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Art School Rehab: Finding Success Without Selling Out

Lesson 8 of 26

Exercise: Develop a Process for Getting Past Decision Paralysis

 

Art School Rehab: Finding Success Without Selling Out

Lesson 8 of 26

Exercise: Develop a Process for Getting Past Decision Paralysis

 

Lesson Info

Exercise: Develop a Process for Getting Past Decision Paralysis

I'm calling on exercise, but really, it's tools to help you get over this process, and that's really what it is. Is just setting up a process that gets you past analysis. Paralysis. So the first thing is, this is especially true if you need a new monthly production targets that are more aggressive than what you're currently producing. So set deadlines with your new monthly targets and stick to them. And in your case, it might be like this prototype. Whatever state it's in on, you know, February 1st it's going to get made whatever it ISS. So just setting deadlines and setting targets and sticking to them, because then it just it has to go out right. I also think it's a good idea to set shorter deadlines in the beginning, So we were talking about how many pieces do you have to make a month? But if you really have to up your production, trying to commit to that for a whole month is going to stress you out, probably cause you're not used to working that fast. So you could think about somet...

hing like what does it take to make four necklaces in a week or eight pairs of earrings in a day. So what's actually funny is when I was running the numbers to put this class together when I was like, OK, eight K, this is the price one of the necklace, This is how many I need to make. I was like, I wonder what it feels like to make four of these necklaces in a week. So I did. So I literally gave myself this assignment because I wanted to see how it felt and if I could handle that kind of production schedule. For the record, I did. But I had to drop a lot of other things. But as we're talking about, if you want to make it work that you want to make, then figuring out how to spend your time making that and selling that is the best way to do that. So thinking about trying on this new you know, production goals OK, The other thing is to make decisions while working and commit to them. So they look at you show when I say this, so the decisions you are agonizing over are not as important as you think they are. And this is especially true from the customer's perspective, right? It's the biggest deal in the world to you. It's not to them. Part of that is because, first of all, they don't know what the other four choices for, where the zipper wet were right. They have no idea that you just know it as this is where the zipper is. So they aren't thinking about that. Yes, you do. You want to think about things like usability. I'm not saying that those things are important, but they're not agonizing over. Should this ever be here or two inches lower to interest higher? They just aren't thinking about that. So we want to make sure that word we're not agonizing over them because our customers aren't agonizing over them. The other thing to keep in mind is that you are not creating your Magnum opus, right? Every new piece is an opportunity to try something different, and every piece is an opportunity to eatery. So, in your case, okay, I'm committed. I'm putting the zipper out. This is version one that's going out into the world. And maybe you get some customer feedback. That is like, Hey, every time I go to slide my hand and, like I missed the zipper or whatever it is that you can think about making that change for aversion to but trying it, trying to solve everything yourself Without that customer feedback, it means you're just spinning your wheels, right? So, putting it out there, letting people experiencing it, and then you know you could always change the next one and change the next one and changed the next one right? And one of the best ways to think about this is to literally keep a running list of ideas to try and future pieces so that you can write, just write it down and move on. And running list is like a funny term. I am not. I actually not a sketcher. I don't do a lot of sketching. I don't keep a lot of like ideas. I literally, like, lay things out in my table. In my case, the running list is like a table full of stones laid out, right? It's like, OK, I can try this in the next one. I could try this the next door, so whatever that list looks like for you, whether it's lists, whether it's drawing whatever, just write it down because at some point, what's gonna happen is you might get stuck. Okay, I've been making stuff, and now I feel like I'm out of ideas. Oh, look, here's my list. I can come back here. I can work from that list when I'm stuck. And so really, these ideas could give you solutions to future problems. The other thing that I actually think really helps with analysis. Paralysis is working on multiple pieces at the same time. Because when you're get you at stock, then you're not sitting there like staring at the wall, being like, What? What? What do I do? What do I dio? So they mentioned, I have, like a table full of stones. This one has been sitting on my work table the circular one four months because I'm not exactly sure how I want to handle the connection all the way around. I was thinking about that one a lot, but it's OK because I've been thinking about when a lot made like 20 other necklaces in the Siri's. So I'm letting that one kind of percolate. But I'm still working on other things, and it also gives your brain a chance to shift. So, Angel, do you work on one piece at a time or you skip between multiples? Well, with furniture I usually work on one time just because of size because of its most of the time. Do you find times where you get stuck and you're not working on it, then Or usually? Okay. I'm usually okay. I mean, there might be something that I, you know, what can I put in this space down here? Because I'll have a rough idea when I start painting, but okay. Devolved says I paint. Yeah, it might be something just to explore. Like, what does it look like? What happens if you work on more than one? And I don't want to make huge changes to your creative process if what you're doing is working, but it's just something to think about. I would love to. Yeah. Yeah. Spacing is definitely something to think about. Um, the other thing that I really like here is just thinking about mindless hands on work that you can do for when you're really stuck. So maybe it's prime in canvases. Maybe it's like sewing production. In my case, it's making chain and someone asked that question earlier about creative block. And as I said, I've never gotten through a creative block by staring at a wall like I get there the creative block by making things, because as soon as I start making chain, then I'm like and looking at the chain in the context of all the stuff in my work table, it's like, Oh, what happens if I put this with that? Oh, and then I put out with that and then I was supposed to making chain and all the fun. Now I'm like designing 40 pieces, right? So giving yourself these mindless but actual tasks to dio prime in your canvas thinking about the possibilities giving yourself that work for when you're stuck means you're still getting things made. But you're not having to stress out about a decision. You can put it aside and work on something new. So you guys have any questions about this? Maybe we can, like, dissect you go to, um, they won't have any questions. Tell me, what do you think, Um, is where we can unstick you a little. Are you seeing any opportunities? Um, well, I'm still kind of going back to the last roadblock, which was the pricing, okay? And I was I was thinking about, you know, how could I? What are some of the things that I can do to actually justify that higher price point? And so they're they're not little things. They are kind of big things. But right now I use a lot of up cycled fabrics that I find and rescue from landfills. I don't go dumpster diving, but their sources that, you know, allow me to do that. But, you know, is there is there more perceived value from a customer, too? Designed my own fabric? That's a lesson that I might have to learn. I know it's not related, Teoh. You know the creative. But I'm trying to think of, you know, what are some of those in this roadblock? You know, what are some of those steps that I can do? Those kind of mindless tasks, right? They'll need to get done. Is it cutting? Is it? Ironing isn't making bias tape, is it? Making whatever. And actually, I think your question is a really good one of what is more valuable to the customers and the reclaimed. Is it the original design. And when you have those kinds of questions, first of all, the answers that completely depends on who your customer is and who you want your customer to be. I was having this conversation with a friend of mine recently, where we were talking about You get to choose who you want your customer to be, and one is not better than the other. But so you get to decide, Do you want a customer who values the up cycled on the recycled things? Do you want a customer who values an original print that no one else has? And then you're gonna go out and target that particular customer? So in this case, it's not a question of like which would the customer preferred? Who is the customer? That you could make that decision? And part of that is just putting stuff out there in the marketplace, and we'll talk about that in the next road block as well. But some of that stuff you don't know you can't solve these problems. Sitting in your studio, staring at the wall, right? So many things are answered in the marketplace, so we have a couple of questions from our online audience. Let's take a look at those. Yeah, eso This first question from Abby Lynn is how do you set goals for getting back to an unfinished project? So I personally set goals by booking a photo shoot with my model. So for me, that is the number one strategy that I used to get my butt in gear. Ok, e. I text my model. We have something set up. We have something set up for, actually, week after I get back from here. Which meant that, like, the day before I left for here, I was trying to finish a piece because I was like, I have this photo shoot scheduled with Keeley. I gotta go. Right. So So you may not need a model. I don't know what You don't know what you do. Ambulance. You may not need a model, but I like to give myself really forced deadlines that involve other people. Right. So I need my models through the photographs. So we've set this deadline, she's gonna show up. I better have something to shoot. You might not have that, but you might say you know what? I am going Teoh book. I've been trying to craft show or I'm gonna book a showing in a coffeehouse or I'm going to invite three people over to my studio next week to look at this particular painting, right? They're gonna come, see? And so I need to be at a stage where I can show it to them, and that is a firm deadline. So I think it's really easy to have goals that you just skip over because they don't have any importance involving other people. The other thing is P public about it on social media. Hey, guys, I just I just all time to I'm releasing you stuff next to day. When I first launched the Contra collection, which is my pieces with the stones, I literally had nothing I had made, like one piece I was wearing for myself. And then I had some stones on my table and I was like, OK, 10 days from now we're having a launch and I took a picture of the stones. I was like, Hey, guys, releasing new pieces with these stones when 10 days like you. The date and that was like, Oh, well, I better finish something in time. These days. So giving yourself those public deadlines involving other people really lights a fire under you. All right, let's look at our next question. Ah, so do you consider installation costs when you do a gallery exhibit to sell your work? Most gallery fees air about 40% so delivery to the site and set up. A person has to do it. Yourself can take quite a bit of time, so I would say yes, this is something to consider. One of the things that you can think about is the galleries taking 40%. You can still mark up double from your wholesale price, so that can give you that little bit of buffer to deal with installation costs. But if you know that your work is particularly complex to install, I would build that into some of your labor costs for sure. One in doubt. Build it into your prices. I think that's a kind of a good motto. Try Teoh. Pay yourself, Chris. Much stuff is you need to get paid for. Let's take a look at our next question. I think we will more so I create abstract paintings. I was wondering how to build a story behind the art and how to create more value for collectors so I can feel comfortable charging a higher price. So I am actually gonna table this question. Not because I don't love it, but because I 100% love it so much that we built an entire segment around. I'm because this is super important to have this story element because that is what makes people sell your work more. So we're gonna come back to this one. So, McHale, I hope you stick around because we're going to get to this in a segment after lunch. I think we have another question. I love this. So Michelle says a little less conversation a little more Action is my new theme song and you can boogie to it. Yes, agreed. And it's so fun. I feel like we should just play it now. But I don't own the rights to Elvis's music, so we're gonna move on. All right. So we talked a little about some strategies. Do any of the rest of you guys have strategies that you might use to overcome? Analysis? Paralysis? Is there anything new that you're like? Oh, I haven't tried that I could try it next time. Well, like the setting, the exciting like a photo shoot up. Yeah, because I've been I've had that in mind. Well, I really want to do one by the end of March. And so if I really contact models and book them, then I have to do it for real. Exactly. That is for me, like the number one motivator. It's like up the models booked. We had to do it like, let's and then you get stuff. It's amazing what you get done when you know, like, especially because you don't know. So I have a model every day, So you want to have as many pieces of possible to take advantage of that. And I actually think you could do that. You were talking about your photography and settings. So, do you know someone who has a beautiful home that you could photograph in? And you could say, Hey, you know, can I come and use your house on X Day to do this shoot and then suddenly and motivates you? Okay. I only have this house for a couple hours. How many pieces can I get done? So thinking about things that require other people really can help motivate you

Class Description

So you went to art school and still dream about sharing your creativity with the world – but making money has proven to be quite difficult. Craft expert Megan Auman is here to help. She'll help you shift your mindset and empower you with the necessary skills so you can make a living from selling your art – without feeling like you’re selling out. 

Megan is a designer, metalsmith, educator, and entrepreneur who has built a multi-faceted business. Her designs have been featured in Design Sponge, Better Homes and Gardens, Cooking Light, and more.

In this class, she will teach you: 
  • How to talk about your work in a way that makes customers care enough to buy it
  • Tips for turning your conceptual art into a sellable product 
  • How to shift your vocabulary from academic to accessible 
  • How to remain true to your original creative voice while creating something that is viable
Watch and learn from Megan, who has successfully helped hundreds of students turn their creative passion into a full-time business. 

Reviews

Usha
 

This class was so good - it's not just for people who went to art school, but anyone who has (or wants to have) a creative-based business. Megan's lessons break down the overwhelmingness of roadblocks and gives you tangible tools to get past them, shift your mindset, and shows you how to focus. There were so many elements to this class that were helpful, but overall I think if you feel like you're stuck, you overanalyze every decision, and feel like you want to move forward but don't know how, this class is for you. Thanks Megan, for helping me work on a plan to move me past my hurdles.

Kiki B
 

What a great class! Megan has helped me to really understand what my business goals are and how to achieve them, and has given me heaps of confidence to boot. This is going to be a great year for my creative business!

Kim S. Joy
 

I have owned this class for awhile and just decided to start it.... well I should have watched/taken this class years ago! I did not go to art school but follow that mindset. This was amazing. So much to learn and unlearn. The pricing and raising your prices what just what I needed. Thank you Megan for another wonderful class.