#71 AJ Brockman: Creating a New Model for Selling Art

AJ Brockman is an artist turned entrepreneur in Lake Park, Florida. He is a talented artist living with a progressive disease, but it has never held him back from his art goals. After attending art school and working the art show circuit in Florida, he realized that there must be a better way to sell his art. He created a new concept, called The Brewhouse Gallery, where people can enjoy a nice craft beer in a unique gallery setting. After less than five years, the gallery is a huge success for AJ, his partners, and the artists and musicians who now call it their creative home.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, CastBox, or Stitcher.

AJ Brockman

AJ working it on the outdoor art show circuit.
AJ with his artwork.
AJ with an image of the artwork that he took two months to create. He was then able to meet President Obama and present the original to him.
A close up of how AJ uses one finger to create his art on the computer.
Working on the computer to make his art. I provide a link below to a video that explains his process.
The interior of The Brewhouse Gallery, a concept created by AJ to sell art and provide entertainment.The artwork is changed out every three months.
The Brewhouse Gallery is located at 720 Park Avenue, Lake Park, Florida.
The interior of The Cave, an expanded section of The Brewhouse Gallery.
The back side of the strip of stores is covered with murals by local artists.
They also hold events in the back alley.
The Kelsey Theater is an entertainment space that hosts bands and a variety of other acts.
The back alley murals are changed out every 3-6 months, giving other artists an opportunity to paint a mural.

AJ Brockman’s website for his art is singlehandedstudio.com.

You can find a video on his website where AJ explains his process for making art on the computer.

You can find out what’s happening at all of AJ’s properties on their websites:

The Kelsey Theater

Kelsey Cares, which is their 501c(3) organization which raises funds to pay for murals and scholarships for artists.

You can also find them on Facebook, with a list of all upcoming events:

The Lake Park Arts District

The Brewhouse Gallery

The Kelsey Theater

Kelsey Cares

Be sure and keep an eye out for the 5th Anniversary of The Brewhouse Gallery, which will be around May, 2019.

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. Don’t ever let an idea hold you back. Once you put your mind to something, do everything in your power to make it happen.
  2. You have to be willing to work and put in the sacrifice without any guarantee of return. Then good things will come your way.
  3. His gallery business model is different in that the artists pay for the space on the wall, but they receive 100% of their sales.
  4. The Brewhouse model gets a lot more people coming in per week to see your artwork.
  5. The buyers can imagine the artwork in their home because it’s displayed in a living room-type setting
  6. If you want to create public art or murals in your town, but there aren’t laws that allow it yet, consider helping your town write the new laws.
  7. If there’s a type of art or a particular project you’d like to try, consider collaborating with another artist to learn from them.
  8. Make sure when you are accepting art jobs that you are getting paid for them.
  9. Consider creating a crowdfunding campaign to finance large projects, like he did to renovate an old theater.
  10. As long as you have the passion to do something, you can ask questions and get with the right people to get it done.
  11. If you do your best, things will happen, even if it’s not instant gratification and it takes a little time.

As AJ said in our conversation, The Brewhouse Gallery is a fanchiseable model. Get in touch with him if you think this concept would be great in your town.

#70 Getting Back to Art

Many artists that I’ve interviewed studied art in high school or college, but then worked in another field for many years. The timing has been right for them to return to art making and start their own art business. In this episode I’ll talk about how you can get back into making art, how you can meet other artists that will encourage and inspire you, and how you can find art opportunities.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, CastBox, or Stitcher.

How do you get back to art?

Make art.

Then make some more.

#69 Katiana Jarbath Smith: Honoring Her Culture with Her Art

While artist Katiana Jarbath Smith was born and raised in South Florida, and she makes her home in the West Palm Beach area, her parents emigrated here from Haiti. Katiana started making art in middle school, went to a high school to study art, but then she abandoned art for many years. When you see her artwork, you’ll be amazed to discover that she only picked up painting again about a year ago. She’s now making a splash in the South Florida art scene with her meaningful paintings that are greatly influenced by her Haitian culture.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Katiana Jarbath Smith

Joined Asunder
Tomorrow's Dream
Femme, Elle, Je, Reine (Woman, She, I, Queen)
Kanaval Ayiti I (Haiti's Carnival I)
Ti Zwazo (Curious Gaze; Little Bird)
Espwa de Jen (Hopes of the Young)
Ayiti Cheri I (Haiti My Love)

Katiana Jarbath Smith’s website is jarbathart.com.

She can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.

Katiana has been involved with the Art Prevails Project with Darius Daughtry.

Katiana lists her upcoming art shows on her website here.

Here are some great takeaways from this episode:

  1. As an artist, there is nothing that you’re supposed to do. You have to do only what works for you. In art school, Katiana was told to always keep a sketch book and draw every day, but she knew that wasn’t something that worked for her, so she didn’t do it.
  2. Every artist has a story to tell. For Katiana, it is her Haitian culture and her family’s lives as African Americans. Find your story so that you can create more authentic artwork.
  3. Go to art shows and talk to other artists for guidance.
  4. Start an Instagram account and post everything you do.
  5. Even if you’ve been away from art for a long time, like Katiana was, you can return to art.
  6. Ask for permission if you want to use someone’s photo as your painting inspiration. She has even paid for some images so that she’ll know she definitely has the right to use them.
  7. Be a part of an art community, whether it is in person or online.

#68 Are You Accountable?

When you are self-employed and creating your own business, you need to be held accountable for making your own art and doing all the necessary business tasks. In this episode I give you great ideas of how to find accountability partners from your art community both in person and online. I also talk about getting accountability from business experts who can help you with tasks you either don’t want to do or don’t know how to do. And finally, I give you some tips for getting out of an art block and being accountable to make art on a daily basis.

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, CastBox, or Stitcher.

These are some friends of mine from the local artist group the Wellington Art Society. This group keeps me accountable because I go to their monthly meetings and I'm inspired to make art that I can show to them. From left: Edrian Thomidis (I interviewed her in Episode #63), Andrew Hollimon (painter), Lara Chapman (photographer), me, and Carolina King (mosaic artist and President of the Wellington Art Society.
I made my own goal of posting an artwork a day on Instagram. I was only accountable to myself, but I felt like I was accountable to everyone on Instagram. I established an every day practice of making art, and I made 45 of these watercolor and pen pieces, plus 16 collages in another series.

Look for accountability groups online in meetup.com. You can search by city.

Join Facebook groups and message people to create a small accountability group, like I did with a podcast group I’m in. 

Look for art challenges online — just search using key words like 30 day challenge, 100 day project, or 52 prompts.

#67 Lisa Sonora: Traveling Artist in Oaxaca, Mexico

Today’s episode is with artist Lisa Sonora. Lisa is an artist who travels the world taking and teaching art classes, and a few years ago she settled in Oaxaca, Mexico. She now hosts art retreats at Art House Oaxaca, and other artists teach there as well.  Her website and blog feature many free resources and she has online classes to help you effortlessly create art. 

Listen here or download from iTunes, Spotify, Google Play Music, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Lisa Sonora

Lisa invites artists to be in Mexico to experience The Day of the Dead.

Lisa Sonora’s website is lisasonora.com. 

You can also find her on Instagram.

You can find the list of retreats hosted at Art House Oaxaca on her website here.

Lisa will be hosting write Phil Cousineau at Art House Oaxaca in 2010. Visit her website later for information. You can find out more about Phil Cousineau at his website here.

Lisa hosts Connie Solera for retreats in Oaxaca a couple times a year. You can find out more about Connie and the retreats that she hosts at her website.

Here are a few takeaways from this episode:

  1. When we develop our non-dominant skills, we actually become better at what we’re good at.
  2. Lisa teaches people to travel like an artist and keep a richly layered travel journal. She recommends that after you collect your mementos, you write and sketch about what you have done.
  3. Women are relationship-oriented in how they do their business, and you can use that as your strength.
  4. Our art-making is influenced by all aspects of our personality. For example, if you are introverted or extroverted, or if you are a leader or a follower.
  5. When you work alone, you risk falling into the danger of not having an external deadline. You need to give yourself your own accountability.
  6. Lisa recommends to everyone that they combine creating with traveling.
  7. Start your January by budgeting the time and money to take an artful adventure this year with a teacher that you really like.
  8. It takes a lot of energy to travel, but it’s worth it.
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