I discovered artist Anne Rae on the web and thought I would share her bold and unique success story with you today. Bold because she hasn’t pursued the usual methods of selling her art and unique because she has created a strategy in selling her work as an entrepreneur, an area where most artists fail.
Ann Rea began painting after a 7 year dry-spell, once she’d graduated with a major in Industrial Design from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1987. Having tried several career avenues, she became anxious and started painting as an active meditation to alleviate this. When she discovered that people were appreciating her work and some collectors commented on how her paintings made them feel calm and happy, Ann decided to pursue art full-time and she boldly quit her job, sold her house and moved to San Francisco. She knew she now had to sell a lot of work to survive there, but not totally agreeing with the policies of formal galleries, she implemented a business attitude to her art and decided to go it alone.
She first had to discover a Unique Value Proposition that served a specific target market, and this she found in her vineyard scenes, which became highly popular with collectors and established her name on the map in that genre.
The experience of doing this helped her create her ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ whereby, instead of dealing with Artist Representatives, she cultivated a direct following of private art collectors. Her extraordinary strategy of creating an “Experience of Art” whereby she interacted personally with the buyer on the creation of his/her piece, proved to be hugely appreciated and led to more sales.
Pleased with her success, Rea wanted to help other artists and share her knowledge and business savvy. She therefore created ‘Artists who Thrive’. She holds seminars and course from this site. (http://www/artistswhothrive.com)
Her success is ever-growing; she has appeared in the press on many occasions, she has been interviewed for many blogs and podcasts, is also a professional speaker, and she participates in exhibitions in America, England and France.
I have not yet participated in one of her courses, but I have learnt from her experience story and from subscribing to her ‘Artists Who Thrive’ blog, that creating a personal Unique Value Proposition is vital to any artist’s success. The manifesto she adheres to is also very valuable. Here are a couple of pointers:
* We believe that we have shaped our artistic voice and that we have something to say.
* We believe we offer creative expression that adds value to the world and therefore the marketplace.
* We believe that we are creating and growing thriving businesses.
* We articulate our unique selling proposition to our defined market. We know our tribe and we celebrate our tribe.
I hope to achieve a similar success, and because I admire her method of working, I thought I’d pass on this story of a remarkable woman, whom I hope will inspire you the way she has me.
Watch her on an interview here with Jonathan Fields, the founder of TheGoodlifeProject.
http://www.goodlifeproject.com/ann-rea-on-painting-and-living-outside-the-lines/ or his show on YouTube
Her Website: http://www.annrea.com
Her Blog: http://artistswhothrive.com/