Art, with its vast spectrum of creativity, often intertwines with the complexities of the business world. In a recent webinar, Maria Brophy, an esteemed art business consultant, shared her insights and experiences, guiding us through her journey in transforming her partner Drew Brophy’s art from surfboard paintings to a global sensation. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of Maria’s remarkable story and the valuable lessons she has learned along the way.
If you like reading more than watching, we’ve got you. Read on for the written version of this webinar. You can also jump to any topic you want from the list below.
Maria’s foray into the art business wasn’t a conventional one. Having initially pursued mundane jobs in the insurance industry, her life took an unexpected turn when she crossed paths with Drew Brophy, a surfboard painter. Drawn to the allure of Drew’s artistic world, Maria saw the potential to elevate his art beyond surfboards. Despite having no background in the art business, Maria’s curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit led her to explore ways to make art not just a passion but a thriving business.
From Surfboards to Success
Maria’s journey with Drew was marked by experimentation and resilience. They ventured into diverse avenues, discovering how to monetize art effectively. The pivotal moment came when they realized the power of leveraging a single image repeatedly. Maria narrated a fascinating example – a painting called “Sunrise” that, since 2006, has been transformed into various products, generating over half a million dollars. This realization became a cornerstone in their approach, proving that strategic thinking and resourcefulness could amplify the impact of an artist’s work.
The Birth of “Art Money Success”
Maria’s journey wasn’t just about personal success; it was a realization that they had uncovered insights that could benefit other struggling artists. In her words, “I realized that we had figured some things out that a lot of artists did not figure out.” This realization inspired Maria to share their experiences, both successes and failures, leading her to write the book “Art Money Success.” The book serves as a guide for artists, providing practical advice on navigating the complex terrain of the art business.
The Essence of Entrepreneurial Thinking
In the webinar, Maria emphasized the importance of artists embracing entrepreneurial thinking. She debunked the myth that artists can’t have a business mind, asserting that everyone has access to that part of their mind; it’s about learning and unlearning certain principles. With an abundance of free resources available today, Maria encourages artists to educate themselves on various income-generating avenues within the art business.
Diversifying Income Streams
A significant revelation from Maria was the multitude of income streams available for artists. She highlighted the success of licensing art, a venture that has been a constant for Maria and Drew. Licensing involves granting companies limited rights to print an artist’s work on their products. Maria emphasized the importance of collaborating with companies aligned with the artist’s values and the quality of the products they produce. Such collaborations, she explained, can be a substantial source of income, extending an artist’s reach to diverse audiences.
Strategic Selling of Prints
Maria also shared insights into the strategic selling of prints. Their approach involves creating limited editions of signed prints, followed by open editions. The larger collector’s edition, featuring a hand-signed print, is priced higher, enticing collectors with exclusivity. This method has proven successful for Maria and Drew, showcasing the importance of pricing strategy and the appeal of unique, signed editions.
The Power of Collaboration
Collaboration emerged as a powerful strategy in Maria’s narrative. She highlighted a recent collaboration with a company called Etha, where Drew’s art was featured on a range of products. Maria stressed the significance of collaborations, especially for artists building their audience. Leveraging the partner’s existing audience can significantly boost traffic to an artist’s website, establishing connections with potential buyers.
Nurturing a Global Audience
In response to a question from the audience, Maria addressed the possibility of achieving a six-figure income without selling originals. She affirmed that it’s indeed possible, emphasizing the importance of having art that resonates with a large audience. Maria encouraged artists to focus on nurturing relationships with their audience, showcasing how prints, licensing, and collaborations can collectively contribute to a substantial income.
Maria Brophy’s journey in the art business is a testament to the transformative power of strategic thinking, adaptability, and embracing entrepreneurial principles. Her advice to artists is clear: do things your own way, challenge conventional norms, and find avenues that resonate with your values. As the art business continues to evolve, Maria’s insights serve as a guiding light for artists navigating the complex intersection of art and commerce.
You can find more information about Maria’s book, podcast, and more through https://mariabrophy.com/
Watch this webinar through this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qF9iX4QFTDM&t=520s
All previous and upcoming webinar videos are available on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@lumaprints