#PowerArtists Interview with Art Brand & Marketing Expert, Maria Brophy

power artist excellence in art and social media

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.

"Sunrise" ©2011 Drew Brophy (framed giclee print)

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.

We sell his art using the “multiple streams of income” method (this way if one stream dries up, we have others to fall back on):

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.

painted surfer van

"The Dream Machine" ©2011 Drew Brophy

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!

"The Brophy Family"

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:

Blog:   http://www.mariabrophy.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/mariabrophy

Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Art-Lifestyle-Inspiration-with-Maria-Brophy/205275597570

Please be sure and look at some of these other helpful articles: PS. Let’s meet (me, Lori!) on Facebook and Twitter! And please check out LoriMcNee.com to see my paintings

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How to Overcome 3 Common Barriers to Success as an Artist

7 Creative Ways to Approach an Art Gallery for Representation

The Healthy Artist: Tips to Help You Stay that Way

10 Helpful Ways to Overcome Spring Fever in the Art Studio

Artistic Temperament: What to Do When it Strikes!

How to Jump-Start Your Art Career

Inbound or Outbound: which Direction is Your Art Marketing Going?

3 Tips for Artists to Promoted Themselves and Their Galleries

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3 Reasons to Start a Creative Blog for Your Business

2011-05-16T12:23:28+00:00April 13th, 2011|Fine Art Tips, General, Guest Articles|14 Comments


  1. Eric D. Greene April 13, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Absolutely love the interview. I love Maria’s message of determination, following your dream, and staying positive!

    • Lori McNee April 15, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Hi Eric-

      You gleamed such a positive thought to carry with you from this interview. Yes, Maria is a positive force and I am glad she shared it with us!

      Happy creating-

  2. Melody Lea Lamb April 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    What a great interview with Maria. Wow, Maria, what a dynamo you are. Thank you for sharing your brilliance with us.

    • Lori McNee April 15, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      Hi Mel-

      Thanks for supporting you fellow PowerArtist! This series is really inspiring and informative for your many art fans. I am so glad you enjoyed getting to know Maria a bit better.


  3. Franziska San Pedro April 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    I have been following Maria for a while already and I am so glad she is your PowerArtist of the week. Loved reading the interview and finding out more about her!
    Congratulations Maria and Drew, I know I can learn so much from you,

    Thanks Lori for the awesome post 🙂

    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress

    • Lori McNee April 15, 2011 at 9:53 pm

      Hello Franziska-

      Yes, these interviews are really fun and informative. Drew will be featured in the near future too. It will be fun to learn more about him as well. I am glad you enjoyed it!

      Lori 🙂

    • Lori McNee April 15, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      PS. Franziska, I enjoyed visiting your blog and viewing your beautiful paintings.

  4. Matt April 14, 2011 at 4:34 am

    I highly respect Maria for what she has done over the years. We’ve met on Twitter and I had the chance to work with her on a recent video project. She’s fantastic and Drew’s art is out of this world !!! Good job with this article Maria !! You rock !

    • Lori McNee April 15, 2011 at 9:51 pm

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for taking time to support your fellow PowerArtist! It is so much fun getting to know all of social media’s top art stars!


  5. Courtney Dirks April 14, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Such an awesome interview! Lori, Maria & Drew – you are all such an inspiration to this community & to top it all off, you’re all super nice & genuine. Maria – it’s so exciting to read about all the amazing stuff you have lined up, your family juggles so much. My philosophy is to “work hard & play hard” & it really seems like you live your life that way too…wishing all of you the very best!

    • Lori McNee April 15, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      Hi Courtney, it’s great seeing you here. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I am glad you enjoyed Maria’s interview. Yes, she is a friendly gal who able and willing to help out the art community, just like you! I hope you ‘play hard’ this weekend.

      Best to ya-

  6. MARIA BROPHY April 16, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Thanks everyone for the incredibly kind comments! I feel blessed to be surrounded by loving, kind and intelligent people.

    Lori’s doing a great service, pulling together the art community to where we can share our ideas and help each other.

    It’s an honor to be a part of it!

  7. Penny Collins June 5, 2011 at 3:15 am

    I love this interview with Maria, and I love her blog too! She is so inspiring and I consider her one of my ‘art business’ teachers. Lori, I discovered your website through Maria’s blog and I love your blog too! I have bookmarked so many articles from both your blogs. Thank you for such an excellent service to the art community. It’s so refreshing to hear about commercially successful art and solid business plans.

    • Lori McNee June 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Hello Penny and thanks for letting me know you are enjoying my blog. Maria is doing a great service for artists and I am grateful to have shared her story here. I appreciate your nice feedback and I hope to see you here again.


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