30 minutes in the Hot Seat: the Best Investment I’ve Ever Made

Back in January, my friend Beth Inglish hosted a workshop called How to Sell Your Art Online, which was put on by Cory Huff at The Abundant Artist. Attending turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I’ve done.

The entire workshop was great, covering a variety of methods for selling and promoting your art.

The best part for me was the Hot Seat.

Cory Interviews Brad in the Hot Seat

I spent 30 minutes being grilled by Cory (and all the other attendees) about my art business and what is working and what isn’t working. This for me was worth the entire price of admission. Don’t get me wrong; I learned a lot the rest of the weekend, but for me, everything hinged on that one 30-minute period.

I was a little bit nervous at first as sometimes I don’t like being in the spotlight. But my unease turned to giddiness as we started to dig into what is working and what isn’t. Why my art is or isn’t selling.

Like a lot of artists, selling is hard for me. I can paint all day long, but asking people for money in exchange for my art is difficult. I’m happy charging a decent fee for my graphic design services, but when it comes to my art, it’s more difficult. I think part of it is I get more attached to my fine art than my design work. Part of it stems from the way I was raised – don’t ask for stuff because we’re living on a preacher’s salary. So I’ve grown up with a scarcity mindset, unknowingly limiting others around me. Maria Brophy has described this in her private Facebook group “Art Money Success”.

So in the next few months you’ll see me actively selling.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn into the hard-sell type. That’s just not me. I hate being sold to. I do, however, love buying stuff that taps into something I get excited about.

Like coffee, Doctor Who, dark denim, and boots. The things I buy tap into how I see myself. I imagine the people who buy my art see something of themselves in it. That’s who I want to connect with. There’s something in my paintings that reminds them of themselves, who they are and what they stand for. Or what they want to attain. Or where they’ve been and where they want to go, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually.

So many of my paintings are about peace and quiet and rugged energy and focus, and I think by putting these paintings in front of the people who are looking for that, they’ll want to buy them.

My job is to get the work in front of them and make it easy to buy.

Since I already have a big inventory, my focus over the next few months will be to get the work out there. I don’t need to paint more or blog more. I need to build that pipeline or funnel to sell my work.

What that means is you’ll see me sharing more art for sale on Instagram, Facebook, and my blog. The only difference is you’ll see a lot more price tags on my paintings. That’s it!

The sales funnel is relatively simple. It’s just putting the art out there that’s work for me. Then it’s hard to make the “ask.” Asking people if they want to buy a piece is work. I can’t explain it, but it feels like confrontation, even when I know it isn’t. But you know, if someone isn’t into my art, it’s fine! No worries. It’s just not their thing.

I believe every piece I make has a home somewhere, and I just have to get it into those homes.