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Inge Flinte’s art sells faster than she can produce it — here’s how it happened

By Jessica Craddock

Jan 27
Jessica: I'm here with my friend, Inge Flint. She is a beautiful, beautiful painter who does a lot of abstract landscapes and colorful shapes. And I'm sure you've seen her work on Instagram because, it's everywhere and it's gorgeous. And you should, if you haven't. Inge, how are you?

Inge: Good, that was so nice. It's always weird to hear someone introduce you because it's so much nicer. It sounds you know, better than I really actually am.

Jessica: No, we're just always nicer to other people than we are to ourselves.

Inge: Exactly.

Jessica: I think that is how that actually goes. But I asked Inge here today, because I have been doing this series called the Artist Success Interview Series. And, essentially, the point of it is to help you find the belief in yourself that this art business that you are, you are making, or that you are wanting to create is something that is actually viable, doable, completely possible.

And so I'm bringing you the proof from other people outside of yourself to show you how they're doing it, what's working for them, et cetera, et cetera. Inge, anything you want to add to that?

Inge: No, I think, I just think that was, nice. I don't think I have anything to add to that.

Jessica: Sure you do. Okay. So I'll start off with a couple of questions, because that is always very helpful to have something to work off of. I ask the same three questions in every single interview, so if you like this one, go watch some of the others.


Biggest Mindset Shift

Jessica: All right. First question, Inge. What has been the biggest mindset shift you needed in order to get where you are now?

Inge: Wow. There's a story, so the short answer is like you know, basically believing that my art was worthwhile to sell. And it happened and it wasn't because I, I sat down and, you know, did meditations and, you know, thought really hard.

Like I wish I could say, yeah, it was all me. No it was not me at all. So, my friend was starting a gallery and she was like, I want to stock some of your work. I love your work. Can I do it? And I was like, sure, I'll just send that over. And I sent over a box and I was like, do you know what it is?

It probably won't sell, but it's nice that it's gone. And, you know, she can just do something with that. And I think we, sold... she just, it just sold really quickly and was like, what, you know, what, what and so I kept sending her more work and it kept selling. And so in a way that's kind of what started us like, oh, people want to buy my work.

And I was like, that's just really weird. I never thought that was possible kind of thing. So that's because someone else believed in me then I could like in turn believe in myself more I suppose.

Jessica: I wish that I could say that happens that way for everyone. But I'd say that's one of the more rare instances that I've heard that someone else was able to prove it to you.

So glad it happened that way for you.

Inge: It is weird. And I'm lucky to have friends who, kept like literally just gone out of the way from me.

Jessica: Yeah. That's amazing.

But I bet you also are an amazing friend. I know that you are because I know your personality and I know the love that you have in your heart for other people.

So it's not all coming from there. You are giving as well. And that's one of the things I'm sure that helped make that happen. But I wanted to point out that you said that you had someone around you who believed in you so strongly, and that's really, that's an important part of the equation as well, to help you move through that faster.

If you're surrounding yourself with people who don't really think you can do it and are like, Hmm. You know, that's cute, good luck with that little project you've got going over there... probably not going to have much success, but if you find people who think that you are amazing and probably you were telling them, they're amazing back, and you're just giving the love, that's going to be a really helpful tool.

Biggest Practical Action Step

Jessica: Looking for my next question. What's the one practical step that you've taken that has gotten you the furthest?

Inge: I feel like I've learned this one from you and it's really short, but I stop thinking and just do it.

Jessica: Yes. So easy to say.

Inge: Yeah, I know. And it's so hard to do because, I have so many things like literally floating in my head, like I could do this or this. I've got you know, like probably every creative, like about a billion ideas, and how many of them I actually act on is a very, very small percentage. So, you know, I think after talking to you a lot and I realized I just actually have to stop thinking and just, just do it.

What was it, you told me like, count to five then do it?

Jessica: Can you give me an example of something that you have stopped thinking about and just done it?

Inge: Well, one of the things, I'm still working on it, is remember how we were talking about doing a pseudo commission series of landscapes, and so getting people to send in photos, cause sometimes I run out of photos or it's interesting to see other people's special places.

And so I got people to send in photos of their special place that, that is home to them. And so I'm in the middle of painting them and like the stories are so special. And it's been really interesting because, I'm not done with the source material people had sent me. And they're not ones I would have automatically chosen to paint myself.

I'd be like, no, that's not the format that I paint in.

I would just look for another. But again, it's been really interesting to do it because I've had to like, broaden my skillset a lot. So yeah, so I think I was talking to you and you're like, Hey, just go and announce it and do it.

So I've made a landing page and I just, I announced it and people came, so I feel like maybe, maybe next year, I'll just grow that to being a commission based service that I provide, but it's been really fun and it's been really interesting to just paint things in a different way and push out the style and the technique in a way that I wouldn't have done naturally on my own.

Jessica: Yeah. There's always unintended consequences of having an idea and then actually doing it. So you probably, this was awhile ago when we were talking about doing it, but I think the point was to give people an easier step to purchasing. But the consequence was that you were pushing yourself as an artist and growing in ways that you might not have before, which is only going to lead to more amazing things for you.

So sometimes, almost always, getting stuck in our heads instead of following those urges is the thing that is keeping us stuck.

Inge: Yeah. Such a trap like and I suppose after doing that, I feel like, oh yeah, I'm going to go do this, and then I'm going to go and do that, and I'm going to go do that as well.

So it feels nice to actually want to bring these into fruition, I suppose.

Jessica: Yeah. I think the coolest thing about it personally is because you are an artist. You create things out of nothing, and this is just the business side of that. You are having an idea, you're having some inspiration and then you were going and creating it out of nothing, just like you would a piece of art.

And it's when you take on that sort of energy that the marketing and the business side of things can become fun.

Inge: And it feels like, you know, the art starts to dictate the marketing, if that makes sense, and for me, that's fun because it feels more organic in that regard.

Yeah, making it, not, not thinking of the business first, just thinking of what I'd like to do and be. And then you're doing it. And then thinking, I don't know, that's probably not the way most people do it, but I enjoy things when it's an organic, it feels like an organic process rather than something that I've contrived to sell work.

I'm not interested in, in doing that. I just want to see where the path will leave me and then and then go from there, I suppose. Yeah.

Jessica: Beautiful. I love that, and I think they feed each other. Like I think the art feeds the, the marketing path feeds the art and it all becomes one instead of being separate, which is, I think, where it gets tricky. Not tricky.

Tricky is not the right word, but just stuffy or you said organic so we can go with inorganic. Yeah, and it all comes from a place of what do I want to create? I think that's where you start. What do I want to create? How does all of it go together? Just what you're doing.

Inge: No, I really love the way you put that.

I think I'm going to, I'm going to need to write that down. Yeah.

Jessica: Well you can rewatch You got it.

Inge: I don't want to rewatch it, because sometimes, you know, you hear your own voice and think I sound like that? I'm like, is that what I really looked like? I just know I can't deal with it, you know? No, you probably don't.

Jessica: No, I do. I do. I don't watch my own videos again, if I can help it.

Inge: Yeah, like I did a YouTube. It was like a gallery, like an artist's talk with a gallery and I, I just not going to watch that again.

Jessica: That's okay. You put it out there.

Inge: I don't even think I'm going to put it out. I'm just like, you know what, I'm going to bury this. I don't think I did a very good job. Please bury it in the back yard and kind of killing it. Maybe I shouldn't, I don't know, but that would require me to rewatch it, to decide whether I'm going to bury it or not.

Like my friend was watching it. Like it was good. And I was like, yeah, I think you're just being nice to me.

Jessica: Have someone who's not your friend watch it because, then you'll know that they're not lying. But also I'm going to give you an example real quick, a couple of these interviews that I've done, I go oooh I don't know how that went. Was that good? Will people watch that? I don't know. But then I put them out and I just get a flood of emails that say I'm going to watch that over and over. It was so inspiring. Thanks for putting that out. That person is so amazing. They weren't ever talking about me by the way, you're talking about the other person.

But the point that I was trying to make was it's always better than you think it is in your head. We get in our heads. This is, this is the problem. It's the same with the same with thinking. This is crap. This is rubbish. This is, and then and then if you put it in a different context than you put in a you're like, oh, oh, it's actually okay.

Inge: It's just, you're too much in your own head to conceive it properly.

Jessica: Yeah. That's part of, that's part of just doing it is staying out of here, which is easier said than done. All right. Number three.

Advice for someone who isn't sure they have what it takes

Jessica: What advice do you have for someone who isn't sure that they have what it takes to get to that next level, whether that is reaching out to a gallery or actually being able to sell things consistently or whatever that level is for them?

Inge: I suppose I don't know if this is the right response, but for me, it's you know, if you look on Instagram, there's a lot of ability to just to compete other people go, this person's doing this, or this person is doing that. Or there's a certain kind of speed that it seems to run it, which is like hyper speed.

So I feel like what we don't say enough is you know, you can do it at your own pace and it doesn't all have to happen now, or in three months. It can happen like within, you know, give yourself five years, and you don't have to hurry. And it doesn't mean before don't go and do things, but you don't have to move as quickly as maybe you think you have to, I suppose. I feel like I just started painting in 2015 when my daughter was born, and it was just like really on a whim. I just saw the hundred day project on Instagram, and I was like, oh, that looks fun.

And I was like, I had been doing some painting stops or like we were planning on doing painting stops with two of my other friends, and we never did it and I totally always overthink it.

And then, so when I just started this and it was just amazing to see how much growth I could have in hundred days. And also just watching, you know, over the years, how it's just every year, it's slowly grown. And I know that I could do things quicker, but it's actually nice to not have to run all the time.

You can just go, actually, you can do it at your own pace. It's so easy to be influenced, I think, by what everyone's doing on social media, that it's okay to just take baby steps You know, obviously, it takes steps but it doesn't have to be super quick all the time. Yeah.

Jessica: No, it doesn't, but I will also say don't not do things, which you did say, but I'm just reemphasizing. Don't make excuses to not do things.

Inge: Yeah. It's not an excuse thing, but it's not having to be, you know, it's an easy. Oh, I should be, I should, I should already be doing this and I should this person's doing this.

And then, oh my gosh, do I need to make Christmas ornaments? I'm like, so you just figure out what you want to do. No.

Jessica: Don't, don't do all that. Unless, you really want to, if that's the thing you want.

Inge: But the thing is now that I live in the states, I'm like, oh, there are some really cute ornaments. Cause usually I like to go out and buy a couple of, I bought some like Australian animals last year.

And so we've got, and they're made from softables and they're really cute. But, you know, it's nice to buy some personalized and I'm like, oh, now that I live here, it's actually easy to get them sent to you, rather than if I was in Australia or New Zealand. It's like well, will they get here before Christmas?

Nobody knows. So, yeah. I forgot what I was gonna say, which is probably a good thing.

Jessica: I don't know. It doesn't matter. I want to show your Instagram real quick because it's so beautiful. Look how beautiful she is. Thinking without talking, this is her handle. We were just discussing whether or not she should change it to her name. I don't know. So if you can't find thinking without talking at some point, look up Inge Flint. I'm not even going to try to pronounce your middle name. Is that your middle name?

Inge: Yeah. It's Sachiyo.

Jessica: Sachiyo. See I would have gotten it right! I should have tried it.

Inge: I think that the reason why I don't actually use my name a lot is because it's for most people they go, I don't know how to pronounce that. Yeah, so that's why I often don't because there'll be like Ng, Ngee and I'm like, you know, yeah and a whole lot, like a hundred other variations. So I think maybe I just make it easy and not use my name, because it's not always the most pronounceable or to figure out, I suppose.

Jessica: Well, let's do that together.

I had to practice. I'll be honest. When Inge and I first started working together, she voice messaged me. I hate to tell you this, but you're saying my name wrong, and I was like, crap. So I started practicing. It took me a while.

Inge: Oh, okay. I know because it's a German name and it's made to be Inge, but when I was five and starting school, I realized that no one would be able to pronounce it, but it was a famous rugby player. Uh, and he was Samoan and his name was Va'aiga Tuigamala, but everyone called him Inge the Winger. So I could easily say to people, oh, it's Inge like Inge the Winger, and they're like, oh yeah. And they're like, okay, I've got you. So I don't know how I worked that out of five, but at five I was like, this isn't going to work the way my parents pronounce it. This is not going to work for New Zealand context. Let's, let's shift this, shall we?

Jessica: I think you should still do it. I think I would remember that. I have a friend named Evy who, when I met, I called her Evie, but she said, no, it's Evy like Chevy, and I could never forget that.

Inge: Yep. It's exactly like that. Except if you go to like places in the UK, they're like Inge the Winger, cause they say, yeah, so I'm like, okay. It's all right.

Jessica: Anyway, if you want to go follow her on Instagram, I highly recommend you do. Her captions are beautiful as well. Backslash, Thinking Without Talking, right?

Inge: Yep.

Jessica: Do that right?

Inge: Yep.

Jessica: That's Thinking Without Talking. Okay. Thank you, Inge. I appreciate you for coming.

Inge: Thank you.

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About the Author

I teach intuitive artist entrepreneurs practical and energetic strategies to create consistent income and life balance.

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