Money and Art

Money and Art: These two words never seem to go hand in hand, at least in public perception.  

     When I was first starting out as an actor I ran into an interesting phenomenon, when I would meet people for the first time they would often ask what I did for a living.  I told them that I was an actor.

     I can't tell you how many times those people would roll their eyes, chuckle and then say "Oh, you mean you're a waiter?"

     And I would say, "No, I'm an actor."

     They would then look at me with a confused eye as if my response needed clarification.

     So I would clarify: "I'm a actor. That's my profession." That ended any need for further clarification.

     Look, I don't buy into that whole "Starving Artist" mentality.

     If you're starving then you're making some bad choices that will literally lead to your destruction'll starve to death.  I know "Starving Artist" is a turn of phrase but look at it this way, if you can't pay your bills, your rent and or afford to eat then you are jeopardizing your livelihood, your health and subsequently chances at attaining your goals so might as well do something about it and make some money.

     A great entrepreneur named Bob Duggin said; "If you outflow exceeds your inflow it will lead to your downfall."

     The idea that you can't make money in whatever you're chosen field doesn't hold water to me because it IS possible.  What gets in the way are our own considerations on the idea.

     Many of you might have questions on HOW to survive until you are making money in your chosen profession and I'll cover that part in a later post but for now let's focus on your professional goal.

     Making money is about creating interest, taking action and then closing the buyer on your product.  And be certain that this stands true for ANY profession.  Let's take ART.

    There are a few contemporary visual artists whose works command some pretty high prices at auction.  I'm not talking about Picasso or the great artists from history like Michangelo, or DaVinci.  I'm talking about artists living right now!


Take a look at this stainless steel 10ft x 11ft piece by Jeff Koons called Ballon Dog pictured below.  Cute huh?  

Well it sold for sold for $58.4 Million Dollars. 
Yes, that's $58.4 MILLION!


And Check this out.  This Christopher Wool 1988 piece sold at auction in 2013 for $26.5 Million.  


And finally look at this by Robert Ryman from 1980.


This work called the Bridge sold at auction in 2014 for
$20.6 Million.

     What makes them sell for such high prices?  Easy...someone wanted to pay that much for their art.  And the artist got into the BUSINESS of art. By the way...I LOVE that these artists can command these prices.  

     Don't give me the "I'm an artist not a business person" thing because at the end of the day whether you're an artist, singer, actor, dentist, account or are a business person.  You are a salesperson.  YOU are you're product as much as that speckled white piece of art above that sold for more money than most people make in a lifetime.  

     You are selling your ability.  You're selling to people whether they be your students, your boss, your director, the gallery owner...the customer.  As a singer you are selling your audience, as an accountant you're selling your client on how well you did their taxes so they come back the next year.  Do you guys see this?  I hope so.  

     Here are some points that are important.  Create Interest and take action.  You've got to understand that you ARE something first.  Like I AM a "teacher" or I am an "accountant".  Once you see yourself as something then others will see you that way too.  Like when that guy said to me "Oh you're a waiter..." NO, I'm an actor.  He then saw me as I saw myself, a professional actor.  Know what you are. Make a choice and BE it.

   Then take ACTION.  DO something to create that reality of who you are.  Teachers teach, painters paint, actors act etc.  Train in your field, learn everything you can and become the best at it that you can be.  Only after these first two steps have been accomplished can you actually attain or have the things that come from being what you are.  Only then can you sustain through constant creation and constant learning and constant action.

     Here's an exercise I want you to do.  

     1.  Write down WHAT job title you want, doctor, lawyer, actor, chef, teacher.  Be clear and   definite.    
     2.  Then list 5 things you can do right now to take action toward reaching that goal in life. 

          Here are some examples and be specific. Can you promote more? If so how? What product
          can you create to get out into the marketplace?  Can you expand your circles by networking
          with like minded people? If you're an actor or entertainer remember YOU are your product. 
          Can you write a one person show, do a cabaret or concert?  

     Write them down, look at them and then 

     3.   DO them.  

     And then 
     4.   FIND ways to get your product out to the people who will buy it.  If you're an actor put links 
           up to your IMDB page.  Here's mine. Go ahead and click it: IMDB   If your product is 
           accounting then find people who need an accountant.  Advertise on Social Media like Twitter or Facebook.

And finally don't make excuses...we are the only ones standing in our way of our success both in business life and personal life.  WE make the choices.  You CAN have success.  Take some ACTION and let's THRIVE together.


Here's a link to an article written by NY Times Best Selling Author Grant Cardone wrote called Baby Money.  I encourage you all to read it whether you're an artist or an accountant or a teacher. 


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