[caption id="attachment_302" align="alignleft" width="287" caption="Artist Ann Rea"][/caption] My collectors often ask how much time I spend engaged in my company’s sales, marketing, and administrative work. I would estimate that I spend about 50%-80% of my time. Not so romantic, but it's vitally necessary. The good news is that I don’t mind it. Many years in the corporate cubicle trained me for it. And its what I must do if I want to build the Ann Rea, Inc., brand so that I can spend more time painting. Of course, most, if not all, of my collectors own their own businesses or they certainly work, so we can relate on that level. I’m also asked “Would I rather be painting?” The answer is, not necessarily. I enjoy business and I particularly enjoy marketing strategy. Again it’s not an either or proposition. But yes, when I do paint its like entering another realm. The time flies, I’m relaxed and engaged in an entirely different and purely creative way. My thoughts are focused; I’m peaceful and emotionally responsive. The skills and experience I’m drawing on and developing are entirely different. A friend of mine who is an experienced astrologer completed my chart. She said that astrologically I would walk this life with two different personalities. Others seem to think this is true. I remember being introduced to my friend Paul Kelly at a business-networking meeting. Paul is an accomplished architect in Napa Valley. He was later asked if he enjoyed meeting Ann Rea the artist. He couldn’t believe that I was a fine artist. He couldn’t put two and two together. The Ann that he met didn’t seem at all like a painter. Now he knows that I am and we hope to be working together on a restaurant project in Napa. The good news is that over the past four years my annrea.com sales have averaged about 8% of my total sales. These sales are the easiest and most profitable transactions. But in 2009, that number jumped to 27%. What does that mean? I have more time to paint. And I’m very happy about that.