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Roadblock 1: Art School Makes You Feel Guily about Making Money

Lesson 3 from: Art School Rehab: Finding Success Without Selling Out

Megan Auman

Roadblock 1: Art School Makes You Feel Guily about Making Money

Lesson 3 from: Art School Rehab: Finding Success Without Selling Out

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

3. Roadblock 1: Art School Makes You Feel Guily about Making Money


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Reprogram The Art School Mentality


Roadblock 1: Art School Makes You Feel Guily about Making Money


Exercise: Get Comfortable Charging More


Q&A: Pricing


Student Examples: Pricing


Roadblock 2: Art School Gives You the Luxury of Working Slowly


Exercise: Develop a Process for Getting Past Decision Paralysis


Lesson Info

Roadblock 1: Art School Makes You Feel Guily about Making Money

So let's dive in and talk about our first road block. That art school makes you feel guilty about making money. So let's talk about why that happens. Why do you feel guilty for making money from your art? So, first of all, who feels guilty, at least at some point about that? All right, so there are a couple of reasons that art school creates this, and it's not even art school that there were just these issues of art money, guilt, right? So the 1st 1 is the myth of the starving artist. We've all heard that I remember my husband telling me the story. I was away speaking at a conference and it was over Memorial Day. And he was at a party with his aunt and his aunt knows nothing about art. She would freely admit that, and she was like the worst Magan. He's like, Oh, she's speaking in a conference and and she goes well, like, does she actually make any money? Because all you ever hear about is the starving artist myth, and my husband just looked at her with a complete a straight face, and h...

e was like she makes more money than I dio. So there is absolutely that starving artist myth, and it influences a lot of people. Then there is the myth that money compromises artistic freedom, this myth of selling out right. If you make money, then you don't get to make whatever it is you want. And then there's another myth, which is this idea of affordability and accessibility. So this idea that people can't afford to pay what you need to charge. So one of the things I want to talk about that goes with all of these myths is this idea that you should take your professors money, baggage or really anyone else of money baggage with a grain of salt. So one of the reasons that art school can perpetuate these myths is because your professors, especially the ones that are full time and tenured, are insulated for the challenges of having to make money. I am not saying that being a university professor is not stressful. I was a university professor for one year, and I was like, I'm out. I'm gonna run my own business right? So I'm not saying it's not stressful. 10 year paperwork meetings. It's a lot to deal with, But you get a paycheck, you get a steady regular paycheck, and so that changes their perception. And there need to make money. So if you have ever had a teacher or a professor tell you, you know you need to sacrifice, you need to suffer for your art. If you sell that, it's selling out. Remember that if their baggage not yours. And here's the reality. Making your art requires money. It really does. I know there are some rare exceptions. You're like I'm in a dumpster, dive everything and ever pay for materials in my life. But you know what? It takes time to dumpster dive, which means you need to leave. Have enough money to have the time to go dumpster diving to build art, right? So somewhere along the way, making your art requires money. There are costs. There are real costs associated with creating your art materials, tools, supplies, space. All of those things require money, and on top of that, there are costs associated with being a person right can be a person for free. You need shelter, you need food. You need all these basic necessities at the very least, in order to be able to create your art. So this is a quote from Pablo Picasso, and he said an artist needs success and not only to live off of, but especially to produce his body of work. And what's interesting about Picasso is that he does not fit this starving artist myth that we've all been somehow led to believe. He had successes very early on in his career that led him to make money that allowed him to comfortably make art for the rest of his life. And that's something we don't look at. We don't tell that story, and I was already familiar with this, but I actually discovered that quote in the book Hustle by Neil Patel and assorted other people. A lot of authors on that book, but they said it is not money, but rather a lack of money. That compromise is art, and I think this is something to really think about. And I think for those of you who have purchased the class, you have this amazing workbook and part of this workbook. There's an opportunity to make some reflections, and so one of the things I want you to reflect on when you're working through this workbook was if there was there a time where you were forced to make a compromise in your heart because you didn't have enough money to afford to do the thing that you wanted. So something that ever happened, any of you guys where you didn't have the money to buy the material that you really wanted or the supply that you really wanted were the tool that you really wanted. How many people are like I'm saving up to buy a tool because I can't afford it yet. I know for yeah, and I know for my metal something Piers that's a big one were were pretty tool heavy group. So there's a lot of times where you might not be able to make the thing or do the idea or even things like traveling to get inspiration. They don't have a place. They would really love to travel Teoh because it would inspire their art, and they can't afford to do it right now. So there are a lot of compromises that you end up making when you can't well, you'll have all the money that you need. Yeah, and really, when it comes down to it. Making good money from your art is the best way to support making more art. So these are some images from marksman Jascha, and she's someone that I worked with as a coaching client. And when we had our session, one of the things that she came to me and she was trying to decide all of these different areas of her business. And this is something we're gonna talk about later today. Where exactly is the money coming from in your business? Obviously, she's a painter, but she has all of these other revenue streams. And so the first question I asked her one of the first questions I asked her was, Well, how do you want to spend your time every day? She was like, Well, I want to spend my time painting And the best way for her to spend most of her time painting is to sell her paintings. It's not to do the illustration work, even though she loves that, but it's not to do that. It's not to sell greeting cards. It's not to sell whatever other random thing. It's not to develop a class, literally the best way to support her spending as much time hating as possible is to sell more paintings. I think that's really important to remember is if you can sell more, you get to make more really, really nice virtuous cycle. So the other myth that I want to address here and this idea of art school makes you feel guilty for making money is this idea of the myth of accessibility and affordability. And I have heard this over and over and over again from so many people. No one would ever spend that much money on my art. No one would ever spend that much money for X y Z, whatever it is you make. Or maybe you're like, OK, some people would. But there aren't enough people who could afford to spend that much of my art right or I want my work to be accessible. I want it to be affordable. There's something I hear from people a lot, and I always like to make the argument that your work is not accessible to anyone. If you're not in business, your work is not accessible to anyone if you don't have the money to make it. And so looking at this idea that. Okay, this is how much I have to charge. There aren't enough people there are promise you there are. And so your job is to find the people who will pay what you need to charge for your work. That is actually your number one job is an artist is to find the people who will pay what you need to charge toe, actually make a profit from your work, and we're gonna move back to this one later. But I think it's just important to really highlight this, that it's not your job to talk to your friends and talk to your peers and and network with other artists. Your job is to find a network with people who are going to buy your work. And that's a big mindset shift in and of itself, right to realize that it's not your job to connect with people who can't afford your work. It's not that you can't interact with them. You don't have to be like, Well, you don't have enough money to buy my work. So we're not friends anymore, right? Like that's not what I'm talking about here. But it is your job to find an interact and and cultivate people who can by your work. But before we do all that, we want to talk about what you need to charge for your art. So anyone who has taken any class of me knows that probably my favorite topic in the whole wide world is pricing.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Art School Rehab Class Workbook

Ratings and Reviews


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.

Student Work