Pivoting to Mentorship After More than a Decade of Course Creation with Wendy Brightbill

[00:00:00] Made Remarkable Intro: Welcome back. And thanks for tuning into the made remarkable podcast, hosted by Kellee Wynne. In today's episode, Kellee is talking with Wendy, bright bill. And incredible artists whose work is instantly recognizable across the internet. Wendy shares what led her into her unique artistic style and some pivotal moments she's had in her business after participating in Kellee's built a remarkable program. 

Kellee and Wendy discussed the common struggle of creating multiple courses for the same audience. And the importance of focusing on one main thing, perfecting it and avoiding burnout and exhaustion. Check out the show notes and transcripts for more information about Wendy, exclusive promotional offers and any special links mentioned during the episode. Kellee loves connecting with listeners. 

So don't be shy. Reach out on social media and together let's build a community that celebrates the remarkable. 

If you want to be notified every time a new episode hits the airwaves, just hit that subscribe button on your favorite podcast platform. Thank you for joining us today and always remember. You are made remarkable destined to achieve the unimaginable. Now let's get to the good part. Introducing Kellee Wynne and Wendy bright bill.

[00:01:07] Kellee Wynne: Well, hello. Hello. I'm Kellee Wynn, artist, author, mentor, fiercely independent mother and wife, and the founder of a multiple six figure creative business. And I love my life, but I've been where you're at. I was slogging away at this art business thing for more than a decade. Once I finally connected with my true calling, unlock the magic of marketing and built a system that could scale, while I realize I can make an impact and make a substantial income, I'm finally running a business that I love and it makes all the.

Difference in the world. My biggest dream is to help you do the same. Let this podcast be the catalyst to your biggest success. You already have it in you because you are made remarkable.

I am so glad I finally have you on the podcast. We get to chat. We have a lot of common passions about creating our paths across many times. So thank you, Wendy, for showing up today. I know that it was a long season of getting your oldest daughter through graduation, so congratulations.

[00:02:13] Wendy Brightbill: Yay. Thank you, Kellee. Yeah, so much for having me. I am excited to talk about all things creative because that's my favorite thing to talk about. So, 

[00:02:26] Kellee Wynne: and we were just about to get into a deep conversation when I'm like, we better hit record. Because these are the things that people want to hear. They want to hear us knowing we have doubts.

We question what we do. We want to make sure that what we're delivering comes from our heart, that we're listening to what is needed in this world. And we're not just putting crap out there. Like you and I are so much the same about that, but we were having talk. We were just in a deep discussion about that.

[00:02:54] Wendy Brightbill: Yeah. I was just saying, I think that we all, especially as creatives. Whether it has to do with our creative practice or our business and our Who we are serving in our business. We all go through these like seasons where we're like, why am I even because it's not easy. And I think as creative people, we're so sensitive.

That, anytime we put ourselves out there, it's like, I don't know, like, one of my Masterpiece Makers just launched her very first collection, and I was like, asking her, how do you feel? How do you feel? And she's like, I feel like I have a vulnerability hangover. 

[00:03:39] Kellee Wynne: It's so true because In order to run a business and be creative and get your art in the world, you have to be vulnerable.

Yes. And, and that leaves us second guessing ourselves all the time. Like, do people actually need this? Do people actually want it? I don't want to scam people. I don't want to be a fraud. I want to take care of people. I want to serve them at the best power that I can. Who am I to even do this? There's other people who can do it, but like, these are the thoughts that go through my head.

[00:04:11] Wendy Brightbill: Absolutely. And, I think it just, it takes. So much emotional energy, whether it's sharing our artwork or launching a course or a mentorship program, which I'm about ready to do again. And it's like, you really have to dial in, like, why am I doing this? Who am I helping? Yeah. So worth it.

[00:04:44] Kellee Wynne: Right. Of course, in the end, when you see the results, you're like, oh yeah, that was worth it. It's so satisfying to me to see other people succeed. 

[00:04:54] Wendy Brightbill: Yes, absolutely. 

[00:04:56] Kellee Wynne: Yeah, but then there's that question like that comes up. It's like, okay, there's this long runway. I'm putting the software into this world.

I really believe in it because I know I can help people, but that means I have to show up and talk to them every day. I have to say things. I have to, oh, hey, look at me. Oh, I'm on display. And then how does that make, like, that's where that vulnerability comes like, and that questioning and that second guessing comes in.

[00:05:22] Wendy Brightbill: Yeah, I think what you just said, like, it's all about the showing up, you know, making that decision to show up to serve the people that you're called to serve and not only that, really have. have clarity around who you help and how you help them. Otherwise, you're not going to be able to do anything.

Yeah, I mean, like, 

[00:05:51] Kellee Wynne: if you want to be able to help someone, you have to let them know you can help them. Which means you have to be super clear in that message, which. I love about you is that you are super clear and I love seeing you come through my feet and you say things that other people would be a little more timid to say, but they're absolutely on point the truth.

And that's about finding your voice and style requires you to dedicate and do something on repeat. Yes. And I love that, like, that's the reason why when a painting comes through my feed that's a Wendy Brightbill, I know immediately it's your work. You've spent, I don't know how many, over a decade honing in on that vision.


[00:06:37] Wendy Brightbill: Well, yeah, I think because I spent so long. During that season, I like to call myself a creative nomad. Like, I was just wandering and I would try this and I would try this and I loved it and I didn't want to really commit to just one thing.

I wanted to do all the genres, you know, I'll do a landscape today and a portrait tomorrow and an abstract or, wherever the, the wind blew me inspiration wise, that was what I would explore, but I really didn't start to, honestly, Thrive as an artist. And I guess, really even sell my art until I just started going deeper into my process and really creating like you were saying, I create the same thing over and over again, and I have learned how to develop my skills as an artist.

And that's one of the things that I help other artists do is, I think so many times it's hard to commit to like only one thing 

because you think, Oh, it's, forever in stone, but the more deeper you go into one thing, You just become that much more skilled and it doesn't mean that somewhere down the road.

You can't change and do something else. 

[00:08:13] Kellee Wynne: The deeper you get, like, the well just opens up and it evolves anyway. Right. Right. 

[00:08:20] Wendy Brightbill: Right. Yeah. And it changes and grows but that's what makes you more unique is because you have spent the hours, like, didn't you just post something about, isn't it like Ira Glass about the 10, 000 hours?


[00:08:36] Kellee Wynne: it was Malcolm Gladwell who said spend 10, 000 hours in order to, I don't know if you could say an expert, but that's how you build your skill is to spend 10, 000, 

[00:08:46] Wendy Brightbill: right, right. It takes time. And I think the other thing that comes into play is just, you have to stop making art for other people, and really get clear on your own creative voice.

Because it's never going to have that like magic ingredient if you're not doing it for you, you know? Plus it's not sustainable, right? You can't sustain making art that you dread making all the time, or it doesn't like make you excited to go, you know, create. When I realized like that, there was a disconnect between basically what I was magnetically drawn to and the art that I was making, they were completely on two opposite sides.

I wanted to paint like these messy abstracts and expressive type of work. And I was making digital illustration, cute forest animals. 

[00:09:58] Kellee Wynne: Oh my goodness, what a huge shift that you've made. 

[00:10:03] Wendy Brightbill: And I just thought, this is so not me. Why am I even doing this? And I had just gone down this path of like, well, if I can do it.

I should do it. Right. And I think that's something that you teach and help artists in their creative business and their marketing when they're trying to figure out, okay, what, what program do I, I want to do, you know, well, I can do this and I can do this and I can do this over here and like, It, it never becomes like cohesive, because just because you can do it doesn't mean you should be doing it.

[00:10:44] Kellee Wynne: Right. Well, and also to be honest, I like the word creative nomad, and I do think we all have our wandering period, and that's how we discover what we like and what we don't like. 

But some people will wander their entire creative career and wonder why they're not getting success. And then you stop and say, well, look at all the people who are remarkable, literally people that you can remember.

They have reputation. They're doing well, like in history or in, in this current. Yeah. Yeah. It's recognizable art that they have developed. They have taken all their ideas and start gelling them together. Yeah. and formed their own point of view. That's why it's your voice, right? And it's so hard to let go of any one great idea because any one of them could be 


but all of them At one time are going to go nowhere.

[00:11:38] Wendy Brightbill: Exactly. And that's what I teach in my creative practice. And that's what you teach in your program, 

[00:11:44] Kellee Wynne: which is why we get along so well with this point of view of let's just do it. Do the one thing and that one thing means taking all the different facets of who you are and packaging it up in a way that works great for your soul, but it's like staying consistent with that.

[00:12:00] Speaker 2: Right. 

[00:12:01] Kellee Wynne: And so you teach that in your masterpiece makers, which by the way is a fantastic program. I loved going over all the details of what you do and who you serve and how you help. It's like super exciting. Everyone who's listening, Go find Wendy Brightbill's Masterpiece Makers is going to be coming out opening soon.

So if you're still trying to figure out how to make an impact with your art, this is the program for you. I teach people how to take all those skills and then turn it into a business. Although I think you have some layers of business in what you teach too. 

[00:12:34] Wendy Brightbill: Yeah, I mean, I think the transformation that I, I take artists through is more about, sharing and selling their art, not necessarily like teaching or, having that kind of a program.

So there are so many different levels of. Putting your art out there, and so I'm sharing basically from all of my, my 14 years of, selling and marketing my art, I have a fairly successful Etsy shop that just keeps, going, I think I figured it out and, I sell probably, it sounds a little bit crazy.

On average, I probably sell like 30 paintings a month, which is crazy. And like the other day I was kind of feeling like, hard on myself, like, yeah, sales have been kind of down, but then I was looking at it and I'm like, Wendy, that's a painting in a day. Like, why are you, you know, Exactly.

So, I think I take like the artist who's still kind of trying to figure out their style. I help them solidify and find clarity in that. And one of my favorite things to do is really talk about process because I just geek out over that. I love talking about innovating your process and figuring out, how to.

Make your process your own instead of just, Oh, I took a course from Kellee Wynne, and I am going to copy how she does it. I take a Wendy Brightbill course. I'm going to copy how she does it. I take a Roben-Marie course, and I'm going to copy how she does it, you know. 

[00:14:31] Kellee Wynne: That maybe blend it all together and come up with your own point of view.

[00:14:35] Wendy Brightbill: Yes, exactly. And you might learn something from one artist and be like, Oh, I really liked how this artist does line. How can I combine that with shape in a different way? You know, and all that kind of stuff. And so, I probably could. Teach a whole entire class on that because it just makes me so excited.

[00:14:57] Kellee Wynne: Like, I love it because I geek out on that too. And my favorite thing when teaching was when people actually had that aha moment and discovered their own voice or style, but it was so challenging because, I think in the new years and people who are new at this. Just starting it makes sense. Yes.

You copy to try to try on the different hats, but eventually you'll hit a roadblock and it's like, okay, now I really want it to be my own. And that's where someone like you come in. 

[00:15:30] Wendy Brightbill: Right well, and I think what the danger of copying other people, like, take away the, you know, like, I don't even care that artists copy me.

That's a non issue for me. But the danger when. In terms of your own, wellness or well being or who you are as an artist is that it anytime you're just emulating and copying someone, it's not necessarily your own true expression, right? 

And you might not absolutely love the art that you're making.

Right, but you admire that other artists, and so you're trying to be them, but there's elements of it that don't line up with who you are or what your true expression is. I remember early on when I had first started teaching, I had like, you probably don't even remember this, I don't know how long we've known each other, but when I first started teaching, come on.

I taught for Jean Oliver, which was an amazing experience, but it's really funny when I look back on that art that I was making around that time I was teaching for her. All my work was like super neutral and that's not me at all. But because I was teaching for her, I was trying to like, be someone that I wasn't, you know what I mean?

Like, I think we always. We like try to put on this. thing that's not us, you know? So, 

[00:17:09] Kellee Wynne: we all go through those phases. When I was creating for myself, I did great. But then when I spent too much time online, starting in 2014 and beyond, for many years after that, I would find art that I found amazing and want to copy it.

Even, you know, Copying a Wendy Bright bill. Not literally a copy, but I saw your work and I was just like, it's just like mind blowing, gorgeous. Like, how does she, I think I found you on Pinterest and I found your Etsy shop. Then I found you on Instagram and I was just smitten. As most people are, Wendy, but I'm like, okay, but eventually my florals don't look like your floors.

It don't look like anybody else's because I just kept going deeper and deeper until I figured out how I make my work. 

[00:17:58] Wendy Brightbill: Yes. That's, that's, what it's all about. 

[00:18:01] Kellee Wynne: And I love that you can help people get through that because some never arrive in that place. They don't have the confidence.

They don't know how they don't know what to let go of. They don't know what to focus on. And if there's one thing I can just encourage everyone, if there's a place you want to get to asking for help, paying for the support, being part of a mentorship, all the difference in the world of. Not just fast tracking your development, but deepening your development, creating relationships, creating something in yourself like it's monumental for me to have gotten.


[00:18:35] Wendy Brightbill: Yeah, like, going back to what you just said a minute ago, I think creatives and artists. Often give up before they get to that place because , it is so hard to like push through that feeling of not even liking the work that you're making.

And that's one of the things that I help my, my students really dial in is like, don't stop there. Ask yourself, why do I not like this? You know, like, ask yourself those hard questions. And often times, it's like, even just like deciding, you know what, my drawing skills just suck.

Stink, right? How can I get better at that? Well, what if I drew one thing a day? Like that's going to make me better, you know? So 

[00:19:31] Kellee Wynne: surprise, you actually have to put in the time to get the skills, but it is worth it. If you're really passionate about it, it's totally worth it. Right? Yeah, it is. So on another note, you and I both have the same philosophy of focusing in and I love helping people with their business and I was stunned when you joined me for Build It Remarkable because I'm like, she's been doing this longer than me, I think, but there are certain things that you're great at and other things that you had some Development, you wanted to learn a little bit about, like, you are one of the few that came in already with a business background already knew exactly what you wanted to work on masterpiece makers and there were still things that you said in the course that were like, Oh my goodness, if I had learned this at the beginning, these are foundational things I never did.

And that was like, oh, okay, so I'm on to something. I hope I'm helping. Right. 

[00:20:29] Wendy Brightbill: Yeah. Like, I think some of it is just, okay, like us creatives, us artists are scatterbrained in lots of ways and we just want to do the fun things, right? And the things where you have to really get serious about your email, , I'm like hiding because like literally I was so bad before, your course, I was so bad.

 I was simply relying on my teachable. For my email, right? Newsletter stuff, which is not really beneficial and I was not taking the time. And that's one of the things that you really helped me with is getting like No more messing around. If I want to get serious in my business and take it to the next level, I have to prioritize my, my email list, but also like the nurturing newsletters that you encourage us to, to send out, and, you know, I know this stuff, right? Like, I know that I'm supposed to be doing this, but I'm just avoiding it because I don't want to. And so, I think I started in January because I was like, okay, I am going to get serious about this. And honestly I feel like it's been one of the best things for my business.

[00:22:07] Kellee Wynne: Oh, and your email list growing and the connections you're making. 

[00:22:12] Wendy Brightbill: Right. I mean, it took some like figuring out like how to connect my teachable to convert kits and all that behind the scenes stuff. And how, which disc teamer. I don't teach the tech, I teach the strength, but No, no, you don't, you don't teach it, but it wasn't that hard to fi find out. I actually asked my VA who's like, really, really good at tech stuff. Like, that's why she's in my life. I was like, Sarah, can you please find out how? And you know, like stuff like that though, I just needed that like kick in the butt And honestly, you really encouraged me to close down some of my classes, which it was hard, but it was also really freeing at the same time. And that's one of the things I believe in that principle because one of the things that I teach in my program is when you get rid of old artwork, you have room for new artwork.

Well, the same principle applies to your business as well. If you get rid of old offerings, you have room for new things. And I actually had this moment where I realized, if I don't let go of this, which I think that's a lot of what it is, is like, you have to figure out what's in alignment with.

What you're wanting to put out there. Not that I like completely don't believe in technique courses anymore. I have lost the joy in marketing that and in teaching that, and you can not. Market something that you don't believe in 

[00:24:00] Kellee Wynne: for sure. I've had stuff for the same reason. 

[00:24:04] Wendy Brightbill: And I think you really helped me find that clarity of like, okay.

This is not what completely lights me up inside. So it's not going to come across in me marketing it, you know, 

I mean, all sorts 

[00:24:24] Kellee Wynne: of served a place. In the time of your life that you created them and they were good. Which is why you could still say, okay, I'm selling them, but I'm retiring them. I also see a habit and this is not just you.

I can't tell you how many course creators that I've seen out there. They have a core audience. They haven't grown their audience much, so they just keep making more courses for the same people. Right. Right. That you have loyal followers, but it's exhausting because you're starting from scratch each time.

Building something again, needing to market something. And next thing you know, it's like you have all these courses and, and it's like trying to make a decision as it's too much to decide from too much to manage too much to market, which is why you and I have very similar philosophies. Just pick the one thing go all in, right?

Supporting ideas and habits, , like, if we're going to use an art making analogy, I may create big florals, but every now and then I'm like, okay, I'm going to do some floral pastel sketches. You know, like, I can see, like, we can iterate on. Our main thing, but it's still the main thing, 

[00:25:35] Wendy Brightbill: right? And I think that you helped me with that whole process because honestly, I was in a place of burnout because I was, I was on that like hamster wheel. And you're like, no, Wendy, get off the hamster wheel. 

[00:25:56] Kellee Wynne: This is a philosophy I've been working on more and more, especially with the people that are in my programs that I.

Okay. I honestly just love coming to this conclusion for myself, and so now I'm helping others, which is pick that thing, do it really well, perfect it, and finally you're going to have some time freedom. You won't burn out. It's no longer a hassle. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. You don't always have to be creating something new.

It's like, Figure it out, put it on repeat. So now it's like masterpiece makers. And then the next time you want to do it, it's masterpiece makers again. Right. It's like, then you get known for this thing. You have systems in place. It actually frees you up. 

[00:26:36] Wendy Brightbill: Yeah, exactly. Well, and here's the thing that I'm realizing Kellee about marketing.

And I don't think I fully. Realized this until this year and that is it takes a lot Of emotional energy to market something and what I was doing was rushing through the marketing 

making the next thing because I like making the thing and I don't particularly like the marketing, but if I don't stay in the marketing.

I'm not going to have a business. And so I think that taking your course and really listening to some of the ideas that you and advice that you have to offer, even though I wasn't willing in the beginning to really slow down, And say, how can I market this well? And what strategies do I need to put in place so that I can actually scale up to a bigger level?

Instead of keeping my customers also on the hamster wheel. Like they're like, gosh, Wendy has another class coming out. Like, I don't know if I can take another class right now, 

[00:28:05] Kellee Wynne: well, and, and to be honest, there's a lot of us, there's a lot of people out there, myself included, who are course collectors who never actually follow through, which is why it's great to develop an idea.

That will encourage participation and Masterpiece Makers is something where people actively come together and get guidance from you. It's not just like a self drip, self paced program, 

[00:28:29] Wendy Brightbill: right? It is. It's a lot more, like coaching and this round, I'm doing 12 zoom calls, and I think part of.

 What even helped me was just watching how you taught. Build it remarkable because I was like, Oh, okay. Like sometimes just seeing what someone else is doing helps you figure out like, okay. And, you know, um, ideas 

[00:28:58] Kellee Wynne: we can teach live. It doesn't have to be some perfectly polished recorded video that you present.

There is a beautiful energy and synergy and doing something live. 

[00:29:09] Wendy Brightbill: Right. Yeah. I think that's definitely helped me just really slow down and plan out my marketing more. You're going to be surprised, I'm actually writing my launch emails ahead of the launch. Like, who am I even?

[00:29:32] Kellee Wynne: That's the dream. And then when they're written, you only need to tweak them the next time around. And it's like, it gets easier and it gets easier. And you become more successful because you become known for something very special. And it's like, right. 

[00:29:46] Wendy Brightbill: And I think that's part of, why your program really spoke to me was because it was like on a different level.

I knew it when it came to my own creative practice and what I was teaching my students. So I was like, Oh yeah, this is true. I know this is true, but you know, Sometimes I think, I think the hardest thing for artists. Is establishing systems, but then when the system stopped working, we just stay in that.

Like, it's so hard for us to be like, okay, this system is not working anymore. And I feel like I've been having to like, just almost rebuild my whole foundation and it's been so like, There have been gut wrenching moments where I'm like, I don't want to do this part again, but at the same time, I know that it's more sustainable.

Right. And 

[00:30:50] Kellee Wynne: that's I mean, everything evolves. We don't have the typewriter anymore. So, I mean, we have to as businesses, exactly how to evolve our systems. Certain principles are going to be true no matter what, but. Most artists I know who have a business don't even have any systems in place. Yeah.

Eventually though, establishing that, knowing, how to put something on repeat. And like you built a beautiful infrastructure to be able to sell your art. And I think that might be classic enough. You can keep moving forward with that. But when it comes to bigger marketing things like marketing courses, marketing other, real businesses, not just like creative hobby that you've monetized, but it takes.

It takes systems, it takes effort, it takes some skills and knowledge that, and let's not even beat around the bush, it is work, there is a lot of, a lot that goes into it. 

[00:31:41] Wendy Brightbill: Yeah, and also I think, I feel like there are some elements of like, shifting markets and stuff like that, where it's like,

 I've had my own platform since 2017, and I've seen really, ups and downs and 2020 that was like, thanks for my business, you know, like, that was amazing year to be selling online courses and then everything dipped because no one wanted to be online anymore, and I think the trend right now is 

I think people want and need like authenticity. 

And I also think if it's not solving a problem, they're not going to be interested. And so I feel like in lots of ways, that's part of also why I'm saying goodbye to doing so many technique courses. I might do a few here and there maybe in the future, but maybe not, I think people are , Getting somewhat burnt out on that in the sense of here's another course.

How is this different, you know, from all the other art classes that I've taken? And so really getting clear on like, what problem are you actually solving? 

[00:33:04] Kellee Wynne: And that's the key right there. And it doesn't even matter what you're doing for business. It comes down to what problem do you solve and some people will be like, Oh, I'm just making art.

There's no problem. But if you're making art to sell art, then that means the person who's buying it needs beauty in their life. They need something to decorate their home. They need a gift. What problem are you solving? And there has got to be some sort of problem that you're solving, or it's going to be very hard to build a business.

So I really absolutely agree with you. Like, you really have to dig deep and understand your customer and how you're serving them and whether that. It's making art, teaching art, doing something outside of the box, which I really encourage everyone to like, just think differently or more like you just have to think differently and really push yourself out of the norm of what you see happening online.

[00:33:54] Wendy Brightbill: Yeah. I think that is so key is figuring out, like you said, like, how can you stand out as a course creator or business owner. How is your method and what you're doing different than what someone else is teaching? So, 

[00:34:14] Kellee Wynne: well, I sure have loved watching everything that you do. And though I never picked up oil and cold wax, I definitely felt myself inspired all these years and loved working with you.

You were a guest in my true colors art program when I had my membership. And yeah, love how to just keep. Crossing and I hope they keep crossing. Yeah, it's so fun. Yeah. So I want to make sure everyone finds you and your masterpiece makers. Wendy, Wendy Brightbill.

Most people have heard of you. If not go and find her. But when does masterpiece makers open? 

[00:34:52] Wendy Brightbill: So I, I am pushing and I'm making sure I'm like going through all the details, but I think, the date is like mid June. So. 

[00:35:07] Kellee Wynne: Right around the corner. So it's a lovely way to spend your summer diving deeper into yourself right through Wendy's guidance.

And I 100 backup and support this because the way she teaches is exactly how I would want to learn. So, yeah, you have my endorse. 

[00:35:25] Speaker 2: Thank you, 

[00:35:27] Kellee Wynne: thank you so much for coming on here and for being part of build it remarkable and for your support to Wendy. 

[00:35:34] Wendy Brightbill: All right, thanks, Kellee. 

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