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In Episode 81... 

Denise Lafer is an artist who uses multiple different media in her work. Denise’s goal is to get her work in front of more people and create a community, but finding the time to do so has been difficult because she also works a traditional, full-time job and is raising two small children. 

Like many artists who are starting out, Denise has been overwhelmed by the advice that you have to build a website, develop your own brand and do so many other things before you can put yourself out there. Knowing that these things require an investment, the fear of overinvesting and getting ahead of herself as well as not having a lot of confidence in her work have both been roadblocks for Denise. She’s just not sure how to get her work in front of a bigger audience without doing all the things first. 

Just when Denise starts to build some momentum with her art and her confidence, she seems to face several obstacles to moving forward and producing a viable income. She loves being able to create and still spend time with family and the people she loves the most and dreams of creating a full-time income with her art business so that she can leave her day job.  

Recently, Denise began occasionally teaching workshops to help put herself out there in a less intimidating way. She used to let the fear of rejection hold her back, but the workshops are helping her gain more confidence. The feedback she’s received and the enjoyment and satisfaction she’s experienced have given her more courage. She’s even started applying to open calls for art by galleries. That said, she's still needs direction on how to reach her dream goal of becoming a full-time artist.

Listen in as I help Denise with a strategy to build a community and work towards creating a full-time income with her art business.  

Key takeaways:  

  • Know where you're going with your marketing and the purpose for it. (00:06:26) 
  • Always aim for your ultimate dream to become your reality. (00:11:24) 
  • Remember your timeline may change, but your reason for working toward your goal remains the same. (00:17:40) 
  • Focus on building an audience that will commit to your workshop series. (00:25:29) 
  • You don't have to have a website to have an email list. (00:29:22) 
  • When approaching venues, explain the benefits for their business. (00:34:24) 
  • Find your deeper motivation and focus on it to keep your momentum going. (00:36:24) 

Resources and links mentioned:

Learn more about selling your art:

  • For more practical and energetic strategies to create consistent income and life balance, follow Jessica on Instagram @artistmarketco
  • Learn to create authentic, engaging content that truly resonates with your followers with my course, Find Your Voice on IG.

Read the Transcript for this episode

Jessica Craddock: Welcome back to Intuitive Art Sales. I'm here with Denise Lafer, who I met in a wonderful community called Harvest that's run by another of my friends and clients, and she was in my small group. So, we got to spend, I think it was 10 or 12 weeks together, just talking about art and making and selling and all the fun things.

So, I thought it'd be nice to invite her and catch up and see what she's been working on and see how I can help a little bit. So, welcome, Denise. Thanks for being here.

Denise Lafer: Happy to be here.

Jessica Craddock: Great. And we decided, pre-recording, we are going to have an organic conversation and see where it goes. So, tell me a little bit about what's been going on, let's say, for the last four months.

What have you been up to? What have you been thinking about? Where do we want to go? Where are we stuck? Having problems? Any of the above. Just tell me what's up.

Denise Lafer: So, uh, we did have a conversation. Probably we were trying to figure this out before the recording too, maybe about four to six months ago. And, um, you know, as, as many people trying to juggle a bunch of things, right. Um, you know, I work a traditional full-time job. Raising two small children and then also wanting to really branch out and make this art of mine something special. And by that I just mean kind of, um, having time to either do it, you know, create or get it out in front of people. And that's kind of where I'm at right now and where I do struggle a bit because, uh, finding time to get out there can sometimes be difficult because it matters, but so do the other things.

And sometimes obviously, you know, raising children is always going to come first. And then, you know, you have to take your full-time job very seriously. So, I'm just, I'm kind of all ears to what people that maybe have gone down this road before have had work for them, or maybe not work, and having those conversations. And obviously, I came across you, and you have this wealth of knowledge, and it's just great to have these conversations. Right?

Jessica Craddock: Sure. Yeah. So, I'm glad you're here. Tell me, let's start with what are we currently doing to put ourselves out there in between all of these other important obligations?

Denise Lafer: Well, 1 thing I did learn from you from our small group was you don't always have to think on the gigantic scale, right? Like, there's. Small things that you can do that can still lead you to where that ultimate goal is. So I kind of approached it that way and things that wouldn't be as intimidating to my day to day life, I guess, if you will. So, I started teaching workshops, locally. One was at like a local nursery, one's at a collective, that's near where I live now. Then I've also joined like Instagram lives.

Jessica Craddock: Go you!

Denise Lafer: Like. Yeah. And I have found a wonderful community. I've been sharing the information, you know, on socials and it's just been, really great groups of people that are people like myself that are just starting out to people that have, you know, a great following , it's a lot of different types of artists, you know, different types of creatives, but you're still getting your name out there, still making connections.

And of course, like learning what works for you and what doesn't.

Jessica Craddock: Yeah. So, what is the theme behind these lives? You mentioned that there's a lot of artists who joined. So, what are we talking about in those?

Denise Lafer: So, the first one I did actually was, um, there's a lot of vintage shops on Instagram that sell like vintage, frames. And that's how I actually came in because I, I pair a lot of vintage frames with my, abstract art, you know, kind of like the old with the new, if you will. And then from that got relationships with the sellers and then was invited to participate in one. So, it was like a combination of both of our shops, and then from that, um, I did one where an, a vintage owner actually asked a bunch of artists that she, had connections with to join. And that one was about two weeks ago, I want to say. Sometimes it's just people to get together to, to show off what they, are featuring on their pages.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. So, they're mostly based around these vintage frames at the moment. Yes.

 Awesome. You also said workshops, workshops where you teach art making?

Denise Lafer: So, the first one I, with abstract, it has to come from you because otherwise it's not going to work. It's not really as simple as like a paint by number, for most people, I should say. So, I always say, like create what you want, but sometimes people need a little bit more guidance than that. Um, so I just did my second one and I offered, you can either follow along, step by step with me. You can kind of follow along where you use it as a general idea. Or just do whatever you want, and it was kind of incredible because everyone started the same and by the end they all looked completely different. So, they used a little bit of guidance to get started

because that's sometimes what we all need like you just want to start and then from there you can just let your creativity go. And that's what essentially happens.

So, the workshop is mostly them applying the paint to their canvas and making it what they want. But then I also, talking a little bit about, you know, different theories, composition, just different things that I have, I've tried. Mark making and acrylic versus oil, stuff like that, that while, you know, we're literally waiting for paint to dry, you can still talk about things, instead of just sitting there.

[00:06:26] Know where you're going with your marketing and the purpose for it.

Jessica Craddock: So, it sounds like most of the marketing you're currently doing is for other creatives or other artists, which is not a bad thing. As long as we know where we're going and we're going there on purpose. So, switching gears slightly, what is your biggest goal or motivation behind your art business? It adding extra income? Is it having bigger community around you so that you don't feel alone in your art making? Is it getting my art out there? Like where's your motivation and where are we trying to get?

Denise Lafer: So, I think it's a little bit of a few of those things. Obviously, you know, if I'm being fully transparent, of course, a little bit of extra income would be delightful, but that's not, if that was my only motivation, I think I would be wrong in doing what I'm doing.

I love being creative and while like, say the workshops are really me only going to other artists or something of that nature. Yes, I would like to get my art in front of people, creating a community. I had a student at a workshop that was like, I came because my niece really wanted me to. I'm not an artist. I don't really know what I'm doing. And I was like, let's see how you feel at the end. Just have fun. Don't have any expectations of yourself. And she created, of course, a beautiful piece and she felt really good about it. And that was very rewarding to me. That's not about me. That's about her and her experience, but it was still nice to be around that, and help her to maybe get to where she felt good about something.

Yes, I would like to get my art in front of maybe galleries or potential collectors, but everyone has to start somewhere. Right. The same lady that I spoke to ask for 1 of my, like, you know, I gave a little card with my information and she wanted to take it with her. Now, potentially, she might reach out to me for a piece of work. Or she might want to do another workshop or something, but that's still building my business. It may not be the exact way I thought it would be, but it's still something.

Jessica Craddock: And there's nothing wrong with experimenting to find out where we want to go as long as we're going somewhere purposefully. Your main motivations are fourfold almost, income, community, having the ability to make your own art, helping other people be creative. What you are doing now at these workshops fulfills all of those.

How do you like them?

Denise Lafer: I was petrified with the first one and then after it was like, okay, I think I could have done so much better. I would have loved to have changed, you know, so many things, but then I was like, but it was my first one. So, give myself a little bit of a break. And then by the next one I did with that specific place, I took everything I learned from the first one and made some changes, and I thought that the second one went much better.

Could I continue to learn and grow? Sure. But it seemed like people were having a good time. They were happy with what they created. And at the end of the day, that’s really all that matters, you know, so it is a little bit of extra income. It's like, I get to have fun and make a little bit of money and who's going to be unhappy with that.

After the 2nd, 1 was really excited because I was like, okay, I took what I learned applied it. It actually worked. And now I feel much more confident in doing other workshops, other places. Or even, whatever the opportunity might be, I might not be as scared to try it.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. I'm asking a lot of questions here. I'm trying to figure out some pieces and parts. Based on the income you made from that workshop, if you could repeat that every month, you said, I'd like a little extra income, but it's not my main motivation, but I would like to bring in some money.

Would that fulfill that need or does it need to be bigger?

Denise Lafer: So as it's going right now, this is just like, you know, I say, Oh, I'll put it into my savings. Or we'll apply it to something for the family or whatever the case is. It would not be enough to take away my full-time job or anything like that. But, if I'm being honest again, like that would be my ultimate end goal is to be able to be an artist full time.

And not have to worry about, I mean, I think everybody thinks about this, whatever they're passionate about. As I mentioned, I have two small kids. Creating allows me to be around them. They can be in their playroom while I'm putting something on a canvas and that would be my ultimate dream. Will that ever happen? I'm not exactly sure.

[00:11:23] Always aim for your ultimate dream to become your reality.

Jessica Craddock: Whether or not you believe it will happen, that is where you need to aim.

Denise Lafer: Yes,

Jessica Craddock: So. I'm going to make up a number here. Let's say you make 50, 000 a year in your job. So we need to while you said If that's the new goal, instead of 500 for a workshop 12 times a year, which is 6, 000 dollars, we got to think a lot bigger than that.

Make more art, be around your kids more often, help people be more creative. That money is what allows you to do those things. So then, the goal is 50, 000 a year. Let's use that as our number. Right? if that's the new goal, instead of 500 for a workshop 12 times a year, which is 6, 000. dollars We got to think a lot bigger than that.

And that's like you said at the beginning here, thinking bigger doesn't necessarily mean we have to completely overwhelm ourselves with all of these bigger things. But how can we think smarter to get to that? So if we were saying, all right, Denise, you need to, in the next six months, make 25, 000. What would you do?

Denise Lafer: That's where I get a little bit, intimidated, nervous, all of those things, because, I'm not exactly sure, if I'm being honest. I have all these ideas, but a lot of times like rejection and, am I good enough? Who am I? I'm a self taught artist. I didn't go. I don't have, you know, my fine arts degree. There's things that I feel like are some obstacles or hurdles for me to overcome or, you know, figure out before I can say, Oh, I can do this, this and this. Because I know, you know, if you got in front of galleries, if you get in front of collectors, if you do, um, calls for art and your work is successful, obviously, website, etsy, you know, like, there's many ways.

But, I feel like for every compliment or, Oh, your work is so great, I get five that, that is like, Hmm, that's a great hobby. So it's like, just when I feel like I'm getting some momentum, sometimes I feel like I'm trying to run against the tide or something. So, that's kind of where I need to somewhat block it out and figure out what's best for me and focus on my work and how I can be better at that and be better at the business side. But I'm struggling with it, you know, completely

Jessica Craddock: So there's two forks in this road. One is what is the best path for me, and one is finding the inner strength to go after that path.

Denise Lafer: Because it's not just about me anymore either. You know, if I was single and I had rejections or I had setbacks, well, then it only affects me. But now I have a family and a home and, you know, responsibility, obviously, that many, many people do. But I think that's what holds us back a little bit because it's like, well, if I take this huge leap, and it doesn't work out, what could happen.

And I know the flip side of that is, well, if I take this huge leap, what could happen and it could be something great. But you just never know until you get there and that fear definitely, shows it's ugly face.

Jessica Craddock: So what about option three, which is don't take leap or not take leap, but act as if we are taking the leap by said deadline. Continue the job, but with the idea in mind that if I can hit this goal by the end of September, I'm going to quit my job.

Denise Lafer: And I would absolutely do that. Here's the question I pose to you. If you're someone like myself who is just starting out and has all of these ideas, but how do I get my name out there, without overinvesting in myself before it's really ready that time? Does that make sense? Like, you know, need a website. You know, you need marketing. You need a brand. You need to, to put yourself out there, but a lot of that does take, some investment, and if you are afraid to do that because there may not be that return. How do you get past that? Or how do you work,

Jessica Craddock: That wouldn't be the place that I would start. I'll put it that way. Marketing. I mean, some form of marketing, yes, but branding website, all of these things that you feel that you need to invest in, in order to put yourself in a position to start selling more. In my mind on the timeline, those are later. They're when I am selling, then I invest in website, branding, et cetera. So then the question becomes, how do I sell now without those things because that's what I've been told I need in order to sell. Okay,

Denise Lafer: And here's the question that I battle with myself, cause I'll never stop creating. Because I enjoy it just for myself. So whether this, whether I do hit my end goal of being able to quit my job and do art all of the time, full time, that doesn't matter. I would still paint. But if I'm not selling, do I still put that same timeline of six months and say, if I don't sell anything within six months, is that my answer then too?

Cause I wonder if, people ask, you know, ask themselves that and say, like, am I being realistic here? If, if no one is buying, then am I getting the answer that I've been looking for all along, or do I keep trying?

[00:17:40] Remember your timeline may change, but you have a reason for working toward your goal.

Jessica Craddock: I don't believe that that is ever the answer because there is a reason why you're going toward the thing. The timeline might change. The goals you have might change. We don't know what's going to happen in six months. It's a lot of pressure to put on yourself to say, I have to make 25, 000 in the next six months when I don't know how to sell things.

However, I'm not picking that number out of a hat for no reason. I'm picking it because that number is so big that it's almost unbelievable for you. Which means I have to think outside the box instead of, well, if I follow the timeline everyone's told me that I have to do, which is create a brand, make a website, blah, blah. There's no possible way for you to hit that goal. It's just not going to happen. Hmm.

Denise Lafer: Right.

Jessica Craddock: I don't know that we're going to get to the answer today of what is outside the box for you. But let's start with the idea of workshops because it's something that you're really enjoying. It's something that doesn't necessarily take up all of your time.

It takes some time. It Doesn't require you to have a website or a large email list or a huge following. So It's something you've already started to gain more confidence in. You already pushed yourself to do it. So what if When thinking outside the box, giving yourself parameters to think within is extremely helpful.

If you just think, Well, I have to go make lots of money. Ready? Go. How am I going to do it? That's No, thank you. But, if I have to make 25, 000 in the next six months by hosting workshops, it becomes a little bit easier to think outside the box. Does that feel true to you, or is that just true in my head?

Denise Lafer: No, I do think that there is something to it. I think it's nice to kind of have that, even if it is a ridiculous number, even if it would never come true. It's kind of a nice thing to say that could be something one day. You can still, try to work towards something, even if it may not happen right now. Like, yes, six months would be great, but will it happen? Probably not. But wouldn't that be great if it did, or what if it took nine months or what if it took a year or whatever the case is. I'm not going to say, Oh, well, I just made 25 grand, but it wasn't within six months. So it doesn't count, you know, like that's not.

Jessica Craddock: Right.

Denise Lafer: So, and also like, I think you just said something to like my confidence because art is so subjective that I can look at something and love it and think it's one of the best things I've ever created. And it's like, you know, social media is you think you're putting something out and like, you get nothing. And then I'll post something out that I'm like, maybe it'll do well, and then that does surprisingly well.

So, my confidence has kind of wavered in, you know, knowing what people are looking for or whatever. And then I realized like, I have to create for myself initially. And then I think the other things will build eventually, but, the confidence piece though has helped me so much because it also has allowed me to like, apply for call for art. Like different galleries have where before I would say, uh, I'm not ready for that. And it's like, you know, if I do it great, if not, what's, what's the big deal, ?

Jessica Craddock: One of my favorite things about fear is the thing that you are afraid of, and In this case, open call for art, if I get rejected. That's, that's the fear, right? If you don't do the thing you're afraid of, you guarantee the fear will come true, which is you will not be in the show.

Denise Lafer: there's zero chance.

Jessica Craddock: Zero chance. Whereas I don't know, let's go 50, 50. You have a 50 percent chance. If you face that fear of conquering it, gaining a little bit more confidence to do it again. If it doesn't happen. Okay, it didn't happen, but it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't done it either. So at least I tried, and I got more prepared for the next time that I do it.


Jessica Craddock: Okay, so back to the workshops. Is it improper to ask you, or do is it uncomfortable for you to share? How much did you make from your last workshop?

Denise Lafer: It was a total of 330,

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so that means each person paid what?

Denise Lafer: So, it was 55 per person. And then the, that held it takes 25%. And to me that was fine. So, there were eight people that showed up. I think there was only a max of either 10 or 12 that could sign up. So, I thought eight was a pretty good turnout. The first one only had four, and then the second one had eight. So, I thought that was kind of promising too.

Jessica Craddock: Was it with the same place? Did you have repeat people?

Denise Lafer: No, they actually did ask that, and it was not repeat people. But the first one in all honesty was during a blizzard in like January, so it was a little tricky with that one. This one was all new students, but there was quite a bit of like, you know, how often do you do these?

Are you doing another one? So, that leads me to hope that they might come back for another.

Jessica Craddock: Okay, so, new question. How do you feel about, one, continuing to host with a venue such as this, and maybe finding some more, and how do you feel about hosting your own? Are both possible.

Denise Lafer: I kind of like having, It had a venue because they have tables, they have chairs, they have the actual, like, building for it to be held in. When you think about it on a base level, maybe I could do that, but you know, you need like insurance and you need like different things because if somebody, you know, like

Jessica Craddock: for workshops?

Denise Lafer: I am not sure because if somebody was to get hurt or something, like I don't know if you want to get into to that, but

Jessica Craddock: don't know the answer, so we're not going to go there, but that's something to think about.

[00:25:29] Focus on building an audience that will commit to your workshop series.

Jessica Craddock: But where my brain went, is continuing to host workshops at places like this, where you gain a workshop audience and then sell them into your own series of workshops. So, like it could be a six month or a 12 month commitment where every month we build on it or we do a new thing or Like you, you get to know the people. You get art time together.

And you could even offer those at a slight discount since the 25 percent isn't coming out where essentially the venue is your feeder to your recommitment workshops. So it might be that you would need somewhere that would be willing to host those for you. But that's where we're thinking outside the box here, and some problem solving always comes along with that.

But let's just run some numbers really quick. Let's say, what is 25 percent of 55? 55 times 75 is 40. So, 41. 25. But let's call it 40. So, let's say, at 40 a pop, you would need to host 50, 000. A lot. Divide it by 40. Would be 1, 250 participants in a workshop.

Denise Lafer: Okay.

Jessica Craddock: Now that doesn't include the fact that some of those could be repeat.

Denise Lafer: Right.

Jessica Craddock: So, if you had eight people at your last one, the easiest way to sell is to sell to people who have already bought from you.

Denise Lafer: When I do these workshops, would you recommend, like, having almost like an email sign up, having like somebody sign up at when they join my workshop so that I can reach back out to them.

Jessica Craddock: Yes. If they're like, I just want to stay in your orbit. No. If they're asking, when's the next one? You just sign them up for the next one.

Denise Lafer: Okay,

Jessica Craddock: So, if it's twelve hundred and fifty participants, and let's say for each venue place you get eight people and five of those want to continue And you do a six month commitment.

 So, you have then 30 of those 1250 plus the 8 that you just hosted. So, then that becomes 38 of your 1250. You do those 32 times. You hit 20, did I do 25, 000? I think I did 50, 000.

Denise Lafer: you did do 50.

Jessica Craddock: I did. So 1250 divided by 2 is 625. So then, our 38 people from one workshop, or 38 participations from one workshop. 625 divided by 38, means we have to host 16 workshops with those numbers to hit 25, 000 doing those workshops plus the monthly one that you're already doing. That doesn't feel so undoable then.

Denise Lafer: Right. What is your weight of it that I guess, because everybody has an email list right now. Right. And that seems to be the way to keep people up on all of the things that you're doing. This might sound like a very stupid question, but can you have an email list without having a website?

[00:29:22] You don't have to have a website to have an email list.

Jessica Craddock: So, the way that that works is you have people, most email platforms will have some sort of landing page built in. You may have to set it up, but where you could send people to sign up for your email list on their own, you can also manually enter email addresses as long as you have some sort of documentation that they wanted to be entered just by email.

I mean, the chances of someone suing you because you put them on your email list is very slim. But if we're, you know, protecting ourselves, having that piece of paper where they wrote down their email or that Instagram DM where they sent you their email address saying they wanted to sign up is helpful.

So no, you do not have to have a website. You could have. This is my, this is my compromise with people who are like, I just have to have a website and I'm like, but you're not ready for a website is have a one-page website. I'm Denise. Here's a paragraph about me. Here's what my work is about. Here's some images. Sign up for my website, that kind of thing.

Denise Lafer: I have no problem waiting until it's appropriate. I just, you know, like everywhere you go, people are like, what's your website? And it's like, well, I'm just trying to get out there first. Can I introduce myself? Can you check my stuff out?

Jessica Craddock: Send them to your Instagram.

Denise Lafer: That's what I usually try to do.

Jessica Craddock: This is my current portfolio. This is where it's easiest to contact me. This is where you can stay in my orbit until I have more.

Denise Lafer: That's a perfect way to put it. Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: So that being said, what are your next steps?

Denise Lafer: Well, I want to figure out, I really like this idea of the workshops of like the one, three, six, whatever it is months commitment, and gaining more of a community, more of a following that way. And I really do want to kind of set up some way to put together like some sort of newsletter, gather people's emails to keep up on what's new. I think I can manage that. Because let's be honest, you have all of these ideas, but if you cannot put them into action in what your real life is, it doesn't matter.

Jessica Craddock: It has no impact. Yeah.

Denise Lafer: Right. And sometimes I sit there and go, oh, I need to do this. I need to do that. And I could have like 15 things and then not do any of them because I don't know where to start.

Jessica Craddock: So, you said, I like the idea of the recurring workshops. So, finding a way to make that happen, whether it's asking different venues, whether it's that you're already working with, whether it's going to a church building and be like, Hey, can I rent one of your rooms?

Like something along those lines. Where could that happen? How could that happen? Because that's kind of integral to the work you're doing, turning into more money instead of just the one workshop. Two is setting up an email list, which quite honestly, you could do after this call and be done with it by the end of the day.

And by the end of the day, I mean like 30 minutes. It's not that hard to set up.

Uh, the biggest thing you're probably going to run into as well. Which one do I want to use? If you want to pay for it. I've been asking around with other artists. I know what I like, but I'm asking artists what they like. The consensus has been, if you want to pay for it, use Flow desk, because it's really intuitive and pretty. If you want to keep it free for a while, but still have a pretty good platform, use MailerLite.

Denise Lafer: What is it called?

Jessica Craddock: MailerLite.

Denise Lafer: Thank you.

Jessica Craddock: You're welcome. So that's done. Now you just got to go get an account. Figure out your recurring venue. And then I would say if I'm picking your action steps, step three is asking more places or asking the place you have to host more workshops. Can I host more workshops with you for the 25 percent fee?

And if they say, well, we're booked, start asking other people. Here's what I've been doing for this other place. They take 25 percent for having the tables and the chairs. I don't know if they brought the people or if you brought the people. But here's how it worked with them. Is that something that you're interested in?

Denise Lafer: Yes. And it's funny you say that because I literally was looking last night at somewhere at a different location and thinking, I think I could reach out to them. And I like what you just said though, cause I was like, how do I, I don't know. Like open that dialogue and I can say now I've already been doing workshops at this place.

This is what they take. Are you interested in something similar

Jessica Craddock: So, think of those as features. Those are the logistics. Also think about benefits.

[00:34:24] When approaching venues, explain the benefits for their business.

Jessica Craddock: What are the benefits to them hosting a workshop besides getting the 25%? Maybe it's, I will co-promote it, which will bring more eyeballs to your business. Maybe it's, it'll create a, let's say it's a floral shop.

I don't know. We can do a workshop around some of the flowers that you have in your shop so that people can really see the beauty in them and we'll paint the feelings behind them, and I'll give you my creation. What are the benefits of them hosting it?

So, it's an easy yes for them. I'm going to challenge you though. The recurring venue is going to be a challenge, but it's not a challenge outside your comfort zone. It's just a, how do I figure out this problem? Challenge, email list, check. More workshop venues, that's where you have to step outside your comfort zone a little bit and start asking people for their space.

So, some are going to say yes. And some are going to say no. If 16 is our goal. I'm going to challenge you. This is going to be hard.

I don't want to make it too hard. I want you to do it. Where it's in between challenging and not too hard. I want you to find ten people to talk to. We're going to assume We're playing the numbers games here. We're going to assume a 50 percent conversion rate, meaning five of them are going to say yes, and maybe we can get those five yeses to do it three more times. So, then it's 15. We're almost to 16. So, three action steps. How does that feel? Can you do it?

Denise Lafer: I think it's doable a bit challenging as you said, but nothing that I think is, completely out of the ballpark of it. So,

Jessica Craddock: I've got one last homework for you because I think this is the really missing piece because I just gave you a strategy and you could or could not go do it. Like, you know, the steps.


[00:36:24] Find your deeper motivation and focus on it to keep your momentum going.

Jessica Craddock: The real challenge is going to be You said, who am I? Am I good enough? I'm self-taught.

Some people don't like my work. Getting past that to, this is my goal and I'm, I want to hit it. And even if I fall way short, I'm aiming big here. I'm still going to be really proud of myself at the end. So what is your motivation? I asked you a little bit about that, but it's kind of surface level. I want you to go deeper.

Why do I want to quit my job and be an artist full time? How does that really enhance my life, my family's life? Um, other artists, other people who may not be creative, but take these workshops, like what's going to be motivating enough for you to get outside of that fear space and do it anyway?

Denise Lafer: I feel like, as you said, like I gave a surface answer because sometimes the real answer is deeper than that, obviously. And I have no problem sharing. I lost my mom at the end of last year and it changes you, or it changed me. It changed my priorities. It changed what I thought was important in life, and my people are what's important. I create for them, for me. At the end of the day, I just want to be with them as much as I can and not take that time for granted. And when I get to do something that I thoroughly enjoy so that I can also spend time with them, I honestly can't think of anything better than that.

Jessica Craddock: I felt that. I believed you.

Denise Lafer: Losing her was the first big loss in my life. And I'm lucky that I'm in my forties and can say that. Not everybody can, but it was a big one and it really did, it's life changing. You can't take things for granted anymore. And even the little things can end up being big when you don't have them anymore.

So, like related, but unrelated. I always talk about how I used to drink coffee with my mom in the morning, and it seems such a simple thing when we were doing it. And you don't think about it until you don't have it anymore. And so, to circle back to art also, she was my biggest fan. I showed her everything. I asked her what she thought about everything. And I always laughed because I could have probably shown her like, I don't know, the worst thing you've ever seen, whatever that would be to somebody. And she would have still been like, Oh, it's beautiful.

I love it. And she would have meant it. And, and I miss that terribly. And she would be so disappointed if I gave it up because she's not here anymore. And that's another motivating factor that I kind of want to do it, you know, in honor of her, but then also continue it because she's not here anymore and do it for the other people that are still with me.

Jessica Craddock: Can you go write all that down?

Denise Lafer: Yeah,

Jessica Craddock: Because no matter what you are facing, if you read that, you're going to go, I don't care. I'm doing it anyway. It's for her.

Denise Lafer: It's funny when you say things out loud, how it can kind of change you and you can really think about something. Because at the end of the day you're right. Strangers that say things to me are not going to change my motivation when it comes to something as big as what I just said.

Jessica Craddock: I say this in the kindest way possible, but screw them.

Denise Lafer: Yeah.

Jessica Craddock: And no matter what you do, this is, this was a huge fear of success for me and probably still has some little foothold, but people saying mean things to me about what I'm doing. I really kept myself under a rock as much as I possibly could while tricking myself into believing that I was working hard to reach my goals.

But really I was very scared of that happening. And so I, for a very long time, didn't go full speed, like maybe 20 percent. And I was working, working, working, but I was keeping myself safe in the safe zones, not really making any progress.

Denise Lafer: It's that time, right?

Jessica Craddock: It is, and you can do it. I mean, the amount of, outpouring of love of motivation of, I don't even know what the words are that I'm looking for, but that you just shared. You can do anything. And you have a strategy. You can follow it or not follow it, but you have a strategy, and you saw how we thought through it to make it a possibility. Denise, tell people where to find you. I'm assuming Instagram.

Denise Lafer: Yes. I am at underscore D L A F R A R T underscore. That's D L A F E R A R T And yeah, just Instagram is the best way to find my current work.

Jessica Craddock: Perfect. And what if they could do one thing when they got there, what would you tell them to do?

Denise Lafer: Just take a look. Don't just stop at one thing because I just, uh, feel like there's something for everybody.

Jessica Craddock: Spend some time. Look around.

Denise Lafer: Look around and spend some time with what I've created, and I would greatly appreciate that.

Jessica Craddock: Beautiful. Thank you, Denise. It was fun. I enjoyed it.

Denise Lafer: Yes, thank you. Hopefully I'll talk to you soon.

Jessica Craddock: Okay. Bye.

Denise Lafer: Bye.

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.

Most of my episodes are full of interviews with your peers. In these and all episodes moving forward, 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.

About the Author

Jessica Craddock

I mentor intuitive visual artists who are sick of one-size-fits all formulas sell more work, more consistently, at higher prices — with better work/life balance. My clients regularly make 3x more in art sales within a year.

Using my signature Consistent Income method, we’ll push you over the precipice of some really amazing growth so you can become the creator of your next chapter.

My secret sauce is that we focus on not just the "doing", but also the "being". Affirmations, trusting yourself, knowing when to go slow and when to go fast, practicing getting out of your comfort zone and making room for the feelings that go with that... all this is equally as important as the action steps.

For once, you'll be ahead of the game and understand what's right for you.

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