Meet my art business mentor...
Hey everyone. So I get a lot of questions around, you know, how to, how to teach workshops, how to like get people to come to workshops, how to do online art courses and how to create membership sites and, and build audiences of fans. Like how do you get all those people to like follow you and track your work and get into your art and your teachings? Well, you know, it all, it all comes down really what I learned to community.
And like, I swear, five years ago, I didn't know really anything about this. And so I, I asked around and, and people directed me to, to this one guy who knows more about this than anybody on the planet. Anyway, this is Nicholas Wilton at Art2Life. And I'm just super excited to share with you. Have you guys meet a really good friend. He's also my coach, a business mentor, Stu McLaren.
I I've been learning from Stu for the past five years in his, in his business mastermind. And just, it's just been a super fun ride building out Art2Life And, and so Stu thanks so much for, for, for joining me today, Dude, thank you for. for having me. And it's been amazing to watch the journey that you have been on with Art2Life.
And I think of like all of the artists that you have been reaching over the years, it's, it's amazing. And then I also know this and I want to share this with your audience because what is most telling to me of you and your heart is the way in which you gush about the people that you get to serve and their artwork and the way in which you, you know, are so proud of the progress that people are making. And it just shows like your heart and your commitment to your audience. And this is a huge reason why, in my opinion, you've seen so much success with the Art2Life community. Well, yeah. Well, thanks.
Thanks. So thanks so much. And it was cool. Just so your audience knows, you know, Stu's like brilliant business mind and and creativity and everything. But I actually, he came to one of my, I did a day long workshop, so he got to experience, what we do all the time, you know, playing with materials and actually got into it, bought a paint set.
And Totally, and I was saying like, I, I'm still trying to understand the artist's way because it was a moment everyone's going to understand. There was a moment in the workshop and, and Nicholas has got what, you know, I'm, I'm seeing this like beautiful painting and he's teaching, you know, different concepts and so forth. And all of a sudden he just dumps like a whole bunch of paint on this beautiful painting. And I'm like, no don't do that.
And it was like this moment of like, what's going on. And then, and then there was this other moment I'll never forget, like I'm working on, you know, my own piece of art that Nicholas was guiding us through. And then I was kind of stuck. Like I kind of stalled in terms of like my next steps and, and you came over and, and you, you started helping and again, you started chopping it all up and doing all these things and I'm like, what is happening? But it was an amazing experience. Cause it, it really taught me to like the importance of like letting go and getting in the moment and, and, and really like, you know, taking in and running with any ideas that are coming, even if like, you know, so often we, we put that block on it, like, Oh no, it's only, I only the good ideas.
Like I can only move forward on the good ideas. And I really learned from that whole experience was just how important all ideas are and eventually getting us to where we want to get to. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, one of the most surprising things for me in the past five years was, you know, I kind of came into this. I mean, I've been an artist my whole life and kind of, you know, know a little bit about business and promotion and stuff, you know, to get by.
But when I started learning a lot, a lot, frankly from you, I discovered that this, there were a bunch of things, that so related to art making that also were business making like they're they're so, these two worlds are not far apart, which, I mean, it's never described that way. I mean, I believe now, and this is how I sort of teach it, you know, is that like artists are particularly suited to do business, you know? Like, and, and, and so I just wanted today. You know, you've got a few minutes here. I just wanted to share with everyone here, the three things that I think were huge game-changers for me that really relate to art making, but also to business making and, and the primary one is what I teach and it's what you teach Stu, is like, you've got to be involved with something that, you know, that you're creating, whether it's a business or your art, it like has to totally matter to you. You know, you have to be, it has to be aligned and, and you know, all, everyone, all the entrepreneurs that are working with you Stu and coaching community, you know, we're all doing businesses that we really super care about. Like, no, one's just making stuff to make money.
They're doing something that they care about. And I don't know, you've always, always you just role model that. And that's, so that's, that's not what all businesses I know, but can you just hit that a little bit because it's so cool. I think, you know, people feel it, you know, just like an art, like when somebody pours their heart and soul into a piece of art, you can feel it.
And there's, it's hard to describe, like, it kind of connects on a deeper subconscious level, but like when you come across an amazing piece of art, you there's emotions that get, you know, evoked from that piece of art. And I, and I believe, and I don't know what feelings are on this Nicholas, but like when you are, you know, connected and you have that passion, you know, it comes across in the work that you produce. And the same is true for business. Like, you know, when you're in it, because it's, you're deeply connected to it at a, at a, at that deep rooted level, people pick up on it, they can feel that energy.
And, and so I'll give you an example. Like, I was just recently chatting with someone about how initially, like, when I got started in business, it's because I, you know, it's for all the things that I didn't want to do. Like, I didn't want to go down the corporate path. I didn't want to be stuck in a cubicle.
I didn't want to wear a shirt and tie. Like I got into business for myself because of the things that I didn't want in my life. And then, you know, you evolve and I think it's a lot like an artist like you evolve.
And, you know, for me, my reasons changed, you know, when I began my family, like with my, you know, now my, my two kids and my beautiful wife, Amy, like my reasons changed. And then, and now even they've changed even further. They've just gone to another level because now I'm, I'm so deeply connected for me to the ripple effect of what it is that we get to do. And, and that's, you know, guaranteed, like when I'm having a bad day, I just need to read the stories of the people in our community. And it immediately turns everything around.
And that shows me like, why, why I do what I do. And I just think like, whether we're, you know, creating an amazing piece of art or whether we're creating an amazing business, both are canvases, and when we show up and we're passionate about it, and it's deeply connected to who we are, it shows up in our art and in the way in which we do business. Yeah. Yeah. absolutely like getting that as soon as you can, you know, like just focusing and learning how to get your art, like you, so it's personal. So it is you, and then it's unique and that's, that's a huge game changer for sales, for people connecting to it because they know you and they want more all of that.
But you're, you're touching on this second point Stu, which is something that just the last couple of years that I've, I've learned from you and this, that idea of, you know, when you have, because it's yours and you truly care about this thing, you're making that if you can learn to be, you know, step out a little bit and, and show your enthusiasm about it, share your excitement about it. I mean, seriously, that's what people are buying, right. And, and same thing with art, you know, just being able to like post it and talk about it. And that's what people want in their homes. They want to connect to that.
And I remember you talking about this a lot, especially around, you know, marketing courses and things, you know, not selling from your heels, but just sharing with people because it is so great. It's, you know, You know, what's interesting about this too, Nicholas, like for a long time, I was learning from so many different mentors and I'm so grateful for what I've learned from them, but there was also a part of me that was like trying to be them. And, and there was, it was like misalignment, you know? And, and so, and when it's misaligned like that, whether consciously or subconsciously people can feel it, you know, and, and there was this moment, I'll never forget it. It was like, I was about to speak in front of an audience. And I had been, you know, under the tutelage, so to speak of one of my mentors who delivered presentations in a particular way.
And, and I had tried to learn his methodologies and there was so much that I learned and picked up on. But, you know, at the end of the day, like when I delivered presentations, I was trying to be him. And, and it wasn't me. Like, I'm not, I'm not him. I I'm me.
And I remember literally like an hour before I'm about to deliver this presentation. I was getting all twisted up inside and I could feel like the anxiety bubbling up because I knew I was about to go deliver a presentation in a way that wasn't authentic to who I was. And I was, I was scared about that. And so I remember calling a friend of mine, Victoria Labalme and I just said, like, what do I do in this moment? Like really coach me through.
She just said, just, just be you like, forget, like what you're supposed to do, but just lean into who you are. And, and I'm, I'm a geek at heart. I've got, you know, weird janky sayings and I've, I love to have fun and I'm silly. And I was always afraid to bring that out.
And I was afraid that people, you know, that I'd be perceived as unprofessional or people wouldn't want to do business with me so forth. What was fascinating was like at that event, I remember I was taking questions from the audience and one woman stood up. You you'll know who, who these women are in a minute, but one woman stood up and I couldn't quite see everything because it was, the lights were bright, but I, I put my hands like this and I could kind of see she had like a, a blue shirt and with something on it. But anyway, so she asked her question and then the next person got stood up and asked a question and same sort of thing I could kind of see.
And it, it almost looked like she was wearing the same shirt and these two women, by the way, were our friends, Shanna and Jamie. And so I said, wait a minute. I said, what are you, what are you wearing the same shirt as, as Jamie? And she said, yes. And then all of a sudden, like 12 people in the audience stood up and they were all wearing the same shirt, which was a shirt of my face with all of my silly sayings on it.
And I was just like, what is happening here? And that was the moment. That was the moment that I realized, like, I, I could be me and people appreciate those, those qualities and those characters, it may not be right for everybody, but for the people that it is right, it's going to be so much easier to attract those people. I just show up in that way. And so that was a big moment for me in business. And, and I, I learned from you and artists, the same thing, it's, you know, it's the same thing.
Like in the beginning, we may be trying to model another, you know, artist's technique, but the sooner that we can just learn to take from the technique, but, you know, begin to lean into our own style, our own approach, that's when the magic begins to happen. Yeah. absolutely. That, that is, it's so parallel and it's so much easier by the way, you know, being, you actually is like, you already have that, you know, it takes a little getting familiar with it if you've been being other people for a long time, but it is, it is just, it's almost calming, you know, to just rest in, in who you are and just trusting that, you know what I mean, in your mark making in, in, in how you talk about your work, all of that, you know, and that's, that's really the angle which I teach other artists. Stu you know, like, this is the whole thing from the CVC thing to the, you know, the artist statement, it's like, it's, it's personal as possible. And Nicholas, one thing that, sorry, one thing that you said, which I think is really important, many times we discount, like all the things that we are thinking and the feeling and, and the thought that's going into creating the thing that we're creating. Right. And one of the things that I know from business
is that in the consumer's minds, the value goes up when they know the story and the history, and what goes into making the thing. And especially with art, like I have told you this, I don't know how many times, but I can sit there and watch you paint for hours on end, because you see like, you know, the, the thought and the, in the creativity and the experimentation and the process of producing this final artwork, which only increases the appreciation for what is created in the end. And so to document it, to share that process and to, to share like what's going through your mind and where the ideas are coming from and what you're trying with them, what's working, what's not people appreciate that.
And it actually increases the value of what you ultimately produce in the end. Right. Right. And, and, you know, you were saying like, you're kind of quirky or whatever, but because you're sharing that and, and you're being you, that starts attracting a certain kind of person.
And then there's lots of people. I mean, there's a lot of people in the world and, and this kind of relates to this third thing that's so important, which is community, right. You know, like, and, and how you build that.
And one of the ways is putting out what, who you are and what you stand for and what your arts like, and all of that. And that attracts more people like that. And that's, and, and you're, you're giving something of yourself.
And then that brings in more people. And that is, that's how, you know, you're giving something to this community that it's growing and you're helping them. You're inspiring them. You're creating wonder for them, you know, like we are servicing the world as artists, you know, and if you're interested in, in, you know, how do you build that? You know, how do you have more Instagram followers or more, I mean, that's what people are doing. They're just all on the, on the ride with you, you know, that's such a, and that's where, that's your sweet spot, you know? Yeah. Well,
listen, the, the journey is so much more fun when you have people to share it with. And I just think like many times in business, we're so afraid to stand for something that we end up not standing for anything. We're, we're so afraid to that to show our passion for something. Cause you know, we're afraid of being judged or what have you. And I'm here to tell you, like in business and, and I'm sure it's the same way in art and, and Nicholas, this is what I, I believe you're saying here is that like, when you take a stand, when you show up, when you are passionate for different reasons, that's the thing that's going to attract the very people that you want to serve.
And it's almost like you're giving voice for all those people who are thinking and feeling the same thing. So they're like, yes, yes, yes. They're saying this in their minds and they're naturally drawn to you.
And so the more you can identify, what are the things that you believe in the things that you're passionate about, the things that you stand for, the more you can identify those things and, and, and give voice to them, both in the things that you say and the things that you do, but also the things that you produce, the more you will attract, the very people that you want to serve. When you try to please everyone, you not, you end up not pleasing anybody. So it's so much easier to just be you and to amplify the things that you are passionate about, the things that you do believe in the things that you do value and bring that into all the things that you are producing in your artwork, because it's gonna, it's going to attract those you want to serve.
So well, you guys, you know, we can go on and on here. And, but I just wanted to like give you a glimpse into some of the influences I've had and you can see how it relates. If you guys, you know, you've been following me some time, some of you are in here, but how I teach and all, a lot of the principles of, of what I'm showing and sharing have come, come through Stu. So it's just, it's really cool. But listen, for those of you are interested, you know, in, in sort of rockingthis business stuff, I've got a couple friends, artists who are also in this mastermind with, with me and about 20 other entrepreneurs, we've been at for a few years together, it's Stu's mastermind, and we're going to have a live kind of conversation that, if for those of you are interested, you could click on the link below and join us in that Stu's going to, we're going to do this next week. There's info at the link below.
But I think you'll find it really interesting because we've got, you know, there's folk artists that are selling, they're selling their work. They're building, building membership sites. There's all kinds of things you can kind of do when you start understanding these principles. And, and I don't want to leave here also without just saying that, you know, Stu has this, he at once a year, he has a training and that's going to be coming up on Thursday, April 22nd. And it's all about building community memberships, membership businesses.
And it's, it's amazing. It's a huge thing, but you know, I'll have info on that. But if you want to come and check out this call, I think you would really get a lot out of it.
So anyway, am I missing anything Stu any key information here? Well, first and foremost, here's what I would say. Like as artists, you're producing amazing work. And when you can build a business around the work that you're producing, you're able to impact so many more people. You're able to get your artwork in front of so many more people. That's what this is about.
Like when you have those resources to be able to get your work out into the hands of those who appreciate it, that's why we do what we do. And when you've got a business that can fuel that, it makes everything easier. And, and that's what we're going to chat about. We're going to chat about it like in the round table. And we're 100% going to talk about it during the free workshop to come and join us, by the way that's on April 22nd.
I highly recommend it because there I go every year, you guys, I go every year and there's always stuff to learn. It's really amazing. And, and here's the thing about this, Nicholas, this is probably for me, one of the highlights of the work that we get to do, I, the, the people who are thriving the most right now, our creatives are and these creatives. Like I can, I can name a whole bunch of painters. People who have people teaching how to paint decorative door hangers, how to paint decorative signs, how to do fine art, like Surface patterns, Bonnie does surface patterns. huge Surface pattern like cartooning, like all kinds of art.
And, and this is what's so fun because the old myth of like you know the artists is the starving artists. It's just, it's just not true anymore. Like it, and it's so amazing to watch because now, like artists are thriving. This is the time for artists. And this is the time when you acquire and learn these skills to get what you have in front of a whole lot more people. And it's like this whole circle of awesomeness where you're able to do more of the work that you you're able to serve more of the people that you love to serve.
And everybody wins in this process. When you learn these skills, that's what we're going to talk about during the free workshop that we host one time of year, April 22nd. And in the meantime, I encourage you to come and join the conversation that Nicholas and I will have with Emily and Bonnie, hopefully can all join us. And, and, and this is where we'll just jam. We'll talk about this transformation and this journey of becoming a great artist and a great business person.
Dude. It's so great to talk to you. Thanks so much for jumping in here. It's, I've wanted to do this for so long, and I've had so many questions. I'm just really psyched. You got to everyone got to meet you. So thanks.
Well, thank you for having me buddy. And listen, I just, I love you. I love what you do.
I love the way in which you show up and I love the way in which you serve. And, you know, it's so fun to watch the ripple effect that you're having with so many people. And so I just want to encourage wherever you're watching this, like send Nicholas, sent his team a thank you and just shower them with love because they pour so much heart, energy and effort behind the scenes to, to support all of you. And like I said, from the get-go, they are, you know, Nicholas has always gushing about the progress that all of you are making and he really does genuinely care.
So send them some love, give them some high fives wherever you're watching this and, and show up for him. But thank you Nicholas, for having me. Thank you for sharing. And I look forward to our upcoming conversations. It sounds good. Okay. Thanks.
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Let's do this.