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Student Examples: The Customer Focused Anti-Critique

Lesson 20 from: Art School Rehab: Finding Success Without Selling Out

Megan Auman

Student Examples: The Customer Focused Anti-Critique

Lesson 20 from: Art School Rehab: Finding Success Without Selling Out

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

20. Student Examples: The Customer Focused Anti-Critique


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Reprogram The Art School Mentality


Roadblock 1: Art School Makes You Feel Guily about Making Money


Exercise: Get Comfortable Charging More


Q&A: Pricing


Student Examples: Pricing


Roadblock 2: Art School Gives You the Luxury of Working Slowly


Exercise: Develop a Process for Getting Past Decision Paralysis


Lesson Info

Student Examples: The Customer Focused Anti-Critique

Now we're gonna do a few hot seats. And unbeknownst to our lovely students in the studio audience, we did a few videos to talk about the work. So if we could actually play our first video, so this reminds me of an oil slick or just dripping paint on the canvas Feels very like in the middle of a movement. What would you wear it with, and maybe where would you wear it, too? I can actually see myself wearing this and a lot of different situations, like I could see this being almost everyday piece. It doesn't feel like it's too fancy for work. Could definitely where it Teoh a nice dinner or an event. I think the fact that it's it's black, it kind of goes with everything. It's just, it seems, super versatile. I wear a lot of neutral tones, but I could definitely see this going over like a kind of a rusty orange or something, a bit more eye catching, because it is a darker piece, so wearing black and I kind of get lost. But I want I want to show it off more and what's your favorite thing abo...

ut it? I pretty much love everything about it. I love the idea of it being kind of the base level, being black and neutral, and then you add a touch of glitter and sparkle, and that really just catches the eye and how it kind of looks like it's dripping. It's It's a really intriguing piece, really like it. So what surprises you about it? I think going back to the movement, you know, a lot of jewelry I feel like is there's kind of like a It looks like it's in a box or a case or just like, kind of a stagnant geometric shape. And this one is totally breaking the mold. That is such a good metaphor. Her, you know, the potential of jewelry and what it can do. So, yeah, I think that's very powerful. So I think Kailyn has been scribbling furiously while you were watching that. So did that bring up anything for you? Did you learn anything about how people perceive your work from listening to that? I thought it was really helpful. Um I mean, I I've heard people you know say that it was unusual and eye catching, but it was helpful. Toe learn that. You know, it's something that someone would think about wearing every day. I mean, it's something I wear every day, but I don't know about people who aren't me. So So, Yeah, that seemed really helpful. Awesome. And I think, you know, with this exercise, it's also helpful to ask your most articulate and smartest friends because they will describe things so well and you can pull things of verbatim as you're talking about the work. Awesome. Okay, I think we have another video. It's got a very Alison Wonderland feel to it, and I mean, that might be an obvious comment, but But it certainly has this sort of real meets whimsy, Um, feel. And also this kid meets adult sort of back and forth. That's where much of the lady reminds me of one of those, like toe lose the track paintings. That part feels very French. And then you have this awesome random bunny. Sorry. Like that Jackson position. So where would you put this in your home? What would you display with it? Did you have a spot in mind you could think of next to an area where there's entertaining, whether it be next to a wine bar. Not necessarily kitchen, but a place where conversation and discussions inspired in addition to entertaining, whether it be again a bar or some other kind of entertainment area, I could see this going probably in the dining room if you have a dining room or just your living room. Um, it definitely feels like something that belongs in kind of the front of your home. So what's your favorite thing about it? I love the unexpected with it. I love the fact that you can ask 10 people what they see or what the story is, and you get 10 different answers. I love the pop of color. Uh, you know, I paint on the side and usually a try. Stay away from red because every time I use red, somebody says, Oh, it looks like blood or whatever, but contextually This certainly obviously feels like it's it's It's part of a wine glass, but it doesn't. It doesn't feel menacing at all in a There's definitely a story here, so it's kind of fun to say, OK, what would that story be if I were if I were telling, I love the different styles going on. I think it's cool. Teoh have kind of a mishmash between something a bit more graphic, like the bunny. And then you have something a bit more true to life. Like the woman in the dress. I liked the minimal colors, too. Is there anything that surprises you about it? I love the idea again. There's something going on here and there. There are almost three stories and one for me and and I really love. I love the execution, especially of the woman and the wine. I think that in itself could be its own piece of art. In addition to this, I almost feel like they're from two different eras and they're meeting each other. And then I'm really curious about the bit of red two. I'm not really sure what it means, but it's injury. So, Anna, was there anything from that that really told you something about your workers thing? You didn't know about it before? And actually, I do want to say when we did this piece for your your anti critique and you're like, Oh, why this one? Because this is the one that they picked when we show them your images. So This was the one that they were the most drawn to. Uh uh huh. That's interesting, because I had Ah, a while ago. I decided it's not finished because I don't like her dress. So I decided to opinion all over. I kind of think I won't. Yeah. There was something thing. Something that people really liked about it. Anything else that you kind of saw from that? Yes. It's so interesting to hear someone else took your work. I was a specialist. Surprise or I don't know if surprises maybe not the right term, but it was interesting to hear them talking about the stories. They focused a lot on that. I really like that. Thank you. Uh, and ah, also, it was fun to hear where they would put it. Yeah, and I think the wear thing is so interesting for everyone because it gives you things that you can talk about. We talk about writing like product descriptions and things like that, but it can also give you cues for photographing your work. So if you were trying to show someone how this could be in their home and you could shoot an image of it displayed in a dining room. Or actually, this didn't make the final cut of those videos. But when they were talking about like, oh, a dining room or an entertaining space, I was thinking, I have these friends who in their basement have all these like vintage French like wine posters and like illustrations like, although if it imperfectly down there with their little bar and all that. So I think knowing that you can start Teoh, photograph your work in a way that's not just the piece but the piece in context. And that really helps people visualize how it fits into their world. Also, I think we have one more video. So what does it remind you off? So this reminds me of coloring as a kid. It feels very eclectic, but it all goes together, which is something that reminds me I have a lot of stuff that I did as a kid as well. Where would you use this? Would you put it in your home? Do you see it? What would you see it with? You See it in a friend's home? I definitely see it, and I have a few friends. Her parents. I definitely see it in the room of maybe a 45 year old, even a newborn like it might even be cool for someone who's expecting a child to play the nursery. Yeah, tons of different situations. When I when I was first looking at this piece, I thought, Okay, obviously I have a six year old daughter who loves art, so I thought, OK, especially with the colors of the wall that it's with and what not? But But then I took a step back and said, OK, that would actually be instead of putting it in an environment where it feels like it would naturally fit in, it actually could be something that was closer to a kitchen like my daughters got on art area right next to the kitchen. And it almost feels like it could fit into a place that wasn't actually naturally meant for, and I don't know why, but it kind of reminds. Maybe it's maybe it's the hardwood underneath it or what not, But I do think it's something that could fit in a space that was unexpected. What's your favorite thing about it? I like how playful it is, you know, it's obviously you know, this isn't trying to fit into a certain color scheme or a certain trend for a house. You know, it's totally crazy. There's tons of animals on it. It feels very playful, and it just really brightens up the room. I think I use the word eclectic before, and I'm I'm totally obsessed with designs and art that is eclectic to the point where it celebrates it and goes again to the point where they actually that's so eclectic that they go together, right? So it's not all about one thing. It's not all about one color, but it really sort of celebrates the differences in the colors and the shapes and the animals and whatnot that make it feel like they belong together like an intentional, eclectic design. Is there anything that surprises you about it? Yeah, I actually think the whole piece is surprising. You know, there's so many different colors going on. There's different scales of our work going on. It's a very eye catching piece, and I think that's one of the best things about it. Every inch of the piece is covered in art. It certainly is not minimal, which is not a bad thing, but it takes advantage of every corner of every surface where you know, if you can't draw an animal, there is some bordering or some edging or some detail and patterns. And so that surprised me because I'm one that really gravitates toward a restraint, minimal feel. But for some reason, again, I love this sort of celebration of the eclectic. Fantastic. So, angel, I see you're cracking up kind of at the end. So what were some things that were insightful for you on this? I like the some of the language I used, like, playful and one of the things I can. I'm not sure if I mentioned that I'm a huge animal lover and they both said something about animals and when they were talking about the surface stuck, I do. I mean, I coat every I was there, an entry on something in there. But then I started thinking about that. And then I thought about being from Pennsylvania and that whole Pennsylvania German tradition of, like, the old painted chests and things like that. But really for modernist and Children. So yeah, and also the fact that he thought about putting it not in the Children's room. Yeah, that was surprising to me. Yeah, I thought that was really interesting to. And when we were having the conversation, it made me think of. Oh, my. You know, my friend has elements for her little girl like a little play kitchen and things like right in her kitchen. So I think thinking about how you can bring some of kids spaces into the regular space. I thought that was really interesting that he called that out, especially having a six year old daughter so awesome. All right, so hopefully that gave you guys some insight. Your Sorry we didn't get to you. This is well, but you can do the exercise at home on. So now our goal is to really turn the results of the anti critique and the customer focused anti critique into stories you can tell about your art. So what we want to do is make this really tangible so that you have things you can say is your selling things you can write in your product descriptions. Basically, we want to develop talking points about your work that just make it easier to sell. So if you read anything or heard anything about selling or copyrighting. You've probably heard this idea of, like, don't talk about features, talk about benefits. So don't say that it's made of steel. Say that it's durable, But I think that this idea of features and benefits does not go far enough because, especially when you're selling art when you're selling these one of a kind handmade pieces, it's not the benefit that people buy. It's the emotion and the story behind it. And we saw that example so clearly with those three emails that I showed you guys write. It wasn't about why I wanted to make it. It really wasn't even about the fact that they could wear it every day. It was this story with the emotion about how you're going to get compliments when you wear it right, which is really thing. You're gonna feel good when you wear it. You're gonna feel good. Other people are going to tell you you're gonna feel great, right? That is what sells something, and so we want to move our way through this and I just exercising another class so some of you may have seen it, but it's really, really important one to do because it makes selling so much easier. So another example of this in my work is, I might say, you know, the features it's made from steel. The benefit is that it's lightweight and durable, but really, the emotion behind it is that you kind of have this, like, confident, independent feeling. But the way I communicate that emotion as I talk about how, when I travel, I just pick it up and I throw it in my bag. When I take it out, it's fine. It's not broken, It's not tangled. It's easy to go put it on. That is a much more effective sales strategy. It's memorable for my audience. It helps them see how it fits into their life. And so you can use these stories in a number of ways. So first of all, you couldn't use them when you're selling in person and I love doing that, especially when I could be demonstrably all, as they would say in the TV infomercial made TV sales world right. So when I talk about throwing it in my bag, I'm at a trade show. I usually pick it up and then I throw it back down on the table, and then I pick it up and I put it back on so that as another layer to that story, but can really focus on telling the story in person. But you can also use thes stories online, and you can and should tell them again and again and again. So one of the mistakes that we make is that we put things out there once, and we assume that our customers saw it and remember it. Anyone who's following you, whether it's an email, subscriber or social media follower or someone lands in your website, they're only seeing a tiny fraction of what you put out there. So when we find these core stories, we could tell about our work. We need to tell them everywhere. We need to talk about these different customer focused things. So some of the please places that you can do that your about page, your product descriptions, your email marketing, your social media posts. And if you don't have all of these E at, if you're like what my websites not done, okay, we're gonna right, I'm gonna work on them. You can put them in later. So for example, like straight off the bat. This is my about page, and they literally start off with I'm Mega Domine and I designed for women who want to be effortlessly bold right off the bat. I'm talking about my customer and not myself. Now you'll notice if you go to my about page, the transitions. I do talk about myself then I think both are important. I noticed kind of a trend where people just sort of do this part, the customer part. And then then you're like, but like, who are you? I'm like, OK, this is this is for you. And now, in case you want to know more, I also have a b f A. This is where I live. Bigger goes on to say that I don't like to fly, you know, random things like that. But I'm starting off with the customer and what they need. And I might tell similar stories in a product page. So I'm like, OK, here's a little bit about the details of the ring. There is almost nothing technical in this product description. I mentioned the kind of stone it as I mentioned. It's made out of steel But then I talk about whether you're on your morning lot, Ron working at your computer out for a date night, this ring as a dose of attitude and style and what I'm doing here. If I'm trying to call up strong visual imagery, right, I want you to think about holding this in your hand with your coffee cup, looking at it while you're on your computer looking at that ring, thinking about how that makes looking at your boring keyboard so much more interesting. I am trying to call that up for people in my product descriptions. Sometimes you can literally, literally take the language that someone used eso. My friend was trying these on. We were talking about that phenomena of people seeming to buy the White Stones more, and she was like, Well, it's kind of like a badass version of a pearl necklace. I was like, Yes, that's exactly so. I literally made that the subject line of an email and told that story and sent that email out. So all the guys who just had everyone talking about your work, you fodder for like, eight different emails in there now, things you couldn't send to your list and then the same thing. So just because I sent out an email doesn't mean I didn't also posted on social media hanging out with Amber Cain. She described it like a badass pearl necklace, which I totally love, so I'm not assuming that everyone's gonna see it in one place or another.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Art School Rehab Class Workbook

Ratings and Reviews


This class was so good - it's not just for people who went to art school, but anyone who has (or wants to have) a creative-based business. Megan's lessons break down the overwhelmingness of roadblocks and gives you tangible tools to get past them, shift your mindset, and shows you how to focus. There were so many elements to this class that were helpful, but overall I think if you feel like you're stuck, you overanalyze every decision, and feel like you want to move forward but don't know how, this class is for you. Thanks Megan, for helping me work on a plan to move me past my hurdles.

Kiki B

What a great class! Megan has helped me to really understand what my business goals are and how to achieve them, and has given me heaps of confidence to boot. This is going to be a great year for my creative business!

Kim S. Joy

I have owned this class for awhile and just decided to start it.... well I should have watched/taken this class years ago! I did not go to art school but follow that mindset. This was amazing. So much to learn and unlearn. The pricing and raising your prices what just what I needed. Thank you Megan for another wonderful class.

Student Work