Welcome to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads. In this special edition, listen to an interview with Mark Sublette of the Art Dealers Diaries podcast as he interviews Eric Rhoads about his path from the radio business to art, how he keeps up with his daily live videos with other artists, and much more.
Bonus! In this week’s Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, answers: “Should I frame my art before it’s sold?” “Are online art competitions worth it?”
Listen to Art Dealer Diaries Episode (Part 1) With Mark Sublette and Eric Rhoads here:
– Mark Sublette and Art Dealer Diaries online: https://artdealerdiaries.com
– Watercolor Live: https://watercolorlive.com/register-now
– Eric Rhoads on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ericrhoads/
– Eric Rhoads on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eric.rhoads
– Sunday Coffee: https://coffeewitheric.com/
– Plein Air Salon: https://pleinairsalon.com/
FULL TRANSCRIPT of this PleinAir Podcast
DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of a transcription from an audio recording of the PleinAir Podcast. Although the transcription is mostly correct, in some cases it is slightly inaccurate due to the recording and/or software transcription.
Eric Rhoads 0:00
This is Plein Air Podcast episode number 201. And today we’re featuring a recent interview Mark Sublette did with me on his Art Dealer Diaries podcast. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
This is the Plein Air Podcast with Eric Rhoads, publisher and founder of Plein Air Magazine. In the Plein Air Podcast we cover the world of outdoor painting called plein air. The French coined the term which means open air or outdoors. The French pronounce it plenn air. Others say plein air. No matter how you say it. There is a huge movement of artists around the world who are going outdoors to paint and this show is about that movement. Now, here’s your host, author, publisher and painter, Eric Rhoads.
Eric Rhoads 1:08
Oh, thank you Jim Kipping. And I hope everybody is well welcome to the Plein Air Podcast. It snowed here recently in Austin, Texas, which is very unusual. And I love to paint in the snow. So as soon as we got about three inches accumulated, everything turned beautiful. So I, I slipped outside and I just got out there and did a lot of painting. It was a lot of fun until I got cold. But you know how that goes anyway, I highly recommend it. If you’re living in a place where there’s snow, I think it’s a lot of fun. And it’s certainly a great way to to push yourself, if you’ve not done it, I think to do is to essentially lay down a floor mat, a car mat or something so that you’re not standing on cold snow, that’s a great way even if you’ve got boots, keeps your feet warm. Also person pepper in those boots, in the toes of the boots, it’ll keep you warm. Alright. Okay, so I just want to mention to you that watercolor live is coming up. And we have a huge number of people from all over the world who are going to be on Watercolor Live. It’s a virtual art on art conference for watercolor. And it covers a lot of plein air and a lot of other watercolor and it’s January 27 through the 31st. And you can save 300 bucks if you sign up before the 20th while you’re listening to this if you’re on time, so make sure to check that out. Also, February 14 is the earlybird deadline to save 500 bucks on the Plein Air Convention will we have it? We don’t know we intend to. If we don’t have it, of course you can get your money back. But we’re gonna have a huge demand once we’re allowed out and able to meet and it’s coming up in May. So there’s a very big chance that we’re probably going to have it coming up in the current issue of Plein Air Magazine, we have a special feature that sheds light on the light sensitivity for artists. I just experienced something I had cataracts, I’ve had them for 10 years but the doctor said they weren’t bad enough to cut out yet. Well, I finally had it done. And it was interesting because I did the first I and after when I would a be you know close one eye open the other I could see how yellow and dark and dingy things were and how everything went down at least a value, maybe two values. In some cases, my skies were dark and gray. And now they’re bright and beautiful again, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that impacts my painting. I’ve done both eyes now. And hallelujah. I highly recommend it. It’s an easy surgery and quick and painless and man what a difference it makes. So if you’ve got got some cataracts, you might not even know it. I wasn’t even sure I had them until it was pointed out by an eye doctor for me. Anyway, coming up in this week’s Plein Air Today newsletter if you’re not getting that it’s free. comes by email, we have a special memorial to Tommy heinsohn he was the basketball star known as Mr. Boston Celtics. He was the play by play guy, and a beloved plein air painter and a friend of mine. I used to go painting with him. And you’ll enjoy that story. So make sure you check it out. And coming up after the interview. I’m going to be answering art marketing questions in the marketing minute. Now this is very unusual. I decided to give me a break, quite frankly, because of catching up from the holidays and everything else and finding time to schedule people. I decided I would share this interview. It’s a two part interview. Mark Sublette, who is an art dealer in Tucson, got me to talk about things that I really rarely ever get into. It was such a long in depth interview. It’s actually two episodes, we’re gonna do this episode and then the next episode. And you know, it’s a little unusual for me to be interviewed and in in my own environment. And so I apologize for that. If that’s a little weird. It’s kind of weird for me to But anyway, if you’re interested in it, you might enjoy it. But if not, I get it. All right. Anyway, we’ll be back to normal soon after that, but let’s get right to this interview with me. Bye Mark Sublette Thanks, Mark. So, are you still in Tucson? Where are you?
Mark Sublette 5:07
I am, I’m in Tucson. I am hanging out in Tucson and my gallery. And today is just like, way too many people coming into the gallery too. It’s like, somebody didn’t get the note that we’re in a pandemic full last pandemic,
Eric Rhoads 5:22
Those pesky customers –
Mark Sublette 5:24
Those pesky Don’t they know I have a website that can just shop online. I’m happy to talk to him via zoom or some other thing. It’s really funny. I mean, it’s there’s a bunch of people that walked in, I’m like counting heads and like, and I have a 7000 square foot gallery. So it’s not like it’s a small space, but I’m still like, get away go this way.
Eric Rhoads 5:45
When I was last there, you had to two spaces. You had one kind of an old old part of town, I think and one somewhere else.
Mark Sublette 5:53
Oh, yeah. That was a long time ago. That was 2009. Probably. Right. Are you in one of those same space either of those spaces, actually. Okay, so yeah, I’m up at in the foothills now. So sunrise and cold. So right by Ventana, if you know where that is?
Eric Rhoads 6:09
And how’s business?
Mark Sublette 6:11
This has been really good. Yeah, no. complaint. You know, we’ve been doing other things just like you have been doing other things. Yeah. It’s been fun watching your progression, by the way, we’re live now we have Eric Rhoads on the art dealer diaries. We’re just we had a fun technical issue where we couldn’t hear. And we both do podcasts. And so you know, you would think we’d be good about this. But we were both struggling with it. By the way. Quickly, give a shout out to your podcast. So it’ll be in the first part. So people go here.
Eric Rhoads 6:43
You want me to give a shout?
Mark Sublette 6:44
Yeah. Yours. I want people to find your podcast, the Plein Air Podcast I’ve listened to
Eric Rhoads 6:49
Okay, well, it’s a plein air. I have two of them. Actually. I’ve Well, actually three, if you really think about it, I have the Plein Air Podcast. Yes. Which is wherever podcasts can be found. I have one called the Art Marketing Podcast. And then I haven’t got this one actually on podcast software yet, but for 100. And at the time, were recording this for 215-20 days. I’ve been live on Facebook, and YouTube every day at 12, noon, Eastern and also at 3pm. Eastern, doing artists demos and so on interviewing artists, etc.
Mark Sublette 7:25
Yeah, that amazes me. I saw that I you know, I follow you actually, I read your Sunday, coffee time with you. which encouraged people actually to listen. Get this blog. It’s what do you call it? Eric’s?
Eric Rhoads 7:38
It’s commonly called Sunday Coffee. But you can find it because we couldn’t get to Sunday coffee calm. It’s coffeewitheric.com.
Mark Sublette 7:46
Yeah. Eric, coffeewithEric.com. Yeah, that’s right. So yeah, I read it every day. And it’s every Sunday. And it’s fun. I mean, I get an insight to your psyche. You really do. You don’t hold back, which I like. And, you know, you know exactly how you’re feeling by reading what you’ve written that in that podcast in that blog.
Eric Rhoads 8:07
So I write for therapy, you know, it’s sometimes if I’m feeling a particular way, I’ll just get out my laptop and start chipping away at it. And I wrote something one time for my kids. And I sent it off to I was telling a buddy of mine about it. And I sent it off to him. And he said, you want to publish that. So I did. And now a quarter million readers later, and I don’t know, two, three years. And it’s every every week. And sometimes I regret doing it. Because sometimes it’s a little too much to try to do it every week, as you know. But, you just stick it out and do it.
Mark Sublette 8:44
Yeah, I mean, it’s hard, right? I mean, you’re doing when I see your schedule, I think I’m pretty busy. And then I read your schedule and see what you’re doing. I’m like, this guy’s even way crazier than I am. Because kinda doubt that you’re Oh, I don’t know about that doing a doing a live Facebook interview. And these are not like 10 minute things. These are long things right? Long format or one hour? Yeah. Every day, right?
Eric Rhoads 9:10
Yeah. So what happened is, like everybody else, the first couple of weeks of COVID, we were, we were flipping out. We didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know how it was going to impact our business. But and we didn’t certainly I don’t think any of us thought we were going to be in quarantine more than a week or two. And so, I kind of for the first week, I didn’t do anything. And then after the first week, I got my crew together and I said, Look, we are either going to go out of business, because this is you know, that all of a sudden, everything stopped, right? And I said we’re either going to go out of business, or we’re going to have to step up and pivot and see if we can come up with something that’s going to help and if nothing else, we’ll be helping our readers or customers. And I said so what do we do and if One of my guys said, you should one of my guys came out of radio like I did. And he said, You should do a radio show. And I said, Well, what do you mean? He said, Go on YouTube and do a radio show every day and and just talk about art. And I said, Okay, I’ll do that. So I said, you guys are going to have to step it up, because there’s a lot more editing and everything else involved. So we they did, and so for seven months, straight seven days a week. And, we’re doing two broadcasts a day. So for 200. And I don’t know how many we’re at now. But for every day at 3pm, we edited one of the we have about 600 videos that we produced a library of art instruction videos. And so we’ve been giving samples of those for about an hour every day and editing in interviews and stuff. So somebody has to sit down and edit those every day, and then post them, you know, it’s taking one person three, four or five hours a day. Oh, yeah. And that, for the 12 noon, I was writing something every day, I started out by doing art marketing training. And after about two months of that, it was exhausting, right, because I was like, okay, I’ve already come up with material for three or four more books. So what now and finally I said, let’s just start interviewing artists, that’d be a lot easier. And so we put artists on, and they’re doing demos and so on. So I’ve got my folks involved in scheduling that and training them and getting the video ready and everything else so that, you know, that’s it’s been a big job. But it’s the best part about it, Mark is that it’s really making a difference in people’s lives. I’ve literally heard from hundreds of people. We’ve, on the 3pm, after, after 60 days, we had over a million views. On the on the daily, we’re getting about 10 10,500 a day, and we’re on different platforms, from YouTube, to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. And so people are contacting us from all over the world. They’re saying things like, I never painted in my life I never considered it was something I would do. I never even believed I would have the talent to do it. But watching these other people has given me ideas and confidence. So I’ve started painting. I’ve heard from people who have said, I haven’t painted since I was a kid or since I was in college. And now, I’m retired and and I’m going to pick it up again. So it’s, it’s bringing a lot of people together. And it’s bringing a community together. You know, every day at noon, there’s people on from probably 30 different countries. So it’s really been gratifying, it’s been a lot of fun.
Mark Sublette 12:46
And it’s always done on Facebook is a Facebook Live.
Eric Rhoads 12:50
Basically, I use a platform that feeds me out on several platforms at one time. So I’m on multiple Facebook pages, I’m on Twitter, I’m on YouTube simultaneously, we also feed it into I can’t go live on Instagram using the software. So as soon as I start one of my people shares it and puts it on on Instagram. So, we’re on a lot of different platforms.
Mark Sublette 13:16
And what’s and what’s the name of the program? What are you calling,
Eric Rhoads 13:20
We don’t have a name. I guess it’s Eric Rhoads live I mean, I we never really, it just was kind of showing up it. And it’s it’s really hack. You know, we didn’t build a set for it or studio. I do it here in my art studio. When I’m here. When I’m at my summer place. I do it up there in my in my office and studio up there. So it’s just, if I’m traveling, it might be in a hotel room.
Mark Sublette 13:51
And how long can you keep it up? That’s the question. I mean, that’s one a day, an hour a day plus you do your podcast, and the other podcast.
Eric Rhoads 14:02
Yeah, well, though, yeah, the weekly podcast a weekly podcast is only you know, it only takes a couple hours, a week.
Mark Sublette 14:09
It seems a lot to me I having to do one every week.
Eric Rhoads 14:14
It is a lot. It is a lot. I think though that what it does is it shows your commitment to people because I don’t think people realize what it takes to produce something like that. Because you know, not only you’re producing, you’re having to get guests, you’re having to schedule them you’re having to figure out what you’re going to talk about. And you know, it’s it’s a pretty big job and I figured that if I showed up every day, it would help people and it would do other other things. So we have all these artists that we’ve done videos with and and as you know, a lot of artists were freaking out about what’s going to happen with COVID galleries were freaking out, nobody knew. And so we thought, okay, we might be out of business. So if we do this These samples every day, we offer discounts on everyday we never have discounted, or we’ve been like nordstroms. Right? We do discount once a year. And so every day, we’ve been putting things out there and a discount once a day. And, it’s really helped. And then the other thing that we ended up doing is, we do live events like the Plein Air Convention, and we go and call the Figurative Art Convention, we do artists retreats, we have been able to do any of that stuff. That’s right. So we pivoted and did Plein Air Live, which we had about 1200 people on then we did one called Realism Live, which we had, I don’t know, close to 1500 people on and now we’re doing one called Watercolor Live in January, and we’re already at close to 1300 signed up with a, you know, a month and a half to go. Two months to go really. So that’s that’s really helped to survive. It’s, been, it’s been a time to put on the big boy pants.
Mark Sublette 16:01
Well, you know, I would think when you see the success, right? I mean, you’re talking a pretty short period of time, six months, that your mind has to go, Okay. Is this a new paradigm? I have two magazines you have plein air and you have fine art connoisseur. But is this a new paradigm and new way that you’re going to do things in the future? You know, I mean, you do these big gatherings and symposiums. And I understand artists, probably best seen in person, but at the same time, you’re clearly having success. So I mean, as a business person and an entrepreneur who’s had many businesses, I would think that you have to be thinking, well, maybe this is a real pivot that I’ve got to continue.
Eric Rhoads 16:42
Yeah, well, absolutely. We’re thinking that we are already planning future events, we will we have decided we’re also at least probably also going to do continue to do our live events, but offer a streaming option for people who can’t attend. So that’s been that’s going to be a pivot, we have invented some new businesses, that that are products and services that we’ve kind of discovered through all of this, that we’re getting ready to launch. And we of course, don’t know what this looks like, post COVID. You know, once, assuming things get back to normal, we don’t know right now everybody’s like, let’s stay home. Let’s not get on airplanes. But we don’t know if that’s going to continue. I heard some some information yesterday that they believe that international flights are going to double or triple in price. Because businesses that would normally send their people over on business class or coach have always supported those lower price tickets. And those businesses aren’t sending people out. And they’re predicting that they’re not going to send them out anymore. And I know in my own particular case, I spent 40, 40 trips on the road last year for 40 weeks of trips. And now I wasn’t out all week, every week, but, I’d fly out once or twice a week sometimes. And, I’ve now been home with my kids and kind of reconnecting it’s like, I don’t think I want to do that anymore. Yeah, and so I think a lot of people are kind of re imagining their lives, and their homes and everything else. I mean, they’re buying paintings like crazy right now. Because, you know, they’re they’ve been looking at their walls for months. And it’s like, we need to paint them, we need to remodel, we need some new paintings. And so I think everybody’s kind of reinventing. So we don’t know what it’s going to look like. But we’re assuming that the virtual will be able to continue, and we hope the live will eventually be able to come back. And then we’ll have you know, hopefully both things.
Mark Sublette 18:51
Yeah, I think that’s exactly right. I think the things that have happened, have shown for those of us who have really embraced and said, Okay, we’ve got to go along with this and see what can do, and pivot and do things, those things are going to stick with your business, which means it’ll stick with your clients, like we started an online auction, and we started an online magazine just to provide more content and things just for our gallery. And that’s been a big help takes like more effort, but I don’t see that’s going away once you know, the pandemic, ends.
Eric Rhoads 19:26
I look at this, and I everything that has has been a disaster in my life. And there have been many stood out to be better on the other end, right. And and I think that there’s some stuff that I’ve been trying to get my team to do and it’s like, Eric, we don’t have time or we need and you know, but when it got to the point where we had to layoff 10% of our staff and we cut our salaries by 10% in the beginning of all this, all of a sudden, everybody’s like Look, we’ll do whatever we can, you know, to, to be able to stick around. And so we, you know, we’re able to get things done that we’ve, you know, we probably wouldn’t have gotten done for two or three or four years, maybe longer. And because we’re all paying more attention, and we just have to step up and do what we have to do. We were, we’ve been fortunate we were able to bring all, we haven’t been able to bring all the employees back, but we’ve been able to bring most back. And we brought everybody back to their full salaries already. So and and by the end of Christmas, we’ll have paid them back all the reduction that they took. So we feel like we’re pretty blessed to be able to do that. You know, if you don’t take care of your people then.
Mark Sublette 20:43
Yeah. And on your magazines, have you found that advertisers are still sticking and doing it? You know, as far as artists and galleries? Have you seen a reduction in that much?
Eric Rhoads 20:55
Yes. And no, we when it first hit, we saw about 50%, cancellations. Wow. And people people were freaking out. And then and Brown, who you know, yep, got really creative and figured out a way to dramatically increase our circulation. And, and went out there. And we we ended up having our biggest, biggest advertising issue in the history of what 15 years of fine art kind of Sir, we had our biggest issue ever. And we had our largest distribution ever, which I think got up to about 400,000. So it was, it was massive. Now we did it digitally. And we can’t guarantee everyone opened it, but it really made a big difference. So our business overall is, you know, okay, now, the I mean, knock wood, it could change at any second.
Mark Sublette 21:51
I know, I know. I know, right? I mean, it’s a it’s a there’s all things that go around and world. But one of the things that you’ve been in business for 40 plus years, and I’ve been in business, 30 plus years, you recognize that these are cycles, and you can get through them, but they’re scary as hell when they hit. They just are terrifying. And I think I got some solace from reading your, your coffee blog, just to see that, you know, your feelings and what was going on? And you were really concerned and you put it all out there, right? You said, Hey, I could go under?
Eric Rhoads 22:27
Well, I there’s no reason to hide that stuff. I suppose earlier in my career, I would have, you know, maybe been a little concerned about being quite that forthright. But you know, there’s I, you know, you get to that stage in your life where you just don’t care what people think anymore. And that’s true. So it I think, you know, people appreciate the honesty, because we’re all feeling it. And and we’re all scared to death. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t know if our family members are going to get this disease and die, or if we are and so I think that’s just the best policy right now. It’s, I mean, always, but, you know, when I was 30, I probably would have never said that I wanted, you know, I wanted to appear to be strong. And now I realized that being strong as being vulnerable.
Mark Sublette 23:16
Well, let’s get back to that. 30. let’s actually go even further back, I’d like to kind of hear your backstory, because it is an interesting one. And you’re a leader in our field, right? So in more than one ways, not only to magazines and all the different videos and the streaming and, you know, the streamline publishing, which you started in 1986. But you’re also a painter, and I kind of want to see how that developed how you got there. So where did you grow up?
Eric Rhoads 23:42
I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana. pretty typical middle class family. My mom was a stay home mom, as probably most moms were at that time. I used to paint with my mom, she was kind of a crafter, she did a little of everything. And I’d sit around the table and paint with her. My dad was an entrepreneur still is and my dad’s living. He’s 93. The the entrepreneurial side of things, one, you know, I guess a boy looking up to his dad. And so, you know, I would listen to my dad, he’d be constantly on the phone or he he would take us as kids and he would take us to business meetings with him, including serious meetings, you know, he’d make us put a suit and tie on. That’s great. And we go, we go meet with a banker or something and and he would always in the middle of those meetings, he would ask our opinion, what do you think? Well, we were like, we were kids, but he had helped us kind of get comfortable with that environment. So I think I was just naturally entrepreneurial because I didn’t have the fear because I grew up around. And I of course did not understand as a kid, the struggling and the financial problems and all the things that he went through trying to make it. So anyway, I went the route of an entrepreneur. Kind of I when I was 14, I, I had fallen in love with radio, I listen to the radio all the time. And I liked listening to the DJs. And I went to I was a member of do remember up with people?
Mark Sublette 25:25
Of course I do.
Eric Rhoads 25:26
I was a member of a local up with people singing group. And our group was basically two things we would do shows, but we would do community service. And so we were out doing a community service project, and I met this other guy about my age. And he was bailing out and we were all still working. I said, You can’t leave we’re not done yet. And he says no, I have to go on the radio. I said, Well, I’m coming to. And so I went and watched him do a radio show. He was probably 16 because he had his driver’s license. And it was on a little local college radio station that nobody listened to. But I was totally enamored with it. So I went to his show. Every time he had a show, I went and he would teach me how to do all this stuff. And anyway, one day the guy that ran the little college radio station said do you want your own show and so they gave me a show. And then I I applied, practiced and applied and worked for a little local radio station running the Sunday morning church tapes. And that my big moment, every hour was I got to do the top of the hour ID live you know and FCC required this is you know the station name.
Mark Sublette 26:44
Let me hear it you probably still know it.
Eric Rhoads 26:45
This was … YV Fort Wayne. But at the time, it sounded more like this is a cracking voice. And so I fell in love with radio, I decided that’s what I was going to do. So while I was a radio, I got a job at IBM while I was in high school, got a job at a local radio station. And then parlayed that into another job at another better radio station and so on. And I ended up when I was 17 instead of going to college. I ended up getting a job at a top radio station, Miami, Florida.
Mark Sublette 27:20
Why one year with this event? 73 Yeah, so just the Vietnam War is just tailed off. So you’ve escaped. Getting drafted.
Eric Rhoads 27:28
I escaped I can remember those reading the lottery numbers on the on the radio, it was frightening. I know you probably were there too, right.
Mark Sublette 27:39
I’m a lot. So I’m a little younger than you. But my brother was right in the heart of the brother was Yeah, you know, so it’s a very vivid vivid to me.
Eric Rhoads 27:47
Yeah. So anyway, I got this job in Miami on a top radio station working for, you know, some really good people. And I learned a lot and I you know that that led me to all kinds of things talent related. I was on the air. I was going to rock concerts introducing bands. I was going backstage and hanging out with people like the BGS. And, you know, it was really a lot of fun.
Mark Sublette 28:14
And what was that? Like, by the way? We’re hanging out with the beegees there’s a special coming out on HBO this week. On the roof. Yeah.
Eric Rhoads 28:22
Well, I mean, it was the Bee Gees. It was KC and the sunshine band. It was all the disco people that were in Miami. It was well first off, they were all doing coke. yester. Everybody was doing coke. And I wasn’t doing coke. I was afraid of it. I was a kid from Indiana. I was afraid of it. Everybody was coked up all the time. That was the big thing at the time. I because I have this entrepreneurial spirit. I I did the DJ thing. But I also nights and weekends I would do photography. So I was a wedding photographer. And because of getting to know the BGS Carl Richardson, who is their top recording engineer was getting married. They hired me to be the photographer for the wedding. And then so I did the wedding. And then and they invited me over to the house after I went to reception. And then they invited me over to the house and I had to go on the air and it’s like I wanted to call in and say I can’t go on the air. So I missed that. But it was I mean they were just like everybody else. They were just really nice people and and you know most of them are gone now. Yeah. And but but it was really it was it opened my eyes to a lot of things and expose me to things that I realized at the time I was really really insecure. I I met a lot of these people, a lot of them would befriend me and invite me places and I would I was like so insecure, didn’t feel deserving, that I would turn them down. And you know, I wonder what would have happened. If I had a, you know, fighter gone, now, some of them were probably, you know, to coke parties or orgies or whatever. So I probably just taped a bullet because I was pretty young. Yeah, but it was an interesting era. So anyway, I did the radio thing. I parlayed that into learning what we call programming, which is essentially the person who comes up with the content of a radio station hires the DJs, and so on. And I learned that and one of my buddies said to me, he said, Listen, if you want to really get a good career, he says, you have to go beat somebody who’s famous. You have to, you know, target a town, and target a top programmer. And if you can go and beat that top programmer, you’ll get a lot of trade press and you’ll, your career will soar. I was great advice. So I picked, I picked a guy by the name of Bill, Bill Drake, who, you know, he was like the top of the top, and he owned his own radio station in Fresno, California. So I applied and talked my way into a competitor that was, was the lowest in town. And within one year, we were the number one station in town, well, all of a sudden, I got all these job offers and radio, and I had so many job offers that I started a consulting company with this guy that, that recommended that. So we started radio consulting, called New World communications. And we did that for, I don’t know, five or six years, then we kind of drifted apart as partners, we had a you know, kind of a disagreement about where we wanted to live and what we wanted to do. So I was out visiting one of our radio stations, we had, we had taken a small radio station in Provo, Utah, little am station. And we normally would take top top signals in town and turn them around and make them number one in their market. And we took this small station because they had a new FM they were going to put on the air. And so we thought we’d get a foot in the door. So I was out there on a consulting visit one time. And the owner sat down with me. And he said, I said, you know, are we ever going to get that FM station? He says no, and we’re going to discontinue our contract with you. And I said, Why you’re, you know, we made you number one. He said, Well, we’re gonna put the station up for sale. And he said, I don’t I don’t think we can make that station as successful, as you say. And I said, I’m so confident that we’ll do it, that I’ll buy it from you. Now. I was totally bluffing. He said, Okay. And and I said, Well, how much he said, I don’t remember what it was $1.6 million. And I was like, thinking to myself, how can I ever do that? I said, Okay, shook his hand, started working on a contract. And then I started trying to figure out how to do that. And ended up. I ended up with that station at, right about the same time, maybe a year before that, I applied for a license for a radio station in New Orleans. And I had my dad’s clipped out an ad from the Wall Street Journal, and it said, you can own your own radio station. And so he gave that to me, I called the guy and he said, Yeah, here’s the deal, you know, you pay me $30,000, I will teach you how to find a radio station frequency that’s still available. And he said, You pay me 10 upfront, and I’ll train you and then you pay me 10 when you get the license, and then you get pay me 10 when you get it on the air. So I said okay, and again, I didn’t have the money. I just had the guts. And so he gives us this station in a little town in Plaquemines Parish outside of New Orleans. And we get down there. And it was really an interesting experience. At the time, the Federal Communications Commission required that you had to do what they call ascertainment, you had to go around and talk to the people in the community. And really, you know, find out what the problems are in the community. So you can tell the FCC how you’re going to solve those problems. So my partner and I went down there, and people would slam their door, the doors in our face, and everybody, nobody would talk to us. And finally, we ended up in this one place, it was a local attorney, and he says, Listen, boys, he said, you’re playing with fire down here. You need to get out of here. And we said, What do you mean, you know, we’re both young and naive. He said, Listen, this is this is a town that’s controlled by the press brothers press, brother brothers. He said, we’re, you know, the equivalent of the local mafia. He said, they control everything down here. And they’re, you know, this is dangerous. If they don’t want you here. You could end up with the alligators. You know, just like TV and we said, Oh, come on, really? And he says, No, seriously. So Anyway, I decided we should go talk to this guy Perez. And so we go to the east. He’s the mayor, right? And we go into this little RC. And, you know, it’s just like a scene out of a Cool Hand Luke, right? There’s the slat and windows and the big fan. And we go in and we meet with this guy, and he’s wearing a white suit, white boots, white hat like boss, hog big cigar. And he he says, I understand you boys. want that? That radio frequency here? And you? Yes, sir. He says, What do you intend to do with it? Well, sir, we’re going to serve the community. He said, No, you don’t. That’s not what you want. He says, you want to do it. So you can serve New Orleans, just up the road? He says, I’m no fool. He said, there have been 60, maybe 70 people down here trying to get that license. He said, you might as well just get out of out of town. He says, I don’t want you talking to my people. He said, what might happen is a sheriff might if you talk to her people Sheriff might pull you over, he might find a bag of cocaine under your backseat. He might put you in jail. He said around here. When you go to jail, you end up in the alligators. It’s like a movie. And of course, we’re like, this is just complete Bs, right? So anyway, we’re being respectful. No, sir. We really want to get that and serve the local community. And he says, Listen, boys, he said, to put that tower up. He says you need a permit. He says, I’m not going to give you a permit. He says I own the other radio station in this town. He says you’re not going to get a permit. So we didn’t know what to do. So we kept talking to other people. And we noticed we are being trailed by a police car. And so I thought I’d get started get a little scared. So I said to my partner, Jerry said, I think we need to leave. So it’s pretty late. And so we drive all the way back to our motel and in New Orleans. And that cop car followed us all the way to our motel pulled in beside us and sat there, and we’re freaking out, right? So we’re thinking, Okay, what do we do? So we just turned off the lights and pretended to be going to sleep. And about two o’clock in the morning. That car left as soon as he left. We got in our car and we went to the airport, never ever to return. Anyway, I called my FCC attorney. And I said, you know, this is what happened. He said, Well, you know, you the FCC requires this ascertainment, they will not give you a license. Without it. I said, let me write them a letter and tell them that I think that they should give it to us anyway. And here’s why. He said well, I’ll present it he says but you there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell, you’re going to get it. So I wrote the letter, the FCC granted me the license, and I got the license, I put a big radio station on I I could not build it in that community. They knew why because I was told that so they actually granted me permission to go to another county moving the city of license and we put it up in another county which got me closer to New Orleans, which got me a better signal in New Orleans and then I so I sold that. And so but at the time I had the two radio stations. I had well I had an am in Provo at FM in Salt Lake and then that FM in New Orleans. Long story sorry.
Mark Sublette 38:22
No, that’s a very fast you ever wonder what happened to that Mayor? You wonder if that town is still kind of like it is?
Eric Rhoads 38:30
Well, 60 minutes did an expose a on those two brothers and they both went to prison. So I would imagine the town is in its own way is probably still going through the same same kind of thing.
Mark Sublette 38:43
Yeah, that’s amazing. Now when when you were in Provo and you had your that was the am station. Did you ever go visit Maynard Dixon’s paintings, or did you even realize they were all there at that time?
Eric Rhoads 38:54
No, I didn’t. I didn’t paint at the time. I knew nothing about art at the time. I had no no interest. I was doing photography. So No, I didn’t. I didn’t know that. No.
Mark Sublette 39:07
And you were and you kept doing photography all the time that you’re building these radio stations and buying them you’re still doing photography on your just for yourself.
Eric Rhoads 39:16
Yeah, I always I’ve always done photography. My dad put a camera in my hands when I was three. And I always did photography. I traveled the world, you know, to get the Great shot. And one day I had, I remember a moment I had traveled to Germany. And I was standing out overlooking this beautiful panoramic view and I had this special panoramic camera, all film at the time. And I did have my paint. I had my photography at an art gallery in Seattle. But that’s all I knew about art. I mean, just that art gallery and I never even had visited it. And so I remember flying there and standing there I took the shot and then I got back in the car left, I was there for maybe three minutes. And then I put the brakes on in the car and I got out again, I thought here am I flew all the way over here to get a shot like this, and I’m spending two minutes, just get the shot and move on. And so I just sat down and just stared at it. And then I, I kind of said to myself, I need to, I need to just take my time when I’m doing my photography. Now I need to bring a picnic or I need to enjoy this. Life’s too short just to be going and getting the shot and leaving what I didn’t realize is that was kind of a precursor to painting.
Mark Sublette 40:33
And how old were you then at that point in time?
Eric Rhoads 40:37
Oh, well, I didn’t start painting until I was 40. So I was probably under 40. You know, 30, 33, 35.
Mark Sublette 40:45
But it was already ruminating in your head that there was something there? Clearly, you’re an artist. If you’re doing photography, and you’re going across the country or world to get photos. You’re I mean, you’re an artist at that point already. Whether you realize it right or not.
Eric Rhoads 40:58
Yeah, well, I did. I didn’t think of myself as an artist at the time. But Yes, correct.
Mark Sublette 41:03
Literally. Yeah. And you still do the photography, by the way.
Eric Rhoads 41:08
Not as seriously, you know, if I get I did buy just buy a new camera. And I am, you know, I, we bring art collectors to Europe every year, not this year. Right. And so I always do a lot of photography when I’m there. But I also paint when I’m there. So I do a little bit more, but I don’t, I used to do big prints, I don’t do prints anymore. I just do them because I enjoy the process. And I enjoy, you know, studying the light and understanding the landscape and so on. And I’m better photographer now because of painting. And I think I was a better painter, ultimately because of photography.
Mark Sublette 41:46
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I do photography. And I’ve had a lot of my artists are telling me Oh, you should you know, you you should paint because you have the composition. I’m like, No, I don’t have the 10,000 hours. So I’m going to sell art, I’m not going to pay because I don’t want to work 10,000 hours to be a mediocre painter at this point in my life.
Eric Rhoads 42:05
Well, that’s where I am to, you know, I, I have to make I had to make a decision. Do I do I? Because I really love what I do.
Mark Sublette 42:14
I now love pain. Oh, yeah, but I guess I can hear it.
Eric Rhoads 42:18
Yeah, so I love trying to help artists learn how to sell their paintings I love you know, helping artists learn to paint. And so I had to make a conscious decision because I you know, I struggled with painting. And I’ve gotten a lot better. But, as you know, I mean, you’ve seen it happen 1000 times, you get that artist who starts out here. And then they you know, they quit their job and they go full time. And they just kind of keep going like this and all of a sudden they go like this right? And, and it’s that putting that eight hours a day, seven days a week for you know, a couple of years that really makes you kind of get to the next level. And of course you keep going up from there. So I wanted to get to a level of proficiency. I wanted to be in art galleries, because I wanted to know what the experience was like. So I could teach it to others. And so I’ve been in three or four art galleries now I’m in three right now. But you know, I certainly am not at the level I know I could be if I would put the time in and I put a lot of time into painting. I’m out here in the studio after work. I’ve been working in my studio because I’ve been doing the broadcast, I have an office on the property. But I because my computer’s in here for the broadcast. I’ve been on you know, doing meetings and zoom calls and stuff in here. But if it’s a phone call, I’m over there at the easel working on a painting while the calls going on. So it’s been kind of fun. So I I, about 3, 3 or 4 years ago, I was really frustrated with my work. And I felt like I wasn’t making any progress. And you know, the typical thing is you get these hollow compliments from people. Oh, pretty colors are interesting, you know, and but nobody ever was like, Wow, that’s really a nice painting. And so I thought what do I really want to do in painting? I thought well, there’s there’s two things I really want to master because I I have a life group that comes I used to come to my studio every Wednesday night and we’d we’d paint from a model. I’ve done that for 10 years, but I wasn’t getting any better. I lifegroup makes you better, but I needed some good solid instruction. So I said okay, I want to I want to pick two instructors. And I’m willing to spend some real money to get them to give me their time and because I can’t give I can’t put in the time but at least if I get somebody to really work with me. So I picked joma girl and I picked up Rock. And so I spent a solid week with my girl. And I, I saw a 20 30% increase in that solid week. And I committed at that particular time, I said, Look, I’m not going to chase other styles or other directions or other palettes, the problem I have, because we produce all these videos, and I’m often at the shoots or interacting with the painters. And you know, everybody’s got a new idea or a different color and a different brush, right. And I would find myself changing everything every time somebody came in. So I finally said, I’ve got to stabilize, I can’t keep adding colors. And once I stabilized, and I just practiced that for about a year, all the sudden those unsolicited compliments would come. Like who painted that? No, really, you didn’t know who painted it really, you know, that kind of thing. And that’s, that’s really made a big difference. And so once I kind of moved in that direction, my painting started selling. And so anyway, I don’t, I don’t have time to produce a lot. So you know, each of my galleries will get two or three a year if they’re lucky. Yeah, but it’s fun for me. And it’s a good experience.
Mark Sublette 46:15
And so let me ask you, what was that epiphany when you’re 40? That you go, I really want to pick up a paintbrush, and I want to paint. I was bored.
Eric Rhoads 46:24
I think you know, 40 is a scary number when you’re 30. Yeah, looks pretty good. But I was, you know, I was going to work every day, I was running my business. And I was kind of repeating the same day, it was Groundhog Day, every day. And so my wife was I she was at the hairdresser or something, I dropped her off. And I had to pick her up in an hour or something. And I and so there was an art store next door. This is in West Palm Beach. And I wandered into it, it was Jerry’s artarama. And I just started looking around, I hadn’t been in an art store since maybe ever I don’t know, when I was a kid or something. And so I just started buying stuff, I bought a bunch of colors, acrylic and brushes and, and an easel and I you know, I probably spent two or 300 bucks. And so I went home and I got some photographs. And I started painting and trying to paint from the photographs. And I got real frustrated real fast, because my paint was sorry, I didn’t know how to use it. And you know, I couldn’t get what was in my brain out onto the paper, or the canvas. And so I worked on it for about three weeks. And I said, This is nonsense. I just don’t have the talent, I can’t do this. And so I boxed it all up and throw it in the basement. And my wife, thankfully, was paying attention. And so for my birthday, she bought me an art lesson at the armory Art Center in West Palm Beach. And I go to this lesson. And the guy is an abstract painter. I didn’t know that at the time. And I go in there. And he’s like, you know, he’s not doing any teaching. He’s just saying, you know, just express yourself, throw the paint on canvas, and I tried it and I just couldn’t get my head into it. And I said to him, I did a couple classes. And I said to him, you know, I’d like to learn how to paint something that’s real. And I didn’t even know what the terms were at the time. You know, I said, like a bottle or a flower. You know, something that’s really says, oh, nobody does that anymore. And he said, that’s, you know, he says, you’ll never make it if you do that stuff. And I said, well, but I’m not trying to make a living. I just want to do it. And he says, No, you can’t learn that here. He said, No, but you can’t learn it anywhere. nobody teaches it anywhere. So I left the class, I took my painting home and was discouraged. And I I had had a meeting in Miami and which is about an hour and a half away. And I went down to this meeting to meet this guy. And then he said goodbye. And he dropped me at my car. Well, what I didn’t realize and this is kind of pre cellphone. What I didn’t realize is that my keys had fallen out of my pocket in the seat of his car, I had no way to reach him. And I was an hour and a half away. So I didn’t think to call a locksmith I just saw I called a cab. And cab driver was an artist. And I told him all my history and my story about art and my frustration and he said, Well, there’s a guy in West Palm Beach by the name of jack Jackson. He said he’s in a lineage of Jerome. I said, What’s that mean? He said, Well, you know, one painter studies under another who studies under another and he said he’s the real deal. He studied in Florence. He studied with Ives gamble. He studied with Frank Reilly. You know, he’s the real deal. I didn’t know these names, of course. And so he gave me the guy’s number. And I waited a year because I was so intimidated. And then I went in one Saturday morning and I sat in the car, and I was like, should I go in? Or should I not go in and I get out of the car and I get back in the car because I was still pretty insecure. And especially about that. And so I finally went in and my hands were sweating. And I walked in and I vividly can remember that moment, I looked around at all the artists who were there, which are mostly, you know, 50 plus women, right? And they were doing copies of old masters. And I looked around, I thought, I can’t do this. So I just turned around, and I walked out. And thankfully, he happened to see me out of the corner of his eye. And he called me back in and said, Can I help you? And I told him the story. And he said, Look, I can teach you this. He said, I have a system. He said, anybody can learn to paint, you don’t have to have any talent. He said, you just have to learn the process. He said, If you give me 18 months, I’ll have you doing work like those people up there who have been painting for a couple years. So I went in every Saturday and I took Wednesday’s off Wednesday, afternoons off, and I went in every Wednesday, and I studied with him for a few years. And that was the life changing moment. The the epiphany moment for me was I had gone on a business trip to San Francisco. And I started going on business trips, I started going to art museums, which I never would have done before, because I didn’t really understand it. I didn’t know anything about it. And I walked in, we had been copying bouguereau. And I walked in and I stood in front of a bouguereau painting, and I wept I literally cried. And and the reason I wept is because I looked at you, I could see the veins under the arms. And I could see the hairs on the arms. And I could see the you know, the softness of the material and, and I and I realized after doing that for a couple years, I realized what that man had to be had to go through to be able to learn that because it didn’t come easy. And so at that moment, in time, I made a decision that I’m going to dedicate my life to art. So when I went back, I started looking for opportunities. Well, shortly after that I I had had been pitching a.com idea to a venture capital firm. And they called me out several times. Finally, they gave me a bunch of money and said we’re gonna fund your company, you need to move out to San Francisco. So I moved out there got the company started. And and then my wife got pregnant with triplets. And I was painting in the back bedroom. And she said, You got to get the smell of the paint out of the house. We I you know, I can’t stand it. And so I went into the garage, and she said still not good enough. So she said you might as well give up painting anyway, because you’re going to be too busy via the father of triplets. Not an option, you know, I have to paint. So I, I decided I we lived on a golf course. So I said I’ll go paint outside on the golf course. So I took a card table, a chair, a studio easel, a box of paint, you know, five trips out to the quarter of the golf course where there was no golfing going on and that we had a beautiful view. And I started trying to paint out there. Well, of course, it was a disaster because painting outside is always a disaster when you first try it my canvas kept blowing off the eyes, rolling bugs and you know everything else. But that’s when I first discovered plein air painting. I didn’t know it was called that. And I went to a business trip in LA and I met with a guy named dick, a friend of mine. And I was telling him about I had seen a certain type of painting, but I didn’t know what it was called. And he says, Oh, that’s plein air painting. Let me take over to this bookstore. So he bought me this book plein air painters in the north and plein air painters to the south. And that’s what I discovered what plein air really was, and the old California planner, painters and so on. So I started trying to find somebody to teach me again, the internet is just kind of really early on the web is really early on. And even though I’m in the internet business, I was not finding, you know, workshops or anything else. Finally I discovered one that plein air painters of America were doing. And I went to that study with Matt Smith and Ken Auster, and, and you know, a bunch of them. So when I started seeing people at these events, I thought, I think there may be a movement here. So I thought I’m in the magazine business anyway, I was still doing I was doing the.com is still doing the magazine. And so I said to him, I called my people up and I said we’re going to start a magazine called plein air and they said, What, what’s that? And so we started it. We operated it for two years. And it was a miserable failure. We had a lot of subscribers, but we couldn’t get any advertisers. Because the advertisers at the time and you probably were one of the people I talked to, I don’t know, but the advertised advertised like nobody we don’t carry plein air paintings we carry finished studio paintings or you know and and the vendors would say Well, nobody paints plein air, we’re not going to ever sell any paint. And I said, this is going to be a huge movement. And you know, nobody would believe me.
Mark Sublette 55:07
Was this like, was this kind of 204? timeframe?
Eric Rhoads 55:11
Yeah. So I don’t know if, if the movement was happening, or if we stimulated it, I don’t I really don’t know. But anyway, I maybe. And so I, I had to close down plein air magazine. And I thought I can’t just let go. So we switched it to fine art kind of sir. And because we thought, well, maybe we won’t have the same argument. Well, then there were different arguments, of course. But anyway, that’s, you know, that’s been a long time. And then after about two or three years, I said, you know, we’ve got to bring back plein air. And so we did. This time, there were more people, more subscribers, more advertisers. And so both of them have, you know, been going strong since then. I mean, we’ve had our rocky times.
Mark Sublette 55:59
But do you think that when you when you brought it back plein air, do you think it’s because people understood better what that meant? And what you know, because there’s all these, you know, movements out there lots of people painting plein air is just a bigger thing. People know what it is you think that’s it? Or was it actually the business model was changed? You did something with the magazine that changed it?
Eric Rhoads 56:22
Well, I think it was a little bit of both. There was definitely you know, there were not really any plein air events going on at the time, maybe three or four. And, there started a few events about the, as we were about ready to wind down. When we relaunched it I, I remember having a discussion with my team in a small team. And I said, my first off my bookkeeper said, Don’t do it, this is going to bankrupt you, you know, it’s expensive to do this. And I said, No, no, it’ll work. And this time, and so she, you know, she was like, Yeah, I recommend against it. Anyway, everybody’s kind of against me on it. But I said this time, we’re going to launch a convention. And what I didn’t realize is that it’s really hard to make a living with a magazine by itself. Now, I should know that because I’m in the magazine business, but our other magazine and the radio magazine had a conference with it. And the conference is what really brought us our cash flow. So because advertising and subscribers are, are tough. And so it was launching the convention and getting people together kind of like thanksgiving for artists that I think made the big difference, and then bringing in artists so that they could learn and grow. And so that thing started out it. I think it was three or 400 people and you know, it’s, it’s up to the last one was 1000 people.
Mark Sublette 57:53
So plein air painter convention. Yeah. And you were gonna, you’re gonna have one in a royal Aurora, Colorado, and this year in May.
Eric Rhoads 58:05
It’s basically Denver. Yes. And a assuming we’re allowed. Right.
Mark Sublette 58:11
Right. Right. And so I mean, it seems like that would be one that you should be able to do, right? I mean, it’s outdoors.
Eric Rhoads 58:19
Well, not all of it is I mean, we have we have five stages of training indoors. And so if the hotel is required to do social distancing, and then we might have to limit it to 500 people, but we just don’t know. I mean, May is in COVID time. I mean, it’s it’s just completely unpredictable.
Mark Sublette 58:38
Yeah, there’s no way to know.
Eric Rhoads 58:39
Yeah, we canceled twice. We were gonna we rescheduled moved to Santa Fe, they were gonna do it. And then Santa Fe went into lockdown. And I remember that.
Eric Rhoads 58:48
So well, thanks again to Mark Sublette for honoring me with this interview. It’s a lot of fun doing it. I can ramble as you probably know. Anyway, part two is coming next week so I can ramble some more. You guys ready for some art marketing ideas?
This is the Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads, author of the number one Amazon bestseller “Make More Money Selling Your Art: Proven Techniques to Turn Your Passion Into Profit.”
Eric Rhoads 59:15
In the Marketing Minute I try to answer your art marketing questions email yours to me, [email protected] and I don’t formulate answers before I read the questions. I take it off the top of my head sometimes I mess up so I apologize in advance. Here’s a question from amber Marie in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and she asks Should I frame my art before it’s sold? Well, I yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Amber and the reason is, why do people drive beautiful cars. Some people drive beautiful cars. And it to me it’s like a picture frame. You know, it makes you look good. A frame just really makes a picture look good. And if you’re from Aim it properly. If you learn to frame properly, you get a good looking frame, you get a high quality frame and you get the right color frame for the color of your painting. It’ll really stand out and I’m sitting here I’m in my studio, and I’ve got a lot of framed pictures around me. And the frames just really make them I’ve got a bunch of pictures sitting around that are not framed yet, when I put them in frames, it just makes them better. And though you’re going to spend some money on a frame, it’s probably going to bring the value of the overall package up higher people. All not all people are capable of envisioning what something might look like. And so if they can envision it framed great, but most people, you just put it in a frame, and of course that they don’t want that frame. They want a different color frame, train them up a frame or give them a better frame. I have a story. years ago, I was talking to an art dealer in North Carolina. I won’t mention names, but he he called me and we were chatting about a bunch of stuff. And he said, You know, I learned an interesting lesson today. I said, What’s that? He said, Well, about three weeks ago, he said I had this painting that was sitting in the gallery said that painting, it was a good painting. I always liked it. I never could understand why it didn’t sell. And it sat in the gallery unsold for about a year. He said I was getting ready to pack it up and send it back to the artist and I thought you know what, I think it’s the frame. So he said, I shipped it off to my frame maker. He said I put an expensive frame on it. Like a 20 $800 frame. He said I had this, this painting for sale for I don’t remember the numbers, I’ll make something up. But he said I had it for sale for like $2,000 and it didn’t sell. So I put it in a 20 $500 frame and I put the price up to $15,000. He said sold the first week. He said a frame really can make a difference. And so I think that probably is a great lesson Amber. And that is framing really makes a difference. Now most of us can’t afford to put 20 $500 frames on things. You can get some beautiful frames for 50 or 100 bucks. And it will make a difference just add the frame cost in two, the cost of the painting that is sold. I also I know this sounds a little creepy and weird. But I think that it’s a I think I like to show paintings on the website that are framed. Now I think it’s okay to show them unframed and framed but so they can get a feel for it. Some software allows you to click through and show different frames. So that’s pretty cool. Anyway, we have a lot of framers in Plein Air Magazine by the way.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:31
Here’s a question from Cameron Esrock of Prominence Rhode Island who asks, Are online art competitions worth it? Well, Cameron, I got to tell you right up front, I have a conflict of interest in answering this question because I run an online art competition called the plein air salon. But let me tell you what I think about it and just know that my answers might be a little jaded, or maybe a little influenced by the fact that I have a competition. But one of the reasons I have a competition is I was talking to Peter Adams and Elaine Adams from the California art club. And they do the California art Club Gold Medal awards. And I was talking to them and they said, you know, when we implemented this Gold Medal Award, it started raising the quality of the artwork. Over time, when we first started it, things weren’t as good. But as people started realizing they were competing with other artists, they started getting better and better and better and better. And as a result, they’ve lifted the quality overall. And and the thing that I think is important about this is there’s something a switch that kind of clicks inside of you, when you put yourself into a competition, now you’re going to try a little bit harder, you’re not going to put something in that competition that isn’t isn’t your best work, you’re going to put your best foot forward. And so that kind of it’s kind of puts you into a, let’s say, a professional mode. Now, it’s nice to get that validation. You know, you always get compliments from your mother and your friends and things about what wonderful paintings you have. But the validation of knowing that a national celebrity judge, like a art gallery owner has picked your painting. That’s very, really a good feeling. But also, there’s a side benefit to that if you get picked into a competition, even if you’re a finalist, you have things to put on your resume things to talk about on your website, things your art dealer can talk about. And if you win the prize, that’s even more you can do press releases about it, you might be able to do a lot of press things based on that, you know, we highly recommend that take advantage of it. And there’s something that happens you know, whenever somebody has won the grand prize, or oftentimes even been finalists top two three in the plein air salon competition. These people are hearing from art galleries. Want to carry them? I’ve had people say they were able to upgrade to better art galleries. As a result, they started getting invited to events as a featured artist. And there’s a lot of other benefits like that. So I think it really helps your career. But the best part about it is it puts your head in the game and you want to have your head in the game. Anyway, I think that answers that particular question.
This has been the Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at artmarketing.com.
Eric Rhoads 1:05:32
Okay, well, I want to remind you guys that watercolor live is coming up at the end of January. And if you register, by the 20th of January, you can save 300 bucks. So we have a huge number of people from all over the world attending, it’s going to be a massive event. And there’s plein air in there as well. And quite frankly, I’m looking forward to it. Because I have committed myself to actually getting good at watercolor. I am mostly an oil painter, I mostly take oil paints with me on the road. But I do a lot of business travel. And I can’t take my big backpack with me on all my trips. And I don’t want to. But I want to be able to throw some watercolors in my bag and some paper and be able to do watercolors, either at plein air or when I’m sitting in a hotel room or something. And so I’ve done that before, but I’ve never been very good at it. So I’m really interested in learning and studying from the top masters. And so that’s watercolor live and registered by the 20th. Go to watercolorlive.com. Also, we have this big thing called the Plein Air Convention this year in May in Denver, it’s going to be glorious. When we’re all free and we’re going to be able to be together, we think we’re going to be able to hold it we don’t know, but we hope so. And so go ahead and sign up by the Valentine’s Day and you’ll save some money there. Also, I don’t know if you know this, but I’m on every single day on Facebook on YouTube, and Facebook and YouTube just look up Streamline Art Video that’s 12 noon Eastern and every day. Usually I’ve got artists doing demos live. And then I also do samples of art instruction videos. Many of I don’t know five 600 that we’ve produced every day at three also searched Streamline Art Video on YouTube or Facebook and you’ll find it there. And we have people tuning in live from all over the world. A lot of people watch the replays in their own time zone. And so check it out. Also, I would love if you would just do me a favor and follow me both on Facebook and Instagram. Follow me Eric Rhoads and it’s spelled differently. It’s our h OADS. With no ERHOA Ds no E. All right, if you’ve not seen my blog, where I talk about life and art and other fun things, check it out. It’s called Sunday coffee. We’re up to about a quarter million readers, which is pretty cool. And you can find it at coffeewitheric.com. All right, well, this is always fun. We’ll do it again sometime like next week. I’ll see you then I am Eric Rhoads, Publisher and Founder of Plein Air Magazine. And you can find us online at outdoorpainter.com. Remember, it’s a big world out there. Go paint it, we’ll see you soon. Bye bye.
This has been the plein air podcast with Plein Air Magazine’s Eric Rhoads. You can help spread the word about plein air painting by sharing this podcast with your friends. And you can leave a review or subscribe on iTunes. So it comes to you every week. And you can even reach Eric by email [email protected] Be sure to pick up our free ebook 240 plein air painting tips by some of America’s top painters. It’s free at pleinairtips.com. Tune in next week for more great interviews. Thanks for listening.
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