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Many of you know Maria Brophy from her informative art licensing and marketing tips she shares on Twitter and Facebook. A woman after my own heart, Maria is a true California Girl. Maria balances a busy Southern California life as a mom, blogger and as the agent and brand manager for her surf-lifestyle-artist husband.
I really enjoyed chatting with Maria, she is one busy lady! The #PowerArtists series is lucky Maria was able to take time out of her demanding schedule to share her story and some great tips with us.
“PowerArtists are the social media ‘rockstars’ of the art world! Not only are they talented creatives, but they understand how to harness the power of social media and use it to promote their art careers. #PowerArtists are inspiring and freely share their knowledge with others.”
An advocate for artists, Maria Brophy has helped many artists to become adept at handling the business of art and to create success for themselves. In a few short years, she used her expertise in art marketing and licensing to build up Drew Brophy’s surf lifestyle art brand, earning him the status of being the top licensed surf artist in history.
Maria writes an art business blog with the intention of helping creative people to design the career and lifestyle of their dreams. Maria Brophy’s vision is that all creative people get to live the life of their dreams and make a good living doing it. And she’s going to do everything she can to see it through.
Describe a typical day in the life of a #PowerArtist.
My vision is that creative people get to do what they love for a living, and make good money doing it. I’ve created this for my own life, and I really want others to know that they can do it, too. The work that I do with my writing, consulting and television show helps me to deliver the message to others that they can create their own life exactly as they want it to be.
It’s important to get this message out, because so often talented people are discouraged from going into the arts due to the myth of the starving artist. It pains me to see that happen.
I’ve handled the art marketing and licensing for my husband, surf lifestyle artist, Drew Brophy, for over a decade. We have earned a good living off of his art even though he was never formally trained. He is a shining example of what’s possible with a little talent, a lot of persistence, and the determination to live life in the way you choose.My typical day begins with writing out what I’ll accomplish that day. This helps keep me focused on the most important things. As an agent to Drew, I am responsible for generating art sales. Keeping the cash flowing is crucial to being able to live this wonderful lifestyle of art, travel and freedom.
1.) Internet sales of licensed products and our own DVD’s and books
2.) Original art sales & commissions
3.) Art print sales on other people’s websites
4.) Licensing to manufacturers
5.) Custom paintings (motorcycles, cars, murals, etc)
Most of my time is spent talking with collectors, licensors and sponsors, finding out what they want and solving a need for them.
On top of all that, we are currently producing a television show called The Paint Shop. This reality show is a behind-the-scenes look at what a surf-lifestyle artist does, his painting projects and the customers for which he works. I’m one of the producers, so I spend a lot of time on the phone organizing shoots and sponsorships for the show. It’s my first time to work on a television show, so there’s a big learning curve and it’s an adventure!
After a full day at the studio, I help other artists find their success through consulting and writing about the business of art on my blog.
Give an example of how you use social media to promote your art business.
I love Twitter, and like an addict, I’ve had to cut myself off from it at times! But it’s been very helpful to connect with other artists and learn from knowledgeable people like Lori McNee, Alyson Stanfield and Tara Reed. Twitter also allows artists who need help find me. It’s been a big driver of traffic to my blog.
Facebook is a very important way for me to connect with artists that either want to learn from my articles or that want to hire me for consulting.
If you could meet any artist: past, present, or future, who would it be and why?
Salvador Dali, because he knew marketing extremely well. I’d love to know how he would market himself in today’s internet social media world!
If your work could be displayed anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I dream of giving a TED talk on how artists can create their own reality and live a life of art and love and happiness. To speak at a TED conference is the highest of honors, and it would allow me to inspire a huge number of people!
What sage advice would you give an artist who is just starting out in his/her career?
First: Decide what you want for yourself and your life.
Second: Commit to making that happen and go for it 100%.
Third: Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people.
Fourth: Be patient and stay on the same road – don’t give up if it gets rough. Make a lifetime commitment to your dream and it will happen.
Fifth: KNOW that your art is a contribution to the world. It truly is.
As a #PowerArtist, what do you do to ‘give back’ or ‘pay it forward’ to your community.
I have a gift of being good at handling difficult deals and teaching artists how to be confident at the business of art. I have a standing offer for artists to email me their questions or challenges and I will write up a solution for them (and others) to read on my blog. I love the challenge of the business of art, and I want to see all artists feel good about selling their art, being paid well for it, and understanding that their art is an important contribution to their clients.
I hope you enjoyed this special #PowerArtist interview with Maria Brophy. Be sure to check out Maria’s great blog and stop by Drew’s website and take a look at this cool art! It reminds me of my beach days while growing up in San Diego. Thanks so much Maria. ~Lori
You can find more about Maria here: