer. Um, and I’ve done, there was a commission that I’ve done quite recently and that really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I had to do two very long, slim panels. Never done that size before. Um, and they were going into a superyacht. So really high end pressure. And I just thought, you know what, Kira, you can do this. You can do this. And I had to, it was the mindset that I already had, but it’s just creeping up and doing more and more things that are outside your comfort zone and that are just, uh, creating this path that you’re, you’re, you’re going on that’s leading to lots of other opportunities. Um, and also another commission that I would not have done a couple of years ago. I would have said no. I would have been too frightened and was again one of the biggest ones and again, a different size. And it was, you know, 100 and this is you guys do inches in America. I’m a centimeters girl, so two meters by a meter and a half. And I got that finished. And that just was not the pressure, the stress that, you know, that that had been previously there. So I think I’ve matured and my confidence has improved and all the skills that I’ve learned along the way and from the incubator has helped me to be a more confident professional artist and I think professional is really important. And that is what you do. You know, you will become whenever you apply all of these different learnings from the incubator and the book. The book is brilliant, by the way. I loved it.

Miriam Schulman: All right. Priya, what do you have to say? What was was the story that created a shift for you?

Priya Gore: There are many of them. But like one of the recent ones is, you know. Like because we prize the artwork. I used to, based on my earnings or my capacity and shifting it from there to pricing it on your customer’s capacity. You know, so your customer base broadens. Which you even cannot think about. So last year, two of the schools, one from Sydney and one from Brisbane, one is private and one is public school. They collected my art through various channels. One was done through one of the school leaders. They bought it and they’ll be leasing it to the school. So you don’t have to think about how they are going to arrange the money. You know, it’s like you just focus on creating art and pricing it to the confidence. And a big organization will buy it. A person will buy it, anybody can buy it. So for me, it was like, you know, having that, not thinking about that. And, you know, two of the major big pieces were collected by schools, which was a for me, it was really amazing, especially the public school in Sydney who ended up collecting one of the pieces because I am a product of a really low key public school with Marathi medium. So it was really touching for me that a public school has my artwork there. Maybe for a few hundred years now at least. Maybe. Fingers crossed.

Miriam Schulman: Linda, what’s the story you want to share?

Linda Doucette: Like Ciara said, I think confidence in a slightly different way, though. I think confidence in that I’m not feeling so panicked at a show any longer. Like I just realized that things will happen. I just stay in my in my comfort zone mentally and don’t feel pressured by like if I’m having a bad day at the show, like not a lot of sales. And this past summer I was at a new show and it was very hot and sales weren’t that great, but I was just, you know, relaxed about it. It’s like, you know, it’s fine. It’s a beautiful day. I’m outside, I’m surrounded by artists. And a woman came in and she loved a big piece and she really loved it. She kept coming in and looking at it, and then she didn’t buy it. She bought something smaller. I’m like, okay, um, I didn’t worry about it. And then, you know, that night I got back to my hotel room and I looked at my email and I had you have a sale on your website. And here this woman had gone home and she decided she had to have that piece. So she went online and bought it and I ended up having to ship it to her. But it was the biggest online sale I had ever made. I’d never sold something over $2,000 off my website ever. I didn’t know it was possible. And that really shifted my my mindset about what I could do. And then a few weeks later, I sold another $2,000 something off my website. So I was like, Oh, okay. So now I’m very just like, All right, just go with it.

Miriam Schulman: Congratulations. That’s great news. Cindy, is there a story you want to share?

Cindy Mawle: Everybody keeps talking about the confidence and that like for selling and I remember we talked about that it’s like a pricing line and it doesn’t matter where you put your price, there will be people on one end that will say it’s too expensive and people on the other end that’ll say you’re not charging enough. And and when after I heard that, I really heard that in people when they were coming to my booth and that and I just felt so much better because the people that thought, oh, it was too expensive probably wouldn’t even buy it if it was even half that price anyway. So I just sort of got that out of my head and carried on and, and yeah, I’m looking forward to this year for doing the outside outdoor festivals and stuff this year we’ll see how much braver I am.

Miriam Schulman: Fantastic. In what ways has the sales process you learned in the Artist Incubator prepared you to navigate the art market and engage with collectors? So some of these things we’ve already talked about. So I think it’s just more of a nuanced question. I don’t think everybody has to answer, but just who wants to chime in? Something about that, about specifically how it’s how you engage differently with collectors during the sales process. Linda.

Linda Doucette: I think the term collectors and kind of recognizing that some people are not just one time buyers and that these collectors can be really special people. And so doing a little something more, like you said, to nurture them, um, to go ahead and send them that that card or make that phone call or tell them, you know what, I have a, a special piece that’s in a gallery. You might like it or just talk about it in a way that intrigues them or a piece that’s in a show and kind of. You know, get there, get them juiced up a little bit about seeing some more of your work and make them feel special. Like, you know, no one else here is seeing this. But but I’m telling you about it and giving you a first chance to see this great new piece, things like that.

Miriam Schulman: Ciara.

Ciara Gilmore: Yeah. I think. I love chatting to potential collectors and and previous collectors and, you know, just even bringing it straight back to to what’s up and just having these conversations and sending photographs. And it’s just almost like it gets to a point where you’re chatting with a friend. And I love sharing things like about my process and why I do things. And as soon as you do that, it connects to something that that they’ve experienced before. And then you come together and I get goosebumps a lot whenever that moment happens between you and a collector when when you recognize what they’re looking for and saying a commission or, um, you know, they tell you what they see in your painting because my paintings are abstracted a lot. You get a lot of different feedback about what they see and how it makes them feel. And, you know, you can just nurture them in those conversations that you have. And and that’s why I love email, because sometimes when I say I’ll send an email out and I get a response, then you can you can start chatting by email with, with your, your subscribers. And they feel, oh my gosh, she’s talking to me. You know, she’s, she’s replying to my email. Oh. And they automatically feel that connection to you. And when people buy art, they don’t just want to buy a painting that they like the look of. They want to invest in the artist. They want to get to know the artist as well. And so those conversations are really important.

Miriam Schulman: One thing I just wanted to point out to everyone who’s listening is something else I get asked a lot is do you need it to have a specific kind of art to make this work? And one thing that I love about the four of you who are here today is every single one of you have very different kinds of artwork. Linda has the felt art. Cindy does landscapes, Ciara does abstract and Priya does birds. And you just do birds. Is that right?No, that’s not true.

Priya Gore: Only birds. Yeah. Yeah.

Miriam Schulman: Only birds. Okay. No, you were shaking your head no. But the point is, is that you all do very different kinds of art. That’s number one I wanted to point out. And the other thing I wanted to point out is all four of you are each from a different country. So Priya’s in Australia. Ciara is in Northern Ireland, Cindy’s in Canada and Linda is in the US. So this is what we’re talking about. This isn’t just for Americans and this isn’t for a specific kind of art. Okay. So what would you give advice to a new artist who wants to know what the first step is?

Cindy Mawle: Think professionally. Even things like price tags don’t handwrite your price tags, make nice price tags that are all the same when you do any kind of promos. Like paper. I know you don’t really like the the business cards in that, b even the post cards that you were talking about have everything look good and professional, and that will make you feel professional. And then you will act more professional and be more professional.

Miriam Schulman: Lily wants to know, did you start your email list with a freebie? So Ciara might want to answer this one.

Ciara Gilmore: Yeah. Yeah. So you can create a lead magnet. I didn’t even know what a lead magnet was, but it’s basically something that you give to your subscribers in exchange for their email address. So that could be something like, um, maybe a guide on how to hang artwork or, uh, maybe how to go about buying original artwork because a lot of people are first time buyers and they’re scared and they need to have that confidence to actually part with their money for that investment. So something like a guide as to how, um, you can go about buying original art and what you might want to consider and that type of thing. And you can just, um, give them a PDF and you can do that very easily on Canva or um, Google documents or whatever. You can keep it really simple, but it’s just that information that you’re giving in exchange for their email address and you can also give them discounts as well. You might want to start off with a one time 15 or 20% off your online website. Um, and that could be a good way to, to get them onto your email list. So there are different ways that that’s, I find that very useful. And um, yes, definitely. It really helps to get people to sign up.

Miriam Schulman: Okay. And Jan wants to know how did the Artist Incubator change your confidence level?

Linda Doucette: Oh, sure. Um, well, in addition to the coaching that Miriam does, Sean Roney is a mindset coach and she works with the group. Basically once a week sort of a thing. And she’s fantastic. She’s fabulous. She is so patient with us. She listens and gets us to really think about our emotions and why we’re reacting instead of acting and just she’s fabulous. You know, she got me through some really dark mental times during the incubator year and. Fabulous. Yeah. Okay. Can’t recommend it enough.

Miriam Schulman: All right. How do you get over family discouraging you from being an artist or husband’s parents not believing you can make it? I think this is something that you can definitely speak to since you came from an engineer background.

Priya Gore: Absolutely. So mine is mine was just to be clear, right? Mine was exactly the opposite. So my in-laws believe in me like anything, like blindly blind faith they have in me. But my issue was with my family, like my uncles and aunties. And, you know, they still feel, oh, you left like such a lucrative, such a promising job. They were seeing me as a CEO one day of BHP Billiton, one of the biggest companies on this planet, and artists like they really feel like. So the most important thing is, you know, to understand that your faith is really true, like your confidence in your abilities and how important your abilities are for you, how does the process of creation makes you feel? That’s very important. It’s all about feeling right. How do you feel about it? And like the people who matter to you, if you are really genuine about your creation process and everything you’re giving, all people whose opinions matter to you, they will they will show faith one day. They might not today, but they will show faith one day. And I just want to be clear right here. All of the people we are sitting here talking, it hasn’t been easy by any means. Like maybe we are trying to portray that it’s easy, right? So I have been painting a lot since last nine years and I have switched to full time art from last two years.

So it’s not it hasn’t been easy by any means, but I’m like a compulsive, passionate creator or drawer, right? It just sucked me in it. It’s not that I don’t have a choice. I have to paint. That’s the thing. So if you have that feeling and I’m sure everybody agrees here and I’m sure they have a lot more experience as a creator, as a as an artist than me, you know. So everybody has worked really hard for this and it hasn’t been easy and it will never be easy. So the starting point can be two years, can be five years can be ten years. So it’s how you take it. You need to consider it as a lifelong pursuit and it’s a long term game. So my you know, if my ambition is to become the number one artist in the world, it’s in my head. Everybody is not going to consider me number one at the end. Right? It’s you who has to consider it and that’s it. That’s all it is about, you know? And it is like a 40 year game, 50 year game for me, like till I take my last breath. So that’s how you have to look at it. And yeah.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah, there’s a quote by Picasso that goes something like this, and I don’t even think he means it the way I interpret it, but the Picasso quote goes, “It’s easy to be an artist when you’re a child. It’s hard to be an artist as an adult when you grow up.” And he interpreted it, I mean, I think the way he meant it is about trying to capture the naivety as a child. However, the way I interpret it, it’s that relentless commitment to keep going no matter what. And that’s why I ended the book Artpreneur with that chapter, “keep marching forward and not to blame your boots,” meaning that’s a metaphor for your circumstances, but to move one foot in front of the other. So, not blaming the circumstances, not marching in place, but keep moving forward and you will make progress. The failures will come. It’s like I say, it’s like walking into the ocean when you first experience failure or you first experience a wave, it’s going to knock you over. But as you go deeper into the waters, those waves are still coming. They just don’t knock you over the way they do in the beginning.

Priya Gore: Absolutely. And just one more point, right, Miriam? It’s be becoming an engineer or doctor or a nurse or a receptionist or anything is not easy. Everything is hard in life, right? So people need to understand that. And so as art, that’s it.

Miriam Schulman: I’m so glad you said that. Like, sometimes, you know, my daughter, she’s only actually, she’s in the next room, so I better not say too much. She’s 25, but I know her and her friends, they want to have this perfect career where they love every aspect of it. And that’s just not the way jobs are. Even when you have your dream job. So as being an artist or a writer or an actress or whatever it is, there’s always going to be like, I think Elizabeth Gilbert says it, that there’s always going to be that shit sandwich that goes along with what you do.

All right. So do you guys have any last words for people before we start to wrap up? If you want to join the incubator, you can go to You know, before we do the last words. Actually, I do have a couple other things I just want to share. So all the artists you have here, I did work with them in that smaller group at the time it was called The Mastermind.

It is by application only. You get personalized coaching in the group format every week. With me, you also get one-on-one coaching and unlimited email support in between so that all your questions get answered. But space is limited to 12. You’ve got to get your application in soon if you want to see if you qualify for the accelerator, go to There is an application on that page.

Okay. So, I just want to end with last words from our experts. And thank you so much for being with me here today, especially those of you who got up really early in the morning and stayed up really late at night. What last words do you have for the artists here before we call this complete, Cindy?

Cindy Mawle: I’d like to say that I got so much out of working with you. And I liked how everything was broken down, and this book is awesome, because I still need it to remind myself when I start going off into somewhere. This brings me back. So I think it’s. It’s excellent. Thank you, Miriam.

Miriam Schulman: Linda, do you have last words, last advice for the artists?

Linda Doucette: Yeah, I agree. I mean, the incubator will really help you get your ducks in a row and get your business moving forward. And the book, it’s great to have, as, like Cindy said, a reminder, you know, just things like the list of words to say or not say when you’re trying to sell in public, you know, it’s like you can’t remember them all, but you’ve got the book. You can just like flip to that section and you know you’re good to go. So.

Miriam Schulman: Yeah. And yeah, I see some of the chat comments. All four of these women did work with me in the Mastermind for six months to a year, I think. Priya you did six months with me and everyone else did a year. And Linda and Cindy are still in the incubator program, but not on the mastermind level. Priya, do you have any last words of advice?

Priya Gore: I’m also in the incubator program still.

Miriam Schulman: Yes. Yes, she is. Sorry.

Priya Gore: I think your goal needs to be very clear when you’re starting, whether you want to be a full time professional artist or you want to be a teacher, an artist, or you want to be a teacher, or you just want to do it as a hobby, like you have to be very clear what you want. And then, you know, then from then on you can take it and it is going to be like a lot of people asked here, what was the starting point because everybody is, you know, struggling at the starting point, but everybody’s struggling all the time and it’s just different kinds of struggle. So, you know, starting is just, you know, making sure what you want to do first, being very clear in your head. Yeah.

Miriam Schulman: Okay. Ciara, do you have last words for our artists before we call this complete?

Ciara Gilmore: And well, being an artist is like any other career, you know. As Priya was saying, you don’t become a doctor or an engineer or whatever it is without training, without doing the work. So you can’t just suddenly become a successful artist just because you’re good at painting, and it doesn’t work like that. You need that support, that guidance, that training. You need to know the core business skills to run a successful art business and sell your work because anybody can be a really good painter or a really good creator. But unless people are seeing their work and wanting to buy it and sending you money, it’s not a business. It’s not sustainable.

So the incubator gave me that boost. It gave me the skills, it gave me the confidence, and my business transformed. And within that year that I was in that space and being amongst other artists in the same situation as you, there’s no better thing because you’re all struggling with the same things, but you can support each other and lift each other up. And that’s what I find really fantastic about the incubator. So highly recommend. And Miriam is fantastic. No better teacher.

Miriam Schulman: All right. Well, thank you, everybody, for being with me here today. Thank you each and every one of my artists who joined me on this panel. I was inspired, I’m sure everyone else is as well. And to everyone. Until next time, stay inspired.

Speaker 2: Thank you for listening to The Inspiration Place podcast. Connect with us on Facebook at, on Instagram @schulmanart and of course, on

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