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Tina Garrett - Price Your Work to Make a Living

The BoldBrush Show: Episode #42

Show Notes:

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For this episode, we sat down with Tina Garrett, one of the most well recognized women artists in contemporary Western Art. Her figurative work is both beautiful and haunting and her rise to success has been inspiring and in many ways, meteoric. We discuss the key to making amazing work that moves people, overcoming blocks in the creative path, pricing your artwork in a rational way so you can live from your work, and how to find your ideal collectors who will pay what your work is worth. We also talk about how to become Tina's mentee and all of her upcoming workshops!

Follow Tina on Instagram:

Check out Tina’s FASO site:

Become Tina's mentee:

Tina's YouTube:

Tina's posts about pricing your artwork:
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:


Tina Garrett: 0:00

But I had never really actually asked myself, what what was the dollar amount that I would need in order to make a living? And so that question alone was just essentially just changed the whole look of it, it wouldn't really matter what the income was coming from. Essentially, the answer to the question lied with what it is that you actually need in order to survive. But the fact of the matter is, is that every person who has you know financial responsibilities and not independently wealthy, they need to have a specific wage in order to sustain the life that they have for themselves, or at least the life that they want for themselves.

Laura Arango Baier: 0:37

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, the colors, art marketing techniques, and all sorts of business tips specifically to help artists learn to better sell their work. We're interviewing 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. For this episode, we sat down with Tina Garrett, one of the most well recognized women artists in contemporary Western art. Her figurative work is both beautiful and haunting.And her rice has access has been inspiring and in many ways meteoric. We discussed the key to making amazing work that moves people overcoming blocks in the creative path, pricing your artwork in a rational way so you can live from your work,and how to find your ideal collectors who will pay what your work is worth. We also talk about how to become Tina's mentee and all of her upcoming workshops. It hurts when I do this.Yeah, it's like how do you how do you handle that? And how do doctors also handle this like I am? I'm not a I'm not that kind of doctor. You know?

Tina Garrett: 1:45

Jim, I'm a doctor.I'm not that kind of doctor.Thanks. So Star Trek reference.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:54

Oh my god,but that's like from like the old Star Trek. Right?

Tina Garrett: 1:57

Yeah. I feel bad for doctors. I know that that happens. They probably don't want anyone else to know that they're actually doctors. Right?Yeah. That that out of the bag.They're gonna work the entire evening. You're gonna hear about the mother's rash and the child's sleep apnea.

Laura Arango Baier: 2:20

Yeah, I can imagine that's overwhelming. I'd rather I mean, 100 times over.I'd rather someone like show me their nieces paintings. Yeah.

Tina Garrett: 2:30

My four year olds quite the artist. No, she's seriously is you ought to see her stuff.

Laura Arango Baier: 2:35

Four year old. Total prodigy?

Tina Garrett: 2:39

Wow, she has a YouTube channel. Anyway.

Laura Arango Baier: 2:42

I mean,these days?

Tina Garrett: 2:44

Yeah. They probably do.

Laura Arango Baier: 2:47

Most likely.I mean, some parents, they really they just cash in on their children. Anyway. Oh, man.Hello, Tina, and welcome to the BoldBrush show. I'm so happy to have you. We're already laughing, which I love. And just to give context to everyone who was listening to us, just now,um, we were actually talking about how sometimes someone will come up to you and be like, Oh,you're an artist, so and so in my family is also an artist and just, you know, making fun of that and comparing it to doctors having to help people Oh, my God,

Tina Garrett: 3:25

except for the artist is the only profession where the artist doesn't have to have like any kind of credentials to prove they're an artists like if you say, Hey, I have a nephew who's a doctor,pretty sure that that guy actually finished medical school, right? Have a nephew who is also an artist. And there's no credential like anyone can call themselves an artist, you don't have any kind of thing that really proves it or not.Except for of course, then the body of your work. So

Laura Arango Baier: 3:50

very true.Very true. Oh, yeah. So Tina,can you please give us a little bit, you know, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Tina Garrett: 4:02

Well, I'm artist,Tina Garrett. I live in the Midwest, I have just finished raising two children. I have a long, lifelong partner, my husband of 27 years. And I teach art all over the world. Which is one of my favorite parts of becoming a professional artist is that all the amazing places it takes me I have been recognized handful of times from the art renewal center and OPA and OAPs have a few portrait society recognitions. So it's nice to see that my work has been well received in the 10years that I've been painting.And that's pretty much it really, it's not much to say

Laura Arango Baier: 4:48

Oh, I I think I think it's a lot to unpack. Cuz I'm I mean obviously I read your biography so I know all of your backstory you know,starting as a graphic does diner and then the surprising, I guess, letting go of a bunch of people and then you couldn't really you know, do your your your job anymore Your job as a designer, right. So you also do have that background experience of you know, freelance work and like self employment, which I think helped you, of course, um,but it's amazing that you know,in in those 10 years, as it's described, I think in your bio,that it's been meteoric and I agree with that. That is crazy.Like, well,

Tina Garrett: 5:34

if for my defense,the bio was written by Kara Ross from the art renewal center. I tried to tell her to, you know,take it down.

Laura Arango Baier: 5:44

It's like,yeah,

Tina Garrett: 5:47

he knows what she's doing. I'm not I wouldn't interrupt her. She's a powerhouse.

Laura Arango Baier: 5:53

But I totally agree with her.

Tina Garrett: 5:56

My, my, my acceleration from beginner student to professional was relatively quick in the realm of what other artists are telling me their experience has been some artists are working1020 3040 years, and never ever reaching the point where they're getting international recognition for their work or having their work collected by a large collection, or viewed in museums or whatnot. So people feel really surprised to hear that that started happening for me about my third year of painting, and has really never stopped paces just kept going.And it's, I owe that specifically to the sort of the vein of philosophy that I learned through the teachers that I learned from. So my very first teacher was Rommel dilatory on scholarship at the Scottsdale artist school. And he is an exceptional teacher, an incredible painter in his own right. And I took seven, he came to teach here seven times. So and then, of course, it took my class with him, it's the school and then I went to Chicago to do a day of private lessons with him. And once I knew who he was,and who Richard Schmid was, I basically stayed within that vein and kept taking classes from artists who were either heavily influenced by or directly taught by Richard. And I think that that is what I owe the pace in which my work was getting better and being recognized, I owe that to the teachers that I had. Richard's philosophy was that you don't own this information, and that you have an obligation to share it. And so all the people who really took lessons from him and were heavily influenced by him also feel that's true. And therefore, they're very sharing and generous with what they teach. And they're, they're not hiding anything in the vest and not worried about you surpassing them in their skill they want you to, because they love great art, and good artists, and they want the work to get out there,they want the knowledge to get out there. And so that's why and I never stepped off that track,I didn't go take a sculpture class, or watercolor class or basket weaving class, I just went from one great teacher to the next, some of them, I took multiple times. And you can see the full list, my website has the connection to my complete CV. And the list of all the teachers that I've ever taken is right there. And I would highly recommend every single one of them. And in my mind, they become mentors to me. So I think that's what it was not anything necessarily as exceptional about myself, but just the ability to recognize and stay on task with the right teachers.

Laura Arango Baier: 8:33

Absolutely.I completely agree. I think having a great teacher makes a big, big difference, especially you know, if you're just starting out, or if you really don't know what direction you can go in, and it's so good.Also that you had that vision of, okay, I know what I want. I know what path I want to follow.And like, it's almost like you follow these breadcrumbs and they lead you into the next place and next place until well,ah, we have you which I think is so awesome. And also, you know,you work with so many wonderful organizations. You know, like the I'm no app, is it?

Tina Garrett: 9:07

Yes. Nope. Is how I say it? National xiety Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 9:14

And then also the oil painters. Yes, it

Tina Garrett: 9:17

is this painters of America? Yes, absolutely.Yes. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 9:20

And you've actually gotten recently, pretty recently, I think some new awards and some acclaim for some of your pieces. Can you tell us about this?

Tina Garrett: 9:30

Yes, my painting mystic which is a thick 58 tall by like 28 or 30 wide. It's very tall and narrow of a woman on a horse received an Excellence Award from the nopes spring online showcase. And then the the one of my daughter recently called Dream a Little Dream of Me, which is a really special piece for me personally. has received an honorable mention in their spring online. So that's lovely. You know, it's always always fantastic when you do put your self into your work and other people recognize that that's, that's never a bad thing.

Laura Arango Baier: 10:15

Never. Yeah.And, you know, we we, as artists, we put so much of ourselves in our work, I mean,hopefully, that it does feel,you know, it's, you know, it goes beyond just like the recognition, it's also like, oh,maybe the people who saw it, you know, felt that connection to my soul directly, you know, they it's like, it goes beyond just words, as I like to say,

Tina Garrett: 10:40

I've gotten that response with the peace of my daughter. Overwhelmingly,overwhelmingly, people have seen it, and just, it's really caught their breath. Several of them have said, how much they can't get it out of their minds. And they've really been touched by that. And that means so much to me, I actually just finished wrapping that and says, shipping it in a tube, it should arrive today or tomorrow at my gallery in New Jersey Highlands art gallery. And it was really hard.I've, I've been holding on to it for a few months, it's been, I had to have like a moment of breathing. And I kind of just ran my hands across it. And I really just had to say, goodbye.And I had to say, you can't afford to keep your own word,you have to let it go. But I did actually write on the back. And this is the first time I've ever done that I wrote on the back,that if for whatever reason ever does come back up for sale.Again, I would like to be notified so that I might have the chance to purchase it back.Which is stupid, because the cheapest way for me to keep it would be to keep it now and not ever sell it. But you know, I'm hoping somebody will love it.Like I love

Laura Arango Baier: 11:48

it. I'm sure they will I actually I can see the painting in my head. So I completely understand all those people who just can't get it out of their head because I close my eyes and I'm seeing it. And it is a beautiful painting. And that reminds me also of something you wrote in one of your posts for like you said,that you literally smooch your paintings before you send them out because they're

Tina Garrett: 12:09

like, sometimes I do. If they ever do DNA, they're like, Oh, this is the lipstick she was wearing.

Laura Arango Baier: 12:18

Like, this one

Tina Garrett: 12:19

only qualifies as a real Tina Garrett, if you can find a mouth print on it. Oh my god, I'm terrible. I love them.They're, they're like these little babies that I want to go out into the world and succeed.And a part of me is really terrified when they sell because I worry that I'll never actually get to lay my hands on the real thing again. Of course, I always have very high quality images made. And I am going to make myself a print of the painting of my daughter, of course, but there's just something about that original. And I really,really hope that she makes it to a home where she's loved for generations, you know, but I could hoard them. I could see myself hoarding them. But it wouldn't in the end, I think really serve my mental health or the purpose. I feel like I'm here to just make them and keep them for me. It's it. They are meant to kind of pass through me and go,

Laura Arango Baier: 13:15

yes, yes.And that's a great point.Because I agree with that. I feel like you know, oftentimes,and I've asked this also to other artists, but oftentimes it's like we're these channels of some sort of collective unconscious and, and I've actually asked other artists like have you ever felt like you've painted someone first painted something for someone without knowing who you paint it for until that person sees it and I've had so many beautiful responses about

Tina Garrett: 13:44

I definitely feel much more self centered and selfish than that I paint every single thing I paint is for me they are all I hate to say it this way sort of issues of mine or neuroses of mine or problems I'm solving within myself. Even if on the outward and they just look like you know, a beautiful girl in a dress or a cowboy smoking a pipe or whatever. They seem to be subject matter wise.My students my specially my longtime mentees all know the histories and the backstories of the paintings and the inner thoughts that I have of the paintings which aren't always made public. And that's you know, they're kind of like a visual catalog of my therapy really. And so I paid them for myself for my own because they need to because because I need to say what needs to be said for you know, for myself and a lot of times there's a lot of things that are hidden in the paintings physically hidden objects or hidden meanings inside symbolic things and so there's, there's there's that as well but I try not to be too overt about that because when I really want is for the painting to stand on its own, like, I don't want there to have to be a plaque next to it with four paragraphs, for anyone to really understand it, like the goal in the work is for the work to communicate itself. Even if some things are being whispered, or some things are being, you know, said in a gesture, instead of overtly said,

Laura Arango Baier: 15:25

Yes. And what I love about that, too, is that, you know, I think what also makes an image successful is exactly that is that the viewer understands it is like,if there's any sort of disconnect between the viewer and the piece and the narrative of the piece, like there's,they're not going to connect with it, they're just going to,it's almost like, sometimes when you look at like a Dali painting, you know, it's like,it can be a little too disconnected from reality,because it's the realist, that it doesn't really hit home, you know, quite the same way as like, you know, like your, your painting, for example, there was called melancholy of the girl laying down, and I love that painting, I was like, staring at it for hours, because I was like, Oh, this is such a moon.You're welcome. And I think what also, what I, the reason I bring that painting up, too, is because of the title melancholy.And I feel like a lot of your work has that sort of, you know,nostalgic, I think you in your bio described it as a sweet sadness. And I think that is such a great descriptor. Where do you think that sweet sadness and that melancholy comes from for you?

Tina Garrett: 16:36

Well, that is actually part of me. I mean, in the reality of my actual life,from very early on, there were some very serious losses. And that's just essentially, my processing, like, I am processing life experiences in my work. And so I actually remember having a conversation once with a young man, I won't mention who it is. He was having a conversation with me about this work that he had just made a gorgeous, incredible painting,it was going to be in a really fantastic international show.And we were talking about his children. And he was kind of talking about his life experience in a in a way that made me feel like he didn't quite necessarily appreciate the where he was with his kids. And like that, that they may be more something he needed to move maneuver around. And I very kindly said, when he asked me my opinion about where he was with his work, and what was important in his work, and then kind of told me about his children in a slightly flippant way. I said, I hope you don't mind me saying I can tell that you have not ever had any real catastrophic loss,or an or a very, a really, truly life or death experience. And in not having that there's this sense of all the people who I love will always be around me,and so I can take them for granted. And I don't need to be present for any part of this there there in the there's something I need to get around.And he was almost like, Ah, ha,whoa, like, how, how do you feel like you can tell this about my life? How can you then like because you can't, you can't have lost people, and then take take other people for granted just doesn't happen when you meet someone who say, for instance, has lost a child or who had a major loss as a child,you there's a sense about them that is, well, maybe melancholic is the way of saying it, there's a sense about them, and they have, like, they're satisfied with what they have, because they know what not having feels like. So they don't, you know,they're not angsting for more,they're not in a general sense of, oh, I just can't believe I don't get to do this right now.You know, because they're just like, I'm going to take all these babies and bring them in.Right, right. They know that because you so there's that. But what I can say without saying too many details, but what I can say essentially is is that each of the pieces that I make, are my path through healing, they are my path to answering questions for myself to to, they may even be imaginary experiences to kind of elevate myself through painful times.And so that I'm almost creating a reality that doesn't exist as a place of respite from actual reality. And that's just something I do selfishly I do remember, a long time ago,someone else asked me, you know,you paint dancers and you don't even dance like why. Why do you choose to paint dancers if you're not clearly a dancer? And I was like, first of all, what makes you think not Oh, no.Because I didn't want to say,like, I didn't want to, I didn't want to express what was really happening for me because my, my work is so personal and it is such a, like it's necessary.Like to not be able to work out what I work out in my work would be, I think, mentally and emotionally damaging to me. So to be able to have what I have and not have to explain it. You know, I don't know that you should, I don't know that artists should have to have the placard and say, Oh, I painted this. And I was inspired by this. Because of this. Maybe if you were strictly abstract conceptual artists, and the concept isn't clear in the work,but as a representational artist, I shouldn't. I mean, my goal is to make those paintings do that, for me, it's, you know,communicate visually not communicate through literature through words through writing.

Laura Arango Baier: 20:55

Yeah, I completely agree, because it's kind of, and I mentioned this, I think, in a previous episode, to where words are such a poor descriptor for everything, like,it is, like, if we take, you know, the meaning of something,and we just like, completely just boil it down to like, maybe like 2% of the real meaning behind it, which is why, you know, communicating can be so difficult. But with painting, we have this opportunity to fully communicate something without words that can really touch people. And I think that's, I totally agree if I have to, if I have someone has to explain a painting to me, I'm immediately like, their laws are also

Tina Garrett: 21:38

finite, Laura,there's specific definitions for each word, they have specific meanings, they might vary a little bit culture to culture,that kind of thing. One of the first things I ever did when I got an opportunity to have a solo show is essentially a scientific experiment, I created these works. They were widely ranging in subject matter,everything from cowboys as flamenco dancers to naked women.And I put them all in the room.And then I pass out these cards over the course of the show,asking people to go to the painting that they felt the most drawn to go to and explain what they thought that it meant, what they saw happening in those paintings. And I got such an incredible wide ranging perspectives. One of the paintings is a nude laying in the water, just complete frontal nude floating in the water. And one woman wrote that this painting is an abomination to God. And another woman wrote,This is what freedom looks like to me. So how can the same exact painting evoke such two wildly conflicting perspectives, I can tell you now had I told them on the plaque, what the painting was supposed to mean, it would have influenced their thoughts unfairly in reality. And what I learned is that that kind of thing happened throughout all of the paintings, everyone had these, like, why wide ranging explanations of what they thought the paintings meant to them, or what they thought the paintings were supposed to be saying. And what that experiment told me is that if I can infer in my work and not be too literal in it, and also kind of deny the temptation to overexplain literate, you know,put paragraphs there, that essentially what will happen is that the people come to view the painting will bring their self to the painting. And what those two women said about that painting told me so much more about them and who they were,than it had anything to do with my work that was about who they are, and where they are in their lives. And that says to me that my work was very wide open for interpretation, which is exactly where I want it to be. I don't want it to be literally spelled out, you know, bore you to death. This is exactly what's happening here. I want it to be that almost mysteriously vague,but yet still complete, not not abstract or missing something in terms of just like splashes of color that are supposed to represent a concept. So I want to take it further than that.But I also don't want to be such, you know, so literal and rendered, that everybody would come up and say, Oh, this is exactly what it means. And they would all have the same answer.Because if you can open your work up like that, and leave it so that people can come in and put themselves into it. That's where connection happens. That's where someone who sees themselves in the works as I have to bring this home I must own this. I need to live with this piece. It needs to be a part of my life. So if you spell it all out, you've shut that door. The door gets narrower or narrower and narrower. If you over explain

Laura Arango Baier: 24:48

what's crazy is what what you just said to me. I for some reason, my brain read it as you are making these paintings that are wide open for people to put themselves in and the people take it home. You know, it's almost like you are giving them self love. It sounds so corny, but you're No, I

Tina Garrett: 25:08

think I'm very comfortable with that. That's,that sounds exactly like what I want to hear.

Laura Arango Baier: 25:13

Perfect.Because that's the immediate,you're hired. Oh, that's so beautiful. It's like, it's, you know, there's nothing, because I've been, you know, digging into Buddhism a lot lately, and a lot of it is, you know, self acceptance and unconditional love. And, and, you know, that that really resonated with like,how beautiful is it to give someone the joy of loving themselves? There's something that they think is outside of them, when truly it is them reflected to them? Mm,

Tina Garrett: 25:47

do you replace it,I love it. Let's start on a project together.

Laura Arango Baier: 25:53

I'm totally down. I'm totally down to serve project because that, Oh, that's right up my alley. Um, and I think the other beautiful thing is, you know, you have these paintings, and you know, you channel yourself through them and your own, you know, pain and joy. And I think also, you know,I was reading, of course, all of your blog, basically, not all of it, it's a lot to read, but

Tina Garrett: 26:16

it is I have a live a big blog, and I've been thinking about switching to like a vlog, because I'm not that great writer, and my poor daughter has to do all my copy editing. And anyway.

Laura Arango Baier: 26:28

Well, a vlog would be nice, too. Um, but, you know, I noticed that, you know,the past few years have been so difficult, especially in Oct since the pandemic, they've been so difficult for so many of us artists, for so many reasons.And, you know, I think that's something else that people on the outside didn't really see with us artists, or they don't understand because I think we're just painting fallow for fun.Right? Right. Right, it's like,Can you can you watch my kids I pay, you're not busy. It's like,I'm working. Um, but you know,people don't see that we have this, you know, kind of like an ebb and a flow to our work. We have like periods of time where we just we can just pop out all of these paintings, pop them out, pop them out. And other times, it's just like a dry spell. It's like I like to call it the doldrums, you know, or it's like it's it's very dry,and then suddenly storming and then very dry, like, no wind and then stormy. And, you know,people don't don't understand that. And I think because they work, you know, nine to five,they know what they have to do.They just go to their office,they fulfill their menial tasks or whatever they have to do. And then they go home and then the,you know, like, they have that compartmentalization of tasks and home and tasks and home, but with us, you know, living in this creative whirlwind of It's working, it's working, and then it's not working. It's very,it's almost like oh my god, the comparison that I'm getting is like in fraidy and versus circadian. So you know, like,the circadian rhythm is the 24hour period, but then the afraid in one is based on like, a month basically. And I feel like as artists and any creators, we have this in Frady and sort of cycle where we go through periods of high and low, almost kind of like the phases of the moon, where we just, you know,we fill and then we empty, we fill and then we empty. Yeah.So, you know, I know for you from reading your blog, you know, last year was a bit of a challenge for you, um, or, I mean, probably a great challenge for you. And I know, you channeled it a lot in, you know,painting clouds, for example.Um, but, you know, I think the question that I have, you know,aside from, you know, channeling into your paintings, was there any other way or even with painting that you were able to overcome all the challenges that you faced? In 2022?

Tina Garrett: 28:47

I did, I really actually leaned on some friends.At first, I kind of felt self conscious, like I, if I were to ask people to be there for me,then I would be asking too much,until I got some good advice.And essentially was reminded like if it were the other way around, if one of the friends were to come to you and say,Hey, I've got this stressful time and I feel like I really need a companion in the studio.Someone just to cheer me on.Would you zoom with me while I painted? I would be like, of course I would. So I was able to basically ask for that. A couple of really great friends. This group out in Putney, Vermont,called the Putney painters was part of Richard Nancy's group.And we paint together maybe like every third Saturday or every other Saturday depends, it kind of comes in spurts and fits, but that has been fantastic. And they were part of the creation of the painting of my daughter.And then also, artists Jerry Salinas, out of the Scottsdale artist school, who has a fabulous following on Instagram where he paints a lot of live stuff. He also kind of held my hand a couple of times.Painting. That particular piece was really hard for me and I had also been really distracted with my sister who I am incredibly close with both physically, she lives a couple blocks away, and just emotionally were really tight. But so her being ill just was so hard for me to like accept it. And I got really stuck, I got a couple months in there where I just was stressed out, gave myself a really hard time about making enough time to paint and then kind of beating myself up when I didn't. And it would just I could tell it was I was going to swirl into the little vortex of chaos. And I also got a really great phone call from a mentor, just like out of the blue. That was like,Honey, we see that you're not painting, we can tell from your social media page, we can tell from your production, like what you're sending out, you're not painting, and that's what you need to do. And so I the thought to myself, everyone else around me sees it. Everyone else around me, it's my kids. And when I actually started painting again,my daughter was like, Oh, you're painting again. I can see it. I can see it on you. I can see it in your face. I can see it in the way you breathe the way you hold your posture like all these things like, yes, it's like I allowed myself permission to continue to create artwork, even though someone I love is very ill. And it it's such a strange thing because I had lost my dad at age 24 to cancer. And I wasn't a painter. And I dove so deep into sewing. I literally made every curtain in my house,I made bedding I made sheets, I made clothes. And I just like taught myself to so I even quilted a couple things. And then I was like, Okay, I've gone too far. But I needed a creative outlet to process all of that.And I didn't have it because I wasn't any kind of a painter.And I can only imagine if I hadn't been a painter. When I was going through it. I've gone through this last year, what kind of clothing I've been making everyone in my family sewing department be like, I've made you a jumper please wear it. No. So I, I love that the loved ones around me could recognize that. And that once I was brave enough to start asking for just a little bit of help.It was so funny, because I felt terrified to come to the studio space alone, because in my mind,I was saying to myself, How selfish are you to spend your time creating, when you could be holding your sister's hand, or taking care of something for her making her a meal or taking her to a doctor's appointment, all this other stuff? And she was even asking me go and pay you don't need to be here for that,you know, it's so funny, because it wasn't even it was only me who was putting myself through it. So once I did actually asked my friends to do that with me a handful of times and did that with them. I just felt so much better. And then I started to think to myself, like what else could I be doing. And that's when I wrote the blog about how I could be just doing things that are in the realm of painting, like organizing my cleaning my paint tubes or ordering materials I know I've been out of for a long time, or maybe organizing some of my you know, stretching and framing materials and keeping things cleaned up and stuff like that just to kind of be in the space and get warm back up to it again. And that was that was really enlightening for me. And I felt like once I explained that to the mentees that I work with on a regular basis who were watching, you know, watching me like because these are people who come and spend every, you know, they spend a day with me once a month. So they know whether or not I'm painting,they know what's happening in my personal life. And so that I could show them, this isn't something you just internalize,here's how you can do these steps. So if this ever happens to you, and the result was amazing, because so many of them are like thank you for explaining to me how you kind of dug yourself out of this almost like a little depression. And what to physically actually practically do not just, you know, fight through it, or you can do it or whatever. But just to say, take a step into the studio today, turn on the radio,clean something, organize something, maybe set up something you think you might want to paint and just look at it while you eat your ham sandwich, you know, and and then turn the lights out and come back and do it again tomorrow.And maybe next time. Invite someone else to do it with you someone who might be just an admirer who wants to sit and watch you paint or maybe someone on Zoom who they could be painting and doing their own business while you're painting and doing your own business. And then when you guys are ready to take a break, you can kind of chat a little bit together. So just a handful of things that I ended up having to put into practice and they really did help and I'm still actually doing that. I know it sounds funny but in the realm of like pain and suffering and healing and moving on for me personally it's incredibly slow process. I am so deeply in emotionally moved when someone I love is in pain or something that is gone badly wrong, you know, in my world, that I am not someone who just like, Okay, today we're fine. I'm like a year long,special needs in that department right a year long in it. And it's not like I didn't keep working, I still taught all the classes most for the most part that I needed to teach. I definitely did not meet my expected quota for paintings,but everyone who was already in my life, and this is one of the things I'm so grateful for.There are people who truly obviously do love me, because when I said, I'm going to be so distracted here, and I won't be able to focus and I can't, I can't bring myself to focus right now. I hope that that's okay. All of them are like, of course, that's okay. You take the time that you need, and how is she doing and we love you.And we love her and we're hopeful for her. So that just tells me that I really surrounded myself with the very best people who really care about artists and really care about art. And I had I had I not been connected to those kinds of people, I think this experience would have sort of shook the bushes and I would have seen where the weak spots were.Because someone would have said,you know, you're late, and you're not I got none of that. I got none of that everybody has been incredibly kind and super,super supportive of for Rachel's recovery and excited to see what I make next. And so my, I'm excited to, I hope I get something done. I did actually do a couple plein air paintings this last week, and it was really great. It was something I had shied away from. I've done a little bit of plein air in the very, very beginning of my learning how to paint and I like my very first time I ever did like a competition, I set my chair down on a hornet's nest.And so like I literally was stressed the entire time because these Hornets kept coming around. And there were all these timed things and stuff like that. So I kind of shied away from plein air, I done a one week long plein air class sometime around 2015 2016. But I hadn't really done very much of it. And so this last week, I did two or three days in a row with a handful of friends painted three paintings in a couple days. And it was I actually felt sad when it was time to leave and pack up. I was like, I really like this i I've always kind of had like this monster about plein air. And it's it actually turned out to be really fun. And I think now I'm going to put that in my toolbox. Of if you're starting to feel a little stagnant in your in studio work,there's nothing better than to pick your stuff up and go get outside in front of the lake and paint something sort of serene and beautiful in nature.

Laura Arango Baier: 37:37

Yeah. I love that. Yeah, and those are, that are really great advice. Because I think, you know, and the fact that so many of your students also resonated with you know,feeling stuck, you know, I think that's something that happens so much so much to us, like I'm I'm currently taking a sabbatical from painting. So I, you know, I completely understand, and you know, maybe I will reach that point, or have to unstick myself, and I will definitely follow all of your advice.

Tina Garrett: 38:02

I think it may be something that happens with your age as well, because, like, when people my age, so many people my age, their spouses are getting ill, or their parents are getting ill, or they're getting older, or they're passing away.And so I think it resonated because a lot of my students are about my age so late 40s, early50s And they're just at a place in their life where there are these sort of earth shaking,changes and losses happening.And so now it's starting to affect their, their process,their art process.

Laura Arango Baier: 38:31

You know,now that you mentioned that I have had some very serious losses in the past two or three years. And I'm also like, you i when I'm processing something,it's very much like a pot that's simmering in the back that just needs to simmer extra long.

Tina Garrett: 38:48

Yeah, I know.Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 38:50

Yeah. So I resonate very deeply with that,um, and you know, loss is of course a part of life and we just have to take it as it as it comes. And you know, and you know, hopefully have that support system of people who give us that space and give us you know, that love that you know, maybe at the moment we can't truly give to ourselves or for some reason we withhold because I don't know why but we do it. Um, yeah, that's that's very it's a very beautiful way of moving past struggle and pain and it's like you're trying to reignite that you know, I'm in my studio and I'm you know,touching paint tubes and you know, this is risk free I'm not you know, making a quote unquote, masterpiece. This is just hanging out a little space.

Tina Garrett: 39:37

Yes. painful thing for fun. heaven sakes.

Laura Arango Baier: 39:41

Exactly. And that's, that's the goal that I have right now. Once my pot, my metaphorical pot stops simmering. I will be definitely ready to just you know, it's not just like, oh, it's not like,oh, I don't have ideas. It's like, I have a bunch of ideas,but I just don't I have the bandwidth for it right now I am in a cocoon and my, my being needs to cocoon itself for a little longer and I'm just going to allow it to do you know, I love Yeah, you at 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, 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 That's B O LD B R U S H 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 link forward slash podcast, you can make that come true. And also get over 50% off your first year on your artists 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 forward slash podcast.That's f a s Forward slash podcast. And then, you know, on a lighter note, though,I do want to talk about some of your other advice, because you have really excellent business advice. And one of the recent pieces that really caught my eye that was reposted on the fine arts views was your three part series on how to price your artwork. Which, of course I think, you know, that goes beyond the emotional and personal worth of the art. But you know, you still have to make money. So I wanted to ask you,actually, because you mentioned in the article How. And I think it does have to do with that personal worth where it's like you have a painting that you just made and like maybe you either undervalue it, right? You think oh, well, you know, I just I painted this, I am just a beginner. Or it's so personal that you overshoot the price.

Tina Garrett: 42:47

I've done this.I've done this once I want to buy it. No, exactly. It's embarrassing.

Laura Arango Baier: 42:55

But do you find that it's more often that artists overshoots or under priced themselves?

Tina Garrett: 43:03

I think what's really common is that artists don't have any logical and consistent process for pricing.That that I could say is true.It's hard for me to tell, since I'm not really following what other artists are doing on a larger scale, in terms of whether or not they're overpricing or underpricing their stuff. But what I have noticed, at least with the people that I've worked with, is that there's zero consistent,like purposeful intended process for pricing. And instead it is essentially based on something really simple, like just their height, the width of the painting at $1 rate, which is wildly wrong. If you are painting both tiny, tiny pieces and really large pieces in your essential range of products, you can essentially underpay yourself in a small painting and then overpay yourself in large painting, which then may not ever sell. So what I and that seems to be the only type of like, recognize pricing structure that anyone's ever heard of before. And so when this client of mine offered to kind of help me figure out what I needed to make in a year and figure out what my prices would then cost. It's, it sat so well with me. And I think it worked so beautifully. Because it wasn't based on the paintings themselves. It was based on what my income needs were, which is something I hadn't really ever considered before. You know, all the other jobs I've ever had in my life that the the entity that I was working for set what the value was, and I could say, Yes,I'll take that job. Or I could say no, it's not enough money for the work that I want. I want more money or something like that, but I had never really actually asked myself what what was the dollar amount that I would need in order to make a living? So that question alone was just just essentially just changed the whole look of it,because it came from a perspective that had nothing to do with, even whether it is the product I was making. It could it wouldn't have mattered whether I was making widgets or making paintings, or whether income was coming from teaching or if it was coming from prizes,one or brush sales or whatever,it wouldn't really matter what the income was coming from,essentially, the answer to the question lied with what it is that you actually need in order to survive. And so that kind of took me to a whole nother perspective of how to think about what I should make, and really thinking that, that that's what any person who makes a normal income would need to make it, there's this whole world of special treatment for artists, right, you can go and buy a tackle box, for I don't know, 995. And you can see that exact tackle box, probably made by the exact same company, but just with a different art sticker on the outside. And now that tackle box cost three times what it costs when it was supposed to be for holding fishing gear. But it's identical tackle box, and you just call it an art box. And now all of a sudden, it's three times more expensive, and that that that world exists, not just in the art supplies, costs, but even in, like the pricing and how artists pay for things. It's almost like a predatory setup.So I think it's because we're such emotional beings. And we feel like what we're doing has to do with talent, and this sort of Divine Skill or something like that, that that we almost like throw out all sorts of reason. And we're happy to pay three times more for the art tackle box. And so it's it's,it's a weird, weird, weird phenomenon. I've never seen it happen in any other career set.But when that client said to me,what do you need to make in a year, I was kind of almost embarrassed to come up with a number, I was just sort of in denial of like, gosh, and he's like, you know, just say it, you know how much you need to make,you know, what your husband makes you know how much you used to make, you know, it is okay to say it out loud. But I didn't want to dare to think that I would actually be able to make that kind of money as an artist.Like, it's some sort of weird,like deserving thing like you think to yourself, I love doing this so much. And I need it so much, how can I possibly deserve to get paid what you know, any other profession makes, it's weird, there's a lot of dynamics to it, that that kind of pull away that like the, the fabric of of being rational and kind of leave all the holes where we put in our emotions. But the fact of the matter is, is that every person who has you know,financial responsibilities and not independently wealthy, they need to have a specific wage in order to sustain the life that they have for themselves, or at least the life that they want for themselves. So a mom of an11 year old and almost 12 year old, whose husband had to start working a second and eventually a third job to help sustain the work. You know, the money I had been making in the past, I needed to make somewhere around$80,000 a year to kind of begin to get close to what I was because at the time that I stopped working in the graphic design and the publishing house that I worked freelance for I was making about 115,000 a year.And this was in like 2010 2011.So to make it so it wouldn't hit us really hard. I needed to make about 80,000 a year. So once I got the courage to tell him that, and he said, What, uh,what if we pretended that$80,000 grid is actually100,000, because now you got to cover your own taxes. And we basically took all the things that you can do for money and divided them up inside this grid. So essentially, let's just say one cube of the grid would be teaching a class and another cube of the grid would be painting a medium sized painting. And maybe you could take up two cubes as a grid by painting, a really large,expensive painting, and maybe you could fill up four grids by painting eight little paintings.And he said, Just think about it like that, how could you fill all those holes to make it to that $80,000 point, and I tried it and I did it the first year,I made 83,000, the first year that I tried to do it. And it was I think it was because he helped me see it visually, if you if you imagine this grid, and then you divide it by the spaces, and then you just fill the grid. And when I would, you know say teach a class where a lot of students enrolled, I might be able to take some of the other grids of maybe small paintings I thought it was gonna have to make for that year and eliminate them because I covered that cost with the cost of the workshop or whatever. So it was so nice to see, like a visual way to see the money coming in where the holes were and how to fill them and what I could take his vacation and what that would cost me if I did, it was just a very Very enlightening thing.And I trusted him because he has like five successful businesses.And he had started collecting my work when it was just a couple$100, you know, is super cheering me on, I felt like he was trying to help me. You know, because what I had done is offered him a painting out of the blue for like $1,500, which I had all the other paintings were up until that day around200 to two $50. So he's like, how did you go from here to here in like a week.And I'm like, well, because I worked really hard on this one.And it's beautiful. And it's bigger, right? Because I had all these justifications for this, you know, financial change, that weren't really rooted in anything that he could understand. And what I know now is that your collectors can't handle that kind of irrational change, they don't, they need to see rational understanding as to why your work costs what it costs. And they can't see it like changing from moment to moment without any real expectation, because then they believe that when they did pay you a lot for the painting, and now they're not. They're thinking, Well, gosh, I overpaid last time, or when they see the painting you sold to someone else costing three times more than what the painting they bought, then maybe they're thinking at that point, I got a real deal. But if that other guy talks to this guy, then he's gonna think Well, I got totally raked over the coals, right. So essentially, because your pricing is is relatively public,if not fully public, and because you are a regular company, just like any other company, and you're selling a range of products, there has to be sort of a face value logic as for what things would cost and how much they cost. And when you use the grid system. And you people say to you well, how come your paintings cost that much, which is one of the I've actually never had anyone asked me that that artists tell me that they do get kind of grouchy people asking them why their paintings cost that much. And surely, it doesn't cost you that much to make it or whatever. When you're working off of the grid system, you can basically say I have an income that I need to make in order to sustain the lifestyle that I live, which includes sending my children to college and taking care of my parents.And so that's what my annual wages, which is not outrageous,I mean, it's pretty normal regular wage, then you can basically say that's based off of how much how many paintings I make in a year and all the other things that I can do to make money. That's how much the paintings cost, and you certainly don't have to buy it.But that's just what the cost is. And then you sort of like unemotional in it, and not necessarily pricing it on anything particular about the painting, other than maybe you may change the size of the grid based off of the painting size.Right, just so there's a little logic there so that the teeny tiniest painting in your collection doesn't cost 15 times more than the largest one, right? There's some logic involving that as well. But that's, that's why I felt like it was important to write about it. And it felt like it needed to be three parts because it was really in in depth on how to actually do the grid for yourself and how to give yourself raises every year and how to account for taxes and how to account for vacation time, which is something I only did this last year was the first time I ever took actual vacation, like on purpose didn't do anything for work didn't take my phone with me. Didn't you know, check social media or anything? You know, I've been trying to keep this plane off the ground this whole time. So the idea of not having anyone manning it was scary, but everybody survived.

Laura Arango Baier: 53:48

And you got a much deserved break. I mean, I think, you know, it's like you said we for some reason for our specific career. It's like, there's there's like this thing hanging over us of undeserving or like, like were these super selfish creatures existing on the earth who just you know, do what we love. And it's like all these people who have these office jobs who wish they had a job maybe it's like maybe they're just jealous. Maybe they're just jealous.

Tina Garrett: 54:16

Why meaner to myself than anyone else's. I'm the one who's always saying, you know, my husband, who's a firefighter and a an EMT, paramedic and er, nurse and all this other stuff. I'm like, I'm not saving people's lives. I feel like my job is so easy. And it's, I love it so much. It doesn't even feel like a job and all of my students are like you work so much and unit and like it's not work this is this is that's work. So I'm even doing it to myself. I know that this is work. I know that what I give to my students and what I put into my paintings and the quality of the work that I make it is it is real work. But there is that that that that sense that we love doing it so much that we would probably do it even if we didn't get paid if we didn't have bills to pay this Yeah, yeah. And so we put that on ourselves as much. But yeah, you're right. I actually had a guy come up to me once and say you actually make money doing that. Again, that just goes back to, you know, there that tells me more about them than it has anything to do

Laura Arango Baier: 55:15

with me.Yeah. Yeah, I agree. And, and then there's also the aspect of people not taking you seriously because that's your career, you know, and also because, like, you know, we know that you're, you're huge in like, the realism world. Some guy off the street wouldn't know that, right? But for me, it's like, Oh, my God, it's Tina Garrett, you know? Oh, funny.

Tina Garrett: 55:38

I still don't even believe that. All happened to me. Once I was dining, I was out to eat in Italy with Rommel and a bunch of other people. And this guy came in to see Rommel from out of town. And he's standing at the head of the table. And Rommel is introducing everybody, so and so down the line, he gets to me, that's Tina Garrett. And the guy goes, Oh, my God, I and I said, Did you put him up to this? Like, real?What are you doing? What are you doing? You told him to do all that he's like, No, I didn't. So I, I don't see how, like, I'm just like, I'm such a normal. I mean, I don't even see that. I don't understand how that works.But I love it. I appreciate that.

Laura Arango Baier: 56:15

Of course, you're like a beacon of like, hope for, you know, every artists out there who wants to like, you know, have like, some sort of like award and recognition. You know, you're like one of those, like, people up there that looks like I wouldn't be like Tina Garrett when I grew up, you know. So, um, but you know, I think I'm the other aspect of like, you know, pricing and stuff and, and you know, how we value our work.And I think your articles described so well, which I will be linking them in the show notes for people to read them because they are friggin amazing. And also, the rest of your blog is friggin amazing, it's just peppered with the best advice ever. But what I love also is like, you know, the part where you say, oh, you should compare your work to people who are also making similar work who are in your like, level, basically. And you know, just see how they're pricing it. And then, you know, go from there. I think that was genius.

Tina Garrett: 57:14

Market research, right, any company would do it, like, you're not going to go down the aisle where you buy Coca Cola, and seven up and Pepsi and root beer, and you know, Shasta and all this stuff, and one guy is going to be five cents, and everybody else is going to be in the $7 range make they're gonna be in the same range. That's not accidental.

Laura Arango Baier: 57:31

Exactly.Yeah. And I love that, again, your articles, you know, they, they go so in depth in that. But the other part that I think is, is a bit of a challenge, and especially for beginner artists, or people who are just starting out is finding those people, those collectors who will pay top dollar for your work. How do you recommend people or artists, of course, go about doing that?How do you find them, right. So

Tina Garrett: 58:00

if you're, if you're, if you're not self represented, if you have galleries, then your galleries are going to supposed to do that for you. That's what they get the 50% for. And so I want you to stop trying to chase that for them. Because you don't work for your galleries like that work for your galleries by producing the work that you promised them you would produce at the quality that they're expecting to get from you. At the rate in which you expect to get it from you.I'm talking to myself when I say that. If you are self represented, you have to think about it like this. So imagine you're in this beautiful dining room table, right? And you're going to invite everyone to the table who is potentially someone that might buy something from you, like, think about what those people look like. And one of the things that I talk with my mentees about is if I were to take one of my paintings, let's say I take melancholy, 72 inches wide. I can't remember how many inches tall she is. I go out to the parking lot of our Kansas City area amusement park, right.And I stand in the parking lot with her. So let's just say for crazy numbers. 10,000 people come in in the day and 10,000people leave in the same day,and they're all going to come pass my painting twice. What percentage of those people are going to have money on them right now to buy that painting?For $25,000? No one, no one's going to have that cash on them.Okay, the amusement park people?How many of them are gonna go,man, that's cool. Maybe all of them? Right. Okay. All right. So is the amusement park in my town? Are those that people I should be trying to reach? No,because they don't have that kind of money in their pocket?Yes, they might think I'm cool.Maybe some of them will become my students. Right? Right. Maybe some of them will take say that.Hey, I love the concept of that.Can I turn it into a tattoo?Right? There's like you see what I'm talking about. Now, if I take that same painting, and I go stand in the parking lot at the Tesla dealership, maybe only13 People are going to come through that painting to see it and leave that dealership and see the painting? How many of them are going to have potentially $25,000 to spend?Maybe half? Some. Okay, right?So there's a little bit of logic about basically reaching out to the people who could actually afford what you're making,right? So if what you're making is in the 10s, of 1000s, or in so you got to know what your,what you're making and how much it costs before you can know who your person is, right? So though you have to know do I need to be going to the parking lot of the amusement park? Do I need to be going to the parking lot of the symphony? Do I need to be going to the parking lot of the dealership? Like, where do I need to be based off of what it is I have for sale? Right? So I'm looking for those people,and I'm imagining where they are. So let's just say I decide I want the symphony people and I want the Tesla dealership people. And I want the people who buy the houses that are on the home parade thing. Right?Okay, so they're gonna I'm an invite all of them to my dining room table now, and we're gonna sit around, and when I'm talking to them in my imaginary dining room space, I'm going to be asking them, where do you shop?Where do you go? What kind of clothes do you wear? What books do you read? What magazines do you read? What types of things do you do for entertainment?Because if I can get the answers to those questions, then I know where they physically are, and I know where they're laying their eyes. So let's just do a little bit of sleuthing it out. If the symphony people are going to go to the symphony, what are they going to have in front of them,the symphony catalog, maybe if my painting was somewhere in that simply catalog, I would be able to reach people who can afford to go to the symphony,and who may like my paintings.So that's just a simple simple example of one aspect. Now, the I'm going to say this as kindly as I can, the house plant type of artist. And I say this because houseplants don't move,they never get up. They never go anywhere, and they expect to be watered or they die. Right?Okay, so house plant type of artists is going to say, Oh, I'm going to run an ad in the symphony. And that's all they'll ever do. And active learner is going to do more than that.They're going to think about their own paintings, how much they sell for, and the kind of people they would like to invite to their dining room table. And then they will sleuth out where those people are and how to get in touch with those people. So I'm asking the people who are watching this, not to be houseplants, the active learners and figure out yourself and who your audience is just a little bit of imagination, a little bit of questions and answers. And you'll create a market of people who make sense for you who are within the reach your paintings can reach. Holy crap. That's the best response I've ever gotten.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:02:51

You? Oh, it's just it's like, of course, it just seems obvious. It's so obvious. It's so obvious in hindsight, yeah. Because that's literally also What brands do they do market research? And then they also research their ideal buyer, who is like, what age range? What gender usually or like, where do they hang out?

Tina Garrett: 1:03:15

And they meet them where they are, right? They meet them where they are, they go to them, and they get themselves in front of them where they are in a logical, organic way. Right?Like, how weird would it be if I actually took my painting and stood out in front of the Tesla dealership, they probably freak people out, I probably get called the police on, right. So it's not physically doing that.Right? It's but it is. But to get myself in front of those people in some respect. Maybe I have a show for my paintings across the street from the Tesla dealership, maybe I asked the Tesla dealership, if I can leave a catalogue of my artwork just laying in their lobby, like you never know what you could do for yourself, if you were just thinking about it in like what would be because for me, my work, I want it to be timeless, and I want it to be of a certain taste. So that means that the behavior that I do around it has to be of a certain tastes and a kind of a timeless, right? I don't want to be the Tesla dealer, like they look greasy teeth just like selling all this stuff, right. But I wouldn't be like to be smooth, right? Maybe a little incognito, a little flyer, a little booklet left somewhere, tucked into a magazine or actually purchased magazines, advertisements that have to do with those kinds of things. Like get that get in front of those people's eyes.Maybe buy a list from something like that where you can get their email blasts. There's a lot of stuff that can be done.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:04:41

Yes. Oh my God, you have opened the paths for everyone. I think just what you've said, I hope people are taking notes. Because genius. I mean, it's like it's so simple, but it's really like how else are you getting? I love that analogy to have like just a houseplant. You know, it's like you have to get out there you have to Do not just get out there, but also like, you know, do it and then try again and do it and like, try again, you know, like the cycle. Yes,

Tina Garrett: 1:05:08

invest my business mentees, I really talked to them about the usefulness. And this the essentially the mentality of being a scientist and an experimenter. And that's not just in your book, your process and how you make your work and being willing to try things and see how it works. But it's also in the way you run your business, essentially, floating something out to see how it does, and then taking that data and analyzing it to see whether or not it worked. And then take the parts that do work and repeat them again, and take the parts that don't work, and maybe only test them one more time, if at all, to kind of see how they work. And so kind of move slow like that, instead of just going well, everything cost this much, and then say, Oh, I didn't so I can't do this. You know, it's it's you kind of like I said before the artist as a as a, a being, we are kind of weirder than any other kind of business.But as soon as we recognize that we're actually not, but that's sort of folklore. And we can choose whether or not we want to act weird, or impulsively or overly emotionally and how we decide that we can be more logical and analytical meaning analyzing what's happening, and then testing out stuff and experimental. Once we start putting on that hat and behaving in that posture, we start to realize we have a little bit more control and things aren't on a cycle of the moon. It's not whether or not the stars were shining. It's just whether or not it made financial sense. Was it practical? Did I make money in this process? Did it cost me money? Did it cost me more stressed than the money it made me like and asking ourselves, after we've done something like having a show was too stressful or whatever, and I didn't make much money. But producing for a particular gallery worked out great, and I can work at a slower pace, and then they're steadily selling or, you know, whatever it is, you're going to do, you have to do it with it from the perspective of experimentation, so that you never feel heartbroken when things don't work out. And you don't have to have like over elation that gets you into the part of silliness. You can actually just take reasonable assessments and repeat what happens. That's good.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:07:19

You'd Yes.And then, you know, the other and we were talking about this at the beginning, the I really liked how you made this distinction. In in one of the in the first post, actually, we're talking about how, like, there's a difference between, you know, the person who will see your work, and be like, oh, so and so that I know is a danger versus someone who will really be you know, like, wowed by your work?How did you realize that that was like the distinction, you know, between my work is at this level versus my work is down here in level.

Tina Garrett: 1:07:54

I know that when, when I'm with people, and I'm thinking this, someone's asked me questions about my artwork,I'm trying to assess whether or not they're just being conversational, and who they are and where they are in their life and whether or not that's going to really lead to a working relationship or an exchange, like a purchase or asking to be taught a lesson or something like that, right? Essentially, I think about it like this, every person that comes into my circle, to talk to me, needs to leave my vicinity, doing one of three things, either they're going to leave having purchased something directly from me like a collector, or, or they're going to leave kind of maybe becoming a student or working with me again in the future in some capacity, like a mentee or a gallerist, or something like that. Or they're going to leave having not ever spent any money with me. But I want them to go and kind of echo who I am out in the world. Like I've put some kind of an impression on them, so that they speak about me in a positive way. So if I think about every person I meet, having meeting meeting those three criteria, that one of those three, if not all of them.I need to be sort of preparing myself for how I speak with them. Right? So that means when I run into somebody, I'm not thinking to myself, you know,Oh, this guy's in my way or he you know, he just wants me to paint a motorcycle helmet. I don't want to spend any time talking to him. I still see value in communicating with someone like that, because they're not going to walk away with me having painted their motorcycle helmet, right?They're probably not asking me to teach them something. But I guarantee they can still leave being essentially a vocal advocate for me as an artist.And if not, for me as an artist, at least for me as a human being. And they'll say I met Tina and she was just lovely.She She didn't want to paint my helmet but she said it was really cool. And she showed me that she has her license to ride motorcycles and we talked about that So now, they're gonna go out and talk about me in that respect. And maybe they'll talk to somebody who has like 12motorcycles and races them. And he's got this big house and a nine car garage, and he actually does need a painting. So you see how they essentially they, there's always a potential connection there. So even at the times when my ego is going, good God, please don't ask me to paint an eagle on your helmet.There's still a part of me that's going but this person could know the next person 456degrees of separation between me and what Kevin Bacon? Is that how the thing goes? Yeah, it's a big number. Exactly. So. So they're, they're all potential clients of one respect or another. If they're going to fit those three places, they're going to walk away talking about me in a positive way, they're going to walk away being connected with me as a gallerist, or a student or a host to a workshop or something like that. Or they're going to actually be a collector. So I'm meeting people with that perspective. It could be the Home Depot, checkout lady doesn't matter to me. There's all of that's in there. So there's no one who's have no value to reach out with. And sometimes our ego gets in the way. And we're like, you know, yes, I understand your 11 year olds talented, but I don't want to hear that right now. And I don't care about seeing their drawings. No, I totally want to see their drawings. Maybe their11 year old is stunningly beautiful. And I need to paint them. And they can be in the room when I'm teaching a class listening to me. And five years from now, they're gonna go to an atelier a and become an amazing painter, because they had that experience with me. Right? Do you can you see, it's about having that perspective in your life, that it's all the butterfly effect, right? Or the domino effect, you can, you can sort of like send it out, and then it can come back in. And so if you send out the vibe of like, I'm so annoyed that you've asked me this question. Then the oils, that annoyance is gonna come back and crack you in the head someday. Yeah, like a boomerang, it's gonna come back and go whack, I should have been nicer to that guy.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:12:02

Word of mouth is so powerful. And actually, what's interesting to just, you know, to mention the chaos theory a little bit, because it's one of my favorite things. Is actually 85% of the result is dependent on just 15%of the initial conditions. Wow.Yeah. So if you create that initial condition, have good vibes, you know, good chat, you know, somehow get them on your website, or, you know, get them interested in your work or get them, you know, just have like, a good chat with them, that already creates that eight, the chance of the 85% working out of it being a positive connection.So that's statistically makes sense.

Tina Garrett: 1:12:46

It does, it does.And it's really, it's just a kind way to live your life, you know, you're thinking to yourself, you're never really truly annoyed. You never really, truly bothered by somebody asking you about your work or what you do or anything like that. Because, you know, they're a potential person to connect with, you know, at any point that you might want to actually invest in that connection. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:13:06

Invest. Yes, invest. That's the key word right there. Um, do you have any final advice for say, like a student or an artist who's maybe struggling or feeling a little hopeless? Like, what would you tell them?

Tina Garrett: 1:13:24

Gosh, you know, I just have to empathize with anyone who's trying to do almost anything today. It seems like there's so much more stuff going on more information coming in more world events, currently, you know, on the radar, more political things on the radar, more cultural things on the radar, than there was when I was a young person starting out, I wouldn't want to be a single young person today to save my life. The way people have to connect with people today seems scarier to me than it did for me in my day and age. And I actually, unfortunately, I've seen it in the friends of my children who have become, you know, close to me, some of them even work for me every now and then as models or as personal assistants and things like that.I've seen the toll of just life decisions today, on on younger people in general, regardless of whether it's artists or whatnot.My first advice would be be very cautious of predatory opportunities. So all art organizations are not equal. I would stick to as many offer profits as you can in terms of where you invest your own money, because they're going to give you back the benefits that come to you at a cheaper rate than a for profit organization, we'll do and ask the people who are in your life that are older than you that had been doing this longer than you. Ask them where they've spent their money and where Are they got the return for it back? Right. So many artists I know come to me and asked me to write letters of recommendation to suppose it for your long art colleges, and every single one of them has come back just devastated. They have no skill set, they have no job opportunities. They're either working for the school, or they're working in administration or retail or something like that afterwards, and now they have hundreds of1000s of dollars in debt. So be super, super cautious about where you spend your money. And you can actually practically beat when I say Be cautious What I mean is do your research, you want to talk to someone who graduated from that school five years ago, and hear from them that they are making wages in the realm of where they were supposed to be teaching, not making wages as a bartender, in,you know, retail store, but actually making rages in that career. And you want to spend your dollar very cautiously. And when you do decide to say go to school, or take on a mentorship or something like that, do the work you're supposed to do show up and be serious and do all the work, make sure that those things come with either at least a recommendation for what business classes to take, if not already, including business classes. Because there's no, you can't go into business as an artist with only the creative side understood, you really do need to understand what any other business needs to know. So basic business course, could be really helpful to a lot of people who are going to try to work for themselves, know how to do your taxes, know how to keep your checkbook straight know how to estimate what your income is going to be and what your expenses are going to be and kind of how to create different streams of income. I had the same conversation with my son, who graduated high school in2019, to go to an arts college in New York City to become an actor. And he put his hands on my shoulders, and he said, Mom, you know how I know I can do it?And I'm just like this going?How do you know? And he said, because I watched you do it. And I said, Oh, honey, please, please marry someone with health insurance. Like that was my first response. Because I'm like, these kids, they don't understand what happens behind the scenes in their parents relationship. They're not there for the conversations about how to make ends meet. And so they see the romantic side of yes, my mom is learning how to pain and she's going to these classes, and then she's teaching all these courses, and she's traveling around and they're coming to the house, and she sees all, you know, they see all of that stuff. And so they think that they can do that, because they see that part and they're gonna, he's like, I'm gonna go act, and I'm gonna go learn how about playing piano, I'm gonna do all this stuff. And he's not he's not seeing that if dad didn't work were their health insurance was included, that that we would have never made enough money to live on, we would have just been making enough to pay the basic necessities if that if we were talking about just my income alone. So I kind of tried to explain to him. And this is probably the last bit I'll say about this is that as a creative person, and any young person creating a job at all, you get to choose the size of your life.So I want you to think about what you want to do. Like it's a teacup, right? A big, big teacup, you gotta hold all the hands up, that means you want like a five car garage, and you want to send three or four children to college and you want to under 50, you know, $1,000 a year, whatever, right? That's a big, that's a lot. That might mean that you're going to have to paint and teach and maybe sell a product like your own paint, product or your own aprons or whatever, right, you're gonna have to do a lot of things to manage that huge cup of tea. If you have a smaller life, maybe you have a teeny tiny cappuccino size life, you can hold it with two fingers, right to keep it steady without spilling it, you may only be able to paint and tape. Right.So if you choose this big, big life, and you have this whole umbrella of people who are going to be depending on you financially, you may have to, like make it to like the Brad Pitt version of painter in the world, right? Right. Are but if you have, keep your life small, live in a place that you can afford, buy secondhand furniture, whatever, make it all cool and stuff like that. Make your life really small, then you can maybe live a life of a painter and have a good gallerist maybe two if you're super lucky and paying a lot and maybe just do private lessons on the side of things like that. So it's not just about what you know and what you can do. It's about what you decide. So if you decide you need a lot, you got to have the newest car, you got to wear the product sunglasses, you got to have all of that stuff, then then you will maybe not be able to do that and only sustain your art career you may end up having to take a second job on top of the art career or you know, there's lots of different ways of figuring it out. But but that It is a choice. That's not just something that happens, every artist, or every person who wants to be an entrepreneur at all, they end up making that choice whether they are conscious of it or not, they're making that choice. And so choose a small life you can manage. If you end up making more, and then you add on to that life, that's great. But if you set yourself up, you know, specially starting out with like, hundreds of 1000s of student loans, you might really get yourself up underneath. And then what happens is those people stop trying to be artists. And then they go back to school to do something else, or they get married to someone who has the income, you know, and then the years go by, and they're sorry, they never stayed a painter and just could be a lot of regret and stress involved with that. So yes, get a mentor.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:20:45

Yeah, I'm telling you. No, I think it's not I would not be ashamed, I think you would be an excellent mentor for for anyone who's just starting out or even like, you know, in the middle of your career, maybe they need to figure something out, I think you'd make an excellent mentor, which by the way, I will include all of your links as well in the show notes, including one where people can reach out to be your mentees. But before that, I do want to ask you about your upcoming workshops.

Tina Garrett: 1:21:14

Oh, yeah. What month is this? June? Yeah. Okay.So in July I, I'm in I'm village arts of Putney, which is opening from after the past the pandemic. I'm super excited to be the first workshop opening them up. And right after I'm done teaching there, Rob Liberace teaches there. So and we all love that the historic Putney barn, where Richard and Nancy and the Putney painters have painted for like 40 years.And so we want that space to succeed and to continue to be there. It's so full of the Masters artworks. Charlie Hunter teaches there, Kathy Anderson, I really hope that, that that workshop is it's already successful, it's already happening. But I really hope that it kind of like starts the ball rolling again after the pandemic for them. After that I am in Europe. I teach in the Netherlands, which I think is almost full. I think she said last month that there are 11students enrolled. So I think the Netherlands is almost full.That's at the deputy leader of realist art in Amsterdam. And then I go from there to the Florence studio, in Florence,Italy. And then right after that, at the end of September,I'm doing five day, the portrait in the landscape, which is both indoor outdoor painting workshop in Portugal. So I'm super excited to teach those and that will almost wrap up my year. My last stop is back to the Academy of Art in Oklahoma, in Edmond,Oklahoma, Oklahoma. There's a little tiny school out there that I usually teach every November at and it's really cute place and I love all my Oklahoma students. So excited to go back to them.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:22:51

And we'll include, of course, all those links, as I mentioned. And then of course, and then where else can people find your work?

Tina Garrett: 1:22:59

Well, they can see my paintings at Highlands Art Gallery in New Jersey, and Karstens gallery in Scottsdale.And then of course, just a Tina They can see are in Facebook and Instagram, of course. I do also have a little YouTube channel if you want to see a short video of my workshop and where my space where I teach. I have a couple of different videos up there. Like speed through type ones where you're painting and stuff like that. Those are also really fun.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:23:29

Well, thank you so much Dina.

Tina Garrett: 1:23:31

Thank you, Laura.I have enjoyed myself and you're you're lovely. I wish you all the success.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:23:35

Oh, thank you. You too. You too.

The BoldBrush Show. Interviews with today's finest artists and creatives. Watch here or listen on all major podcast services.