Speaker 1 (00:00):
We as artists deserve to get paid for the work that we do.
Speaker 2 (00:05):
This is the Bold Artist Podcast.
Speaker 1 (00:10):
You have answers, and you're expressing them in your art. Your art is important, and it needs to be seen
Speaker 2 (00:19):
Welcome. And let's get started with today's episode. Hello everyone. And welcome to the episode. This is Black Friday, 2021, and I'm here with Charla Maarschalk. And we thought that while the world is in a frenzy, shopping, going to sales, and it's all about consumerism, we thought it'd be appropriate to have a talk about the artist and monetizing our art. Charla, do you feel that this is a slightly controversial topic?
Speaker 1 (00:55):
Yeah, I think that, I would say that I think it is. It's something that I've probably, well, I think a very intentionally not spoken about anywhere in public, on any of my platforms. Um, and I choose to do it here in the podcast. Why not on the first season? Um, I think it's a pretty controversial one, I think because, uh, people want to make money. They want to be able to feed their kids and feed themselves. Um, but artists are notoriously known for refusing to be what they, somebody might consider a sellout. They don't want to make art that sells for the sake of making money. So, um, I don't think that the topic is as polarized as that. I don't think it's you either are a starving artist or you're a sellout. So, I love the idea of talking about it right now around this time of year when, um, I think probably the biggest day of the year when consumerism is on everybody's mind. As a Canadian, I grew up with black Friday, simply being something I saw on the news, where there were stampedes in a toy stores and crazy parents, like, pushing other people out of the way and people dying because they wanted a toy that everybody else wanted.
Speaker 1 (02:06):
I mean, it's like the height of, of consumerism or whatever you might want to call it. That's how I always looked at Black Friday. Now it's more of a, a global thing I guess. And it doesn't quite, I don't think it really has a reputation as badly anymore, but still it's a day that we think of consumerism. So, I thought it'd be a really...
Speaker 2 (02:25):
We think about, we think about like the big sales, and what we can get, and what we can save.
Speaker 1 (02:31):
Yeah. The best deals.
Speaker 2 (02:32):
And so, yeah. And so how does that fit into the artist and the pressure that we feel to sell, and what approach should we be taking, Charla?
Speaker 1 (02:45):
Oh, there's so many approaches, and I am not an expert on this by any means whatsoever. I think when it comes to like the Black Friday theme of getting the best deals and selling everything at 75% off, um, I don't think artists should be doing that. Not by any means. That's not at all what this talk is meant to be about. I think it's just an appropriate time of year to kind of talk about it. This is the theme of the day. Um, I don't believe that we should definitely not be, uh, selling everything for rock bottom prices on Black Friday, but I think it's just a really great topic to talk about as artists. How do we approach living in the real world and being an artist at the same time? Um, I think a lot of people think of being an artist as hobbyist is something they do in the corner of their house when no one's looking.
Speaker 1 (03:36):
And nobody really knows what to do with the work that they're creating. Um, and I think that artists themselves love to do it and maybe don't value what they're doing enough to kind of bring it out into the world. So for me, this is like the heart of what I do love to talk about is bringing value into the heart of the artist, into what they're doing. And then also, I guess, bringing that into people who, who don't create, uh, art, but that they can, people that appreciate it bringing that kind of value into their heart, as well. And kind of changing, um, changing. I don't know what the right word is, the stigma or the reputation of art, of the visual arts, as having no meaning and no value in the world. We... It's easy to find value in, in a practical work. You know, somebody who builds a house or somebody who cooks a meal. We're willing to go to a restaurant and eat a meal, even though we can eat a meal at home if we wanted to. You know, we see value in doing that. But a lot of people don't see value in, uh, a piece of visual art that is just a decorative item on the wall.
Speaker 1 (04:43):
That's how they look at it. So, there's no value in it. So, I think that's the heart of this message.
Speaker 2 (04:48):
So, what's the first step for an artist to begin to value their art enough to sell it? Does it start with valuing themselves as an artist? Like, where's that starting point for developing value?
Speaker 1 (05:05):
Um, I think it it's really in, inside yourself. I think that, um, if we've heard for the majority of our life that, oh, you can draw, or you can paint, oh, that's nice, but what are you gonna do with that? What are you going to do with, for a living? Like you can't be an artist for a living. If you've heard that, then I think that, um, that importance and what you want to pursue just goes away, and you start looking at a way to make money instead of making art. And not a lot of people put it together that you can actually be a creator and make art at the same, and make money at the same time. So, we want to start with the message of getting that in you, that there's purpose in, in creating art. And we can look at, um, more practical topics. Like, I think food is an art form. There's a purpose in creating delicious food. My husband always likes to say, it doesn't matter what you ate, as long as you ate it, and your stomach's full. Actually, I kind of differ on that one.
Speaker 2 (05:59):
It does matter.
Speaker 1 (06:05):
It does matter what I eat. And I think most of us who have eaten a meal from an actual artist in the kitchen will know the difference from a Friday night dinner at my house versus a gourmet meal like my sister will cook. Um, it's an art form and it's practical because it's delicious. And you know, people who design houses, that's also an art form. You can, you can design a box, you can build a box and live inside of it, or you can create these amazing architecture, uh, pieces that people can live inside and have a unique experience. And it's, it's a good analogy because, you know, it's easy and cheap and fast to build a box. A salt box house. Actually, I'm from Newfoundland. And salt box houses were quite normal to live in back there. And they were just square boxes with flat roofs on them. 'Cause they were easy to build, and fast to build, and they provided shelter, and they worked. And they're actually a cultural icon now really, a salt box house.
Speaker 1 (07:04):
Um, but then you go to these high-end designer homes where you're hiring an architect, and you're paying 50,000, maybe a hundred thousand, probably more just to get the drawings for the house created. And then the cost of building one of those houses is way higher because the roof lines are more complicated and, and what not. It's just kind of out of the norm. So, you can see, um, you know, that is an art form to be able to build -- even a salt box house. I probably wouldn't be able to do that. And it wouldn't be like watertight and wind tight. I probably wouldn't be able to do it. So, that would be an art form. And then there's all the way up the spectrum to a high-end architect. Um, I think it's, but there's value in, in all of it there's value in every end. And would you hire a person to build you a saltbox house and not pay them? You would pay them even if their, their work is not like a New York designer. So, as an artist, I think we need to start seeing that there's practical use and important work and purpose in the art that we're creating. And even if you're sitting at home, and you've never created a piece and sold it, there's value in that piece. And there's somebody out there who needs that work in their house. And I guess you need to talk about that purpose and meaning, and...
Speaker 2 (08:27):
I love that message. It's, it's definitely one we all need to hear. I also hear, uh, the unspoken word there or the unspoken verse that the workman is worthy of their wage. You've heard that one before. Right? I hear that resonating in what you're saying. And what would that mean to you? The workman is worthy of their wage. The artist is worthy of their work.
Speaker 1 (08:51):
Well, you know, you spend a lot of time in your studio making work, and you spend a lot of time learning how to create what it is that you do. Like, mastering your craft. We sometimes go to university. You, you, you spend your whole life growing up, uh, learning how to draw, learning, how to create these things. You go to maybe university or some kind of applied college where you learn more skill. And maybe now you're doing online classes and you're, you're still learning. Like, I'm still learning. I've done all those things and I'm still taking classes. I'm still practicing. I'm still learning. So, there's a lot of effort and value in, in everything that's come before what I've painted today, you know? And so if you are going to paint a picture for somebody, somebody wants art on their wall and they love it. And they, they are moved by it. And they want it on their wall. They should pay for it, and they should pay good money for it. Not 20 dollars.
Speaker 2 (09:48):
Not long ago, I heard an artist, uh, who had been in his line of artwork for 30 years, uh, he was saying how quickly he can render a painting. He can render it so fast, and does his commissions pretty fast. And his clients were catching on like, wow, you're pretty fast. And they would say to him, how long did it take you to make my painting? And he would say 30 years. And that was his answer to everyone.
Speaker 1 (10:14):
That's a good answer, yeah.
Speaker 2 (10:14):
And his answer would be, however long he's been an artist is how long it takes him to make that painting. 'Cause everything you are as an artist goes into that. Which brings me back to that subject of worth, and that of knowing our worth, and our value, of being able to bring the worth out of here and attaching it to the value we ask for here.
Speaker 2 (10:37):
And I know that subject of monetizing our art is so difficul., There's so many moving pieces and personal scenarios that we would never be able to touch on it in a podcast. But, uh, there is, I think there's artists who are just starting, who they have the desire to sell their art, but they're afraid. So there's that artist. And maybe we could give them a word of encouragement today. And then there's the artist who's in the thick of it, they're selling, but maybe they're a bit pigeonholed, and feel that they need a word of encouragement to just know their value as an artist -- not just as a maker or a producer, you know. But that there's a value to their heart as an artist. So Charla, do you have a little word for those two scenarios?
Speaker 1 (11:26):
I guess the first question that somebody asked is, you know, is anyone even gonna want to buy this art? Well, I believe the answer is yes. If you have learned,, and you've practiced and your work is in some, in some form of excellence -- will always get better, and there's a 22 year old, that's going to be better than the next 22 year old and better than the next 32 year old -- so you can't really compare yourself. But if you have been learning, and practicing, and spending the time it takes to become excellent at your craft, then there's value in purchasing it. And then the other aspect is, what is the message of your work? What is the story that it's telling? There's value in what we put into our work, because it normally has, um, it has, it has lived in our, in our soul for awhile.
Speaker 1 (12:17):
Like we, we, we paint, usually we create out of our experiences of... Quite often something that happened to you that was painful, and that you've walked through and, and maybe a journey through and, and it's better now. So, we, we paint about that. A lot of people paint their grandchildren, because they love their grandchildren. It's taken a lot to get to the place of having a grandchild to paint. But, uh, you know, just a more like a common level. But I paint with the idea that I want to paint all of humanity and show that we are the same, because there's so much discussion over how we're all different. So, my work is all about how, no matter what we look like, or our age, or where we come from, or if we're living on the street, or if we're living in a penthouse, we all go through that same, the same type of pain -- some, a little deeper, some a little longer.
Speaker 1 (13:11):
And if you're open, we come to places of, uh, solution and healing. So, we get to tell those stories in our art. In some form I think that's what everybody's talking about. In some form. Some people are just painting their pain, and some paint, people are just painting their absolute joy, and they don't want to deal with the pain. But in some way, we're, we're telling those stories. So, that's the story that I'm attempting to tell. So, I think that's a valuable message to get out into the world. And what's so amazing about art is that people don't necessarily question it. If it moves them. They might question it if it doesn't move them, if they see something really weird, like what are you doing? But if they walk in and their heart is moved by it, because there's a message in that for them, um, they allow that art to speak to them and in, I believe heal them in some way or another.
Speaker 1 (14:08):
And I've said this lots of times before, it's like music. When a song goes in into your, uh, soul, it can bring you to tears. And sometimes don't even know why. But I believe that's a form of healing. Something, the message of that song was meant to get inside you and heal you. It can be nostalgic. It can make you feel like Christmas just by simply putting on Jingle eBlls. You're suddenly thinking about childhood Christmases. Art has the power to move you, to transform you, to transport you. So, as a new artist or an old artist, you need to recognize that your message is important, and to dig for that message. Like don't just paint a flower 'cause you think it's pretty. Why do you like flowers? Why are you drawn to them? And maybe you're, you're painting arose because you think that's what everybody wants to see on a canvas, because it's a common flower of love.
Speaker 1 (15:00):
But what about if you looked at all the flowers, and you see which one really spoke to you? Learn about that flower. I would, I would be willing to bet that with a little bit of searching, and a little bit of understanding of why you're drawn to that subject matter, will begin to develop your story, and begin to develop a more powerful process of expressing that on a canvas. And it won't any longer just be a rose your painting. It will be a flower somebody never heard of. And in, in ways with different light that nobody's ever done it before, because your story begins to inform your process. And then your art becomes incredibly powerful, and that's when it moves people. So, if you're a new artist, you're a young artist, or you're just not sure if you should be taking this step, I believe a hundred percent you should. And those are the things to look for in knowing if you're kind of ready, I guess, to do that.
Speaker 2 (15:58):
I love what you just said about allowing your story to inform your pieces. You might've worded it slightly different, but, um, allowing that story out through your art, and that's what brings it, um, value. But sometimes we need that person ahead of us, that mentor to look and say, I give you permission to step into this realm. You're good enough. You're valuable enough. Your story's worth it. And that's what you're doing here today on Black Friday, when the world's in a frenzy, and it's all about shop, shop, shop, um, I love your heart, Charla, of, of just coming back to that basic and saying, let's pause all that for a minute, and talk about your value,, and your worth and how you're selling.
Speaker 1 (16:42):
Well, I think that's, that's what it is. You've spent all this time. You've had these experiences, and then your work moves somebody, it's, it's -- you deserve to be, um, I hate to use the word -- paid for it. You know, you deserve to be paid for this emotional response that they got. It's not really like that, but it's, it's an, we should be honoring each other. And the things that we do. You don't go to see a concert. Like I go, go to see U2 and paid like $180 or something to see them for a concert once. And I never thought once that that was too much money to pay because I, at the time I didn't have much money to spend, but I wanted to see them. And the value of that experience was way higher than what I even paid. I don't know that I would have paid more for it, but, you know, they deserve to get paid.
Speaker 1 (17:31):
They're traveling all over the world. They've got a massive crew. They deserve to get paid. Well, so do we. Even if you're just working in your kitchen, you deserve to be paid for the value that you're giving people in their lives. And it's not to say that, of course we can't, um, do things, at times, for free. I hate saying that to artists, because we're asked to do that all the time. I don't know how many times as a photographer I was asked to take pictures of models, and then I could use it in my portfolio. I'm like, I actually don't need a portfolio. I have a huge portfolio. I don't need extra models in my portfolio. People think we should be giving these things away for free because it's a good cause all the time. So, there's definitely a time for, uh, putting, putting our art somewhere at where we don't get, um, compensated for it.
Speaker 1 (18:22):
But, I think that's like anything. If you're making, if you have a salary of a hundred thousand dollars a year, you might set aside some of that money to give to charity work, or to people in need, or whatever's on your heart where you want to help. Or you give of your time. You know, like you, you, you set aside part of that to give away. And as artists, I think that, uh, we can also do that. And then when you intentionally say, well, I'm going to give this art to a charity cause, and they're going to be able to make money off of my art, then, um, you, it feels meaningful ,and important and, and good. And it is good. And then when somebody comes along and says, well, can I just have this, this piece of, of your art to put into a fundraiser for my kid's hockey team? You're like, actually that's not, not saying that you couldn't do that. If hockey is dear and near to you, but maybe it's not. And this person doesn't even know you, and they just want your art to sell for nothing. Then you can say, no, I actually do this in other ways. You're not just going to give your money away to every homeless guy on the street, and let your kids starve. So, don't give your art away to everybody who asks, and starve. Find worth in places to put it where there's worth needing.
Speaker 2 (19:40):
Yeah, and what I also hear in that is it's, it's you saying, come in into line with your values, where you give your art. Is also in line with your values, which comes first here, knowing your value, knowing your worth, and then aligning, like, if you are to give anything away, that it would be in line with what you value. Not just here, there, everywhere. Um, and it's okay to say no. And that's part of valuing ourselves.
Speaker 1 (20:09):
We put our energy into our work. We put power into the work, the message we're putting in it is power. It is powerful. So if you are just throwing that out, that, that energy, and that message, and that power that you're putting into it really, it falls away, and it gets lost. And it becomes, uh, way less meaningful than if you put that into the place it was meant to go. So, we have to be intentional, and we have to, to watch what we're doing. Um, there's always a word I'm looking for that I can never find when I'm on here. Um, but it, it devalues it, but it's, um, it's, it's also kind of sad. And I think it's sort of why we often look at it as less meaningful. Like if you, if you take your work, you sell it for $25, people...
Speaker 1 (21:02):
Um, like I put, okay, here's an example. I put my work in a charity event at one point, like an auction, and they screwed it up somehow. And I had a minimum price on it, and somebody bought my piece for less than the minimum price that it was supposed to sell for. And it was a little bit of a debacle. And I saw somebody, one of the other artists later, they're like, oh, I saw this guy, like, just grab, um, the art and just walk away with it, and like, threw it down, and went off and got a drink. And he, he didn't really... the picture that I got from it was that he didn't value what he had just paid for. And that wasn't the intention at all of that. But sometimes that happens in, in different scenarios. But sometimes how we put it out there and say this isn't worth anything makes the other person think it's not worth anything, even though they just bought it. So, they value it differently.
Speaker 2 (21:53):
Yeah. So, we have the chance to, uh, portray the value that it is by our own attitude. So, it's really, it comes, it keeps coming back to that inside value of knowing yourself and valuing yourself, because then once we get the courage to monetize it, to put that price tag on it, that price is going to still reflect the value that we feel, too. Or, you know, like the inside out. And then that has that ripple effect on the consumer, the person who purchases, that... The client who purchases it. They, when they engage in that purchase, they're confirming the value, which is so exciting. To sell a painting is so exciting because of that confirmation that, yes, it has value that someone sees the value, and they fell in love with it. And they want, especially when it's that one of a kind original, it's just, it's just so special to see it sell.
Speaker 2 (22:47):
I remember being at the Vancouver art show and seeing someone purchase one of your pieces, and we were all doing a little happy dance as they walked away from your booth. It's so special, because you'll never recreate that piece. It's just one of a kind that's out there owned by a collector who wanted it. Right? And so, so that, coming from the inside value to the price tag, the consumer engages in that, and it creates this, I guess, the synergy of value for art that, um, we all are active in raising the bar, and raising the value.
Speaker 1 (23:26):
Yeah. And I think, and then from there, if it comes down to, um, needing to make money and, which it always does, um, care who you are, it always comes down to making money, maybe to make money because we have bills to pay. And even if you're paying your bills, it's always good to have more money to go on a vacation or buy new shoes. Um, you know, it's, there's always a reason to, to not turn away more money. So, if you're wanting to build your, your art business, you know, I think, um, there's lots of other ways to look at monetizing, as well, because it's not always easy for you to have, uh, to sell your original art pieces. You know, there's a lot of different models and places you can go with it, you know, you can sell online, and there's online galleries that, um, work like Sachi art is like a huge online gallery that you could sell on.
Speaker 1 (24:21):
Although it's hard to get seen. You can sell on your own social media. Getting into galleries in the traditional, old fashioned way is, uh, it's, it's a tricky business. It's a lot of hard work getting gallery representation. Um, you know, there's some of those more traditional thoughts on how to sell your work. Then there's the print industry that you can consider. And there's several models of the print industry that you can go into depending on, um, what you're thinking. Like, I know people who go online and they sell, they sell prints online, but they also put their art on wallpapers. I think we've, um, there's a local artist here who does that, and on pillows, and on phone cases, or whatever. And I tried selling those things at one point. I didn't love doing that though. And not all art really needs to go in that direction, but what I'm trying to say, there's lots of different ways to monetize your art.
Speaker 2 (25:14):
And there's so many good resources out there. I know we could even touch on it all in this podcast, but there's so many good resources. And, and always remembering, though, even if you go searching for avenues and opportunities to monetize, come back to this message of knowing your value on the inside first, knowing who you are, of knowing what your worth as an individual. And actually, I've gone through this process, Charla, of, of needing to sometimes step outside myself as an artist and saying, hang on, Marijanel has value first just being me, then adding my talent to me. Um, because that's a big deal for artists, because sometimes we feel that we get the attention because of our talent. People are worth worth recognition just for being here, alive, breathing, having existed.
Speaker 1 (26:06):
It's so true. So I kind of, I always like to put myself through torture of thinking, well, what would I do if I went blind? Or what would I do if I had to cut my hands off, for some reason? If I was in an accident, and I couldn't do what I do? Would I have value? And of course my kids, they wouldn't love me less. Or my parents or my husband wouldn't love me less, but suddenlym wouldI love me less if I couldn't do art? I'd actually say, yeah, I would, I would have to go through a long process of healing to get back to accepting myself without being an artist. Um, and that's just, I, I do it.. that's why I think about it because I'm like, maybe I can heal that process before it happens to me. Um, it's like my greatest fear, but I think that's what you're saying.
Speaker 1 (26:55):
Like, we, we have value in who we are as human beings. The message and the work that we're doing is a different purpose outside of our own personal value. So, I think when artists are scared of becoming a sellout, or being taken advantage of, just standing firm and knowing who you are, and the value that you hold, helps us make the right decisions going forward. Because there's always going to be a time where somebody is going to ask you to do something that you don't want to do. So, you have to decide, is, am I still going to have integrity when I'm done painting that tree? You know, like I'm painting a tree for somebody, cause they're like, I'll pay lots of money to do it. Like, I don't want your money. So, I just believe that you, somebody will pay for the portrait I'm painting. I don't need to, uh, I don't know what the right word is without getting a little bit crude. But I just, I don't need to bow down to that and sell myself to do something for money. So, I think that's the fear of artists
Speaker 2 (28:03):
As your friend, Charla, knowing your determination and what would you do if you lost your ability to use your hands and make art, I think you'd find another way. Charla would be painting with her feet or her mouth. I don't know if you know the artist, Joni Erickson, who paints with a paint brush in her mouth. That has inspired me since I was a child. The determination that people have to push through anything that hinders you, really. Anything that comes against you. As, as humans, we have this, uh, tenacity and ability to be bold and to push through. And that's part of it. That's part of knowing who you are. There's, um, uh, this phrase, like if, for such a time as now,. Like, you're here for such a time as now. You weren't born way back a hundred years ago. You weren't, you know, you're not man for the future. You're not, you're meant for now. And now's the time to be who you're meant to be. And that comes to your worth, and that worth to monetizing your art, and knowing the value. And it's all connected. It's like innerwoven, meshed together.
Speaker 1 (29:09):
It's so true. You know, my, my story was when I knew that I was going to pursue art as a career, I, the only thing I knew was to go get some prestigious gallery to represent me, and then I will have made it. And maybe a collector will come along and pay $10,000 for one of my pieces of art. Or 30,000. And maybe I'll have a sell-out solo show. And that was all I knew, and I was pursuing it, but it was, it was like sucking the life out of me, like having to send a hundred applications to galleries I'd never heard of and tell them how wonderful they are and hope that somebody will respond. You know, like this, it was just horrid. And I was, I just like, what, what is the meaning of this? Where am I supposed to go with my work?
Speaker 1 (29:52):
So, I kept painting, and I kept showing and, and doing what I could do, but, and, and then teaching started happening, like teaching workshops started happening. So my thought was, I don't want to spend my whole life teaching workshops. I want to be painting. I don't want to be spending all my weekends teaching workshops, but I started finding fulfillment in it. And my work started having more value and people started talking about it more and asking me more questions and purchasing it more. It all just kind of like it grew together. And that was when, um, a whole bunch of stuff came together, and I decided to do online classes, and everything has just grown from there. But if I had been, um, I think my point is that if I had been stuck on this one path that I thought the only path for a successful artist was, or the only place that there was a value as an artist, it's like being a singer and you want to be number one on the American Top 40, that's the only value you have in your life.
Speaker 1 (30:54):
You're going to have a struggle because only one person is there each week. And there's a lot of people trying to get there. So it might not be the place you're going to get. And it doesn't mean you're bad. And just because I haven't sold, haven't sold a solo show in New York or LA doesn't mean that my work isn't as good as people who do that. So, I opened up my mind and my vision to see a different route for myself. Where was the value and the fulfillment? Where were the people that were willing to pay me for what I was doing? And I took that route, and I came here, I'm here now with running an online school, and I'm doing things I never dreamed I was going to be doing three years ago. I just didn't dream about these things, at all.
Speaker 1 (31:39):
And so, where am I going to be in five years? I'm just going to keep going down that road. That's kind of, um, where the light is shining, I guess I could say. I'd just keep moving down that road. So, we need to be open to, uh, where, where your path is, and that it's not going to be like the other person, and that you don't need to be like me or Marijanel or anyone else that you're listening to or you're watching online. You can, you, you have a journey and a route that's yours. And if you don't take it, the people standing on that road are gonna miss out on what they're standing there for. So, you have to run down your road, not mine.
Speaker 2 (32:17):
Oh, I love it. I love it. Thank you, Charla, for sharing, just sharing on this topic, and being bold enough to speak into this topic of self-worth, the artist's worth, the worth monetizing our art, and giving us permission, really to, to value ourselves and to value our art and not sell out on Black Friday. Don't sell out.
Speaker 1 (32:43):
Yeah. Don't sell out, but go make money with your art.
Speaker 2 (32:46):
Exactly. Perfect. I love it. So, thank you for, for all of it.
Speaker 1 (32:51):
All right. Well, happy weekend, everybody. Thanks, Marijanel.
Speaker 2 (32:55):
Yeah. See you later, everybody. Until next episode, keep creating.
Speaker 3 (33:26):