Artist Ann Rea
Thinking Bigger
orionfull_jcc_bigYou are what you think about”. I’m not sure who to credit this statement of truth but I remind myself of it often.  In order to imagine painting for a living I had to think big, much bigger than I had been thinking throughout my life while I was working away in a cubicle.  And as I continued to look at the stars, think big, and succeed at making these big thoughts into my reality I noticed that the people in my life fell into two camps.  There where those who thought that I was unrealistic or who plainly ignored me when I shared my victories, literally changing the subject, most often to themselves.  Then there where those who cheered my on, and who at times, would hold even more of a belief in my big ideas than I did. Over the past five years I’ve watched a whole group of small thinkers fade out of my life and a whole group of big thinkers step in.  In fact, they are still showing up.  Bob Proctor who is a personal development guru, and has worked with the likes of Ellen DeGeneres. David Mathison who is a thought leader in the renaissance of new media. Jonathan Fields, author of Career Renegade, to name a few. And lesser known names, but no less important, who are definitely big thinkers and who are leading change, imagining new frontiers, and who I appreciate knowing. I’m quite sure that it’s thinking bigger that has allowed my path to cross with big thinkers.  I can remember Bob Proctor saying, "I really don't like small talk, I like big talk." Although on one level its sad to see some people fade out my life, I recognize that rarely does anyone stay in your life forever, that nothing is permanent, and it’s often for the best because it makes room for people who are positive influences.
Reaching my Audience, my Collectors
[caption id="attachment_302" align="alignleft" width="287" caption="Artist Ann Rea"]Artist Ann Rea[/caption] This Saturday I attended the “Get Published!” conference sponsored by the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association in Marin, California.  There where a number of inspiring speakers but one in particular drew my attention. David Mathison, author of “Be the Media”, began his presentation talking about the dwindling six major publishing houses and the troubles that they’re facing because of the fundamental shift in the publishing market.  “They’re like the Titanic. They can’t turn around.” The opportunity to publish is no longer just in the hands of a few select publishers; it’s in the hands of the nimble artists.  The market is moving away from a scarce model of a powerful few and placing that power into the hands of a number of independent artists, including authors, musicians, and film producers.  More specifically, the power belongs to those with creative capital who effectively leverage relatively easy and free access to their audience through new media. David Mathison intoned “Don’t chase the media, be the media.” And the artists who take the initiative to craft a meaningful message and engage their audience can do this.  I have and I will.  My website sales averaged 8% of my overall income in the past four years.  In 2009, that number jumped to 27%. This is exciting stuff.  A revolution is a foot.  And for those artists who recognize the creative capital that they hold in their hands and who are willing to do some left-brain thinking, they will rule the world.  This is also according to Daniel Pink, author of a Whole New Mind, about the current conceptual economy. I would argue that fine artists are the last in this line to catch on to the good news.  But it makes no difference.  The internet gives us marketing tools that are available to most everyone at any time, at a relatively low cost.  I mentioned this to David Mathison and he offered to interview me on his radio show.  That proved my motto, “asking is free.” What does this all really mean to fine artist like myself?  The playing field is being leveled and artists do not have to chase a scarcity model of gallery representation.   I can be the media and reach my audience, my collectors.