10,000 hours theory. When I wrote about it six months before Outliers came out, I called it the 14,600 hours to virtuosity.
Then Gladwell’s great book arrived, everyone started talking about 10k hours, and I thought, “Awesome. Now we can all save 4,600 hours!”
Anyway, the secret connection between art and money involves working hard on the same thing for a long time.
There you go! Get to work. By the time evening rolls around, only 9,992 hours will remain.
The other secret is that you can waste a lot of time doing ineffective things. Nothing can replace hard work, but it’s good to know that you’re working hard on the things that work. With that in mind, I started working on a project a couple months ago that would clearly show the right kind of work that artists can do to make more money.
Yes, money. I’ve noticed that some artists have a hard time talking about money. What’s up with that?
I know that not every artist wants to support themselves from their work, and that’s totally cool. The problem is that many do, but don’t know where to begin. It’s kind of like real jobs – not all real jobs suck, but many of them do. I’m interested in helping the people who want to escape, not those who already have a great job that they love.
When it comes to artists, I’m interested in helping those who want to get paid for the great work they do. Working with a great coauthor, I recruited a number of successful, working artists and asked them to share what they do and how they make it work.
Several of them gave specific numbers about how much money they make and how they make it. Others talked about etsy, ebay, and all of the other web sites you can sell your work on, which ones are worth your time and which ones will get you nowhere.
Almost all of them talked about social networking and building a community to support their artwork – whether it’s painting, drawing, crafting, writing, or something else.
More about that tomorrow, but for now, my big thanks to the artists who participated in this project. I’ve listed most of them below (a couple of them requested witness-protection-program anonymity). Check out their sites, follow them on Twitter, watch what they’re doing. If you’re an artist, you’ll learn from them.
Karen Walrond (USA via Trinidad and Tobago)
Michael Nobbs (Wales)
Leah Piken Kolidas (USA)
Hazel Dooney (Australia)
Dan Duhrkoop (USA)
Sandra Miller (USA)
Shannon Okey (USA)
Joseph Szymanski (USA)
Essential Prose. She’s also on Twitter as – what else – zoëwesthof. Zoë conducted the interviews and wrote most of the accompanying manual. It’s a good thing, because if you were waiting for me, you’d be waiting a long time.
So, about the Unconventional Guide to Art and Money. It’s actually more than a guide. It’s 51 pages of text and 200 minutes of audio. You’ll also get an additional 50 pages of transcripts from the interviews, just in case you’d rather read.
It’s a clear value, one low price for a “Starving Artist” version and another for the “Picasso” version. I had a big pricing complex over this one, but in the end I decided to keep with the same budget pricing I’ve been using for my other products. I reserve the right to increase it in the future, but I’ll let you know before that happens.
Like everything I produce, this isn’t for everyone. I’ve tried to be clear about that, but I also like to overcommunicate. Here’s how I see the target market –
Who It’s For: Artists of all kinds who want to achieve greater independence through relationship-based sales.
Who It’s Not For: Non-artists, anyone who doesn’t like the internet, or anyone looking for the “real” secret with no hard work.
Also, this product won’t make anyone a better artist, technically speaking. It will help artists build a community and connect with people interested in supporting their work. For technical training, look elsewhere, since I don’t even know how to hold a paintbrush.
Art and Money will launch Thursday morning, 12pm EST / 9am PST. Check in tomorrow and you’ll see it here.
Thanks again to the cool artists who helped Zoë and me make this great. I really appreciate their willingness to share what they know.
Pallette Image by SeenyaRita