Episode 05: Turning a Silk Painting Passion into a Business with Joanna White

It’s never too late to do work you love.

Joanna White is building a thriving art business, creating and teaching the art of painting on silk through her company, Fiber-Visions.

“I was a late bloomer”, Joanna said. “I didn’t get into silk painting until in my 60’s.” Now 70, she is full on into growing her business with the enthusiasm and commitment of a young entrepreneur just getting started.

silk painting, fabric art, joanna white

Silk art painting – image by Joanna White

These are the stories that inspire us to do our art with a vision of the future. We’re in it for the long haul, and Joanna’s energetic enthusiasm will inspire you to persevere in your artistic aspirations.

Joanna’s art is the unique process of painting dyes on silk with a brush. She’s been accepted into the area’s most prestigious art guild and on the weekend we’re publishing this Joanna is in the middle of a two-weekend stint of having booths at the largest artisan shows in the region.

Enjoy learning about more about her process, fabric art journey and business building in this podcast with silk fabric artist and designer, Joanna White.

Resource Links from this Episode

BOOKS

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver
Fiber-Visions.com – Joanna’s Website
PLUS:
90 Day Goals Journal  – [our very own creation]


Full [unedited] Transcription:

(Please pardon the speech-to-text mistakes for now 🤓. We believe it’s more important to post than to be perfect, or as Seth Godin says, “to ship it!”)

LeAura: Hi this is LeAura Alderson

Devani: and I’m Devani Alderson here with iCreateDaily podcast. A podcast for creators. 

LeAura: Our guest today is Joanna White fabric artist and instructor living in Asheville North Carolina. Welcome, Joanna!

Joanna: Thank you for having me! LeAura this sounds like a great idea.

LeAura: We’ve had a wonderful response from it so far and it’s a blend of our passion and purpose project. So while it was not the best time to start it with everything else we have going on. We were compelled to do so… seeing the need out there in the artistic community; to figure out ways how to make their art their livelihood, and essentially how artistic creatives and authors do that, which is something you’re doing.  We’re going to get into a little bit more over the interview. Could we begin by you sharing more about what you do what your artistry is and what you’re doing with that?

Joanna: OK. Well, basically I grew up in a family where the women were makers. My grandmother had her own millinery shop in Amsterdam before she came to this country. And then when she got here she made her living from her sewing for other people. I was taught this by my mom and my aunt. And I was interested in fiber and I can remember sitting in front of now this will date me but you know I’m older. I was sitting in front of the man’s first walk on the moon in 1968 in the summer of 1968 creating a tapestry woven tapestry a needle and thread kind of thing. So it’s always been in my gene pool, fabric.

And so when I finally was approaching that dread year 60, altho it was not a dread year for me, I decided that if I didn’t start I would never start. And so I’m a late bloomer. I’m self-taught. I primarily use dies on silk and so I don’t die, I paint with the brush so it’s a single brush and everything is painted by hand so it’s not quick and dirty it’s one of a kind. So what to do how to start. I was taking a watercolor class and having such a frustrating time because it was on paper and I thought ‘Why in the world did I sign up for this?’. So surely there is something about painting a fiber so I went online to YouTube and I learned to paint silk on YouTube.

Devani: Amazing.

Joanna: And you know it was the beginning and what it did is that it opened doors for me to find other people.

And in North Carolina at that time there were not that many people painting on so I could not find a local teacher. So I found a woman in the United Kingdom who offered way before her time an online course in silk painting and she’s very successful. Her name is Jill Kennedy. So she was really my first teacher and I started just following along and doing. And the more–silk painting is truly very addictive. How the dies when you drop them on plain white silk and they move. It’s like flying through the air on an airplane or in an airplane you now have a textures and then you just feel like you’re just flying well, That’s the way color on silk works.

Silk art painting by Joanna White

Silk art painting by Joanna White

[00:03:22] LeAura:  Love that.

[00:03:23] Devani: Oh my goodness that sounds so much fun.  I’ve dabbled a tiny bit in watercolor on paper and it’s very difficult. But man that just love textures and feelings.

[00:03:36] LeAura: That sounds fantastic. And by the way, you said when you’re around when you were 60 so that would have been years ago which people are not going to move it because you don’t even look over. You don’t even look 60. But that was 11 years ago which there wasn’t even that much on YouTube at that time.

[00:03:58] Joanna: Now there is a man out in California who does nothing but put online classes up for makers in lots of fiber artists have online courses now. Now that’s how I started painting and of course when you paint you start stacking up scarves and there are only so many scarves you can have and only so many friends will take your scarves, so you have to find an outlet. So I began to investigate what does it take to do outdoor shows. I had a straw at the time my husband was living and he was a strong supporters so went and visited artists and he would interview artists on what was the best tent. Why did they like the tent they had. I would walk around wearing my scarves trying to figure out if I had what it takes to be able to do that. And someone came into my life at the art in the park in Blowing Rock and she said if this is your art–pointing to my scarf–then yes of course you have the skill to be. And so she encouraged me and I applied and got even when she also was part of a gallery in Blowing Rock and so I lived there and got in there. So that was the beginning. Outdoor shows and I was doing maybe the first year four or five at the height of my outdoor experience I was doing 11 which was way too much because I had the equivalent of a full time job, in addition. I think the hardest piece of all of this is that it’s very very difficult to make a living from your art.

[00:05:26] Don’t quit your day job because your day job is like Elizabeth Gilbert. Gilbert I love her book.

[00:05:34] Devani: Big Magic.

[00:05:35] Joanna: Big Magic. That’s it. And she talks about how she waited tables. She had all the stuff she wrote every day she never quit her day came after she had two successful books. So you can make a living doing art. But it doesn’t happen overnight.

[00:05:54] LeAura: Well you know when you think about it and so this is the thing that I think that many artists and authors creatives in general. Somebody mentioned back when we interviewed Corey the other day he mentioned this and this is such a good point.

[00:06:07] And that is that you know basically it is it is a business you know and businesses are not built overnight either. You know no business starts up and then is successful. It often takes years. And as we know you know many of the ones that get started it’s about one third are no longer around in five years. And like maybe 50 percent in 10 years. And it’s the same probably with artists but even more so because there’s the frustration of realizing that you are your own business and that isn’t the strength of many an entrepreneur. I mean artist rather than the artist creatives who can balance and blend a little bit of that world as you have done and are doing and started out with the help of Thomas those who end up making out the other ones end up making it are those who continue creating daily. Who keep on going in the direction of their dreams. And because like anything that we can create it does require consistent persistent effort you know.

[00:07:07] Devani: And one thing you mentioned before we got on the podcast you sent us an e-mail this morning saying you had just gotten into an art guild. Congratulations on that. We wanted to sort of ask you and to share with other artists what the benefit of joining an artist guild is for them and also on sort of the process of doing that when they should start looking toward getting–applying–to be a part of the guild.

[00:07:35] Joanna: Right. Well I think with art guilds give people as well as juried art shows. It gives you credibility in the artistic community. It says that you know your work is good enough because each juried situation you are in is a learning obviously learning situation and so on.

[00:07:58] You know I think it isn’t overnight you can anticipate applying to gilds three four five six seven times before you get in times. And in North Carolina we’re really blessed because we have three very fine artistic guilds. The Carolina Designer Craftsman Guild which I joined seven years ago was accepted. The Piedmont Craftsman Guild which is based in Winston-Salem covers the whole United States and even beyond I think, and I’m still working to get into that guild and have been invited back to do the show and will be juried at the show in November.

[00:08:31] I have my fingers up to that. But it’s it’s my fourth time I believe I lost track four or five I don’t know. Anyway that’s the other thing you just have to be persistent. If you can keep it going.

[00:08:44] And not a rejection personally. That’s the big big thing cause you know this is the absolute best work I’ve done and they don’t like it. Well maybe I’m wrong. But you’re not. You just haven’t maybe haven’t paid your time and dues. I don’t know yet. And then just recently moved to Asheville and you know this was my first shot at Southern Highlands Crafts Guild and I know people that have done four or five times to get into. So I went in without a lot of expectation. However I have to say that the work that I’m doing now is the best work I’ve ever done. So I don’t think I could have said that along the way and previously I don’t know if that makes any sense but I know it was good. But this is really good stuff now and I have a lady that helps with the stitching so that it’s perfect because I got dinged for that early on. So it’s persistence. What does being an art get get you. Well the Southern Highlands craft guild has four art galleries that you can put your work in. Plus it’s got a huge reputation and because it’s geographical location is the specific to the Appalachian chain. You’re sort of in a niche market.

[00:09:55] So for instance they have a gallery on the Parkway on the North Carolina Parkway at MosesCone in blowing rock and that’s well-traveled gallery at Biltmore Village in Asheville which is another tourist spot.

[00:10:09] So they have four galleries Piedmont craftsman has a gallery on the trade street Asheville and Carolina designer craftsman does not have a gallery and they do one show a year so. Indoor shows are easier in some ways than outdoor shows because you don’t have the weather to contend with. And I remember a show where we set up in the rain and the rain turned to sleet.

[00:10:34] Devani: Not good for fabric.

[00:10:37] Joanna: oh my goodness. And then the ambulance came because the wind had not. And another area of room where I was standing knocked at Potters tent over and the tent fell apart the pieces of the tent flew and broke her arm.

[00:10:50] LeAura: Oh my God.

[00:10:51] Joanna: I have been in 40 mile an hour in sleet snow and hail and it is not perfect.

[00:10:58] Devani: Art is a dangerous craft, guys!

[00:11:05] Joanna: And nobody tells you that. And also I live next to a hamburger cooking tent one time with my sail. Oh my under it. Oh. You know every show you do is a learning experience.

[00:11:17] Devani: Yeah definitely. You could just provide some interesting stories. I’m sure along the way though. Yeah.

[00:11:23] Joanna: It’s fun. It really is fun. It’s hard work. People think it’s so easy but you’re there at 5:00 a.m. in the morning you’re setting up with lanterns and head lamps because you can’t see the complicated tents together. So it’s challenging. So being in a guild removes you from the need I think to be in outdoor shows. Because if I’m successful and get into Piedmont Craftsmen that will get me for indoor shows a year. And that’s probably enough with galleries. Another track that artist you and I have a friend Mary Edna Frazier who you should really interview in South Carolina Charleston. She has had tremendous success. She never called herself a fiber artist although she paints on silk. She is a boutique artist. She uses wax and dies on silk. And she goes up in air planes photographs and then does these wonderful huge pieces that are then installed like in the Charleston airport.

[00:12:21] Oh my goodness she did it in the air and space museum in Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian she was the featured artist. We did a show there so her focus is galleries museum shows and teaching.

[00:12:34] My focus is indoor shows now and teaching and at end I realized that oh I have a friend here who is part of the North Carolina group I was in. And she moved to Florida and opened fiber art studio. And she’s doing very well. And she shared with me that I could paint scarves and make clothing all day long and I would not do as well as I’m doing reading this.

[00:12:59] What does she like. No. Very good.

[00:13:02] Devani: Yeah we have a few people in our community who are working they’re not. Not all of them are necessarily craft artists some of themare photographers and such but they’re looking at you know one of their goals. We have a 100 day creator challenge both free and paid and one of several of the people’s goals are to have a studio space. And so it’s good to know. And it just gives you that one point and location does show up to and have all set up for your art. But also it’s great for marketing and just having that location because you mentioned also before we started recording that another one of your moneymakers is also having other artists come in and teach classes which not only introduces the collaborative artist environment for your business but also just helps uplift your community and people learning people coming in and people who have been there it just brings the art community together like we’re doing online you’re doing not in your location and that’s just awesome.

[00:14:02] LeAura: Yeah. So you said that she said it wasn’t make as much money but you are also starting your own studio for some of this reason. Is that right.

[00:14:10] Joanna: So what she said is what she indicated is she could paint art all day long and she wouldn’t make as much money as she is now doing. She’s doing much better having regular what I call a real guy rock star artists come into her fiber art studio and teach us so teaching in her studio. But in addition she has real name talent come in and she is mentoring me. And I think that’s another person for you all to interview. Her name is Suzanne cars. She’s in Stewart Florida.

[00:14:40] And her gallery is called a Y A L A. I I believe I have a fiver anyway. So I’m having hosting my first visiting teacher.

[00:14:50] The end of this month. Her name is Kerr Grabowski. Another very successful artist who has made a living part of her shtick was she was the fiber director of the Peeters Valley crafts school in New Jersey and that’s real near New York so she had contacts in New York City and she sold her art in New York City as well as she was director of school.

[00:15:16] Can we take a break. Yeah.

[00:15:22] Joanna: OK. Looking at ways how can I market my art. And you’re rightly or I had no business sense. I can’t tell you what a piece of scarf her clothes actually cost in real time. I don’t even try to figure that out. I know that I don’t make much per hour. That’s not much point in doing it. My point has always been I need to make enough to break even and forward and be able to keep growing. I have been able to do that and now I’m actually making a lot of money which is a nice thing to know.

[00:15:58] My husband who is my backers You know and did suddenly died. So I was on my own two and a half years ago so the studio idea was my main focus when I moved to Asheville. Now there’s lots of studios here teaching studios and one in particular.

[00:16:13] And but I don’t see myself being a competition because there are so many different techniques in when you put you there you can only help all of us.

[00:16:24] Devani: I’m sorry. Ahead. Well and just no matter even if somebody is doing a similar thing or even just remotely close to the way you create art it’s always a different perspective. You have your own story behind your art you have your own whatever you’re trying to create and show it’s always going to come from a different perspective for each person. So it just like you said it just helps your whole community.

[00:16:51] Joanna: It really does. And so when I bought my house I really didn’t like for the house I bought it for the lighted basement. it overlooks the mountains and has 5 huge windows and a sliding door and fiber art means water.

[00:17:05] So I have three been commercial saying thank you and have in a restaurant. I have plates and you know induction plates to heat. I have outdoor hangar space that we need to hang things out to dry. And I have room for 10 to 12 students.

[00:17:20] LeAura: Awesome. So what I’m you. What can you share, Joanna, that is not too private relative to how much you can cost charge rather how much the cost is costs how much it cost you to pay the instructor extra anything about that that you can share would be help.

[00:17:39] Joanna: I can just share the little formula that Susan Conner shared with me. She said she bases her class fees. What would it take. What does the instructor charge for per day.

[00:17:54] And then multiply it three four five days whatever you’re doing. What does she charge for travel.

[00:17:59] And of course Suzanne said up down there she has to actually broker with the hotel to put the person person up. And then there’s food. So having my basement be my fiber vision studio. I have two guest rooms. I have a kitchen. I can provide the food in the room and room and board. So that’s a cost that I can take off my table. It just means that the workshop cost is less for the participant which is a good thing.

[00:18:29] So you figure all of that out and you get the total and then you divide by six. That’s what it takes to have the class 6 paying people and that is what you charge. OK. And then on top of that if the instructor has material that’s a materials fee the instructor charges. So the fees come to me. I pay the instructor and then anything above six is profit.

[00:18:54] LeAura: Again anything above six OK so wait anything above six people. OK. So six people is a baseline you need.

[00:19:05] Joanna: You know first of all how many people can you get in your space how many people is your teachers are your teachers willing to teach. And 10 to 12 hours maximum usually for a teacher to feel comfortable really giving enough one on one.

[00:19:18] Right. It’s not a lecture, it’s a hands on doing kind of thing. So you mentioned you know is the most I can get in my studio.

[00:19:26] LeAura: Right. So you mentioned staying around I say I was thinking more day workshops. So are there also day workshops.

[00:19:34] And then if you have a lot of elongated ones how long are they typically.

[00:19:38] Joanna: Well I taught I taught my first studio class here last Saturday and I had three students.

[00:19:48] And because it’s me I didn’t have to worry about six and My main focus is this that is taken me a full year to build the studio. All right. August 1st on September, August 1st 2016, on September 2nd 2017 I’m taught my first class.

[00:20:08] I’m also doing a lot of other things. It’s all a balancing act so I I have several hats I wear.

[00:20:15] I am a volunteer with Silk Painters International and I’m playing their festival and that’s volunteer. I do get my way paid to the festival and my room and board and I don’t have to register so that’s lovely. And then I also am on the board of local which is a local fiber group here. So those are my two volunteer aspects. And then I have a part time position with another organization that puts on conferences and my main role is to help them do that. And that is paid position.

[00:20:46] So and that remains to be seen how I balance all of that out for the experiment for 2017.

[00:20:54] Devani: That actually leads really well into another question that we definitely want to touch on is just sort of with all of that going on and really everybody who jumps in or dives into a creative process generally has like so much in life going on whether it’s family obligations a job part time jobs or whatever it is avolenteer work. Kids. Yeah. What do you do daily. What is your ritual or your habit daily to either create something everyday or cultivate the space and mindset to create every day.

[00:21:28] Joanna: Well when I when I moved here that was a two year process. I mean I moved in August 2016 but I made the decision the year before and it was a real transition in my life and it was emotional transition.

[00:21:42] I just lost my husband and a lot of other personal stuff. So I discovered the book Artist Way. I love it because she hits on everything and there’s a chapter every week and you answer the questions and then you do morning pages. So I am now a journaler. Every day I journal and in that journal I not only speak how I’m feeling emotionally and mentally that I speak to what is it that I’m that accomplished that day. So it’s like everything everybody tells you make your list before you go to bed and then it’s it’s just a matter of organization it’s really true.

[00:22:18] But the artist’s way is an inspiration for people who really want to be creative. Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic is another one that I really used and then there’s a third one. Tasha Silver wrote a book called Outrageous Openness and that’s more metaphysical spiritual approach to just asking. You know there’s all these spiritual resources that we don’t draw on. So it’s a combination of eclectic things that I do.

[00:22:50] I write where I am, I write where I’d like to go, and then I make actual goals. And everything is in those books.

[00:22:59] So and I just went back and looked at a few of them and oh my goodness I really really did ask questions and wait and got answers. And that’s Tasha’s you just asked a question and then you pay attention she says follow the bread crumbs. Really what it is because the universe does give you indicators. And when I bought this house I came out here was going back home where I lived and I came out here and to tell them that I couldn’t buy the house that we would talked about because it was too big it was going to convert the attic and it was going to be a construction loan and I don’t know if you know about that. I didn’t but I learned that they are extremely expensive and you don’t want to do that. So I said I just can’t do it. I need a house with the basement. My goodness we’re just building a house with the basement. I mean that’s what I mean you just follow the bread crumbs and you ask questions.

[00:23:50] Devani: You know that’s such an important point what you mentioned before about writing down where you are and where you want to be. And then each day checking in with like what happened and asking those questions whether it’s to yourself or to other people like Hey I can’t really do this in this house because it doesn’t fit what I need is a basement and they’re like oh well you know we go we have this thing that we’re building and you might want it you might want it. And what’s important about that is a lot of creatives. They get a little bit bogged down with the I’m stuck where I am now and I’m not that person that I see myself maybe being or the person I’m comparing myself to a lot of comparison in art where it’s like. And I think it’s everywhere in life but especially for artist we’re like oh my gosh that person has it all and they have it figured out and you know all that stuff.

[00:24:39] And so I think that’s such an important practice for anybody listening who is stuck in spot. I’m not moving forward is just sit down and every day visualize yourself in where you want to be even a month from now if you can’t if if looking a full year ahead is too much for you.

[00:25:00] Just figure out one month from now where do I want to be.

[00:25:05] Joanna: Or just next week or tomorrow. I don’t know what to make next week happen.

[00:25:15] LeAura: Absolutely and it is. And then doing the same thing every day. So consistency and percent’s persistence you know the saying persistence wears down resistance. So wears down resistance to the writer’s block to the creator’s law whatever it may be and it gets worked on a one time builds the foundation upon which the rest of our dreams can follow.

[00:25:37] Joanna: So the network becomes all important. Yeah. Every time you meet a person that person comes into your life for a reason. And my experience has been just like when I first started it I was in a woman’s tent in Blowing Rock and I said this is something I’ve been wanting to do my whole life. Do you think this is good enough to do. You know is my scarf. Good enough.

[00:25:59] And so not being afraid to ask for feedback and not being afraid to ask for help. And there’s lots of things out here that like your group and there’s something called Creative Mornings that is an interesting thing that I’ve just learned about. But I think you also asked me what do you do you do something in your studio or something with it.

[00:26:25] When I’m stuck. This is what I do. It’s a zentangle is a line from this drawing thing and even if I don’t finish I just put something on that’s inspiring and then I sit there and do this stuff. And then by the time I am working on these. Can you see how it gets my juices going. And I can say oh I can take that design and put it down on the scarf.

[00:26:58] Devani: And speaking of morning pages before yes it’s like morning pages for visual art.

[00:27:04] LeAura: Yeah. That’s just anything that you can take that design you have something you want to show us we’re going to include some photos back up for just some housekeeping stuff so that people’s names we’ve been mentioning and the books you mentioning we will put those in the show notes when the interview publishes and we’ll make sure we get those names from you maybe you can send us an e-mail after with those names that would be very helpful. And also include some of your incredible fabric creations. Do you have any you’d like to share in show.

[00:27:35] Before we go.

[00:27:36] Joann: Well we have to pause I was going to share two other books that are of the same venue.

[00:27:41] I have half.

[00:27:43] Can you raise it up a little bit with all of these came along after Jill Kennedy. I like the bellyfull silk painting. Susan believes she has to. So painting the artist’s guide to Ghouta in wax resist then then this is the second one which is so I can read about fashion fine art and he is no longer teaching in so these books are like gold because she’s no longer teaching. She’s creating work for herself that she is probably my age now and no longer teaching. To some people do retire. some of us are going to keep going

[00:28:23] LeAura: That’s what we’re planning on doing.

[00:28:25] Joanno: Yeah that’s what I would do until I drop. And so I don’t have anything right here. But if you stop a minute I can run and get things are OK.

[00:28:35] {PAUSE} Devani: All right.

[00:28:37] Joanna: So to give you an idea of what’s possible. This is a silk chiffon and this is the tunic which you can’t really see but you can get an idea of how the colors flow into one another down us. And then this is an interesting fabric in that it’s silk. It’s machine washable. Very colorful. It’s a boutique process. The one I just showed you was a watercolor process. So there are all these different techniques. This is a boutique process and this is a tunic.

[00:29:08] Devani: It’s beautiful.

[00:29:10] Joanna: We go by the colors and the depth of color that you can get. Yeah. And then the last piece of that will be it is a different fabric for me and it’s a kimono and it’s just lovely and you know it’s all silk in it. Oh people don’t get it. This is not so this is how it starts white. Wow. And so on those colors are all painted on with brush.

[00:29:38] LeAura: Right. So one of the things that are to struggle with is the answer like the knock off cheap things from China so to speak.

[00:29:46] So what are you seeing in the artist community those who are creating authentic work like that from scratch. You know that there’s just there’s nothing like not artistry. That’s truly the craftsman you know approach. So what are you seeing in the communities about who your customers are and the need for that kind of thing.

[00:30:08] Joanna: Well there are the little tiny boutique shops used to be the way people like myself used to sell. Those places in New York City are closing. So that venue is going so your craft schools your guilds are high in shows and there are several on the East Coast and the number on the West Coast. You have to do your research and there are there are resources for that. And I could give them to you LeAura and you could upload them. You have to jury in for instance Smithsonian has the most beautiful craft show every year in April. The Philadelphia Art Museum has theirs in November. Those are like high end on this coast. The American Craft Council A.C.C. show in San Francisco is high end and you could sell these kind of items for two three four hundred dollars there but you can’t do it at outdoor shows. And you have to be very selective about the indoor shows you do well on my shirt one time going to Richmond Virginia and paying for room and board and three nights and didn’t even make enough for my fee. The entrance fee though obviously we didn’t do that show. Kind of like they say you have to look at what is the best way you can do it. I’ve found the best way to do it is you go to the show yourself and you case it out, just like in magazines you have to work on it and see what people are paying. Yeah. It’s very hard to get what it’s worth. Yesterday I had a. She’s an artist too. She makes her own patterns and she creates her own patterns and then she those corttier your kinds of garments and their vintage and they’re gorgeous.

[00:32:00] And I would have to and I’d love to work with them and I may still.

[00:32:05] But by the time I pay her sewing fees and the patterning sees the item would have to be four to five hundred dollars round to make a profit. So you have to make decisions about who is your client you know and I have friends that do make a living as full time artists but they’ve been at it like 30 years. I’m a newbie at 11 years and I’m thrilled that I had the amount of success I have had. But I also think personally in my personal life I know of personal growth things that kept me from many pitfalls.

[00:32:39] Devani: Right. That’s a good point that you made about the shallows and research the shows. We interviewed another artist who has a fantasy painting artist and she does canvas. But she also mentioned the same thing. So if you’re looking to get into a show whether it’s via a guild or a gallery or some high end or even you know even if it’s not a high end show. Definitely research the market. That’s their, go as a participant. See also see the setups of other artists who are obviously selling a lot and even some that maybe seem like they’re not selling so much and see sort of the points where you can come in and kind of blend and not do what doesn’t seem to be working what is working. And yeah that’s a good point about going to those physical places I mean what I create daily we talk a lot about the online aspect of selling and getting your work out there. And it’s it’s really the same strategy of doing that research and figuring out like Who is your buyer whether it’s online or off.

[00:33:46] Yeah do you.

[00:33:47] Joanna: And I haven’t done very well with social media online things you know I just am just started an Instagram. I just did pin Pinterest and I don’t use Facebook as well as I could. It just you know I’m it’s not a skill I have. So I have to spend a lot of time figuring it out. So I haven’t done another venue that we haven’t talked about which I’m eager to do more with is to find those juried art shows that are in museums in are in galleries and on the back of magazines you can find them there’s sources for those as well. And same thing apply apply apply in photographs or work in silk is really hard to photograph. You can’t do it with your iPhone. You can house it requires a model. It requires someone with that special equipment. So I tried Etsy and Etsy didn’t work for me and yet it works for other people so you just have to find your little niche. Yeah

[00:34:48] LeAura: yeah I think I think Etsy is probably not as high and so that’s probably why it’s not your market. But I think online you have an opportunity it would be interesting to explore it and we could certainly help you. Devani that’s her specialty relet one of the benefits on Facebook is that really target an ad to your ideal audience your ideal customer and that for very inexpensively very inexpensive way it’s increasing and it’s going to be increasing every year as Facebook gets more and more big corporations moving their advertising dollars away from the television radio that’s just dumped into basically the trash because everyone’s fast forwarding through commercials commercials to Facebook because the other thing you can do there is again microtargeting. So you can identify your ideal customer avatar for instance the kind of person that tends to buy most of your things and select that it’s worth a try relative to an online thing. So can people buy your products online right now.

[00:35:49] Joanna: The only way they can do it is to go to my website and contact me and then we can arrange for an appointment or I can send them like I sent to you a collection has been photographed. OK. The other thing with my work is that there’s only one right it’s photographed and it’s sold, that’s it. And I can what I can get in a person’s head. This was also learning that I should pass on. One day a lady asked me Can you please take your scarf just light pastels. It seemed very easy, blues, lavenders, greens. So I’m sure it’s fairly easy. The difficult colors. I painted here for scars and she like none of them. you know.

[00:36:29] That was a learning and then talking to other artists that do one of a kind work. They say that kind of commission is not feasible because you cannot get in someone’s head right very hard if not gazing it something in or it’s not printing it’s you know kind of thing.

[00:36:45] And that as explored. What would it take to print my slik. And there was two places in North Carolina that were doing it and both of them were really expensive and in their printed.

[00:36:57] So that means as opposed to them these things being this colors and on the side it’s the same color fabrics bright on the outside. And on the inside.

[00:37:09] I hope so that’s something to look for when you’re buying somebody else’s silk but you may want but it still can be printed. It’s not the same as hand so great.

[00:37:20] And in that there’s lots of venues I haven’t explored I only have been doing it. I mean you’re so right.

[00:37:27] LeAura: Absolutely. So and that’s a wonderful thing and I think like you said that you’re going to be creating basically you’re not going to retire and we don’t plan to because it’s sort of like how can creators stop creating you know how could we.

[00:37:38] And so we’ve talked about this before as well in psych you know at 71 you know what are you going to do with the next 30 amazing years that you have. And what will you create. It’s easy to imagine that even a year from now when we catch up with you hopefully you will be that much further along and just keep on going creating every day.

[00:37:57] Joanna: Yeah I hope.

[00:37:59] LeAura: It’s been it’s been wonderful Joanna you’ve. It’s been great hearing your story. And you know the things that are hard to me are things that at work I’m sure that will help people as well. And you’re just doing beautiful work and look forward to seeing how your journey unfolds.

[00:38:15] Joanna: OK. Thank you very much ladies.

[00:38:17] Devani & LeAura: Thank you!


About the author, LeAura Alderson

Hello! I’m LeAura, an autodidactic former homeschooling mom, self development advocate, entrepreneur, author, ideator, web publisher, and podcaster, passionate about helping others achieve their best possible life!

I love people, creating, and good conversations on creativity, growth, development and entrepreneurship. So co-hosting the iCreateDaily podcast along with my daughter, Devani, is one of my favorite things to do.

I've trained and certified in mediation, strategic intervention, marriage and family coaching as well as a fitness trainer, and participated in many courses and workshops over the years.

Today, the synergy of creating websites, articles and podcasts, brings together all my favorite things: learning, growth, creating, connecting and contributing. To share these with you is a privilege, that serves my lifelong aspiration to help others.

My personal areas of creativity are in writing, masterminding, ideation and bringing ideas to life through business and entrepreneurship.

Leave a Comment