Value Above and Beyond The Art
Welcome back to creative life fulfill your creative purpose we just finished up with less than twenty two which is about turning your personal mission inside out now we're going to lessen twenty three we're going to look at creating value above and beyond the art much more closely before we do that I'm gonna bring on a guest who is chai ming in from down under new zealand and she has a wonderful illustration of creating value above and beyond her art she used to be you know uh well she is to be a participant in the traditional new york uh art gallery scene and that has all changed so I would like you to welcome my next guest gabriella gabriella so I've actually only ever talked to get really l on the phone we haven't really seen each other so welcome to creative live thank you wonderful to be here. What time? What time is it where you are about eleven. Forty I believe way are eleven ish look at night no in the morning in the morning about three hours yeah, we're three hours behind you ...
a day ahead. Okay. It's so confusing all right, all right so gabriella it went through the same process that I am teaching all of you to see your lovely studio. Gabrielle is a painter but she is more than a painter she's created value above and beyond her art now and so gabriella was also very brave in this process. And I had to do the same exercises before we delve into the specifics of your experience. Gabriella, I just would like to ask you, um, you know, before we started big gabrielle, you saw me on my first creative life course. And then you you enrolled in the mentoring program and you in a certain mindset when we first started working together, right? Yes. Yeah, I did a mindset, right? An expectation, right. Exactly upgraded. And so what was the what was the one big lesson that you learned? I'm gonna ask you to name three, but what? Because I love three. As you guys know. So what was it? What was one big lesson that you learned through this process? Well, I think the first foremost and most important there are many would have been my discussion with you. And I talked about my art practice on just stopped me in my tracks. And you, d'oh. No, it is not a practice. And of course I thought, what is she talking about? Is this all about my practice on bits about the art business? About so that I think I was able to finally shift and focus my thinking around my art practice toe, actually, my art business well that was a world of difference yes oh that's pretty fundamental change to think you're practicing something versus you're in a business for profit is a very fundamental mind shift you walking into something very different that's right right and but you had worked with the traditional art gallery representation system art establishment before right before you and I started talking and in that scenario I guess it is a practice yeah and it didn't ever feel quite aligned that was something I kept facing every time I talked to a gallery or go into the whole procedure of submitting the images it just felt off too may I kept thinking what am I missing here there's something not aligned and it wasn't really until we went through ours our process the process that you provide artists but I began to see my alignment and suddenly it was a big bajas like a machine beginning to boil and click into gears beautifully you know it's a process it takes time it was is a media so thank you for saying that it does take time reminder to everybody at home patient and gentle with yourself this takes time it's not it's not a short course this way we were doing it over thirty days because it wouldn't be able to teach it in one or two days right that's right so you realized that you were you not you did not have a practice. You had a business I have a business I certainly do you always have just didn't see it that way the tax collector knows you have a business as soon as you sell something right? And so that was one thing you learn and you learned that you were not in alignment with the art establishment it didn't feel right it didn't feel right it was I felt weak at the knees it wasn't just nerves it was the whole I guess the whole stratosphere the hole the hole nature of galleries that permission based that you talk about often I didn't want to walk through those gatekeepers I didn't want to walk through that path could have had an invitation to a number of times but leaving from that experience I never felt quite they just didn't feel right inside that's only way you can express it I kept thinking there's something more to this there's something more to why I'm doing what I'm doing one of the things that I say about the traditional representation is you need permission to show your work you need permission to show your work you need any permission to sell your work yeah yes and that's what we want to do do you want to show it or do you want to sell it? I was interested in selling it I found it very inspiring to sell it I don't want to show it I could show it on my refrigerator right? And I want to show it or you could show in your gallery all right? And then is there anything else that was a big breakthrough for you? You want to share you think to no longer well besides no longer just guarding my artwork way stop that didn't we way stopped that I realized I'm not responsible for my patron or virus visitors way of spending money and okay, can I just stop you right there and re re quote you yeah, the artist is not for the artist and I'm I'm using that word in the general sense is not responsible for the patron the collectors of the client's financial situation the price is right so that was huge that was huge suddenly there was a sense of confidence that began to kick in I was more ease when we were looking at prices and they were comparing one painting it one price, another preening in another price so let it go is their decision they can choose I don't need to ask for a more commission I guess so, yeah, I apologize for the prices, right? So I I also want to share that when I had a representative in los angeles I would never discount my work and she told me that the artist who discounted made far less money than those who didn't who just maintain that policy of absolutely no discounts she said it was a huge difference in the number of the amount of sales that came from those artists so it those boundaries air really important. All right, so, um one of the one of the things that's unique about your situation is that you are a painter but you've also created this amazing living space and you did this with your husband. Can you describe a little bit about what you built in new zealand? Uh built a bit of a dream, it took tremendous faith and elite to come here. I was living outside of new york city at the time had a galleries let's be discussed earlier and it was about changing everything beginning to rethink where our values were, what you were seeking in a lot of ex beauty I was born and raised in greece, so in my heart I was longing for another greece somewhere somewhere in the world that would I could find home and it turned out we found home here on waikiki island eighteen, nineteen years ago and we built stone by stone are our facility here it's a hole it's a studio and I have a private guest house a swell, stunningly beautiful so I'm gonna pause right there so gabriella creates paintings as we can see in the background she also created this a stunning amazing living space with guest quarters that is available for rent and literally built it stone by stone so that's so we could we could take gabriella out of the box of just creator of paintings she's also you know created this amazing halt welcoming home and hearth yeah in this space and I think before you and I started speaking you'd saw them as separate entities and that was the marriage I was waiting to happen you saw it you helped me see how one is very much entwined in the other and the gifting in that process through my artwork and somebody coming to stay here right? And just just about twenty minutes before we came on live had I forgot to put my clothes sign on and I had a woman and come in and I don't know her and she was overwhelmed started crying oh god it was a very interesting timing that I'm coming on live here and it was I think it was the magic of being reminded of what we do have here it does affect people it is a sanctuary yeah one of things that you said during our phone meetings was that when pete and who knows why I'm not gonna question it but when people come she usually have one women usually take up you know, the occupancy and often when they come into your warm and welcoming kitchen they start crying they do their oftentimes in a major life transition they don't necessarily say that to me in the beginning of our meeting, but it turns out they've gone through a shattering divorce or one woman lost her daughter ah life changing moment we decided to get on a plane and come to news even so are still about major transitions. Really? So no, take note of that everyone the peep, the mostly women people come to visit because they're in transition. All right, so we're gonna go a little bit longer with gabriella because I want to she's got some points to make now, gabriel, I only want you to share what you're comfortable sharing. Okay? I'm going because is it not reality tv? This is transformational, but I'm gonna ask you to share the most painful time in your life. You could just give us the headline you'll have to go into the story. Okay. Uh probably leaving greece leaving my caregiver at the time when I was very young, I get a major transition, major transition and major loss and major change and the second most painful time in your life my father's dead, another loss abandonment feeling unworthy at age twelve, another major transition, no loss loss and a third most painful time uh, my stillborn son, I lost my firstborn and again another loss, another major grief one on top of the other a major transition and the transition so the other thing that's interesting about gabriella is that you also worked in a hospice volunteering for how many years uh seven years going on eight now helping people through transitions and loss and change that's right okay so what people dio other people who are drawn to her ella she hasn't been deliberate in her marketing but now she's going to be um because you're not the four seasons you're not the ritz carlton you're not trying to be but what she does provide is this welcoming home and hearth for people to come and heal who have suffered loss or or who were in a major transition do you see how that's rooted in her purpose do you see how that's rooted in the lessons that she had to learn because I think what was your so what was your big lesson from those three most painful moments I think that the two combine it all and over time it was learning the powerful threshold in the depth of grief that we all have that that there's a threshold and if you can read it and trust it and no you're not alone in that transitioning time whatever that might be a possible love one of health challenge it passes and life does remove and it does replenish it is a cycle and so and you know that yeah okay so this is wisdom that gabriella has earned through experience I mean is this inspiring or is this inspiring you want to be in the business of selling paintings go right ahead wait do with gabrielle is doing which is creating value way above and beyond the art so here's the thing so people stay in her beautiful cottage and what do they do? They walk into this studio what do they need? They need to get something to take home with them or commission gabriella because thes pieces of art represent that moment at that time they spent in her healing hearth all ready to commission I'm not surprised and you'll have more so if people want to learn more and want to come visit where did they go where should they go? Well I have my website with my art stay a start it's www art st dot com and then of course my last name lewin start and that is my artwork so you have choices okay so but if they want to come and stay at your place and buy your art okay perfect all right, so what do you guys think? Is that inspiring? Amazing do you see how she's not selling painting anymore? Thank god you are but you're not that's right? I am but I'm not but I am yeah you yeah you are but you're not right exactly alright well gabriella, thank you so much you have added a lot to this coarsening you're a great example of trusting the process and being so courageous through it you shared some things that were very personal and very profound and very inspiring to me and I know you're gonna inspire other people through the stay and through the art is they're going to take home as a symbol of the healing that you offer people like you did when you were a volunteer in hospice thank you so much you will thank you thank you bye cool what a neat person you get but everybody is see this is the thing like all everybody suffers she connecting people with their humanity is she in the business of selling just paintings anymore? Is it about her talent as a painter no no don't worry about it anymore and she's what she didn't mention and I'll give this she also has a beautiful organic garden and she's a fantastic cook and so if you come and stay there you know she makes you breakfast and she really nurtures you and um you know shouldn't sit by you but you just stay you know but she's she makes this very welcoming place and she noticed and she really wasn't sure why people would come and they they would start crying and um they were they were started they started crying because they felt they felt good they felt like held and um and no one else could do this except gabriella right? You can't go copy that business model is a great thing you eliminate the competition you know? I mean, I love that I love the book the blue ocean strategy but it's a little dry. Okay? And these are real life examples of blue ocean strategies where here's an incredibly competitive space which is selling paintings and she's eliminated the competition entirely by the value that she's creating above and beyond the art to see that so that's this lesson creating value above and beyond the art so let's dive in a little bit deeper to this to the meat of this and again, if you're at home you know gabrielle has got it looks like she's got it all figured out she's still working on things she just figured out she was an entrepreneur like six months ago so she had to do a major mind shift. She thought she had a art practice. I was like, what in the hell is that anyway? What are you talking about? Andi practice do practicing think you're done practicing but so she she's working through thes these issues of taking on the mantle of entrepreneurship this is new to her but she'll do it she will do it and she's already getting bookings she's already getting commissions and it will take hold I have every confidence in her just like every confidence and julie julie is worked in a corporation and a cubicle for many years I think in information systems or something like that completely unrelated to art but her value proposition and is so interesting and her mission is so strong that she will figure it out that's easier to figure out than this stuff think you can read books you could read seth code and you could figure out marketing right you can read the one page a business plan and you can figure out how to write a business plan there's lots of resource is but there's not a lot of resource is in my ass estimations why I'm teaching this course is how do you get it creating an enterprise that really matters it really is a place where you're fully self expressed was which is what jonathan fields talking a lot about in the good life project he's interviewing people who are examples of full self expression and not all of them are famous and not all of them you know our household names like daniel pink or seth golden um but that's the point we just all want to live a good life right we're here to dio just try to make the best of it so let's dive in deeper um I have to say I'm so inspired by my students I just they their lessons teach me like this is why I keep doing this because it's like oh my god I am so moved by the experiences they've had and what they've come through and how they're turning that around it's just the best all right um so less if you're following along in the discovery journal were on page thirty seven and it's again about defining the unique value proposition I wish I would've bolted the word unique because it's emphasis on how are you different? Are you solving a problem differently than anyone else? Um and how can you create value above and beyond your heart? And, um this value needs to be very concrete and specific. So how do you figure out if it's concrete and specific enough? I mean, tell an eight year old what you're doing and see if they understand if it sounds lofty or theoretical and an eight year old will totally not get what the heck you're talking about, then you're you're not clear yet it has to be that clear in that concise does that make sense? This is where a lot of artists kind of go sideways and the other thing I want to remind people of it's in the book and I've talked about it before on the course your purpose and your mission are not art related cannot relate it to your creative they're not they're related you you is a person now unique value proposition might include an expression of your mission through your creative medium but your purpose is not art related your purpose is not to be a writer or a photographer your purposes much more grounded in your human experience and your mission is much more ground in your human experience so again as a reminder if it sounds poetic and you sound like a hallmark card we have a problem it's b s it's not riel I suggest uh that you even if you were a writer and even if you're incredibly talented at writing the's exercises a lot of them will benefit you'll benefit from actually just saying them out loud and recording them and then listening back to what you said so john you were up here earlier and we were trying to get youto um express what your purpose was your value proposition it's easy to get stuck so talk to yourself out loud and actually talked yourself as if you are and all knowing all seeing future successful version of yourself because that self allah the remembering process via grammy dan that self knows everything and that self can very clearly articulate what your purpose is your mission and your value proposition so don't rely on your writing skills because they're usually just not strong enough and it's easier so when it do it if it's easier all right main again um so just review some of these examples and hopefully hopefully in providing inspiration with different artists from all different disciplines in all different teo geographic location socioeconomic backgrounds and it doesn't matter the formula works in all circumstances so um value and beat above and beyond the art art being the creative whatever it is you make so um john helping people change habits is not very unique what's unique about what you were going to do with monthly experiments. Twenty I was just thinking about what people need to change and I like in order to change a habit they need some kind of motivation which comes which I can supply in terms of telling stories of people who have already changed habits I need motivation, motivation and then structure and that's the part where are you sure my approach is unique because I invite people to do ah monthly experiment a one month experiment to change a habit so needs to be accessible are easier make it easier and easier start really, really small. Okay, so make it easy. But if think craig swanson gave the example when they teach courses how to jump they don't teach him out a jump right out the gate they just teach them to walk over a couple of poles for a couple of logs so um making it a little and he's giving its structure making it easier inaccessible um but what else is unique distinctly unique about your approach? Do you remember it's fun it's fine and good to take something it's like ah, you just have to gather all your will and resolve that's one way to change a habit or make a change, or you can actually make it fun. That would be unique. I want to feel like a game. You went okay, so making it a game will make a fun great, maybe a literal game. Okay, cool. So, do you see how that's that's so that's? Your unique value proposition causes all sorts of people in the business of helping people and act change, whether it's weight watchers addiction in mystery, they're not so fun, even though they, like, try to put on a facade of fun. It's, not fun. So that was less than twenty three, is about creating value above and beyond the art, and then we're gonna go to lesson twenty four. We're gonna look at who you conserve, thank you very much.