The old stereotype of the starving artist is getting kicked to the curb by our guest for episode 129! Sean Dietrich, master artist in residence at Industriacide.com, has taken the starving out of starving artist; and he’s doing it by scaling his artwork and by showcasing his artistic creations at live events.
And for that reason I wanted to have him on the show: he’s doing things in the art world that not many others are doing like making a healthy income! I’m really excited he could join us to share his secrets.
More About This Show
As long as he’s been able to hold a crayon to paper, Sean has wanted to be an artist. But there was no great push from his parents to attend 20 art classes by age 8 or anything like that. His mom was given some sage advice early on to just allow him to enjoy art and when he asked for classes, then sign him up but not before.
As a result, Sean made art a part of who is he and not just what he does. In school, he was always looking for a way to angle art into whatever he was doing. Eventually through a friend he got into comic books and the art within that genre.
Never one to be slowed down by his youth, Sean had published his first book by the 10th grade he had published his first book and was doing comic book signings at a local store on Wednesday nights. As we say on The Solopreneur Hour, he was quite “savanty”.
But as he made the rounds to comic book conventions, one of the things that struck him was how miserable and underpaid so many comic book artists were. He refused to be one of them and was committed to bucking that trend. And buck it he did!
You’ll also discover things like:
- What came first for Sean: business savvy or the tour concept?
- Why you should make everything as easy as possible for your customers.
- Why he draws a line when he monetizes his art.
- The Van Halen brown M&Ms story and why it matters to your business.
- Why his artistic collaborations are outselling his original pieces.
- And so very much more!
One of the things that shifted his perspective on the business side of art, was making his art live and in person at various events. He saw too many artists struggling to get into art galleries – and then giving those galleries 50% of their commissions in return for very little from the galleries. He didn’t want to go that route.
Instead he decided to take his art on the road and create it live at different events, in every possible industry! And that’s when Sean’s business really started to take off. One of the reasons this strategy works so well for him is because making art live for people is a performance piece and because of the “sneak peek” vibe it creates. Everyone wants a beyond-the-scenes look at how art comes into being. Not many of us can create beautiful art so we’re fascinated by how the artist produces their pieces.
Sean has used this strategy for the last 15 years and he’s worked extensively to build his audience and his name through live events. At one point in his career, he was creating live art 6 nights a week, at one event or another.
Happily, he is now at a point where he chooses when and where he takes his art on the road.
And when he’s at his event, he is ON. He knows that he’ll make more sales by being engaged and connected with his audience. And that’s a valuable lesson every solopreneur needs to know: authentic connection is the key to sales and future sales, whether you’re an artist or in any other profession.
Another valuable lesson Sean passes on in this episode is how he scaled his business. He often creates a piece of art for people while they watch. When he’s finished, one person buys the original and others buy the duplicates. People love to buy what he makes while they are watching, they are both entertained and they have a story to go along with their new art.
You’ll hear about all of this and more on this episode with Sean. And even if you aren’t an artist, you can take what we talk about on this show and apply it to your business.
Leave a comment below for Sean or Tweet him and let him know what his art has taught you!
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