David Cheifetz - Navigating NFTs: Where to Start
The BoldBrush Show: Episode #51
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On today's episode we interviewed David Cheifetz, a contemporary realist oil painter who paints dark and moody still lifes, figures, and portraits and who is also an NFT creator and collector. We discussed if NFT's are a viable source of income for artists, the benefits of the community side of the NFT world, what David recommends if you're interested in NFTs, and the similarities between the real life art world and the NFT art world. Finally, we talked about the importance of diversifying your income as an artist, and David's upcoming still life workshops!
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David Cheifetz: 0:00
We paint because we want to be creative first. And then the secondary consideration is we need to make a living to sustain it, right. So same with NF T's I think getting into NFC art and the different art forms in that that should be the primary reason that secondary reasons should be for the money because when when when the money is dry, you're gonna lose interest, right if you're only focused on the money. So, just like it's hard to make money in NF t's just like it is in paint in physical hardware. So if, if you, you're going to have to ride the waves, you know,
Laura Arango Baier: 0:35
Welcome to the BoldBrush Show, where we believe that fortune favors the bold brush. My name is Laura Arango Baier, and I'm your host. For those of you who are new to the podcast. We are a podcast that covers art marketing techniques, and all sorts of business tips specifically to help artists learn to better sell their work. We interview artists at all stages of their careers, as well as others who are in careers tied to the art world in order to hear their advice and insights. On today's episode, we interviewed David Chafetz, a contemporary realist oil painter who paints dark and moody still lives, figures and portraits, and who is also an NFT, creator and collector. We discussed an NF Ts are a viable source of income for artists, the benefits of the community side of the NFT world with David recommends, if you're interested in NF Ts, and the similarities between the real life art world and the NFT art world. Finally, we talked about the importance of diversifying your income as an artist and David's upcoming still live workshops. So welcome, David to the BoldBrush show. How are you today?
David Cheifetz: 1:36
Thank you, Laura. I'm doing great. Yeah, I'm happy to be here.
Laura Arango Baier: 1:41
Yeah, happy to have you. Because somehow we both have very similar backgrounds. In the sense of the love for architecture. Your I believe it was your your grandfather was an architect or?
David Cheifetz: 1:55
Yeah. My grandfather was landscape architects. And then I have an uncle who's an architect, and AMP is an architect. So there's all that in the family.
Laura Arango Baier: 2:08
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I resonate with that, because my mom is actually an interior architect. And then my great grandfather was an engineer, but he he did like, kind of up to he did like, bridges. And he did like really complex, like, okay, yeah, like, crazier stuff. But I also felt that like, draw into architecture, for some reason, which we both became artists after that. It's really awesome. Um, but you know, before we jump into that, do you mind telling us a little bit about who you are what you do?
David Cheifetz: 2:45
Sure. Yeah. I'm, I'm an oil painter. I guess I've been a professional artists since 2009. Yeah, before that in architecture for several years before realizing I wanted to be an artist. Yeah. And so between painting, and I also taught workshops for a while. Yeah, that was my, that was my career. So
Laura Arango Baier: 3:19
yeah, yeah. And actually, I actually started following you on Instagram, like, forever ago. Because I, yeah, because I love your still lives. Like you're, they're like moody and tenebrist and expressive, and very punchy. And I remember at the time, I was like, damn, I wish I could do that. And I still wish I could. Yeah, no, I still wish I could do that. Because they're like, they're so cool. And I feel like they're there. Like, they definitely like, if I see one of your still lives, I know, it's yours. Like, it's like one of those types of like, things that you do that's like unmistakably David, which is awesome.
David Cheifetz: 4:00
So yeah, well, that's really, that's really nice to hear, you know, because from, from my perspective, you know, it's, I've always felt, you know, I'm kind of all over the place with the painting. And it's hard to recognize, like your own, I guess, style, when you're so close to it, you know, so, so that's really nice to hear. I appreciate that.
Laura Arango Baier: 4:24
Yeah, you're welcome. Yeah. Um, and then aside from you know, like, your amazing still lifes, you also have the gorgeous like cityscapes, and then you have these figures that you started doing in,in cityscapes actually, which I find very interesting. But actually, I did want you to, if you don't mind, giving us a quick little recap of like, how you went from, you know, architect to artists and now NFT artist, which is what we're going to mostly be talking about, just kind of exciting.
David Cheifetz: 4:52
Oh, okay. Yeah, sure. So, you know, I, I'll give you kind of the short version. I am, I always wanted to be an art Tech's pretty much since I was nine. And so I did end up going to study Architecture at the University of Washington in Seattle. And after graduating, I worked in Seattle firms for a few years. And realized pretty quickly that I wasn't going to be, I give it a fair shot. But it wasn't going to be what I needed, I needed something more autonomous, and creative. And immediate, like, I want to see the results right away, and I want more control over what I'm creating. So even though I love architecture, I still love architecture, as we talked about before. But so I started thinking about other things that would satisfy my creative needs. And what I settled on was comic books and graphic novels. And knowing that I needed more figure drawing, like I had, you know, perspective and proportion from all the architecture, but I needed figure drawing. So I went on the somehow, I don't know how I found the art renewal Center website, looked at their list of approved places and found the Schuler school in Baltimore. And so while my wife was studying, in grad school, in Washington, DC, I decided to go to Schuler school, because I could just ride the train up during the weekdays and study there, while still doing architecture to help make money and sustain sustain us. So yeah, I went there for three years. And they're great school. And because they allow you, they have like these shows for students, and that allowed me to get a taste of selling paintings. And so yeah, I started selling paintings. I got into a couple of galleries. And quit architecture in 2009 just switch to full time painting. And then, yeah, we did several moves, but I kept painting and then eventually started teaching. Teaching Workshops, which I realized, helped me become a better artist. You know, having to having to verbalize what you're doing. Really, like, made me think about what am I? What am I doing? Like? What is my process? So yeah. been painting since then, and I, then in 2001, way, no, sorry. 2021 When When NFT started, started becoming big news, you know, like people have the sale. I think it was early, like in January, February 2021. I got curious about it. Because I in in 2017, I had started dabbling in cryptocurrencies when Bitcoin was going crazy. And yeah, I just thought it was very, I was excited about the technology. And I thought it was a really great opportunity to reach a different audience. With a different product, you know, like, there's paintings, there's prints, but this NFT thing, I thought was really interesting. It could reach new people. I love the idea of the royalties, that the, depending on the contract, the artist can get royalties in perpetuity, basically. So just, you know, that's what's missing from our physical art market is the secondary market royalties. So I mean, you kind of have to, you kind of have to have been around a while to even be concerned about a secondary market. But still, I just love the idea of that. So yeah, I dove into that. And it has been it's been enjoyable to learn a new thing.
Laura Arango Baier: 9:35
Right. Yeah. So yeah. Yeah. And also the fact that, you know, I'm also, you know, really interested in the whole royalties acts aspect because, like, the thing that really sets painting apart from the rest of say, like music, for example, right, musicians get royalties. And, you know, you get a strike on YouTube of use one of their songs without permission. Um, But with painters, it's different because you know, your painting can go to auction. And so it makes a ridiculous amount of money and you sold it maybe for like 0.01% of the original, a will of the price that it ends up selling for. So I also really am attracted to NFT's, just because of that, I feel like that's much more respectful towards the original creator. Because I mean, it's, I feel like our prices can just be so crazy. And hopefully, that can also change in the future, you know, the whole royalties aspect. And I remember when when Beeple did that sale, and I was like, Oh my God, that's so great for digital artists, right? Because at the time, I just thought, oh, yeah, NF T's digital artists are, they're gonna be benefiting from this. And then I heard that they were regular painters who were doing it and benefiting from it, too. I was like, what? But you know, I am curious, because, you know, the NF T's, they've kind of, you know, the, I guess it was really, really like, all over the news for a while now, it's pretty much leveled out, I'd say, in terms of like hype, even though it's leveled out, do you think it's still a viable source of income for artists?
David Cheifetz: 11:19
Um, yeah, I think it is a viable source of income, but, and it has leveled out, which I actually think is, it's good, it's fine. Like, it was crazy. And now it's just normal. And this is how it is going to be. And this is, we just get used to this level, you know, but I think while it is a viable source of income, I don't think anyone should consider doing NF t's just for the money like, like we paint we paint because we want to be creative first. And then the secondary consideration is we need to make a living to sustain it, right. So, same with NF T's I think, like if you if the idea of familiarizing yourself with the world of cryptocurrency, cryptocurrencies and, and the technology involved in NFT's sounds interesting to you. then that, then then you should do it for sure. Because that, that should be the primary reason. And getting into MFC art and the different art forms in that that should be the primary reason that secondary reasons should be for the money. Because when when, when the money is dry, you're gonna lose interest, right? If you're only focused on the money. So, just like, it's hard to make money in NF t's just like it is in paint in physical artwork. So if, if you, you're gonna have to ride the waves, you know? So, I mean, I'm not, I guess I'm not like super evangelical about NF T's because I've seen many people just come in and fall out of it. You know, I'm like, it's not for everybody, you know, just like, I wouldn't tell anyone, everyone to be an artist. You got to, you got to really want to do it, and you got to be kind of tough. So have a thick skin and, and just do it because you love to do it. So,
Laura Arango Baier: 13:31
Yeah, I mean, it makes perfect sense to have that perspective on it, because it is, I mean, some people, they just, I guess they see all of the people who make so much money or whatever, on NF T's and they're like, Oh, I could totally just make a bunch of like, side money. That's like, I think that's under estimating the amount of work that goes into it. And the complexities because, of course, you know, like, for example, I am aware that, for example, we interviewed Francine Krieg. And she mentioned that instead of using Aetherium, they were actually using Tasos on the platform that she uses. Because obviously the gas fees, which most people don't know what gas fees are, but gas fees is basically what you pay in order to be able to even use the currency, right. So which of course, you also know, Francine, and you're I think you're also part of the same little platform that they use for their for selling their work, right?
David Cheifetz: 14:55
Yeah, yeah. So object.com O B, J, K T .com that is on the tezos platform. Yeah, so I'll give you I'll give the perspective of Te user some reasons to do it. And those are, you know, like, Francine is awesome. And I know about her because of this NF T world, but then the opportunities for collaboration in an NF TR, are, are amazing. Like, you know, in the sense 2021, I've collaborated with more awesome artists than I mean, I've never collaborated with an artist before really, I don't think I mean, will especially not on an oil painting for sure. But like, really, yeah. not to this extent on anything, really. And it's, it's amazing like, in, in the world of digital art. You can connect with other artists around the world and, and work together, like I've done a digital painting where we just stopped the file back and forth and just worked on I've done ones where I would do a chunk, and then they do a chunk over it, or vice versa. And then getting to know these other artists and in the process of appreciating their style of art. Like my world of appreciation of art has expanded like exponentially since getting into NF T's, which has, in turn influenced my physical oil painting practice. So I've grown as an artist because of MFDs. And I've connected with other like minded people because of MNPS. And I've gotten to collect other and support other artists work. So those are the reasons I think, the most compelling reasons to, to join to start doing NF T's. If you can make money while doing it. That's great. And, you know, probably necessary to sustain it. But that should be the secondary consideration. If money is the only reason you you really won't last, people will just see right through it, and they won't buy your stuff. Yeah, yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 17:19
Yeah, I feel like that's the same with painting. It's kind of obvious when someone's just, you know, like, oh, this, this was able to sell one. So I'm just going to paint that again. And again, again, I mean, no shame in it, if it sells itself, but at the same time, it's like you're kind of it just seems like you know, when when a company, you know, decides to make a sequel to really good movie just for the money grab.
David Cheifetz: 17:41
Yeah, you're just the factory at that point. Yeah. Yeah. People can smell it. So yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 17:47
Oh, yeah. Yeah. But I do. I do like that aspect that you mentioned about the NFT world, which is it's, it's much more community based, it seems like you have more rapport with, like, your fellow artists and, and I'd like the collection aspect to and the added plus that like, you know, if you buy one of their pieces, and maybe you decide to sell it, the person you bought it from will still benefit because they get royalties. So
David Cheifetz: 18:11
yes, exactly. Literally feels good. Yeah, exactly.
Laura Arango Baier: 18:15
It's like, oh, wow, you sold my piece. Oh, that's awesome. Like, I benefited from it to like, versus like, if you sell a piece to someone and they sell it. I mean, it's it's kind of a dick move.
David Cheifetz: 18:27
I mean, I guess it depends. Yeah. I think you know, there's a way to respectfully resell work in either market, you know, and there's a disrespectful way to do it. And either in either market, too, so but you know, I even if I wasn't getting royalties, you know, in, in physical, my physical paintings and a collector decided to resell as long as they're increasing the price. Cool. I'm cool with it. I'm thankful to them for buying in the first place and for I'm happy that they got to enjoy it for as long as they did, so. Yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 19:22
They drop it off in goodwill. Yeah. Oh, man. But yeah, I really love that advice. And actually, do you have any other advice? If someone's like just starting out? Maybe they want to dip their toes in NF T's? Is there anything you'd recommend?
David Cheifetz: 19:41
only do it if you are cool with being on Twitter or x or whatever. And, and connecting with people, you know? Yes, it's not as fun or satisfying as connecting with people face to face But those interactions on Twitter can lead to in person interactions or phone calls or stuff like that. So, but that's where everything happens for entities is on Twitter, basically. And it's going to take a lot of your time and effort. So, only do it if you're really interested and, and excited. And be prepared to connect with people. And, you know, that's kind of I mean, it's really kind of reminded me how important it is to connect with collectors in real life, which I'm with physical openings, which I'm not that great at, honestly, I was listening to one of your other episode recently, where you kind of recapped a bunch of marketing tips, you know, and then I think it was Clint Watson was was talking. And he was talking about, like, you know, when you have a new painting, you want to reach out to your small circle first, and then the medium circle, mm, large circle, and I was like, Yes. Like, it's something you hear all the time, but I just for the longest time, you know, I wanted to believe I just want to make my paintings, you know, I just want to paint and then stuff will happen. But that's, you know, obviously not the case, you have to you really do, you need to connect with people. And I, I've been pretty good. I'm, I'm you know, supreme, supremely introverted. So, like, when, when people reach out to me, I'm pretty good at responding. But it's the reaching out part that I'm not good at. And I don't even know I need to improve on that, and everything so that, you know, going forward, that's my goal is to, is to figure that out. And that kind of like, I'd kept pretty good records of collectors and stuff like that, you know, database. But then around 2017, when I kind of my wife decided she wants to go back to work. And so I kind of, we've kind of flip flopped, and I turned into more of the stay at home dad while doing my art also. But that's the first thing that fell off was, wasn't my records, unfortunately, like, like, I still paint and stuff, but everything else just kind of went to shit. And so now, now, my records are kind of a mess. So I'm trying to, you know, reorganize myself, and be better at communicating with people. Because that's very, very important for sustaining your art career. Yeah,
Laura Arango Baier: 22:51
yeah, yeah. And you know what, I think it's great that you make that point, because I think a lot of people, you know, especially people who are just starting out as artists, we all romanticize the whole, like, oh, you know, I'm just going to paint all day. But, of course, the administrative side of painting is quite important. And it seems like, you know, with nfts, at least, first of all, record keeping way easier. There's literally like, you just, I'm guessing, you just click on whatever it is, and it says, everything you need to know about it, versus like a painting that's sitting in your studio, it's like, I'm done, I finished. You know, but it seems like you know, at least with like, collecting, you know, talking to collectors and connecting with people, NF T's is a, it's a great exercise for that. Because you realize, you have to rely so much on that you have to rely so much on being present and like communicating with these people. So I think it's like, you know, it's like, you're, you're applying it over here, and I just gotta pull it to the other side, right? Because I mean, that's, that's, it's like one of those things where the more you practice it in one end, the easier it is to apply it on the other one, because they're not, as you're mentioning, and you're making so many great points that I didn't really think about. They're so similar, those two little worlds very similar. They have their own little ecosystems and their own ways of working that are almost exactly the same, which surprising. I mean, I'm a little surprised, not gonna, I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little surprised. But at the same time, I'm not because of course, it's still painting. It's still art. So, I mean, it's also good to highlight that there are there are struggles that we still do, you know, especially with like day to day, like, how do you time manage painting and also, you know, keeping with your family and making sure that everyone has everything that they need? It's not easy. It's like a one man show like little like, you're, you're holding the drum and harmonica and like the symbol at the same time, and it's just trying to do everything. So I think it's normal to you know, fall off The wagon sometimes with, you know, keeping track of paintings. That's perfectly fine. But at least you know, you're aware. So you just pick it back up, and then get back on. And it's never too late. I don't think to reach out to this collectors as well. So it works out. By the way. Yeah. Um, oh, yeah. Do you have? Yeah, go for it.
David Cheifetz: 25:23
I was just gonna say collectors or, you know, there's a little delay here. collectors are super similar. Yeah, like you're saying it's very similar. You know, it's just that NF T's are faster pace. But collectors I've found are, they're very similar, similarly minded in the NFT world in the physical art world. And so being an NFC has helped has helped me understand the collector mindset, not only because I get to know these collectors and empties, but I get to be a collector too, because it's cheaper, generally. So yes, very similar. And my, my dream is like right now, people who are into entities aren't necessarily into physical artworks. And physical artwork, people aren't necessarily into NF T's, but they're starting to be some crossover. And that that, to me, is the most exciting thing. And that's what I really want to happen is to bring those together, that, like, recently, I just did a painting, like physical painting, plus one of one NFT. package, and sold it for from that makers place, to one of my great collectors from my physical oil paintings. And so like, there's starting to be a little bit of crossover in that I think that's the end goal for all of us. Because then like you said, maybe in the future, the whole secondary market thing could get fixed in the physical art world because of the NF T's, so it can bleed over, you know, so now, if we can get to a point where the physical pieces tied with the NFT, then when it goes to auction or whatever, else like that, then it can be in that in that smart contract that we would get royalties. So that's just super exciting, you know, to reach new collectors, new physical collectors in the NFT NFT. Space. That would be Yeah, I think that's the future. But we'll see. Fingers crossed,
Laura Arango Baier: 27:29
honestly, I think it's, it's only fair. I mean, how many hours? Do we, you know, work through a painting. And then it's also like, I actually, one time I saw this clip of this woman who was watching her painting that she made, like, maybe like 1020 years ago, get auctioned off for ridiculous price. And like, she sold it maybe for like, 5000. And it just the price was just ridiculous after and I felt so bad for her. I was like, imagine watching your painting gets sold. And you get nothing like,
David Cheifetz: 28:05
poof. I mean, hopefully, though. Yeah, that is that sounds I'm trying to put myself in that position. How would I feel like hopefully that would that high secondary sale would help her primary sale market so that she would now be able to raise her prices on new paintings. So maybe that's just a win for her anyways, but they if for instance, she was unable to make new paintings. For some physical reason or something, then yeah, that would be super.
Laura Arango Baier: 28:39
I'm just so pro like getting those royalties.
David Cheifetz: 28:43
It was nice. It was a nice idea is
Laura Arango Baier: 28:45
great. Yeah. How BoldBrush We inspire artists to inspire the world. Because creating art creates magic. And the world is currently in desperate need of magic. BoldBrush provides artists with free art marketing, creativity, and business ideas and information. This show is an example. We also offer written resources, articles and a free monthly art contest open to all visual artists. We believe that fortune favors the bold brush. And if you believe that to sign up completely free at BoldBrush show.com. That's BOLDBRUSH show.com. The BoldBrush Show is sponsored by FASO. Now, more than ever, it's crucial to have a website when you're an artist, especially if you want to be a professional in your career. Thankfully, with our special ink faso.com forward slash podcast, you can make that come true and also get over 50% off your first year on your artist website. Yes, that's basically the price of 12 lattes in one year, which I think is a really great deal considering that you get sleek and beautiful website templates that are also mobile friendly, ecommerce print on demand in certain countries, as well as access to our marketing center that has our brand new art marketing calendar. And the art marketing calendar is something that you won't get with our competitor. The art marketing calendar gives you day by day, step by step guides on what you should be doing today, right now in order to get your artwork out there and seen by the right eyes so that you can make more sales this year. So if you want to change your life and actually meet your sales goal this year, then start now by going to our special link faso.com forward slash podcast. That's FASO.com. Forward slash podcast. But continuing with the NF Ts, I'm also really curious because like, so this Twitter now x, have has like the Twitter sphere. I mean, because of the change of management, has that affected NF T's at all? The way it's like happening now?
David Cheifetz: 30:44
Or maybe? I'm not sure. It's it's really hard to tell. I don't think that has affected it too much. I think more more that it's just coincidental that changes in Twitter are happening at the same time as changes in the NFT market. I could be wrong. But yeah, for the most part, Twitter seems similar to me. But I'm, I'm still I guess I'm only once since 2021. I'm pretty new to being a regular user of Twitter. So yeah, but all social media is always like this, right? It's just you just ride the waves? Who knows? We're just who knows what's gonna happen?
Laura Arango Baier: 31:28
Yeah, I was just curious, because I mean, like, there's been so many changes to like, the whole, like blue checkmark and like, all of these other administrative things. Apparently, you can't block people anymore. On Twitter. Yeah, that's, that's, it's very recent. I think I've read about it two days ago. But it's, uh, I was just curious, like, is this affecting like, you know, the way that because so much of like, the NFT world relies so much on the the fast paced communication that happens in Twitter, which also like, in terms of like, collectors, right? Do you somehow connect with them in Twitter, kind of like how you would on Instagram, right, where, like, you, they message you, you talk you hang out? Like, you know, through messenger, I guess, and then stuff happens is just like that. Yeah.
David Cheifetz: 32:21
Via DMS, you know, and also, there's what's nice about Twitter is that there's like Twitter groups in the chat. So like, you can have DMS with a whole group of people. And that's how a lot of stuff happens with NF T's. So I'm in you know, several different big groups and I've been with one particular group for a long time. It's just like artists and collectors together. And it's, it's a nice community, much more community minded than Instagram. Us. I mean, there's no, there's no community on Instagram. But yeah, there's also discord which you know about, but I, I don't really like using discord that discord that much, but if someone is already on Discord, that that's also a great place for MMT stuff. So yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 33:13
Yeah, I mean, it's good to know that it's literally the same. It's on a different platform. And with a different speed to, cuz, I mean, I tried, I tried posting on Twitter. It takes I feel like, it's just so I get overwhelmed. It's a lot. I remember when I sort of falling like NFT people, like two years ago or so. It would, I would just see that message like she'll show you're on a fuse. Man, oh, my god, what is that? What is going on? I have to learn new words. Yet, it's interesting. It's fascinating.
David Cheifetz: 33:52
Yeah, they have their own little language going on, is a bit of a learning curve. But it can be fun. It can be annoying and fun. So yeah, I think it's toned down since a couple of years ago, which is nice. But also, it's difficult because there's less engagement for some reason with the algorithms or whatever. So people were struggling because of that. But, yeah, yep.
Laura Arango Baier: 34:21
It's fascinating how now the life of the artists is completely controlled by an algorithm.
David Cheifetz: 34:28
tunics right and well, higher exposure, at least.
Laura Arango Baier: 34:30
Yeah. Yeah. I'm on all platforms. Really. Yeah, aside from the NF T's, right, so you were saying, you know, you still obviously paint you have your physical paintings. When you made that jump right from, you know, student, right, like, you were just like, maybe you just fit like graduated from art school, right. What was that transition like for you to go from? Basically, student Working as an architect to full time artists, was that a slow transition? Or was it like an immediate jump?
David Cheifetz: 35:08
It was, oops, headphones. Um, it was pretty seamless, actually. Because during school, we had started, you know, with a student shows, selling paintings during student shows. And then one of my teachers, Carol Lee Thompson, she's an excellent painter, and teacher, and she connected me with a couple galleries in DC and Maryland. And so I got started, you know, selling in galleries. So, I mean, I was just so focused on finding a new career that, like, I kind of felt like, if I didn't make it an oil painting that wasn't my last chance at being happy. I was very, you know, very dramatic. Because I, I was so frustrated with architecture. So I was gonna make it work. And so it was, it was exciting. I was so happy when I switched completely to painting. And at the time, our expenses were pretty low. Because we were young, and renting small, tiny places, and so didn't have kids yet. And so it was actually a pretty smooth transition. But you know, when you sent me the questions earlier, I was thinking about this for a while, like you'd like? What were the challenges and, and I think the biggest challenge was, was what it is now is, is the work itself, the painting itself, has always been the biggest challenge. And it hasn't gotten any easier. Maybe maybe different. But like, anything's really hard, you know, like, that's why I love it, I guess. Because there's always the need to get better. And the need to, for my artwork to evolve. Because if it doesn't evolve, I start to lose interest. Really, like the growing part is the most exciting part for me. So yeah, I think it has always been the biggest challenge has always been making the paintings, and it's still is the biggest challenge. Everything else is just the technical stuff. Yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 37:54
So yeah, you know, what, um, the way that you describe, you know, like, the challenge being the actual painting, it kind of reminds me of architecture in a way where it's, it's so nice when you have like your drawing, and things just aren't fitting. But then somehow you make it fit or like, everything, just like falls into place. Just the whole problem solving aspect. I feel like that's, like the really nice and fulfilling thing about creating something, right, whether it's like architecture, drawing, or painting. And I think that's maybe where, like, personally, for me, that's where my crossover is where like, what I loved about architecture was problem solving, making everything work. And it's the same with painting. It's like, oh, this, this isn't working. What's going on here? Oh, I gotta fix this. Um, I don't know if you feel this way.
David Cheifetz: 38:45
No, you're spot on. Because you know, painting and painting is just a series of problems. You're figuring out each brushstroke is a new problem than the whole big problem of the painting. Yeah, just making mistakes and figuring out how to fix them, basically. Yeah, I think you hit it right, then you hit it right on the head. It's about problem solving. That's really a satisfying, fulfilling way to live. You know? So, yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 39:17
The perpetual problem solvers. But what's funny is we create our own problems. And you solve it by ironic.
David Cheifetz: 39:25
Yeah, kind of sadistic, right. A little,
Laura Arango Baier: 39:28
little, um, but it's better than solving someone else's problems. So yeah,
David Cheifetz: 39:35
that's true. Yeah, maybe that's, I mean, being my own boss. Maybe that's the biggest part. Yes,
Laura Arango Baier: 39:45
yeah. Yeah. It's like, you know, you take full responsibility for your whole life, instead of I'm also like really anti having a boss basically, like as if I can control as much of my life as possible. I will Um, and it's also because of that, it's like, I don't want my life to be in someone else's hands where like, if I lose my job, I'm screwed. I think that's really scary. And, and that's the other thing about painting, it's like, you really have to have so much gumption and so much passion for it. That, yeah, the money is important. But you if, if you, like we said earlier, like you said, if you let the money overtake the passion that you have for, you know, this thing that you love to do, then then you're losing the money is like the, the really nice secondary thing. But if you have as much control over like, I'm creating something, because I feel like it because I love it. But then I also got paid for it. That's really nice, compared to having to work for someone else, and always being at risk of losing your job.
David Cheifetz: 40:54
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, the argument for having a job job is that, you know, there's stability, you know, there's a safety net, but that's such an illusion, right? Because, I mean, like, sure, if something happened to my eyes, or my hands, it would be hard to paint. But it would also be hard to have any other job too. And you can get fired, like I remember in 2008, with the big crash, tons of people lost their jobs. And that's right when I was, you know, starting to enter painting, and it was like, no one is safe from losing their job. So you might as well figure out what you really want to do. You know, because I trust myself more than I trust a different employer. So yeah, there you go. It's as secure as any job I guess.
Laura Arango Baier: 41:44
Very true. Yeah. Yeah. I'm gonna say something about that. Yeah, no, one's safe. I mean, the note you said about the hands or the eyes, I highly recommend getting hand insurance. Eye insurance? I think you can, I think there was just one actress who like apparently had really nice legs, so she ensured her legs. You can do that. Maybe it's an option. For us artists like hand insurance, you never know. There's crazy stuff out there. Anyway. In terms of selling, though, for you, what, what have you found to be the most lucrative approach is it been like selling on your own social media galleries?
David Cheifetz: 42:35
Definitely a combination. Like historically, if I can't go back through all my paintings, like half were sold through gallery and half were sold directly from my website, or whatever. So I think I think it's pretty nice. I mean, I think it's pretty necessary. Usually, for most artists to cobble together an income from everything from all sorts of stuff. That's how it's been for me. Just like, you know, some workshops, painting sales, direct painting, sales, gallery, prints, you know, videos, instructional videos, now, NF T's, like just a couple everything together. Because each thing taken individually is so inconsistent. It's like, it's so sporadic, the you don't know when a painting is gonna sell. You might not be doing workshops, every single month. You might especially like COVID happened and, and everything was canceled. So I haven't done workshops for a couple of years, partially because of when COVID started, but I also just realized that I wanted to be close to my kids as much as possible, and I didn't want to leave for, you know, seven days or whatever. But now I'm getting the urge to start again. But you know, everything taken together, on average will give you the income. So that's been my, the way I've been able to do it. Sure, it'd be nice to just, maybe, maybe it'd be nice to just do painting and have them sell and that's it. But I'm satisfied with how it's working. Because, you know, I enjoy teaching, and I miss teaching. And I enjoyed the other things I've been learning like NF T's and and then with prints is cool, because different audience can purchase a print that can't afford oil painting. So yeah, it's all good. But you're probably going to have to for most artists, they're probably going to have to hustle and cobbled together from multiple sources.
Laura Arango Baier: 44:39
Yeah, yeah, definitely diversifying income, which even for people who have regular day jobs, it's recommended precisely because of what we were saying. Sure, like, you never know. I mean, the economy crashes, everyone loses their job. And then what you know, like it's better to have something else coming in. So Yeah, that's awesome. And especially and also like that, you know, you have all of these things. And of course, you like you said, you can't just rely on one. But you actually enjoy all of those things too, right? It's not just like I do, because I have to. I know I do it because I genuinely love doing all of these little things that come together, and allow me to live from my work, which is awesome. And now I have a very strange question. I've been asking it to some of my guests. I'm sure you already noticed. But do you have you know, aside from painting, are you secretly like an expert in something? Or do you have like a hobby that you like? Really, really love? That's, like totally different from painting?
David Cheifetz: 45:48
Yeah, it's not secret. But since let's see 2018 I've been doing Brazilian jujitsu. Which has been amazing. That's like, my, if I was named one, you know, side thing side hobby. That's it. And the parallels with my art practice are so are so like, it's the same, like, you know, like, how to put this like, I think when I first started jujitsu, it, it benefited me already being an artist. Because I'm used to doing a practice where it's always hard. There is no end. And you just keep showing up. And trying your best, you know, it's like, there's no, there's no skill level or success level, that is going to make you an artist. What makes you an artist, is just the doing it day after day after day. And that becomes part of you, you know. And so when I started Jiu Jitsu, I was able to take that mindset and just, like, accept how horrible I was at it. And just keep on going. And it was so much fun, because like, now I have something that's, that's new, that I'm learning, just like, I'm always learning in painting. But this one, I don't have to worry about an income. You know, I don't, I don't need to make money with it. It's just for it's just pleasure. It's fun. It's play, you know. So I love it so much. And then. And then that, in turn is fed back into my artwork, I think it has reminded me like, oh, yeah, this never ends, like, so I better find a way to enjoy it all the time. So that has helped me chill out a bit. When my paintings are going really bad. I know, this is just a temporary thing. I just keep on doing it. I'll figure it out. Eventually. Like, every other day at jujitsu, I feel like I suck. I'm like, I'm so bad at this. Like, and, you know, you feel like everything's gonna last forever, like, you're gonna be bad forever. And then every other day of painting, I'm like, I'm so bad at painting, there's so much to learn, I need to figure this out. Or like, this painting isn't going well, I just, I can't get it to work. But then the next day, everything's great, you know? So they're, they're parallel to me, and they help each other. And I become more playful in my paintings, too, I think, as a result, so. Yeah, that's my thing.
Laura Arango Baier: 48:51
I was actually gonna ask and you answered, like, do you find that you inject that play into your work, which I think that's so important, because it's like, the whole reason we even do it in the first place is for fun, right? It's because it's something that brings us joy. So I'm very happy to hear that. This whole other different, literally physical thing allows you to, you know, pull yourself back into kind of like a Zen state of mind of this too shall pass. We're good. It's shit now, but we'll be fine.
David Cheifetz: 49:25
Exactly. Yeah. Yes. Yeah. There's nothing more pleasurable than Yeah. Then learning and playing, you know, what's better than those things? So yeah, it hasn't really changed. I think how I look at look at look at painting. Also, it's just a great day. jujitsu is a great physical outlet like because if I don't like empty myself physically, I'm not gonna be a good person. The rest of the day You're the rest of the week or whatever, you know, I need to have that thing that's exhausting. Because, you know, when you're painting, you're just sitting there and you'll start to feel feel crazy. So
Laura Arango Baier: 50:12
I totally get that. I totally get that. I do bodybuilding and that's my way of like getting rid of like, all this energy. That's all Yeah, if Yeah, I mean, if not, I'm just gonna, like lay awake in my bed like this all night. Because I just have so much excess energy, so I have to get it all out. Thankfully, it's been it helps a lot. It also helps to take magnesium, you know, take your supplements, that helps. But yeah, getting being in a sedentary career like we're in it's so important to move your body. I mean, yeah. Or else. You're just gonna be a money, like stuck in your back. I was like, Oh my god.
David Cheifetz: 50:53
Do you have like, Do you have a look like, My studio is basically also my gym, I have like weight setup. So like, I can just transition from painting to lifting? Do you have your own little? Do you have a home gym or anything? I don't unfortunately,
Laura Arango Baier: 51:07
I don't I wish actually that's like, my dream is to get a bigger studio so that I can actually have like, you know, have gym have studio, that would be so great. Because then if I'm feeling like antsy, you know, like, like, oh, I can't figure out this painting, but I need to do something. I need to do something. Just pick something up, or like, go do some squats on the squat rack or something, you know, like, get the energy out?
David Cheifetz: 51:28
To get Yeah, yeah, it gets the blood flowing. There's times when I like, you know, been stuck. And I'll just go over there and do some, do something, do some lift and the bloods flowing and everything and I'll look back at the painting and be like, boom. I don't know what to do. That's It's so good. Yeah. It's so important.
Laura Arango Baier: 51:48
It's very important. I think it's very underrated. You know, how moving can help you problem solve to like, ah, and also sleep.
David Cheifetz: 52:00
Sleep is important. Pretty important. Yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 52:02
Absolutely. And then in terms of the play to like, it's like, you know, I actually recently read a statistic that when you're learning something, if you're just forcing yourself to learn it, it takes like 300 repetitions or something like that. But if you learn via play, it's only 10 repetitions. Because it'll like it's like, I guess it, it does something in your brain where it's easier for you to take it in and keep it because it's not something like boring or like the perception of it changes from something boring to something like, Oh, this is fun, like, wow. You know,
David Cheifetz: 52:41
that makes sense. Yeah. Cuz you're more mindful when you're when you're enjoying it. That that's really cool. Yeah.
Laura Arango Baier: 52:48
Yeah, it makes sense. And that's how kids learn to sew. I mean, we're fundamentally trying to become children again. Totally. Yeah. Well, um, do you have any upcoming workshops? Actually?
David Cheifetz: 53:03
Funny you should ask. Yes, I do. Yes, I'm pretty excited to get back to teaching again. So the first one coming up is in November. So November, three through five, at Townsend, atelier in Chattanooga, Tennessee. So there's some spots left there. And then one after that is going to be next year in Italy. So April 28. Through may 4, through art escape Italy, you can find them on Instagram or website. And that's a longer worksheet. It's like a week long. And it's like all inclusive with like meals and stuff. So those, yeah. Those are both still like composition and painting workshops. So
Laura Arango Baier: 54:00
yeah. Right. Yeah. And where else can people see more of your work?
David Cheifetz: 54:07
Instagram and my website. My website is always up to date with new paintings. And Instagram is I sometimes post so. Yeah, just I'll be there.
Laura Arango Baier: 54:23
Yeah, I guess maybe they need to follow you on Twitter.
David Cheifetz: 54:28
Yep, I'm on Twitter as well. And that's mostly mostly you know, NFT centric. Yep. So I'm there as well. Everything is just at David Jacobs. So
Laura Arango Baier: 54:38
yeah, perfect. All right. Well, thank you so much, David.
David Cheifetz: 54:42
Thank you. Thank you, Laura. This was an awesome conversation and your podcast is amazing. It's like greatly whenever I find a new art podcasts I'm so thankful because it to hear from other artists. Give advice. I need that you know, constant Little drops of wisdom that really helps so thank you for what you're doing
Laura Arango Baier: 55:06
thank you so much oh oh my god I appreciate that so much
David Cheifetz: 55:13
of course thank you