Annie shared her dream of being an artist. Well, she was an artist of course, but she wanted to be paid to be an artist. This is a distinction I run in to with many people. They bubble with creativity, pour their souls out onto canvas and marble and paper, then sit in the middle of their wonderful work and cry. “But how do I get recognized?” “Why isn’t the world beating a path to my door? Why doesn’t this work sell?”
They remind me of the Black Limo Fantasy: When I was eight, the nation was in love with The Mickey Mouse Club—and no one more than I. I wanted to play with them, dance with them, be one of them. I hadn’t a clue how that could happen. My fantasy was that talent scouts were driving up and down the streets in a Black Limo, looking for talented children to whisk away to stardom. I kept my eyes peeled for the Black Limo with the talent scout in it. Alas. It never came to my neighborhood.
So I look at my beautiful artist friends and don’t want them to wait one more day for the Black Limo. It’s not coming for them, and it’s not coming for you. It is parked at a corner somewhere in your future, it’s motor running, waiting for you to arrive. And you don’t find it in one seven-league boot stride. You find it by every day making one baby step towards your dream. The purpose of art is communication with people. You have to pick up the golden phone—the one with the money in it—and talk to people who might own a piece of your dream. Find out where the Black Limo is parked by asking everyone you know, then even calling people you don’t know. Talk to gallery owners, corporate art buyers, interior decorators, architects. Enter contests, display at the local Rotary Club art fair, form a support group of other artists, and share connections. This is called “Sales and Marketing” by business people. I call them “Sending Out Ships.” They are the delivery system for your creations, whatever they may be. You have to get them out where people can buy them, otherwise they’re just hobby-crafts that you give away at Christmas.
Annie never thought she could make a sale. Not only was she afraid to make a phone call, she was reluctant to make a sale when someone called her and asked to buy one of her paintings. There were people in her life who wanted to invest money, time, and connections in her dream, and she wasn’t letting them help her. She was afraid. The fear stopped her cold. I told her that I wasn’t a therapist and I couldn’t find the source of her fear. I could only tell her to get over it, or on her deathbed she’d be regretting instead of reminiscing.
The next week, she started selling paintings. She found her Black Limo. Where is yours?
Today’s Affirmation: “I am now earning a great big income doing what makes me happy!”