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In this episode... "I want to explore more paths as a working artist. Should I teach art?" - Mindy McClendon
Danica Factor is an acrylic artist who paints mostly florals with rich colors to create a joyful feeling in your soul.
Danica started painting as a therapeutic outlet from around 2018 to 2021 and discovered that it made people feel happy and joyful. She has had great success connecting with buyers at art shows, but has found it difficult to make the same type of connections with her Instagram audience.
Sharing her background and what drove her to become an artist allows others to connect with Danica on a very personal level. As a result, she has decided the time is right to share her vulnerability and find her fellowship in the digital space, but she just doesn’t know where to start.
Listen in as I coach Danica on how to talk about her story in a way that people can relate to, making them want to stay on the journey with her.
Key takeaways from this episode:
- Identify where existing buyers are connecting with you. (00:02:23)
- Identify what your values are in relation to the roadblock you are facing. (00:08:29)
- Don’t be afraid to tell your story over and over again. (00:12:10)
- Find multiple phrases that share your message with the world. (00:15:54)
- Remember that your story creates your brand. (00:18:19)
- Your truth will help you find the people who lift you up. (00:23:07)
Resources and links mentioned:
- Connect with Danica on Instagram @danicafactorart
- Shop Danica's beautiful selection of artwork on her website, www.DanicaFactorArt.com
- Want to be a podcast guest for Season 3 of Intuitive Art Sales? If you're interested in finding out more about being a guest: Fill out an application here OR email me your questions at email@example.com
- For information on working with Jessica, send your questions/thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about selling your art:
- For more practical and energetic strategies to create consistent income and life balance, follow Jessica on Instagram @artistmarketco
- Would you like to know where to spend your time in order to create consistent sales, without letting it take over your life? Awesome! Grab your free training, "The Artist's Day" here: https://theartistmarket.co/
- Sign up for the 7- day FREE trial of my Consistent Income for Artists program here.
Jessica Craddock: I am here with Ms. Danica Factor, who is an acrylic artist. She paints mostly floral with rich colors to create a joyful feeling in your soul. It's quite nice. I love that. She started painting as a therapeutic outlet from around 2018 to 2021 and discovered through having friends in her house, that it made people feel happy and joyful.
So she opened up an Instagram account and now she is selling in shows, but she's having a hard time connecting with people. Digitally, which is pretty common at the phase in business that you are in, and she's hoping to start replacing her corporate income. So that's where we are today.
How are you?
Danica Factor: Thank you. I'm so good. I'm so excited to talk to you today.
Jessica Craddock: I'm so excited too. I think this is gonna be a really great episode. I know just a little sneak peek of what's going on because I have everybody fill out a little application. So she's kind of told me a little bit about what's going on already.
But normally I like to start with, where are you today and where do you want to go? I feel like we covered that pretty good right there in that intro. And I kind of already know what your question is, and there's a couple of different ways that I might wanna go with it. So would you just mind kind of sharing where you're at and what you're wanting help with?
Danica Factor: Yeah, absolutely. So I think in my art journey I've gone through this phase of really learning the art, learning how to put the emotion on the canvas, and also kind of finding your buyer, you know, the person that really gets joyful from your art. . Now the challenge for me, I think, is when I go to these art fairs, I'm getting, you know, lots of good revenue.
I'm meeting a lot of good people that enjoy the art, but now it's really almost about how do I now shift into the digital space, right? You can only go to so many art shows to connect with your audience. So how do I really move into the digital space? And then I think the other side of it is, how do I bring those people that were in those art shows that loved my art and purchased my art to now I call it a fellowship, right?
They want to watch everything you do, and they're excited about your art. And they want to come back for more. And so I think that's the stage I'm really at, is how to drive digital business and then how to drive repeat business.
Jessica Craddock: Hmm.
Jessica Craddock: Those are similar, different questions. So where do I want to start? Actually, I want to start by answering your question with a question. In those spaces where it worked really well for you, where you found people who connected with what you were doing and started to become a part of that fellowship, but now you want to bring them further,
How did you make that initial connection in the first place? What happened to make that happen?
Danica Factor: So, when you see my setups, you really see the color and the emotion, like immediately, like it grabs you. So what I notice is people that love my art or like my art will stop and they just, it's like they're taking it all in.
And then I use that as a point to say hello and introduce myself and try to learn a little bit about that person. And it's really about engaging in the conversation, and then it usually comes into, they ask why I do the art. And I think that's where that piece really changes for this fellowship is, as I talk about my background and what drove me to do art, they can connect very quickly to it and to a lot of their own experiences.
So that's usually how the purchase really happens, right? Because now they're going, oh, I, I've had that happen to me, right? Or I've experienced that. I'm a mom too. So they take that art with them as a place of a way to remember that emotion that they were feeling. That's how it usually comes into the purchase.
Jessica Craddock: Are you open to going down that rabbit hole some more like talking about what that experience is and why they connect to it, or would you rather pivot a little bit?
Danica Factor: Yeah, I can share. I can definitely share. So you shared that I started art in 2018. I was living in New Jersey and moved back to my childhood like area, so I was very close to where I was raised as a child.
And I was really put in front of the emotional abuse and control that I went through as a child very quickly. Right. Like everything came flooding back of this is how you were raised, this is what you experienced. And it was a really confusing time because I was a new mom, I had an amazing husband, a great corporate life, and so I was going through anxiety and depression and was like, why?
Why now? Right? This doesn't make sense. Everything's great. And so I started seeing a therapist and I couldn't get my words out. I couldn't get out what I was feeling. And so she said, you know, do you like art? And I said, yeah, I used to do that a lot. You know, in college when I was stressed. And she goes, start doing art.
Like even if it's simple, doodle little, just start putting it on. And all of a sudden, Jessica, it flew. Like it just all came out and every day a piece of my healing journey was there on a canvas, and I could all of a sudden talk about it through the picture.
Jessica Craddock: Mm-hmm.
Danica Factor: And so I think all of us in some fashion, you know, some of us may have had great childhood experiences, but maybe you had a bad experience with a friend. Maybe you had a bad experience with a loss or a death.
Right. I think we all can connect to, being a child is actually difficult, right? Like we want to say it's great and all things, but it is, there's a really big aspect that's hard and. I think we can all relate to, we all need a little bit of that child healing. And so I think a lot of people, when I share that story, they go, I get it.
I get it. And I get why it's vibrant. Because you're telling that little kid, it's okay. Like
it's okay. We're gonna be okay. So yeah.
Jessica Craddock: Is that, so just to clarify, when they ask how it came about, that is the story you tell, and then they say, oh, I understand.
Danica Factor: Yeah. I'll usually preface it by saying this might be triggering.
Jessica Craddock: Right.
Danica Factor: Um, if you want me to stop sharing. But if they truly, I think you can tell when people are genuinely interested in your story, right? Yeah.
Jessica Craddock: Yeah.
Danica Factor: And that's part of the challenge is digitally you're not connecting with somebody eye to eye. Right. You're connecting with a computer. You're connecting with technology, and so to me, you become very overly vulnerable.
Mm-hmm. So it's harder.
Jessica Craddock: Yeah, I get that. I really do. And it's something that I have had to work through for myself in being able to open up and feel vulnerable and be myself online. And honestly, from the outside in, someone that looks at my stuff probably would be like, that's not vulnerable. But for me it is.
And the longer that I've created content, I'm going on six or seven years now, I don't even know at this point, the more vulnerable it gets to me. And for me it's just, it's a little bit at a time. If I were to encourage someone else, I'd be like, do it faster than me. Let me help you push through that so you don't have to drag it out forever.
But it's also a thing that will never stop. There will always be that growing and learning. There's really, like I said earlier, I think there's two different directions we could go here because one is, I think that fear of being vulnerable can, is that the word you'd use? Vulnerable?
Danica Factor: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Jessica Craddock: Okay. I think that fear of being vulnerable can be a big red stop sign where even if you know how and what, you're still not gonna do it.
Danica Factor: Yeah.
Jessica Craddock: Or it could be that you're willing and you're ready to dip your toe in, but you just don't know how. And so you need some guidance around the best way to start.
And that's where I'm at.
So which one do you think would be the most helpful? The second one?
Danica Factor: Absolutely. Yeah. Cause I think I've gotten through the fear, right? That was why I tried the craft shows first. I was like, okay, that's where I'm comfortable, talking to people. So I think that's, you're absolutely right. I'm ready. It's just kind of now, okay, how do I now do this ?
Jessica Craddock: Yeah.
Danica Factor: How do I go through this process?
Jessica Craddock: So what I like to take my clients through is a kind of an evaluation of what are your values that relate back to the thing. I usually have about three of them, three kinds of overarching topics. But for the purpose of today's discussion, to keep it, you know, not super lengthy, I'd like to do one with you.
And I almost feel like that word may or may not be of value. It might be that you wanna talk about trauma, abuse, healing, something like in that realm. Is there a word that you would choose that feels the most aligned for you?
Danica Factor: I think it's the healing piece.
Jessica Craddock: Healing.
Danica Factor: It's healing and authenticity, because that's really what abuse takes away from you, is finding the authentic truth of who you are. And you find that through healing.
Jessica Craddock: So you already kind of started.
So what I like to do is name that one word and you said healing, and you said authenticity. But I almost feel like authenticity is actually the word today.
Danica Factor: Yeah.
Jessica Craddock: Because what we do from there is we take that word and we say, why is this word unique to you?
What do you believe about this word? How do you think about it differently than other people? What are the benefits of this word to you, et cetera. So you already said that abuse takes authenticity away from you. And that is a unique viewpoint. That is not something that I've ever heard anyone say before.
That's something that would make me stop and think and go, oh, yes, me too. I relate to that. So what you wanted earlier at the beginning of this was you wanted to find out how to talk about your story in a way that people can relate to, that will want to stay on that journey with you.
Danica Factor: Mm-hmm.
Jessica Craddock: I'm gonna give you something that I was actually talking about in a coaching call earlier today.
A lot of times we get scared to say the same thing over and over. We think that people are going to get bored or stop listening or not want to hear it anymore. Like why are you still talking? And this is this voice in our head, right?
Danica Factor: Yeah.
Jessica Craddock: So what really switched that voice for me was using Instagram, because when I scroll through my feed, it'll show me, I don't know, 10, 15, 20 people I know at the top, and then it'll start showing me random stuff.
I didn't ask for, but apparently I'm interested in, cause I keep scrolling. . .
So every now and then
Danica Factor: It's that dog story all the time, right? Or the puppy.
Jessica Craddock: Exactly. So, well, they'll really nail it and they'll get something that I just love. And I'm like, yes, the Instagram algorithm did it again. And I'll click through to that person's profile.
And what I'm looking for is are they saying that similar, same thing in different ways. And if they're not, I don't hit the follow button. I don't want to continue on my journey with that person. I just take that as a nice little gem that they put out into the world, but I don't really relate to anything else that they did.
I want more of that thing that made me stop my scroll and click through to their profile.
Danica Factor: Got it.
Jessica Craddock: So that phrase that you used, abuse takes authenticity away from you. There's a million different ways you can talk about that. You can tell different stories of yours. You can talk about your healing journey. You can, like, there's lots of different ways that you can say that same thing.
Yeah. But unless you say it over and over, people aren't gonna get it. They're not gonna hear. You're not gonna get that connection that you are when you're talking face to face and telling people about your story.
Danica Factor: Yeah. Gotcha.
Jessica Craddock: The other thing that you said is authenticity is about finding the truth of who you really are which is kind of the definition of authenticity, but also it's a really nice way to say it that probably isn't used very often.
So that could be a second phrase for you. And let me also say, you don't have to nail these perfectly. Like the way that I help clients get these is just by saying, okay, tell me about that. Ready? Go. And letting them ramble. If you're not a talker, you can journal. If you have ever used daily pages or automatic writing or something along those lines where you just say whatever you say, you can go back and put a box around some of that stuff, like what stands out to me?
So we've got two. I like to have three. I feel like that just gives you a nice little. Variety of ways to talk about authenticity in a way that is authentic to you.
Danica Factor: Yeah.
Jessica Craddock: So if, if you don't mind, would you just like to tell me about authenticity and why that's important. And how it's helped you heal, and what you love about it and whatever you want to say.
Ready? Go .
Danica Factor: So through my healing journey, which was really interesting, I discovered that abuse creates a box. So whether you've experienced emotional abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, whatever that looks like that you experienced, it puts you in a box. Someone is trying to control you. It's all about control. And when you're put in a box, do you think about what's outside the box?
Do you try to become what's outside the box? If you're abused, every time you do that, you're not going to do that, right? You're gonna say, how do I survive in the box? So in that situation, I think what for me, I learned as I healed was as I learned that the box doesn't exist, somebody put it around me. Right?
It's really not there. It's kind of magical, right? You open your eyes to this beautiful world that somebody told you isn't beautiful. So you see the beautiful colors, you see the beautiful trees, you see the beautiful animals, and you start believing people are beautiful. And for me, what that then did is it said wow, Danica is also beautiful.
Danica is also powerful. She's courageous. She can get through so many hard things in life and be successful. So what I, well, you know, when I really think about authenticity is it gave me this beautiful view of life. And now I know in my interactions I'm showing up in my best self, and I can help others. And I can bring joy to them rather than walking into relationships and being in that box, not looking around.
Right. So hopefully I explained that okay.
Jessica Craddock: That was amazing.
Danica Factor: Oh, thank you.
Jessica Craddock: Really.
Danica Factor: Aw, thank you.
Jessica Craddock: I think this is going to be way easier for you than you think.
Danica Factor: Oh, really?
Jessica Craddock: I think you've already got a really good handle, probably from three years of doing the artwork as therapy, that gave you everything that you need to know already.
So you said, and some of these things are kind of duplicates, but I just want to reiterate what you said, and you tell me. That's the one. That's the one. That's not the one.
Danica Factor: Okay.
Jessica Craddock: So you said it gave me a beautiful view of life. It opens your eyes to a beautiful world.
You were told it was not beautiful. Somebody put a box around me. How do I survive in a box? Abuse puts you in a box that's about control. Abuse takes your authenticity away from you. Authenticity helps you find the truth of who you are.
Of those things, do any
Danica Factor: They connect.
Jessica Craddock: Resonate more than the others for you?
Danica Factor: I think that beautiful view does. Because that's kind of how I feel in my art, right, is if I was that child and I saw the world as I see it now today, that's what I'm putting on the canvas. Right? Mm-hmm. So I think that beautiful view really, really connects. Authenticity gives you a more beautiful and real view of life.
Jessica Craddock: Beautiful and real.
And then the part where you said open your eyes to a beautiful world you were told wasn't beautiful, it could turn into more of a narrative about what you just said. I also really resonated with abuse. It puts you in a box. It's about control.
Danica Factor: Got it.
Jessica Craddock: Which does, and doesn't directly say authenticity, but that is how you say it. That is your view of it. So it's not that every single time we have to say the word authentic, authentic, authentic. It's more about getting our views out into the world.
Danica Factor: Yep. And that's accurate. Yeah, that's accurate. And that makes a lot of sense too because it's saying, I think the part of my story, which I'm struggling with is how to frame it right.
And I think what you're saying is frame, right? And then the healing is where you find how to take the abuse out of you. Right. It helps you try to find who you truly are.
Yes. That makes sense.
Jessica Craddock: What you're basically doing is you're starting with the end. What are you really trying to say? And then how, what are all the different ways that I can actually say that thing?
But the more that you can say that thing, the more people are going to go, that's what she's about. That's why I connect with her. You should listen to this girl. You probably would really relate to what she's saying. She says this, Danica says this. This is essentially how I create a brand.
Danica Factor: Oh.
Jessica Craddock: Like this is your brand.
Danica Factor: Got it.
Jessica Craddock: Which I think is very cool because we don't have to worry about things like, sure, we can pick some colors and font and stuff.
Danica Factor: Yeah.
Jessica Craddock: But people don't go, Ooh. She uses the number 2347GS as her color. I love that one.
Danica Factor: Luminous Rose .
Jessica Craddock: So this is your starting map for if, if you will.
I would if I were you. Well, you have already picked one more word. So we've got authenticity, healing, and then maybe one more. Sometimes people just want two, and that's fine. But I like to have three because it gives you, it's almost like more ways to say something similar.
Danica Factor: Yeah.
Jessica Craddock: And it can be something different.
Like we've got healing, authenticity, and let's just make one up. It could be fun, like now you know how to enjoy life. And that's not necessarily about being authentic or healing, but it is. It's all related. It all comes back together.
Danica Factor: Or reading each other's minds because I just wrote celebration.
Jessica Craddock: Yes.
Danica Factor: Like exactly. Yeah. . . Yep.
Jessica Craddock: And then you can even take it a step further once you have nine little phrases. And like look at them and say, what story does this tell? And that could become your elevator speech or your bio, or your about page. You can, you know, one sentence to paragraphs. So it just starts to come together really nicely with this format.
So your question at the beginning of this was, how do I dip my toe in and start telling my story, be vulnerable without being too vulnerable, yet I'm trying to figure it out. Do you feel like this gives you a good framework to do that? Do you have any questions? Do you see yourself getting hung up, trying to get started?
Where are you at?
Danica Factor: I think this is super helpful for framing it for sure and, and speaking about it. I think the starter, believe it or not for me, is I haven't even shared my story with my family.
Jessica Craddock: Mm-hmm.
Danica Factor: And I haven't shared my story with a lot, like a lot of my, like I, I would say my closest friends know.
We've had conversations. But what's interesting is I would say the people that you would think are your kind of inner circle. It's ironic that more people that don't know me actually know my story than my family does. Because it presents this huge, well, wait, what do you mean? What does that mean? What, you know what I mean?
And a lot of people, I, I think the other side of abuse is people don't actually understand it. So people understand, you know, you get thrown down stairs, right? Or you get smacked on the face or you know, the other areas. I think people understand, but that's the other side of it. I think I've been struggling with starting, right?
Is okay, now I speak my truth. Now I speak my authenticity.
Jessica Craddock: Hardest part.
Danica Factor: Yeah. Yeah.
Jessica Craddock: I'll also be really honest with you here and say that when I decided, okay, I'm going to start speaking my truth. I'm gonna put it out there. And I don't care if the internet knows, so much. It's more like, what if the people who actually know me know?
Danica Factor: Yes. Yes.
Jessica Craddock: So when I started, I created a filter for myself and I removed people from my feed. And I created a separate newsletter list that said, filter these people out. This particular newsletter is gonna hit a little too close to home, and I'm not ready to go there yet. And it actually has helped me get my feet under me.
And I won't say that I have conquered it because I have not. But I do feel like it is easier to dip my toe in with the real people now that I have started to feel more comfortable speaking it out loud.
Danica Factor: Yeah. Yeah.
Jessica Craddock: So that's an option. Is that the healthiest way to do it? I'll let you decide.
Danica Factor: Yeah. Well, I think the reality of it though is that the healthiest way is for what makes me feel good to help me heal, right?
I think the place I'm at is the reality is the reality is the reality. Like facts are facts. And so I think you're right. I think the phase is I need to really come to terms with, okay, now it's gonna be out there.
And if you don't like it, I'm really sorry you don't like it, but it's the truth. It is my truth. And that's part of healing and authenticity. Because you don't have to give me a call. You don't have to come back to my house. And that's part of what I think makes us amazing human beings. And you find your people that lift you up. And so I think now is the right time.
Jessica Craddock: Yeah.
Danica Factor: You know, so, yeah.
Jessica Craddock: And I'll say that eventually they're gonna find it anyway at some point. And if you don't have to be the one to break all the news, sometimes that's super helpful.
Danica Factor: Yeah. But I think you're, I think you're right. What I think is actually going to probably be better is if they have some warming. Right.
And so it's kind of interesting that the more I was thinking about it yesterday. Is this kinda what my audience needs too? They're going to need warming, because my audience has also been following me, and the digital audience doesn't know. The other audience does. And so I think I'm going to have to warm my whole audience of my truth.
It's not just, hey, I had some panic attacks and anxiety and went to therapy. This is the reality.
Jessica Craddock: Right? Right. And some people are gonna love you for it, and some people aren't. And that's okay. I know that in theory, you know, this. That is my favorite thing about entrepreneurship and having an online business and creative entrepreneurship and all the things. Because you get to build like it is your choice to build this tribe of support around you.
And it's not just a business. It is and it isn't. It's like a support network of people that you love, that you want to connect with, that you want to have in your world and in your sphere. And that's priceless. Whether you make $0 or you make a hundred million dollars.
Danica Factor: Totally Agree. Yeah.
Jessica Craddock: And I know that's important to you too. Because that was something, you keep saying the word fellowship, like I want to find my fellowship. This is how you do it.
Danica Factor: Yeah, because they also, I think they helped me through it too, right? Like there was a piece I had just done that I took all these magazine pieces of like what I wish my future self would feel like.
And it was really hard to like to put it out there because I had the perfect song to go with it, which is Matilda by Harry Styles. I don't know if you’ve heard that song
Jessica Craddock: I'll have to look at it.
Danica Factor: Okay. But it's basically this beautiful song that he's saying, I see that you went through this as a child, and you're still experiencing it.
He's saying this to a woman, you can tell. And so I had made this painting about my wish for my future self, and I put it up. And there was this comment that came through my DMs and it was all of a sudden, like all the worry I had had about posting what had happened just completely changed. And I was like, she's the one I'm painting this for.
She sees it. She gets it.
She needs it as much as I do. Right?
Jessica Craddock: Yes.
Danica Factor: So yeah, I hear you. I totally hear you.
Jessica Craddock: So the other thing I'll throw out and then we probably need to wrap up is that I like to have a, let's just call it a mantra that my clients can use to like, help them through those moments and like write down every day to keep going.
And the second part of it is, and I inspire others to have the same. So maybe it's something like, I'm looking at your words
here. I inspire others to show up as who they are.
I have a beautiful life full of fellowship, healing and authenticity, and I inspire others to have this.
Danica Factor: That's a good one. I like that.
Jessica Craddock: You can change the words. I change mine every so often, but just maybe I'll tweak this word or that phrase, but it's just really nice to have to help, help you remember and ground you into, this is why I'm doing this in the first place.
Danica Factor: I like it. Thank you.
Jessica Craddock: You're welcome. I knew this was gonna be fun.
Thanks for doing it with me.
Danica Factor: It was. Thank you.
Jessica Craddock: You're so welcome. All right. Well Miss Danica, if they want to check out your Instagram and see how you are progressing, because this probably won't be out for a month or two after we've recorded it.
Pressure , find stuff out there. Ready. Go.
Danica Factor: Yep.
Jessica Craddock: Where can they find you?
Danica Factor: Yeah, they can find me at Danica Factor Art on Instagram. And then my website is also Danica Factor Art.com. And those are the best places.
Jessica Craddock: Awesome.
Let's see, I'm gonna spell it. D a n i c a F a c t o r A r t on Instagram. Yeah. Great.
Okay, well thank you so much. Have a lovely rest of your week, and I'm going to make sure that you get started because I want to watch.
Danica Factor: All right, sounds good. Thank you.
Jessica Craddock: You're welcome.
More about Intuitive Art Sales
This is the show where I, Jessica Craddock, am going to teach you how to source your art marketing from within. You're going to practice claiming that authentic art business that you want and leaning into the most natural way for you to get there. You're going to learn to get connected to your intuition, your confidence and your community, so that you can sell your art consistently while holding strong boundaries on your work life balance.
Seasons 1 & 2 are full of interviews with your peers. In these episodes, I explore what each artist wants and give them the next steps to get there. You can take their struggles and their challenges and learn how to navigate your own and create actionable steps towards creating more art sales, more consistently at higher prices than you've ever sold before.
You can find all the episodes here.