Welcome to the PleinAir Podcast with Eric Rhoads. In this second half of Eric’s interview on the Art Dealer Diaries Podcast with Mark Sublette, Eric shares his interesting path to publishing and how Plein Air grew into a convention, Salon, and more. Listen and be inspired as he talks about the importance of doing what you love.
Bonus! In this week’s Art Marketing Minute, Eric Rhoads, author of Make More Money Selling Your Art, answers the questions, “Is there a way to use a conferencing program to sell you art,” and “When do you know it’s time to copyright your art?”
Listen to Art Dealer Diaries Episode (Part 2) 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 episode number 202 of the Plein Air Podcast and today we’re sharing part two of the interview I did with Mark Sublette on his Art Dealer Diaries Podcast, so I’m the guest interviewed today. All right, I hope that’s okay.
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 1:12
Thank you Jim Kipping our announcer you’ve made us shine, Baby, you’re doing a great job for us. Thank you for doing the announcing for the Plein Air Podcast. And everybody. Welcome. I hope you are having a really terrific January. Now this is an interesting day in history, isn’t it the 20th I don’t think I need to say anything more about that. If you’re listening today on the 20th the actual day of the 20th. Just know that there’s also something else big happening today. And that is that the deadline for Watercolor Live. $300 savings ends tonight at midnight pacific time. So go to watercolorlive.com if you’re thinking about going go ahead and do it, so you can save that $300 Otherwise, the price goes up full retail price tomorrow. And by the way, it’s still going to be worth it. It’s going to be amazing that 35 top watercolor artists in the world, and they’re going to be on international artists teaching from all over the world and audience of huge, huge number of people from all over the world, it’s going to be fun. Also, when I mentioned the plein air salon deadline, if you want to enter the January, plein air salon, you want to get your entry in by the 31st. And so go ahead and get that done. So you don’t have to worry about it, the average person enters about three, three and a half, not three and a half, three, three or four paintings. And so go ahead and pick out your best paintings. They don’t have to be fresh, they can be older paintings. A good painting is a good painting, and they need to be awarded. And one thing we’ve learned is that different judges have different things that they like. And so what somebody will enter a painting and one judge doesn’t give it an award, and they’ll enter it again and another judge doesn’t give it an award and they’ll enter it again. And another judge says oh yeah, this is great. It’s my number one pick, you know, so you can win prize money, but also you can be entered into the national competition and get your prize onstage at the Plein Air Convention which is coming up in May. By the way plein air convention early bird deadline is going to be on the 14th Valentine’s Day, which is just around the corner, of course. And you can save $500 and of course we don’t know if we’re going to be able to have it or not. We hope so we think so. The officials think so. But we’re all cautious about it. So if not, of course you can get your money back and so that but you can go ahead and save the $500 that way you get the savings back or you can apply it to when we hold it. All right. Coming up in the magazine Plein Air Magazine, we have a feature on (Phillipe gundaloo gun deal) on the involving Impressionism. And the question Can Impressionism still be revolutionary Hmm. And in this week’s Plein Air Today newsletter, which you should be subscribing to as well, it’s free. We share the story of groups of artists that are painting the rivers of Indiana as part of a conservation effort. I would love to be a part of that because I grew up in Indiana. Coming up after the interview, I’m going to be answering your art marketing questions. But first, let’s get right to the interview with me. I know that’s part two. It’s a little weird. me on my own podcast. But what it did is it gave me a break didn’t have to interview a couple people over the holidays and also, Mark Sublette was able to pull things out of me. I don’t know how he did it. But it ended up being a two part interview. Which I don’t know if he does often or not, but I guess I talk too much. So this is part two of the interview conducted by Mark Sublette.
Mark Sublette 4:38
What made you the magazine you first started was at a radio magazine before you did Fine Art Connoisseur?
Eric Rhoads 4:45
Yeah, it was a complete accident. I stumbled into it. I was so when I sold the radio stations in Salt Lake City. I made some money and I decided I was going to retire I was 33. I thought I had enough money to retire a little bit. I know, right. And I was going to get a motorhome and drive the world and see all my friends and, and my wife and I and Well, that didn’t work out quite so well. But I was at the Utah State Fair before we moved out of Salt Lake City and I saw this karaoke booth. And it was a giant boombox, a big, you know, like, human sized boombox. And I went up and I said, where’d you get this thing? And the guy said, Oh, I built it for my karaoke stand. And I said, Could you build more of them? He said, I probably could. So I struck a deal with him. And I went into business with him. And I created a company making giant boombox, we put them on trailers. And I sold them to radio stations around the world. And so because I had that business, I started advertising to the radio industry again. And and this guy called me from a radio trade magazine called the pulse of radio. And I said, you know, I’ve never heard of this magazine. He said, Oh, it’s number one, you know, how you know how people do? And oh, we have all these readers, and I didn’t really believe it. And I said, Well, I’ll try an ad, how much is an ad? And he said, $5,000. I said, Oh, that’s too much. He said, Okay. 20 $500. So the minute he did that, I thought, Okay, let me just see how far this guy will go. So I bought five ads for $100 each. And, and I ran all five ads, I didn’t get any results. Now, what I didn’t realize at the time is that half of that responsibility was mine. Half of it was his right, I’ve got to make sure my ad polls, polls, but he has to make sure I have the distribution. So I was in New York City. And I went to visit him to find out why my ads weren’t working. And I was really upset. I just wanted to understand it more. And he confessed to me that he wasn’t he was only made hand mailing out 100 copies, because he had run out of money. Because the guy that owned it wouldn’t put any more money into it because it was a miserable failure. So I said, Who is this guy? I want to meet him. And he said, Well, he’s across the hall. So I went over, got an appointment, met with him, and walked out owning the magazine.
Mark Sublette 7:20
And right at that time, you did the deal right there and sign right there. Wow.
Eric Rhoads 7:25
I mean, we you know, I mean, we shook hands. And then we, you know, took a couple couple of weeks or months to paperwork, it. And then, so I bought it, I tried to go with the same name. And I was putting a lot of money into it. Because I just made a lot of money. So I had money. And I remember the president of one of the big associations took me aside at or at an event and he said, Listen, you’re you’re a good guy, you’ve got a good reputation. You that magazine has a horrible reputation. The editor is a is a piece of You know what? And he said, You don’t want to be associated with that. He says you need to get rid of him and you need to change the name. Well, that was a real favor. He did me so I changed the name. I kept the guy for a little while realized he was a troublemaker, so I got rid of him. And so I started a radio trade magazine. So that was like 3032 years ago, something like that. 35 years ago. And and we still have it today, we have another one, the TV industry, and then we do conferences and things like that. And I had to make a conscious decision to step away. I couldn’t do it all and I have a very capable lady Deborah, who runs it. And she was working for me and I thought she could make this happen without me. And so I stopped everything I wrote for a while and now I don’t even write anymore. And so she runs it. I show up once a year for a big event we do in New York and it’s doing great.
Mark Sublette 9:03
And then somehow you started Fine Art Connoisseur, somewhere.
Eric Rhoads 9:08
We started Fine Art Connoisseur when we closed Plein Air.
Mark Sublette 9:11
Yeah, but what made you do that? Why’d you say I want to do an art magazine. Oh, well, there is a story behind that. Yeah,
Eric Rhoads 9:18
I would think there’s not too many stories.
Mark Sublette 9:20
Yeah, no, that’s good.
Eric Rhoads 9:24
So I hit because of jack Jackson. I had fallen in love with realistic painting figure in portrait painting. And at the time, there was a little magazine called the Realism Journal. And it was I think it was started by some of the painters in intimate Minneapolis which is kind of where the affiliate movement started. And it was a fabulous little magazine and featured a lot of you know, bouguereau kind of things and, and I still have every copy of the ever did, but I I fell in love with that. And I was trying to learn how to be a realist painter. And I realized that at the time, there was very few places one could go to learn that. And so I, you know, I was really getting into it. And you know that I don’t know that even the Florence, maybe the Florence Academy was around, but nobody knew about it. And again, the internet was very shaky. So, you know, there was the Art Students League, and there was, you know, there were a couple other places, but not a lot. And so I thought, I’m going to make this the flagship for realism. And to turn this into a magazine that really promotes realism, we’ve got to do other things, too. But I really wanted to focus on that type of thing. And so, again, you know, a movement kind of followed. And today there are, you know, 500 affiliates, it was like, the people who studied under Dan Graves, or, or Jacob Collins started their own, and then their students started their own. And, you know, there’s a lot of 20 year olds out there learning to paint, and, and some of them, some of these people are painting as well as any painter ever painted. So, you know, obviously, I stumbled into Peter trippy and ended up hiring him, because he had this museum background. Right. And that was all because I had a dispute with my editor. We were an image appeared in the magazine that I didn’t think was of high quality. And she said, No, it is high quality. And so I thought we need a tiebreaker because I didn’t trust my instincts because I don’t have the education. So I had met Peter trippy at Fred Ross’s house, a cocktail party from ARC. And I went into the museum one day when I was in New York, and we met and I said, How do I solve this problem I need like a curator. He said, Well, you need me and he said, The museum is, is going to fold because the board can agree on whatever and so I’m going to be out of a job. So I hired him. That was probably 11 years ago. And that was a godsend because he’s been fabulous.
Mark Sublette 12:10
Yeah, he understands art. And he understands realism art and European art. Well, yes, he does. Yeah, he’s he’s a very, yeah, that’s a good asset. Well, you seem to be good at figuring out what the people are that you need for your assets. I think that’s part of success, probably.
Eric Rhoads 12:25
That’s everything. And, you know, when I was a young entrepreneur, I wanted to do everything and touch everything. And I still have a little bit of a habit of trying to do that. And whatever I do, I get into trouble. You know, you get really, really great people and you let them leave them alone. I mean, I don’t have any hand in content whatsoever. At either magazine, I don’t approve the stories, I don’t approve the direction if somebody calls me and asked me to help them get a story. I’ll say I’ll make an introduction to Peter but it’s up to him. You know, I don’t The only thing I’m involved with is I Peter and I like to agree on you know, do we both like the cover we’re gonna pick that’s the only thing I do. Obviously I managed and run the company. But I’ve even got a great team that you know, that does all of that. So I my goal is just kind of focus on thinking about the company thinking about the marketing figuring out where things are going next and trying to you know, try to do that and then also trying to kind of lead the the art community at least our art community in terms of kind of being there for them and bringing them experiences and things that are kind of fun for them to do.
Mark Sublette 13:45
You see that as part of your role as being a leader in realism and landscape plein air painting in our in our field.
Eric Rhoads 13:56
Yeah, I do. I mean I I’m not a self appointed I guess I’m a self appointed expert I’m but I’m not necessarily qualified to be I I just felt like in both cases there was leadership needed you know, there somebody needs to carry the flag and get people excited and and and kind of help things grow and so that became very clear. The Plein Air Magazine alone without the conference probably wouldn’t have survived but it was at conference where we got people together got them enthusiastic and words spread and more and more people came and and you know, doing the podcast and doing the newsletters and all that other stuff and and so I felt like we needed that in the realism side too. That’s why we started the FACE conference, Figurative Art Convention and Expo. And that’s only gone on for like three or four or five years and it’s been a slow start. Frankly, it’s been much smaller than Plein Air Convention. You know the Plein Air Convention is about twice the size of the FACE convention. But that’s okay. I mean, it’s it’s intimate we get, you know, it’s it’s pretty rare to get, you know, people like Jacob Collins and Steven Assael and you know, last year it was it was Dan Greene and Wendy Greene. And you know, I had dinner with him at the conference and he died two months later. I mean, what a great opportunity to, to let people get to know people like that. And it’s nice because it’s intimate because they, you know, if there were 1000 people there, it’s a little tougher. But when there’s three, four or 500 people there you can I sit down with somebody and have a drink with them. And I get notes from people, it’s like, I couldn’t believe I actually got to sit and talk to Steven a sale for for an hour. You know, it’s like, that’s that that’s access. So that there that’s pretty powerful.
Mark Sublette 15:50
Yeah, you’re a conduit is really what you are. You’re a conduit. Yeah, that’s right. You know, you’re a conduit to put artists together established artists, but also those who really want to become following that field. However, they do see themselves well, there’s just tangential, or as a complete lifestyle. That’s a really powerful thing. I don’t know of many people that I can think in our profession that have done that. So my hats are off. For you doing that you have a lot of energy, you have a lot of energy to want to do this. And which is one of the reasons I really wanted to have you on is just because you’ve done so many different things. And you have all these different shows as well as these monetary ones that people can win real money or get real money. You can you talk a little bit about those because those are the things that people should know about early.
Eric Rhoads 16:43
Or you’re talking about the art competition. Yeah. Well, I remember having dinner with Peter and Elaine Adams at the California Art Club. And, and something that they said continued to ring in my head. And they said that when artists start competing in a competition, you raise the level of art overall, they said that that was the secret to the growth and the success of the California Art Club is that they would have the gold metal show and it everybody tried harder and elevated the work of all the artists. And I thought that’s what we need for plein air because you know, you got a lot of you got a lot of early stage plein air painters out there who are mixing in and what I don’t want to see happen is I don’t want plein air to become synonymous with poor artwork or fastly produced I mean, you know, the classic answer that you’ve heard 1000 times is how long you’ve been painting are How long did it take you to do that painting, it was like two hours and 40 years. It was you know, because it’s it’s a continual growth. And what I didn’t want to see happen is have it there’s a lot of people who are coming into this as a hobby. And that’s great Sunday painters, that’s great, I love it. And some of them want to become professionals. And that’s great. But what I want to do is make sure that we are always talking about quality is you know, elevating your quality. And that’s really why we start conventions and why we have training and videos and all that other stuff. It’s because the the highest satisfaction comes from always growing. I don’t know if you remember Ray strong, of course in Santa Barbara inner. Yeah, I mean, Ray painted pretty much till the day he died in his wheelchair. And I remember him saying that, you know, he was always pushing himself trying to get better. And I think, you know, this is why he lived to be 100 years old, in his mind was was sharp and elastic, because you know, he’s challenged. And I said on stage at the convention one year the plein air , the new golf, because it you know, it’s challenging, it’s social, it’s fun, it’s creative, you know, you’re you’re getting outdoors. But for people like me who don’t golf or don’t anymore, or don’t hike, you know, this is a perfect alternative. So the Salon was really about elevating people trying to get people to get to the next level and it’s amazing to me, I was going through the the entries. We have different people have you ever judged it?
Mark Sublette 19:31
I’ve never judged that I’ve judged maybe three or four different art shows and it’s very taxing quite frankly.
Eric Rhoads 19:38
It’s a lot of work and not a lot of reward. But yeah, we should talk about that. But the the level of quality overall compared to when we first started it is pretty amazing. You know, you this this past year. Dave Santiallanes is one we had to do a online digital award program because we didn’t do the convention but when We were judging the last 50, the top 50. It was tough. I mean, they were all so good. And you know, that’s a tough job. And, and so that’s, that’s a testament to everybody kind of stepping up and elevating. And I think the other thing that’s really important that people don’t really understand is that the minute you start entering competitions, or putting yourself in shows, putting yourself out there, something clicks in your brain, you operate differently. Now, all of a sudden, you are looking at yourself as a professional or a semi professional. And you’re thinking twice, you know, if you’re, you know, in the old days, it might have been, I’ll just put something out and see if somebody likes it, but now it’s like, No, no, I, I’m gonna keep working on that till it looks good till it’s right. So it, it elevates people. And of course, if they went in a, in a particular category or something, it’s just one more thing to add to that, that CV, you know, because people like you need something to talk about.
Mark Sublette 21:04
Yeah. I think it actually does something more than even that, I think it can elevate somebody, when they it’s that positive reinforcement at I was good enough to compete with all these people. I had professional judges and they chose my work. And it gives you this sense of confidence that you you didn’t have before. And I think when people when those kinds of things, it just pops you up to another level. I remember Glenn Dean won, you know, award when he’s like 22. And I think that I’ve never talked to Glenn about it, but I really feel that it probably set something in his own psyche that says, okay, I’ve won the, you know, I’m 22 and I wanted the whole thing, and and rightly so he should have wanted it was that good.
Eric Rhoads 21:53
So we have watched people who who didn’t think that they had a chance of winning when, you know, people like Alain bass and Shelby Keefe and Jim wood, ARCA I mean, and the thing that’s really satisfying is to watch what happens to their careers when they when, you know, all of a sudden they’re hearing from people like you who are all of a sudden paying attention to them. You know, would you be interested in our gallery or, or they’re getting, instead of applying to go into a show, they’re getting invited into a show, and their lives change. Shelby Keefe said, you know, she was pretty known around Wisconsin because she would do the art fairs and things but she wasn’t known nationally. Now she’s known nationally, it’s changed her life.
Mark Sublette 22:37
Yeah. And we knew there was other people out there listening. I mean, artists, you know, people like myself, we watch this, we see what’s going on, you know, and it could be somebody that’s completely off our radar, not a clue. And you know, we read it in a magazine or see it, and we go, Well, let’s see who this is and investigate. And sometimes it’s like, wow, that’s one I didn’t know about.
Eric Rhoads 22:59
You know, you mentioned confidence. I wanted to tell you another story. Real quickly. I don’t know how we are in time.
Mark Sublette 23:04
It’s a long format, we can go as long as we want.
Eric Rhoads 23:11
I do an event in in June, typically in the Adirondacks. I call it Publishers Invitational. And it started out. I had gone to I remember going to the Carmel art show and sitting around at a bar with some other artists one night, and one of the artists commented, they said, you know, we never get to do this. But typically when we come to these things, we’re pretty isolated. We’re working on our paintings. We don’t want to paint side by side because we don’t want to have the same painting. We’re competing in a show or in our hotel room, touching things up and framing them at night. It’s very busy. And we don’t Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just kind of have a week where we could just paint together and I said, Well, let’s do it. I’ll do it. And so I I took over an Airbnb in Austin, Texas before I lived here. A friend of mine owned and I said you guys come down. I don’t think I charged him for it. I they just paid for the room. And it was some pretty significant people. You know, Carolyn Anderson and Jeff Legg and gosh, Howard Freedland and and Susan Blackwood. And there were there were 17 of us total. And we just went out and we painted together for a week and we cooked at night we just had a ball. So I turned that into an event that I do charge for and I still call it publishers Invitational but there’s no invitation required. And I get typically 100 people and we we are we take over college in the Adirondacks. And we paint the beautiful Adirondacks in upstate New York and and we sit around at night we play music and we have we’ve talked and we just talk art and we put we all put our artwork up. Well, one year this artists came from the northeast and you He, he was very, it was very gregarious, but very lacking confidence in his work. And he started putting his workout and everybody was drawn to it. Everybody said this, this artist is amazing. And he got so much positive feedback from that, that he decided that he was going to launch a professional career. And he went out and he, he learned by, you know, he would never been to plein air events or anything he learned by hanging out with all of us what all that was about. And he ended up, he can’t even come to the event anymore, because he’s always at shows. And that was Charlie Hunter. And chart, you know, Charlie’s become a pretty big deal. But he, he gained the confidence. You know, I saw his work, I bought a couple of his paintings. But also, I said, you know, this is good, I’m going to do an article on it. So I called Steve Doherty. And I said, you know, you need to look at this guy. So Steve, Steve did it. Maybe Steve was even there, did a story on him, you know, and, and then that, that builds confidence, which other things build confidence. And so these things all matter. You know, there’s also there’s side effects. You know, they may be packaged, as, you know, getting together for a week of fun painting, you know, no competitions, just painting. But there are side effects sometimes, sometimes, consequences that, you know, none of us ever anticipate. But I’ve met people on these events that some of which have become my lifelong friends. Others have met lifelong friends. And, you know, they end up going places together and painting together one group, one group of people got so close to each other, they started their own little convention, you know, just for their group, and they meet once a year. And so I love seeing that I love putting people together and seeing we had, we had at the plein air convention, we do an orientation at the beginning for newbies. And the reason we do that is because I hate going to conventions and not knowing anybody, and have done that many times in other industries. And so they do an orientation. We do an orientation Tish on our staff puts people together and this okay, you find people, you’re now a dinner group, you go to lunch and dinner together every day. And so we had two people who were to dinner groups got together and started going together all the time. Because somebody knew somebody and we ended up a couple ended up meeting dating and got married.
Mark Sublette 27:35
So well, they damn well better name their kid, their first kid Eric is about.
Eric Rhoads 27:40
I think they were beyond the childbearing.
Mark Sublette 27:44
Mother dog that? Well, yeah, it’s I think those kind of things are really important because a single artist, you know, can say something to another artist and one artist who might be very well known. And he says something, just it can be the smallest thing like, you know, you’re really doing a good job. I like what you’re doing. And that can change their trajectory, that one thing I’ve heard we all have artists say.
Eric Rhoads 28:10
We all have to be encouraging to one another. I’ve got a question for you. Is that right to ask you a question. So now you and I met, probably at the early stages of Plein Air or Fine Art Connoisseur.
Mark Sublette 28:24
Yeah, that’s right.
Eric Rhoads 28:26
And, you know, that was probably 15, 18 years ago. When you first got into the gallery business, what did you not understand that you understand now, that has made a major difference?
Mark Sublette 28:41
I think the biggest thing from just a gallery standpoint is that you don’t have to get everything. Right. So when I’m a young gallerist, I think every great piece I have to get I’d be devastated if I wasn’t able to get it. Right. And now I know better. Though, there’s always another thing that comes by, and it has allowed me not to worry about things if I don’t, you know, get a piece that I try to buy because I deal in to cease work as well. Right? You know, or if I don’t get an artist that, you know, I really appreciate and want in the gallery. I don’t worry about it. That’s one thing and I don’t worry about what other galleries Do I look at him more as colleagues and not competition. I think that’s a big deal, too. I don’t, I just don’t I try not to worry about those kinds of things. And I think it makes makes it easier for me to just worry about me and what I do.
Eric Rhoads 29:31
So I want to mention that because, you know, that’s a really important part of maturity as a business owner. I I used to be really uptight about my competitors. And, you know, it’s like, we got to beat them, you know, we’re gonna pulverize them. And I don’t know something changed along the way and I remember there was a defining moment in the radio business. We do this, we always have tried to lead in women’s issues. And we do this issue about the, what we call the most powerful women in radio. And so my editors are like, here are all the people who should be on the list. And we’re going through the list. And there’s one of the people and they keep looking over this person and passing over this person. And I said, Why are you passing her over? And they said, because she’s our competitor. I said, Does she deserve to be on the list? They said, Yes. But she’s our competitor, I said, No, she deserves to be on the list, we’re not going to play that game, she’s going to be on the list. And over the years, then as she grew, because we kind of prioritize it, she became number one on the list. And we put her on the cover of our magazine, and she was our biggest competitor. And that was a real test of one’s integrity. Because part of me didn’t want to do it, because it was like, you know, I’m promoting a competitor. And part of me is like, no, this is deserved, right. And I’ve, I’ve discovered something about myself just recently, which is, and I probably should write about this for Sunday Coffee. You know, we started this this video business, video training business. And, and then we acquired lilla, doll when, when Johnny Liliedahl died, and we acquired, CCP, same kind of a situation a death. And so we’ve grown it to be a pretty big company, and we promote it very heavily. And it looks easy, right? So all of a sudden, all these other people are jumping in, you know, when we started out, I mean, there were a couple people doing it. Now there’s, you know, 20 people doing it. And, you know, this, this is where I had to really test myself, because a lot of the people who are doing this are friends or acquaintances, people that I like and respect. And I can’t, you know, I just can’t take a competitive attitude about it. And, and so I was, you know, I was kind of playing with this recently, and thinking, you know, here I am, I’m doing these these things daily. Well, I’ll actually a step back, I’ll step back, either last year, or the year before at the, at the face conference. I thought there are three or four people who are deserving to be at that conference on my stage, but their competitors. And some of my team members are like, no, don’t invite them their competitors. And, and I said, No, they need to be on the stage. Well, don’t don’t talk about them, you know, no, they need to be on the stage. And, and I actually introduced him on the stage in front of everybody and pointed out that they were competitors and said, You need to do business with them. They do good products. Yeah. And it’s hard to do. But late lately, you know, because more and more people are piling on and you know, because it looks easy. It’s been like, well, now I’m doing all this daily stuff. What should I do? You know, because it’s really easy just to say, well, I’ll just ignore. So I finally just decided, you know, I’ve got to take an abundance mentality. And believe there’s room for everybody. And, and, you know, if somebody picks a competitor, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just, if, if they’re doing a better job than it just makes me want to step up and do a better job. But I brought that up because of what you said about competitors. But I had, I brought I had a competitor on my daily show today. It’s the second or third one I’ve done. And it’s, you know, it’s very freeing at a time when we’re going through. And I don’t want to get political because I, I don’t go there. But you know, there’s a lot of people who are looking at the world through the lens of money. And money is ruling all their decisions. And I realized that if I were cutting out competitors, it was money ruling my decision, not, my sense of proper ethics. And so that anyway, that’s kind of something I’ve been struggling with lately. Because, you know, it’s tough. And you know, you have to explain that to your employees. It’s like, Well, why are you putting a competitor on? And, you know, we just have to be better than that. But I think that your attitude about competitors is what stimulated that thought. And that is, you’re really collaborators. I mean, you know, somebody it’s in your world. It’s like, one of you has the right painting that I’m gonna buy. That’s it. And if it’s not the right one, I’m not gonna buy it anyway. It’s the same thing for me.
Mark Sublette 34:57
Yeah, well, by doing that, what you’re doing is you’re adding to the ecosphere of art, you’re making the whole thing better. You know, I have lots of gallery owners, I’ve had lots and lots of gallery owners that compete directly with me on my podcast. And I support them. And I promote them. Why? Because they have interesting stories. And they’re part of, you know, the whole history of what I do. And so a lot of my clients go and buy something from them. Great, happy for everyone, you know, I’m still gonna buy from me. And I learned something from them about their backstory. And that’s what I find so interesting. Are these backstories of, you know, how people, you know, how did you become what you are, I know, you’re a photographer, you’re an artist, you’re a publisher, you’re an entrepreneurial, you do. Tech, you know, you’ve done all these kind of things, but clearly, what you’re going to be known for, I think, and what probably want to be known for is that you are one of the pillars of art, you know, and you’re well,
Eric Rhoads 35:55
That’s very kind, I don’t think of myself that way. I, you know, I, by the way, I applaud you for doing that. And and by the way, you probably wouldn’t have done it when you were 30.
Mark Sublette 36:09
No, I wouldn’t have I guarantee it.
Eric Rhoads 36:11
Yeah. And so I think that’s a that’s a beautiful thing about maturity. I think that, you know, I worked in the on the other business for, you know, 25, 30 years. And, you know, I struggled, I went sometimes I remember seven years without a paycheck. I mean, if there was a little extra money in the, in the coffers, I’d buy some groceries or something. And, and, you know, I was telling one of my kids who was, you know, dropping out of a class or something, you know, and I’m paying $40,000 a year for college, I said, you know, it took me 15 years to save $40,000. And, and, you know, so there’s a struggle that goes with all of this, I can’t remember what my point was, but I think that we, I just have got kind of gotten to the point where, oh, I remember was going, I spent all that time doing something that I was chasing money. And I got to the point where it wasn’t having any fun, I got into radio, because it was fun, because it was on the air. But then I got into ownership, and other stuff that wasn’t nearly as much fun. And, I just never made any money. I just was like treading water for a lot of years. And, then I went to a conference and the guy basically taught me how to reinvent myself and what I in what it was Dave Ramsey, the talk show host. And he said something that just really clicked with me that was you need to approach your business from a spirit of generosity, if you if you make everything about generosity, your life will change. And that’s exactly what happened, I came back to my team and I said, Look, let’s be generous. If somebody buys something, give them a little extra. You know, if they can’t afford it, just give it to them, you know, just let’s be generous with people when we can. And I have had more satisfaction in my life in the last 15 years of doing this and being around art and being around artists and painting and being you know, getting to know people like you and art galleries. And just I mean, there’s never a bad day when you’re around art. That’s true. That’s true.
Mark Sublette 38:31
I used to I tell people that I my hardest day as an art dealer is like an he was like an easy day as a physician. I mean, it’s just, you know, it’s just being in the art world is wonderful. And artists met as being around artists is one of the great points of what I do. And for you too, and I’m sure that’s one of the reasons you do it.
Eric Rhoads 38:56
You think they’re the happiest people in the world? And I’d never have met anybody who’s happier. I mean, there’s a couple of grumpy ones here there. Yeah. But, I think they’re doing what they love. And so that’s why they’re so filled with joy.
Mark Sublette 39:09
And they and they don’t ever retire. I mean, they just keep going, you know, like strong, they just keep re strong. They just go until they can’t until they physically have to pull them out of the chair. And then they die right away.
Eric Rhoads 39:22
Yeah, but they live on, you know if they’re any good. They live on. Yeah.
Mark Sublette 39:25
And he does. And he was friends with Dixon, actually. Oh, and so what would you say, as we kind of finish this up, because you probably deal with more artists than anyone, quite frankly, I know you do. Because you’re doing all these interviews every day and you’ve done 200 almost 200 podcasts on Plein Air Podcast, by the way. I recommend people to listen to it. I listened to it actually. I’ve started listening to it and really enjoy it and learn things about artists that I didn’t know.
Eric Rhoads 39:54
Would you be my guest on the Plein Air Podcast?
Mark Sublette 39:57
Yeah, I don’t paint though.
Eric Rhoads 39:59
Okay, well, they they need to know about you.
Mark Sublette 40:02
I’m not an artist. What would you say to artists out there who are thinking about going into this profession?
Eric Rhoads 40:17
Well, just go for it. I mean, it. It’s not. It’s not all romance and flowers. It is tough work. But it’s, it’s gonna be very satisfying. You know, I teach art marketing, I’ve dealt with lots of people who have a lot of physicians, by the way, who learned to paint. And, you know, I had one physician Tell me, he says, You know, I just don’t care if I ever do another heart surgery, it’s like, you know, once I’ve done it three or 4000 times, it’s like, you know, it’s, it’s almost like driving a car. It is it’s not, it’s not quite like that. But and I don’t want to diminish that. Certainly, certainly what the right one on my heart, but I think the idea is that if you’re, if you’re in something that you, you are not waking up every day and, and jumping up and down with excitement about going to work, then you’re in the wrong thing. I, I think that there has to be a transition, though, what I don’t like to see is I don’t like to see hold your nose and jump in the water. But I like to see is make a plan. start developing because it doesn’t happen overnight, start developing your work at the higher level, the minute you make a commitment to be a professional, your work will start moving to a higher level. And then once you do that, your work will start you know you’ll you’ll be better at getting exposed and so on. But what I like to do is I like to say, you know, you’re you’re up here with your income. And let’s say you want to start your job as an artist full time in two years, you need to look at the last two years of that income as funding your business. So then, while this income is going on, this income here, I can’t do it backwards is growing. And you want to get to the point where you grow it so it’s at the same level or higher, so that by the time you’re ready to stop or retire, that you haven’t skipped a beat that because nobody wants to suffer. You know, this whole idea of the starving artist is not really very romantic. So I would say that the other thing I would say is we become artists. Because we’re we see the world differently, we we have a different lens, we we probably want to project our feelings or our joy or anger or whatever it is, is projecting to the world because we see things differently. And we want to be artists, because we don’t want to be business people or accountants or doctors or whatever it is, or we’re tired of that. And so we have, we tend to develop this idea that I’m an artist, now I don’t have to do any of that stuff. But the reality is, and you deal with these people all day, every day, and you get some that are highly professional, and some that don’t show up when they say they’re going to show up. And so you have to be willing to know that just like anything else in life, there are times when you have to develop muscles, right? You know, if if I’m getting a little flabby, I got to go to the gym and I got to work on my abs or you know, I got to keep my cardio going. You have to develop muscles, you know, when you’re telling my kids because my kids are in college and they’re learning to manage money, hopefully. And it’s like you have to develop muscles in learning how to manage your money you have to learn develop muscles in and saving money you have to develop muscles in making your house payments one day and and you know being able to pay for the kids college funds and you have to develop muscles and all things. If you develop muscles early on. In your career as an artist if you develop marketing muscles and and dare I say business muscles, it’ll change your life. Now, I have seen I took one artist with the artists did it but I coached this artist from from near bankruptcy to being a fairly wealthy person in five years. It can happen. I have you and I both know, artists who are multimillionaires. Yep. We also know artists who make a lot of money who can’t hang on to it. And we also know people who can barely you know barely make a living. If what I’ve learned and discovered from dealing with all these artists or Over the years, including people whose names will go down in history, his his great artists, they all have marketing muscles, they may not appear to have marketing muscles, they may be very folksy and make you think that, you know, oh, I was just discovered at a at a drugstore and some movie producer came in and found me But no, these people are marketing all the time. That’s not necessarily visible to you, but they’re marketing all the time. You look at somebody like Richard Schmid, he’s a brilliant marketer. I mean, even now at his age, he’s writing books, and those books are supporting, keeping his art market alive, and, and all the other things and you know, those are the things that we all have to do. So, if you develop muscles in marketing, it’ll change your life. But there are artists out there who are wealthy. And I’m not it by the way, it’s success isn’t about money, it can be but it doesn’t have to be. But there are artists out there living their dreams, there are artists who are wealthy who are not good painters. And there are artists who are good painters that have never sold a painting in their life. There are painters out there, and I’ve met some who are as brilliant as any painter alive, that cannot get up the courage to show their work to an art dealer or won’t do it because they feel like they’re selling out. So if you learn the marketing, it’ll change your life. And and don’t tell yourself, it’s selling out, it’s just developing muscles, you’re still an artist, it doesn’t change who you are, you’re just putting on a different hat. Right? One day, you got to put on your accounting hat, you’re gonna have to balance your checkbook. And other day you put on your marketing hat another day, you’re putting on your shipping hat. And that’s just what you have to do. So embrace marketing, I was thinking this morning on the treadmill, that because because I was listening to something about their kid, a podcast or something, you know, their kid went to art school, and struggled and you know, out of art school, they struggled. And I was thinking, I need to put together a program that goes in every art school in the world, that maybe it’s an online program, maybe we do it for free, I don’t know. But something that says here’s, you know, here’s how you develop those muscles. You know, I have some stuff that I sell on a book and some stuff, but something that really gets into it, because, you know, if, if you did a training course on how to how to become an art gallerist, and how to run an art gallery business, you’ve got, you know, 30 years of experience. And it’s hard to beat that 30 years of experience.
Mark Sublette 47:39
It’s true, well, I think it would be a very successful for the artists, because it is a business. And you do have to understand how to market how to. And of course, in this world, it’s not just marketing your brand, but it’s also getting it out there and all the different platforms, whether it’s YouTube, or social media, you know, Tik Tok, whatever it may be, you know, you have to embrace those kind of things. Or you’re going to have, you’re going to struggle, or you better have some very, very good galleries that are doing that job for you.
Eric Rhoads 48:09
Not only do you have to embrace them, you have to understand them. You know, Facebook, and Instagram are two of the most misunderstood media’s you know, I knew, I’m sure you’re encountering this all the time, there are people out there, who because they’re posting things, they think that’s their marketing strategy. And, you know, it can work for some people, but there’s so much more to it. I mean, I’m a big advertiser in these platforms, I spend a lot of money in these platforms, I hire consultants who teach us how to do it right. And, you know, we made a lot of mistakes and burned through a lot of money by you know, paying for boosting and things like that, that are completely useless. So, you know, there’s a whole process and the other thing about that is that, that marketing never changes. The platform’s change. But marketing never changes the principles of marketing that worked 100 years ago, still work today, there’s certain principles that have to occur, for marketing to work. And those principles need to be employed on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and Tik Tok and everything else. And if you don’t employ them, it’s still not going to work for you. So you have to learn those, you know, those basic principles.
Mark Sublette 49:22
A call to action kind of things. Yep.
Eric Rhoads 49:24
Yeah. Copy headlines.
Mark Sublette 49:26
Yep. Yep. And some of its I think, instinctual for some people probably. And for others, they need to do just what you said you hire somebody who you get somebody that helps you and shows you what you really need to do. That’s a professional, right? I mean, if you’re going to go and if you have a tooth that needs to be taken out, you’re going to go to a dentist, you’re not going to go to you know your vet, you know you get the right person that helps and they make both can take out the tooth but the one that does the dentist is probably going to a little bit better job and less painful for sure.
Eric Rhoads 49:57
You know, to that point, the most important lesson And I’ve learned in the last 10 years is that and I wish I’d have learned it 30 years ago is that if you can mentor under the most, the highest, most successful people in the world, you will skyrocket. So the one thing that changed for me, we, and I don’t, I’m not saying this to sound to be bragging or anything like that, we hit the fastest growing companies in America list each of the last five years in a row. And the one thing that made the difference is I started joining mastermind groups, and I pay a lot of money. And it seems ridiculous to pay a lot of money, you know, 30 $35,000 a year to be a member of a group to, to go to four meetings a year, and maybe talk a couple of times on the phone. When you were around the best of the best the people who, you know, there’s 30 other, in my case, CEOs in my group. They all have different problems. They all approach things differently. You learn from them, they learn from you. Some of them become experts in things I’m in. I’m, I’m in one mastermind. Now, I’ve been in three, and one of my other masterminds had the world’s best online marketing people in it. And you know, I can pick up the phone now, even though I’m not in that group anymore. They’ve all become friends, I can pick up the phone and call anybody and get advice on things. But when you’re masterminding with people, imagine if you wanted to be in a gallery business, and you could pay some amount of money to study under mark, you. I mean, you’re gonna save them 20 years of mistakes or 30 years of mistakes. And that’s the one thing that I I have a young nephew who is starting a business and that’s the thing I said, Look, you won’t have the money, won’t have the money but take 20 or $30,000 and join the right mastermind, I’ll give you the names of the right masterminds go join those you will skyrocket. I mean, they’re, you know, just the connectivity alone, you know, with the world’s best people, it really makes a huge difference.
Mark Sublette 52:10
Yeah, and I think especially in art, because art is really word of mouth and contact and who you know, and those kind of things. Those are clearly important in the art world, clearly. Yeah.
Eric Rhoads 52:20
And if you study under George Carlson versus me, you’re gonna make a whole lot more progress.
Mark Sublette 52:26
Yeah, I would even like to study under George Carlson just to see what he does. He’s such a he’s an amazing artist. He sure is. He’s one I haven’t had on my podcast yet. But I want to have him on Have you had him on? Have you had I have not? will raise for that one.
Eric Rhoads 52:43
I’ve had him live at the Plein Air Convention.
Mark Sublette 52:46
Yeah, he’s something else.
Eric Rhoads 52:48
He’s a legend. He’s pretty incredible and and to flip from sculpt sculptor to being to being a top painter I had a conversation with with George and Pam, we were at dinner. And I said to George, how did you get your prices so high? He said, I don’t know, ask Pam. And I said, Pam, how did you get his prices so high? And she said, I just saw how many hours he was putting into it. I calculated what we needed per hour. And I just said that’s what the painting should cost. And, and they got it. I mean, the first time they sold and sold a painting, he sold it for you know, huge amount of money.
Mark Sublette 53:24
Yeah. And it’s more now.
Eric Rhoads 53:27
I shouldn’t I hope so.
Mark Sublette 53:28
I think it is I’ve always wanted, I don’t have one of his paintings, but I’d like to. I’ve had some of his sculptures, but his paintings? He does. He puts an immense amount of time until,
Eric Rhoads 53:37
Yeah, well, he’ll spend six months or a year on a painting.
Mark Sublette 53:39
Yeah, that’s amazing. Well, Eric, it was a wonderful talking to you. And yeah, I’ll be happy to come on your podcast, you just let me know when. And, you know, thank you for what you’re doing. You know, it’s really an IQ. We need we need you out there and your energy, and doing all you’re doing every day. I’m just so impressed that you can do it. I can’t do that. I can do what I can do. But I can’t do that. I can’t do an hour a day every day, interviewing people, I I’d be wiped out.
Eric Rhoads 54:08
You could do it. I think you should start going to daily.
Mark Sublette 54:12
No way. I do one educational video a week. And I do one podcast a week. And that’s really all the time I have.
Eric Rhoads 54:20
What is the educational video,
Mark Sublette 54:22
I just try to put all my knowledge out onto the web about things that I have seen or know. You know, so there’s little three minute to five minute videos and you want to know about how to start an art gallery or you know how to see a Navajo roghan, know a fake from a real one. And I’ve been doing that for 10 years now. So every week I put out an educational video and something that somebody is interested in. And we find that at the same place that we find the podcasts Yep, it’s all on my YouTube channel, Medicine Man Gallery YouTube channel.
Eric Rhoads 54:55
So where’s this all going? What do you see? What do you see the future of your business big?
Mark Sublette 55:04
Same as it is, I mean, things are going to change, VR is going to change things. When that, you know, really hits, I mean, it’s there, but it’s going to change the way that our businesses run, you know, and people who are not embracing the internet, full bore and you know, as an art gallery, I think are in very deep trouble, or artists for that matter. And, you know, I think content is critical. It’s been critical for a while, but I think it’s even more critical. So I think that I think that’s the name of the game, quite frankly, is content at this point.
Eric Rhoads 55:39
I think there’s one more one missing word. And I think it’s trust. You know, that the idea of curation? Will curation will always rule all things content with curation is much more powerful than content without curation and to have somebody like yourself who you can pick up the phone, know that you’re going to stand behind what you’re what you’re offering, know that you actually know the difference between the the Navajo rug and the incorrect rug in the painting. Because I know that’s important to certain collectors. Me, you know, to know the quality to know that this is not a fake. Because, though that matters, that trust is huge.
Mark Sublette 56:24
Yeah, and I think about the fact I put those out there that says, I have the confidence that I what i’m saying I think is correct, you know? And if I’m not if I miss something, I’ll correct it. So I’ll be the first one to say, No, let’s take let’s change that that’s incorrect, or I’ve learned something, you know, that’s more important that I didn’t realize it as a good art dealer, probably in any field, not just art, but you really need to be able to learn every day and add to you need to be curious, and you need to be able to learn new facts and things and incorporate them, you can’t be stuck. And oh, this is how it is, is how I’ve done it, you know, because things change.
Eric Rhoads 57:06
When everything crashed in 98 there were two things going on. First off, there was financial crash. And secondly, there was a perfect storm of the internet was was kind of taken hold. And as you remember, there were a lot of galleries that failed back then. And a lot of that was because of those people did not do what you just said. And that is that they wanted to cling to the way things were always done. And I suppose the equivalent of that for an artist would be clinging to the way things you’ve always done things. I mean, I think you probably are looking for growth in artists. But also artists have periods, right? They have times when they’re, you know, okay, how many more of these can you do? You’ve got to you’ve got to evolve to the next level, do a new show or do something new?
Mark Sublette 57:53
Yeah, I never, I always tell all my artists, I don’t ever tell them what to paint. I don’t do those things. I want them to paint what they’re interested in and what moves them. Even if it’s a subject matter that may not be quite the the area that I might do well in, I still want to see it. Because I know if they emotionally, if they connect it to the art, that it’s going to be a good painting, and I’ll probably be able to sell it and and there’ll be happier, right? You’re happier human beings. I’m not going to tell somebody, I need more cloud paintings. I need more this or that. That’s just i think i think that galleries that do that are on a fool’s trail right there, quite frankly,
Eric Rhoads 58:30
I would agree with that. I call it more little red bards? Oh, God.
Mark Sublette 58:34
Yeah. I’ve never done that with to an artist and I hope God I hope I never do. You know, I might say this is doing well for you. And they can take it from there.
Eric Rhoads 58:44
Yeah, and if that’s if it’s their choice, now, I do have a little different philosophy on that. And that is that if it comes down to cleaning toilets, not that there’s anything wrong with that, or painting a few little red barn paintings because you know, they’re going to sell, I would probably opt to paint a few a little more a little red barn paintings because I know they’re going to sell because at least I’m painting I have friends who paint for other artists. And then the other artists sign their names to them. I don’t like that. I have friends who put paintings on eBay at low prices with different names on them because they they need to survive. But I so i think you know, survival and painting. If you can paint and survive, it’s a good thing. But ultimately, if you’re not doing what you love, it’s going to show up in your work. I remember a an artists we both know who is a friend who decided that he wanted to get into the Western world because everybody was making all that money in the Western world or so it appeared. And he started painting Western paintings, but you could tell his heart wasn’t in it. And so can the viewer.
Mark Sublette 59:51
Yeah, chasing the market’s a bad thing. Yes. Whether it’s writing or painting, you know, you don’t want to write about vampires because that’s the thing you gotta write what’s in your heart, what’s in your head, and what moves you and it shows, you know, same with art. Yeah. anybody, any artists out there that we might take is, for artists where we’re gonna give suggestion is, you know, paint things that really inspire you, that you feel you want to go and do. And not just because your dealer says, I need more cloud paintings, you know, something else, give them what you like, if they if you like painting clouds, great, but just, you know, if you’ve got that dealer who’s pushing you for product, which I hate, then you maybe you got the wrong dealer.
Eric Rhoads 1:00:31
Well, and I suspect that’s one of the reasons you’ve survived as long as you have.
Mark Sublette 1:00:35
Yeah, maybe so. Yep, maybe. So I’ve trust my instincts on that one. Well, I hope I can do another 20 years. I’ve just I’m coming in on 30. So and you’ve done you’ve been in business now for 40 years, right? Oh, at least. Yeah, at least. Well, it’s been wonderful talking to you. Thank you for taking your time. Have you done your Facebook Live thing yet? Today?
Eric Rhoads 1:00:59
Yeah, I did. I do it everyday, live at noon. And then we pre record the 3pm.
Mark Sublette 1:01:06
And the podcast when does when does your podcast drop? Just so people know? I don’t know. Maybe my buddies. Yeah. You have certain day? I don’t know. A lot out there.
Eric Rhoads 1:01:15
Mondays or Tuesdays.
Mark Sublette 1:01:17
Yeah. It’s a it’s a really wonderful archival for people who want to go and listen to artists. There’s almost 200 podcasts. I think that you’ve done there.
Eric Rhoads 1:01:26
Yes. Well, we just I just, I just recorded the 200.
Mark Sublette 1:01:30
Yeah, it’s really good. I’ve listened to some of the artists, my artists. In fact, one of the things I do is I won’t listen to your podcast on an artist that I want to interview because I don’t want to, you know, I want it to be fresh for me.
Eric Rhoads 1:01:44
It’s a good idea.
Mark Sublette 1:01:45
Yeah. But it’s really fun to, to go back and hear your podcast after I’ve done one of my artists or some other artists and hear the different takes and things that I missed or things I didn’t consider, and which is fine.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:00
I think you’re a better interviewer than I am. Now. That’s not true. Seriously, you’re able to get me to talk about things I haven’t talked about in years.
Mark Sublette 1:02:07
So I love it. Well, you know, I’m interested. I truly am. I’m really wanting to know that story. I have to know that story. I can’t understand you as a person. Unless I get those little, you know, nuggets of of your life, which I think I got a few of them. Yeah, I like Yeah, you did. Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing too, because you don’t have to give those nuggets out. And I appreciate that. You did.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:28
Yeah. This was fun.
Mark Sublette 1:02:30
Yep. All right.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:31
I’ll get to Tucson. I’d love to.
Mark Sublette 1:02:32
Yeah, definitely. All right. Eric Rhoads, thank you so much. Plein Air Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur for all this podcast, go check him out on his website. There’s lots of content. If you’re bored and home, he can fill all your time for the next 20 years. You have so much content. It’s amazing. So congratulations.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:52
Mark Sublette 1:02:53
I’ll see you on Sunday. Because I’ll be reading here. Your Coffee with Eric.
Eric Rhoads 1:02:58
All right. Thank you.
Mark Sublette 1:03:00
I do I so first thing I do every Sunday.
Eric Rhoads 1:03:03
Good, it’s the first thing I do every Sunday.
Mark Sublette 1:03:05
I’m never doing a blog like that too much more. I can’t handle it. All right. Good for you, buddy. Thank you. Thanks, Eric. Bye bye.
Eric Rhoads 1:03:13
Well, thanks again to Mark Sublette. And for interviewing me it was an honor to be on my own podcast and an honor to be on your podcast. So we really appreciate that. Are you guys ready for some 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 1:03:35
Okay, well in the marketing minute I answer your art marketing questions. At least I try. I usually have seen them cold. I read these before I started recording. So I actually read them but I haven’t thought about them yet. And email your questions to me [email protected], also go to artmarketing.com is a great resource for ideas on marketing. It’s free. Here’s a question from Al Harris in Wichita, Kansas, who asks, Is there a way to use a conferencing program like zoom or Google Hangouts to help sell my art? I think they closed down Google Hangouts they not they came up with a new name or they changed into something a platform like zoom. Well, anything is possible. And if you come up with something, let me know. I think the problem that I would see with this is that, first off, I’m not sure there’s a compelling reason that you can get a bunch of collectors together. If you’re thinking about collectors together. Now. You could send out an email blast or something you could say Listen, I’m going to hold a special sale on zoom. Try to try to raise a little money for this time of year or you know, you’re going to just get a hold a special sale and I’m inviting you guys to come and I’m going to review some of my works and maybe we’ll do a little bit of an auction or something you could try that I you know, I don’t know if I would attended or not I might but anything is possible. And the one thing I’ve learned over these massive amounts of decades that are piling up on my back, is that just when I think there’s an idea that won’t work, somebody comes up and does it. So I’d like to see you innovate that owl. And I don’t know the answer for you. But you know, zoom is a wonderful platform, I hold cocktail parties on zoom. Once every month or two, we paint along together, you know, it’s a great opportunity to communicate with people and just talk to people. And maybe, you know, if nothing else, you could just say, hey, I want to get together with some of my collectors and have you get to know each other. And you know, you don’t have to try to sell something, you know, they’re gonna appreciate you out of the goodness of your heart. So you try something like that. So you got to have a list of people that you’re going to invite, though. And that’s all about trying to build up your list. And I think that’s an important thing to be doing. List Building is probably the number one exercise that I recommend for every artist because it’s free. It doesn’t take any effort, it takes a little effort. And you know, if you get 10 or 20 names a month, you’re golden. I mean, if these are people who really are potential buyers, 10 or 20. I mean, he might not sell 10 or 20 paintings a year. So that’s a pretty cool, cool thing. So I would recommend starting with list building, and then once you’ve got a list, you know, you start getting to know your list, get them to know you and then maybe you invite them to something like this.
Eric Rhoads 1:06:18
Here’s a question from Tom Florence in Atlanta. Would it be cool if it was Tom Florence in Florence? Anyway, I digress. Tom Florence in Atlanta, Georgia asks, When do you know it’s time to copyright your art? Well, you know, there’s, I am not a lawyer. And if you scroll back, and I can’t remember the name, but if you scroll back a year or so, maybe two years ago, there’s a copyright attorney that I interviewed on the podcast, and it says that it’s about copyright. And that would be a good thing to do. I don’t, I don’t want to give legal advice. But I will tell you this that most of the artists that I know, will put a copyright signal on the front of their paintings, not all of them. But at least if not there on the back of the painting. I have a rubber stamp, if you will, that basically. I don’t know if I could pull it out of the drawer doubt but yeah, I’ll try. Where is it? I got it right here. Okay, so I have this rubber stamp, I gotta get it updated, because it says 2020 but it says B. Eric Rhoads, artists, copyright 2020, all rights reserved by EricRhoads.com. Now, the reason I do that is I stamped the back. And I kind of want to put people on notice that all rights are reserved. In other words, they can’t just because they own my painting doesn’t mean they can reproduce it. And if I have that on there, that’s a really good starting point. Now you can go through a process of copyrighting each individual painting. And you can do that online. And there’s a fee associated with it. A lot of people do it. A lot of people don’t do it. The question is, what are you trying to prevent? And I think what you’re trying to prevent is somebody lifting your image and making money on it by selling it on calendars or other such things. Now, the reality is that protecting a copyright can be expensive. You getting a copyright, a good copyright attorney can be expensive, and but it can pay volumes in protecting you down the road. Now I had a buddy, we were walking through this mall, and there’s an art gallery there that he used to be in, I walked by, and I said, Hey, stone, that art gallery says no. I said, Well, they still get your work on the wall. He said, No, they don’t have any of my work. And I said, well, let’s go in and see. So there were like, 30 of his paintings on the wall. And I and he just was crying. I said, Tell me about the artists. They said, Oh, that’s so and so they mentioned his name. And I said, Well, this is this is the artist right here. I introduced him, oh, it’s nice to meet you. Blah, blah, blah. They didn’t have any idea. They were doing anything wrong. They had bought them out of a catalogue. They had been copied somebody had. Somebody had seen him online, they copied the paintings from the pictures online. They signed his name to them, but they sell them in a catalog. So you can buy any of these paintings in their quote unquote, originals. Well, he had no idea that of course, so he was kind of stuck in. And so that becomes a problem when there are countries that are not upholding copyrights. And that’s a whole nother issue. You know, some people have been successful in fighting that some people have not. I think the question is, what’s the likelihood of somebody copying one of your images, and you have to decide from there but I do put a copyright on every one of my paintings. I sometimes I signed the front and put, you know, see, and the year and my signature, but a lot of galleries don’t want the year on the front of the painting visit the painting doesn’t sell they don’t want it to appear old. So you’re gonna have to make that decision. Anyway, that’s my thoughts on copyrights.
This has been the Marketing Minute with Eric Rhoads. You can learn more at artmarketing.com
Eric Rhoads 1:10:00
Reminders I’m going to be on every day at 12 noon on Facebook and YouTube. Just search Streamline Art Video that’s 12 noon, Eastern I interview artists and other such things. Also on everyday at 3pm. And everyday at 3pm. I’m giving you samples of the hundreds of art instruction videos that we’ve produced and that’s kind of fun. Also, Watercolor Live deadline is tonight at midnight if you’re listening to this on the 20th of January, it’s coming up at the end of the month and so you don’t want to miss it. But you could save 300 bucks if you get in before midnight tonight at watercolorlive.com. Also, Plein Air Convention we hope will happen. Valentine’s Day savings 500 bucks if you register before Valentine’s Day get that done pleinairconvention.com. It’s refundable if if we don’t hold it. All right. And also by the end of the month, you want to get registered and get your paintings entered into three or four best paintings always a good idea into the Plein Air Salon before the end of the month. If you have not seen my blog where I talked about art life and philosophy and other such things, check it out. It’s called Sunday Coffee. It comes out every Sunday for free. And you can find it at coffeewitheric.com. As always fun doing this. Let’s do it again sometime like next week. I will see you then My name is Eric Rhoads. And I’m the publisher and founder of Plein Air Magazine. That’s Rhoads. RHOA Ds with no he will say it again. So you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, RHO a DS with no E. Eric Rhoads. All right. Find us on outdoorpainter.com, remember it’s a big world out there. Go paint it we will see you soon.
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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