Art, money, success with Maria Brophy
Hello, how are you?
In this blog post I wanted to share with you an interview that I did back for our first edition of the “Your Art Matters” magazine. It is with the wonderful Maria Brophy as we delve into Art, Money, and Success.
You can also catch an interview I had with Maria below which talks about her book and we have a really good chat about all things art.
Grab a cuppa and let’s get started.
Why does art matter?
Artists have a gift of seeing the world in a unique perspective. They convey this perspective through their art, which helps others see things in a new way. Constantly evolving perspectives are necessary for humans to evolve. And this is why Art Matters – because it is helping the human race evolve in a positive way.
You have a great philosophy on life and living life on your own terms, where does this come from?
My parents were very hands off and it allowed me to dream of what I wanted to do and to think for myself. I’ve never been afraid to do things my own way—often the opposite of what people said I should do—and that has served me well in life, art and business.
How has art impacted your life?
Art gave me an exciting career and a traveling lifestyle beyond anything I could have dreamed of! For 20 years Drew and I have been traveling the world, sometimes for months at a time, creating art and building our business while having fun adventures.
Can you tell us more about how you make a living from art? Especially in regards to doing this on your own terms and not following advice from the elitist parts of the ‘art world’.
Drew and I have worked to generate multiple streams of income from Drew’s paintings. Just this week, we worked on a mural painting for a client in Los Angeles, an illustration painting for a CD cover, and a large commissioned painting on a surfboard. We also just closed a large licensing deal where Drew’s art is being printed on wall murals at an amusement park.
When it comes to following advice from the “art world” we never do. Instead, we do what we think is best for what Drew wants for his art, and what is good for our business.
We break all the “art world” rules—we sell Drew’s art on multiple products, we license his art to large companies, and we do things our own way, always. This is why we have been so successful.
In 2002 we did our first really big art licensing deal with Wham O, for Drew’s art on boogie boards. Well meaning people in the art world advised against it. They warned that it would hurt Drew’s career as an artist. We did it anyway, and what happened was this: the fun boogie board designs made a lot of kids happy. It also helped Drew’s career in a big way, because we continued that deal for seven years and Drew’s name and art was printed on over a million boogie boards! This not only made us money to support our family, but it also marketed Drew’s name in a really big way. It benefited Drew as an artist.
If we had followed advice from the “art world”, we both would be working jobs we hated right now. The “art world” rules do not care about you or your ability to support your family.
It’s really important for artists to make their own rules. There is no right or wrong when deciding how to sell your art. The only question you should be asking yourself is this: “What would I love?” and all your actions should be in alignment with the answer to that question.
Maria, you coach artists and we have lots of readers who make art but don’t feel seen or heard. What is your advice to anyone feeling this way?
I know it’s hard when you are putting your art out there and it seems like no one is responding. My advice is: be consistent, create your art continuously, and do it for yourself.
Many artists complain that no one is paying attention. But when I ask them “What is it that you want?”, they don’t know.
Before you can get what you want, you have to know exactly what that is! For every single person, the answer is different.
So go ahead and ask yourself, “What would I really love to be doing with my art? Who do I want to impact? How do I want people to receive it?”
Get crystal clear on what you want. Write it down. Dream about it. And then, trust me, once you know clearly what you want, it will begin to happen for you.
What would you say to anyone reading this who isn’t living life on their own terms but want to?
Take a close look at why you are stuck. Take 100% responsibility for your life. Your choices in the past are what you see now. This is hard for people to face, I know, but it’s true. The good news is that the choices you make today will create your future tomorrow. The people you choose to have in your life, the way you spend your time every day, even what you choose to spend money on—all of these choices create your life. That’s why it’s all in your hands. You created what you have now and you are fully capable of creating what you want next. Get help with this if you can’t do it on your own—hire a life coach or join a group that only focuses on creating a great life. Take action today, make changes. You can do it.
Can you give us a glimpse into the world of the Brophy’s and what a typical day looks like?
Every single day is different, that’s why I love the business of art! I write every morning, and then I exercise. If the waves are good, Drew will go surfing. We meet in our gallery at noon. Drew either paints or sketches every single day. I handle all the business. I’m on the phone talking to clients or writing up proposals or showing art in the gallery. On weekends we will end the day with a beer on our patio and often friends show up. And that’s when the guitars come out and music and singing, and then we are home to cook dinner by 9 p.m. I try to end my day by writing a list of what I want to accomplish the next day. I never feel like I’m getting enough done, but I am.
Maria ended with this piece of advice…
Because of social media, we feel a need to be “as good as” others. But what we don’t realize is that every single artist has their own path to take. And that path is beautiful, special, and unique.
One thing I noticed a long time ago about artists, is that they are masters at what they do—they never even notice what others are doing. They are too busy doing what they do. They don’t compare or copy. They focus on what THEY want, what THEY are inspired by, what THEY love. You should do the same; be true to who you are and do your own work. Stay on your own path and don’t even look at what others are doing. And one day years later you’ll look up and say “Wow, I’ve come a long way!”
You can see more from Maria over on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariabrophy/
I hope you loved this interview as much as I did when doing it. Maria has said it perfectly. “Every single artist has their own path to take. And that path is beautiful, special and unique. In years to come you’ll look back and think, “Wow, I’ve come a long way!”
Go and smash it!