[Abundantia* Headquarters archive, phone logs 2005-2020, records for artist Nicola Woods. Client Contact Representative: Starshine Moneybags]
- Phone call earth date: 05/05/2005
– Hello, hello, is that Nicola?
– Yes, Nicola speaking. Who is this?
– Hello, yes, this is Starshine Moneybags calling from the Abundantia headquarters with an important question for you.
– All right. I’m not sure about this, but go ahead.
– Nicola, we have a collector who would like to buy your artwork that’s on display at ARtWerkForYou gallery. Can you let me know the price?
– Oh, whoops! I listed that as “Not for Sale”, but now that you mention it, it would be great to sell it. How about I get back to you with the price? Is there a number I can call you back at?
– Well, yes, you can call 555 111-2222 and leave a message if no one answers.
[Abundantia Report 05/05/2005 by Starshine Moneybags:
Human/artist Nicola Woods was displaying some very interesting artwork in a gallery, and we encouraged a conversation that would lead to a sale. Despite the work being labeled NFS the interested collector (who wanted to buy the work as a gift) persevered and asked the price of the work. The artist showed inner signs of excitement that someone wanted to buy her work, but was unable to articulate a price, and despite some subsequent attempts to encourage the exchange of money for her artwork we were unable to deliver.]
- Phone call earth date: 05/15/2015
– Hello, is that Nicola?
– Yes, who’s speaking please?
– Hi, you may remember me? Starshine Moneybags from Abundantia?
– Oh, maybe, your name sounds vaguely familiar.
– OK, well I’m contacting you because we have an interested party who would love to buy your artwork directly from your website, and although there’s a price listed there’s no method for them to pay online.
– Oh, whoops! I’ve been meaning to set up a shopping cart function on my website. I’ll look into that and get back to you.
– (Sigh) OK you do that, just send an email to info@Abundantia.com, and one of our reps will pass the info along.
[Abundantia Report 05/15/2015 by Starshine Moneybags:
Human/artist Nicola Woods continues creating art and there is increased interest in the services (artwork) that she offers. Over the last few years her confidence has increased and we are pleased to see her work becoming more accessible and available for viewing online. Unfortunately she is still uncomfortable with selling her work and we continue to have difficulty delivering money in exchange for her artwork.]
- Phone call earth date: 12/22/2020
– Hello, hello, Nicola here, is that Starshine Moneybags?
– Yes, speaking.
– Hi Starshine, it’s great to speak to you again. You know I’ve really enjoyed selling more of my artwork this year, and I wanted to let you know that I’m more open to receiving and I’m trying to be more mindful of removing obstacles so your job is easier.
– That’s great, Nicola! We’re so happy to hear this. To be honest, we were getting quite put off. We tried as best we could but your negative thoughts and physical obstacles have made it quite tricky to deliver. You still have a lot to learn; do keep up your training and don’t forget to stay in touch!
[Abundantia Report 12/22/2020 by Starshine Moneybags
Human/artist Nicola Woods is showing great promise, and we had a lot more fun delivering this year. Her increased confidence is quite attractive, which has the effect of keeping our attention. It’s nice to see that she’s putting herself out there more. We’ve noticed that collectors can get in touch with her easily, and when their heart is set on buying an artwork, the sale goes through without trouble. Like most humans she still doubts herself, but we see definite signs that her trust levels are increasing, and her thoughts of “no one will buy my work” are decreasing. In addition, now that we are in contact more frequently, we have a much clearer understanding of what she would love to have, and our delivery work is much easier and more enjoyable. We look forward to seeing this human grow her capacity for abundance and generosity in the coming years.]
Over the years money has called me, but I haven’t always been responsive. When I put myself in the shoes of money and reflect back on my life as an artist, I can see how hard it has been for both money and the universe in general to help me.
Since first picking up a paintbrush at the age of 2, taking art classes at school and university, and then maintaining an art practice and a day job, I’ve blossomed as an artist but my relationship with money has been such a struggle. For many years I remained unaware and ignorant of how to connect art with money. I unconsciously absorbed all the starving artist myths, and didn’t even consider that other possibilities exist. Unfortunately, art school didn’t offer any practical or useful information about exhibiting or selling my work. I recall some advice from my professors about applying for grants, but in general my formal art education, though useful for strengthening my artistic expression, did not prepare me for life as an artist that makes money.
Until recently, my experience of money was filtered through a lot of negative emotions such as worry, anxiety and shame. I felt very uncomfortable and conflicted about earning money, especially in connection with my art. Like many artists, I’ve been great at spending money on my art (and incurring debt as a result) but not so good at setting up the conditions to receive money for it.
So, how have I changed since I listed my work as NFS and didn’t have the means on my website to allow for sales?
As a bookworm with a strong drive to expand my knowledge, I am drawn to information that helps me change and evolve. When a friend mentioned The Abundant Artist (TAA), I jumped right in and after reading some blogs and participating in some free challenges, I nervously signed up to be a member, all the time worrying that I couldn’t afford the membership. Several years later I know that the completely reasonable membership fee has value far beyond the cost. I’ve learnt practical skills that help me showcase my work, enhanced my website to allow for purchasing, and in the process gained more confidence.
A few months after I joined TAA, founder Corey Huff encouraged artist members to form mastermind groups and set up weekly accountability meetings (WAMs) as per the 12 Week Year model. I can’t quite figure how I ended up with the two marvelous artists I’m in a WAM group with, but I’m quite sure there was magic in the process. We connected online and although I still haven’t met my WAM group pals in person, three years later we are still meeting and inspiring each other. Together we amplify each other’s positive results, and support each other to make the sometimes scary but necessary leaps so we can evolve as artists. I can’t emphasize enough how much my WAM group has helped me, and I look forward to when we can meet in person (France, here we come!)
Thanks to TAA and my WAM group I learnt practical art marketing skills and gained confidence, but I still had giant worries and stress around money. Thankfully, since 2019, my relationship with money has been changing for the better. Again, my inclination to keep learning led me to the Shift Network (an amazing online transformative education platform), and through their offerings I heard about Sarah McCrum, the author of “Love Money, Money Loves You.” Since reading Sarah’s book and taking her courses I have radically shifted how I both understand and interact with money. Simply put, I feel more relaxed and grounded, all of which has a beneficial effect on my finances.
I’ve learnt that where I direct my thoughts makes a difference. For instance, if I keep worrying that no one is buying my artwork, this results in no sales.
One of my new techniques is to relax and visualize the word “SOLD” on each piece. I also find it helps to let go of what I can’t control, and allow the piece and the collector to “find” each other. Instead of worrying, my job is to keep enjoying as I create and share my art, offer meaningful content to my audience, and provide pleasant responses to sales inquiries and timely delivery for purchases. Naturally my negative thoughts continue to arise, but I have noticed that I am able to shift my mind towards a positive perspective more quickly. This new approach is especially helpful with all the current economic uncertainty. Acquiring ease with money is like any other skill; ongoing training and discipline are required. But it’s definitely worth it and so much more enjoyable than being stressed and worried. I can’t wait to see what Starshine Moneybags’ report will be next year!
(*Abundantia: 1. Latin for abundance, plenty, riches. 2. Ancient Roman goddess of abundance and prosperity.)
And so dear artist friends I invite you to reflect on your relationship with money and how you can improve it. As an artist you have incredible abilities to visualize and manifest your artistic visions into compelling art. Why not harness these abilities to find new ways to connect with abundance? Whether you start by imagining a conversation with money, picturing yourself in a gallery with sold stickers beside each artwork or visualizing your collector’s face light up when they receive their new piece is up to you. What matters is that you remain relaxed and playful. Acquiring ease with money is like any other skill; ongoing training and discipline are required. Check out the resources I’ve mentioned, do your own research, and you’ll find an abundance of support and information out there for you to enhance your relationship with money. I can’t wait to see what our Starshine Moneybags’ reports will be next year!
About the author:
Nicola Woods is a fine art photographer born in England and now living in Toronto. She creates shimmering tree portraits that resemble historical photographic techniques such as daguerreotypes and ambrotypes. Inspired by the physical beauty and the symbolic meaning of trees, she explores how trees mark time and embody qualities of perseverance and shelter. Woods holds a MFA from Johnson State College VT, has exhibited in North America, and completed projects in art residencies around the world.