From McDonald's to a Full-time Profitable Creative Business Owner with Susan McCreevy

[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 mixed media artists, Susan McCreevy to discuss her journey and success in the art world. Susan discovered her niche by using the Gelli plate in a different way, transitioning from the craft element to fine art. 

Susan is a perfect example of bringing big audacious dreams to life. As she has grown from working part-time at McDonald's to quadrupling her income and pursuing a career in lifestyle that she dreamed of. And designed. Alongside Kellee and the remarkable league. Check out the show notes and transcripts for more information about Susan. 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. If you're inspired to learn more about the power of embracing a niche. Juicy lead magnets and exploring nontraditional opportunities to build a profitable creative business. 

Then check out Kellee's built at remarkable program. Where you can join the wait list and be notified when doors open by going to made remarkable.com forward slash wait. 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 Winn and Susan McCreevy.

[00:01:30] 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 have Susan on the podcast today. How are you doing, Susan? 

[00:02:23] Susan McCreevy: Good, Kellee. Pleased to be here today. So thanks for having me. 

[00:02:25] Kellee Wynne: It's been a little while. You spent a year with me in the league and now you are off hitting milestones on your own, doing amazing things, plus breaking your arm while you're on vacation.

I don't know, you know, not exactly in the plans for the year. 

[00:02:41] Susan McCreevy: No, it wasn't. I was going to give it a little bit of a hiccup to the planning, but I'm managing. 

[00:02:47] Kellee Wynne: You're doing all right. Good. So I, I'm sure many of my listeners know who you are, but let's just dive into who is Susan McCreevy. How did you end up being an artist and turning it into a full time career?

[00:03:01] Susan McCreevy: Okay, so my name is Susan McCreavy. I'm a mixed media artist and I live in the north of Scotland. I graduated from art college which was in Dundee and that was nearly 30 years ago, so it's quite a while. I sort of dabbled in Trying to keep up my art practice over the years and primarily was working as a printmaker, worked a bit in textile design doing designs for other designers, like a, what's the word I'm looking for?

An agent. So I had an agent for my textile design. So I did that for a while when I was living in London. And then once I had my kids, everything kind of stopped. I think once there were like two or three, their, their dad had left and I was finding things quite tricky. And so I think I sort of felt like I needed the art practice to sort of keep myself a bit sane, going through that time.

So I went back to the printmakers in the Highland Print Studio in Inverness, and I had one day a week there and that was just really my, Salvation. It got me through the tough times as they got bigger. I sort of discovered, mixed media through YouTube and I thought, I love this. And I started to try and different things out on my kitchen table and soon realized I was going to need a bigger space.

So I managed to get the studio with the help of my partner and my. Parents helped me to fund a studio in the, in the garden and it really just started from there because I had that space to experiment and learn and grow, grow myself as a person as an, as an artist. That's really where it all started.

[00:04:43] Kellee Wynne: And that's where you're coming from right now, in your fun studio shed, garden shed. Yeah, 

[00:04:49] Susan McCreevy: I'm a bit, I can't drive just now, so I'm stuck at home. But I have got another studio now, which is, was one of my sort of big dreams to be in a bigger studio. So, I kind of moved out of this one. I'm actually in a really big studio, three times the size of this, which was 

[00:05:03] Kellee Wynne: I know, there's been some really cool things that have happened to you over the last year, like, mind blowing.

And specifically, going from right prior to us working together, you were Working at McDonald's, working to support your girls as a single parent. Still, I'm so impressed that you kept up your art practice. I don't know if I could have done it. I mean, so kudos to you that you've just leaned into what you were passionate about and developed your voice even more, but you know, I mean, what a uphill, Struggle in a lot of ways to be juggling all of that yourself and still be determined to move forward.

And then something clicked in 2022, 2023, where it was like, wait a minute, I can turn this into a full time passion that actually is profitable. 

[00:05:53] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, I think the Gelli plate has got a lot to do with that, to be honest, because I discovered, as I had the home studio and my passion is printmaking and textile design sort of combined and the mixed media.

And I was like, well, I don't want to be going out and paying for the Highland Print Studio when I've put a lot of money into working at home. So I found this Gelli plate and I was like, right, okay, what can I do with this? So I did the hundred day project and I was just having a play and just figuring out what I could do with this.

And it just kind of took traction on Instagram and people were interested in the things that I was doing with it and that were a little bit different to what other people were doing with the Gelli Gelli plate. So that was really, the start of it all and, and the start of my account growing and people be getting to know me.

[00:06:38] Kellee Wynne: Yeah. Well the Gelli plate seems to have transformed so many people's lives, and I love that because we just had Drew on the podcast and it was the same thing for him. I'm not sure how many of the listeners are really well versed in like all the different types of mediums, but when it comes to printmaking, it's usually requires a lot of big equipment, like the presses and, you have all different kinds of everything from the woodblock carving to intaglio and I know a little bit about it and I watch it and I think it's gorgeous and beautiful.

And also kind of unrealistic for most people to get into unless they have a studio space, they can go to or rent. So then comes Gelli Arts and they have this amazing permanent gelatin printing material. So if anyone hasn't heard of it, go get yourself a Gelli Arts Gelli plate. Cause it's so much fun to play with, which is what I said on the last podcast as well.

But you don't need a lot of space or a lot of supplies. And so that's where it's revolutionary. 

[00:07:43] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, you don't need a big printing press and you can use like student grade acrylic paint. Whereas most of the print, print making processes, you need really expensive intaglio inks. And they're very difficult to clean up.

 And they're not that great for the environment, you know, so it's, it is so much easier to, to get a finished product with the Gelli plate. 

[00:08:01] Kellee Wynne: Yeah, the others are more oil base or, solvent based and so you've got all of these chemicals you have to deal with and here you can just buy your craft paints and come up with some pretty amazing things.

I love that you're saying though that the 100 Day Project was also a huge catalyst, which I've been harping on for the last couple of years on my podcast. Do the 100 Day Project! It's like revolutionary for not only your practice, but also being seen. 

[00:08:31] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, yeah, I think so, because especially if you get, well, it used to, I think Instagram's changed, but it used to be that you got into the top nine of a hashtag So the 100 Day Project, they started, your posts were coming up near the top, then other people would click on it and find you.

That seems to be what happened to me anyway, that a lot of my posts were coming up near the top of feeds, so those people were finding me that way. 

[00:08:56] Kellee Wynne: Yeah. Well, now they use search engine keywords, so you still would want to use that kind of language in your posts and hope that the algorithm gods find you lucky enough to be seen.

However, that doesn't mean that it's not possible. And even if it's just doing the 100 day project for your own development, like, look at where it took you, you discovered things that other people weren't doing. Now you have. Artist and students drawn to you to learn methods that you're not finding anywhere else in the, gel printing community.

[00:09:34] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, I mean, that was 1 of the things that you talked about a lot in your course was finding your niche. And I think that was for me, it was the Gelli plate, but it was how am I using the Gelli plate in a different way, which for me was trying to. get away from the sort of craft element and bring it into more fine art.

So how do you, I really use the Gelli plate as a tool within my art practice, rather than saying I only do Gelli prints. This is how you take your prints and then move them forward into a finished painting. Incorporate them with collage and I try and use sort of collagraph plates. Collagraphs are when you build up a design on a piece of card and then you take a print from that.

And when you're working as a printmaker, you work the ink into that plate and then put it through a press. So I just tried to sort of think, how can I transfer that onto the Gelli plate? So I sort of tweaked it a little bit and it's basically just like a stamp, but I do use different ways. All fame trying to sort of take that technique forward with the Gelli plate, 

[00:10:38] Kellee Wynne: right?

And it's your own designs, not somebody else's stenciled someone else's stamp, which there's nothing wrong with. I use those, but it's really great. Like you said, it's taking it from craft. Which is, I love craft. So this isn't a bash on craft. It's which direction do you want to go to fine art? And so that's the cool thing about printmaking and gel plate printing is that it's got such a huge range of possibility.

You are showing this point of view of how to make masterful finished paintings. You starting off by using the gel plate, like super cool. 

[00:11:14] Susan McCreevy: I think there's a lot of people are put off trying to do a finished painting. They're like, I can't draw. So, but a lot of the ways I teach, you don't really need the drawing skills.

You know, you can, you can make these prints using botanicals. And then with a few different skills, you can take those and. Make it look like a beautiful finished painting, so you don't have to have that fine art drawing skill, which is what a lot of people are frightened of, and then they'll say, I'm not an artist because I can't draw.

And that to me is just nonsense. I mean, you can still come up with a beautiful finished painting that has no, like, fine art drawing skills. 

[00:11:49] Kellee Wynne: What you're saying about. Not, you know, you hear it all and I can't even draw a straight line.

Well, look, if you have creative desires at all, that's all it takes to start being an artist. Which, we are creative in so many ways. Art is, and mixed media is just one path to expressing yourself. But you make it so accessible to the curious student. Like, here are all these methods that are fun. playful, interesting, create rich depth and texture. And then, I don't know, you have a magic way of pulling it all together anyway to make this beautiful finished piece, but I love that about your work. It's, it really stands out as something different. 

[00:12:30] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, and the free course that I created was, that was based on I did a one day workshop, and I, and I did, it was showing people how to make the Gelli prints, and then how to make a finished piece by the end of the day.

It was like a little abstract landscape, and several of the students on that day had never done anything like that, and they all came out with beautiful finished pieces, and I thought, Oh, I've got a winner here. This is, you know, people that can start this and have a finished project over a weekend and that can give them the impetus to, to carry on with their, with their art.

So it seems to have worked. Anyway, I've got 6, 000 students have signed up to that free course and the feedback's been incredible. 

[00:13:08] Kellee Wynne: Oh, I love that. So let's kind of focus in on what you're saying then, because earlier you were like, in the good old days, we'd post the hashtag, get in the top nine or

in the top of the feed of a hashtag feed, easy to find. It was easy to search up and find new artists or things you were interested in. It's a little tricky now. It doesn't mean you can't be discovered on Instagram, but we finally realized that's not going to be the only way that we're going to be able to build a business anymore.

It's absolutely essential to build a list. And this is something that I. Teach inside my programs, but there's a system to it. It's, it's not just, Hey, get on my list or here's a free PDF to download. We really have to understand our customer, the purpose, where they're going, what the next thing is you're going to offer and then how to nurture them once they're in it.

So that was a big project throughout all of last year with the league, just diving into what is that juicy lead magnet. And I'm glad that you found the one that then translated into six. Thousand students signing up for it and building your list. 

[00:14:11] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, it was amazing. It's really amazing. I did listen to you, when you were talking about the juicy lead magnet.

It took me a while to come up with that idea and I thought that was going to be a winner and, uh, it definitely worked. But the other thing you taught me was, to have your pillar content, which was my YouTube channel. And that has also taken off, really well. And that was. That's also feeding in new people all the time.

So that was a great way of building my audience and getting people on my list. 

[00:14:40] Kellee Wynne: I'm really proud of you for doing YouTube because that's no small feat. I confess after all these years, even though I've said it on the podcast a million times, if I was to choose one platform, I'd choose YouTube, but I already have like, I'm knee deep in Instagram and the podcast, and I love what I'm doing, but YouTube has such a.

A magical ability to find new people and stay relevant for a long time because it's a search engine. So I love that that as your what we call primary content machine is feeding your business and the growth of your business. 

[00:15:17] Susan McCreevy: Yeah. Definitely. Yeah. I've got new people coming across me every day because of YouTube.

And I don't think I would have been offered the two big deals if I hadn't had YouTube. I think people 

[00:15:28] Kellee Wynne: Okay. So let's talk about that again. We can go back to was it 2022 that you were working at McDonald's and here it is only two years later and, and you're looking at being able to move into a nicer house, getting book deals, growing your own business, providing for your family, and even being able to finally take family vacations again.

Like that's a huge shift from there to here. 

[00:15:52] Susan McCreevy: Yeah. It was massive. Yeah. So when, when the girls were sort of early teens, I was working in school kitchens and I was sort of working around the kids so that I didn't have to pay for childcare. And then, oh, something happened with the hours and I lost that job.

And then I decided I would try and do more of my art. That was sort of my mission at that point. And I thought if I can try and get a part time job that. That covers the bills, but if I can get those over two days, in the UK, you needed to work 16 hours to be able to get tax credits, which was like the local government assistance.

[00:16:29] Kellee Wynne: Okay. 

[00:16:30] Susan McCreevy: So I managed to get 17 hours over two days in McDonald's, and I said I wanted a Tuesday and a Wednesday so that if I had. workshops or things that booked at weekends, I could still manage to do that and build up the business. I was actually doing a business called crafts with Susan at that time when I was working with kids and doing, things in like the, the, the galas and doing kids crafts and stuff.

But I thought I did it for a couple of years and realized there wasn't any money in that. So, I decided against that. So then I started just working on my own practice and kind of put that to the side and develop my own artwork. And then I got offered with Ivy Newport. She's a another mixed media artist, and I was taking a lot of her classes, and I got to know her, and she asked me would I come into her platform and do.

a small course for one of the monthly journals. So she was sort of a little push that I needed to get me into this teaching. 

[00:17:27] Kellee Wynne: Oh, and it's no secret, but Ivy absolutely loves Scotland. As all should, but I haven't been yet. So 

[00:17:33] Susan McCreevy: yeah, she just is. It's in her heart. She should, Definitely move here, I think. She was just so encouraging and if it hadn't been for her, I don't think I would be where I am today.

She was one of the people that sort of gave me that little nudge of encouragement at the beginning. So I used, I did encaustic treasures, which was just like a little mini course using Gelli prints and on caustic wax, which is sort of the two things I'm kind of known for. And, uh, she kindly said to me that I could take that course and then put it on my own platform.

So I just gave me a little bit of cash to sort of invest again in myself. And then. I was started working on the botanical paintings and I was getting a huge amount of interest in these botanical paintings with the Gelli prints. And I thought, oh, you're on a winner here. So I decided I would make that into a bigger course.

So I did that. And I made, I think I made 18, 000 from that first launch of the course. And at the time I was only earning 7, 000 a year in McDonald's. 

[00:18:39] Kellee Wynne: I mean, like, that's huge! 

[00:18:41] Susan McCreevy: Oh my god, I just felt like a millionaire. I thought, right, well if I can survive On 7, 000, I can take this money and I can leave McDonald's and I can have seven days a week to invest in my business.

And then your offer came up and I thought, right, I either take my kids on a holiday or whatever, or I just put this money back into the business and I invest in myself. And I trust that Kellee's going to take me to the next level. And he did. 

[00:19:07] Kellee Wynne: Which I am so grateful. I mean, so grateful that I've been able to work with you.

I love have just love seeing you go like, yes, you were already on the path, but like, now it's super size. And then all the things that happened after that, it just kind of gives me chills, like to think from 7, 000 pounds a year from McDonald's to now, I don't even know where you're at now, but a lot more than 18, 000 pounds.

[00:19:31] Susan McCreevy: I just did a launch of the botanical course again, and I made, it was a 50, 000 launch, so 

[00:19:39] Kellee Wynne: that's great. I mean, there you go. So one of your big audacious dreams was to be able to move out of the neighborhood you're in and move to a nicer place, so you're on that path for sure. 

[00:19:51] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, yeah, I had my cleaner, which is another, like, I can't believe I've got a cleaner, but she was, spent five hours in my house yesterday deep cleaning it, so that's another, big win that I can afford a cleaner.

[00:20:01] Kellee Wynne: Yeah, and you got a book deal. Right, you had two offers come at the same time and you picked one, right? 

[00:20:09] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, I managed to sort of play them off against each other and double the deal. 

[00:20:14] Kellee Wynne: I love that, like that's super cool. Like, it's everyone's dream to get published, but then when you're just sitting there and you get these emails in at the same time and publishers are like fighting over you and you never even pitched for it.

That's the power of showing up. That's the power of showing up. Had you not done the YouTube channel, had you not developed your voice, had you not been consistent, people wouldn't be finding you. You wouldn't have the grand new studio and the book deals and the, well, I mean, at the baseline of it, the most important thing is, is to be able to support yourself.

and your family. Like, that's amazing. Not many women can say that. Not many artists can say that. I mean, like, that's something huge to celebrate. 

[00:20:56] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, definitely. I mean, last year, my daughter, she had a lot of health problems with her mental health and they were offered a school trip and she, uh, initially she'd said no and then she came up to me and said, I've changed my mind.

There's a space come up on the New York trip. There's any way I could go. So it was kind of last minute, I would have to come up with the money. And I just finished the, the gel printer summit with Drew and I'd got a lump sum of, from commission for that. So I was like, not a problem. I can pay that straight away.

So it was just amazing to be able to say that to her. But of course you can go. 

[00:21:29] Kellee Wynne: It's a dream. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. It's a really special thing, you know, as much as we want to like hate on social media and get exhausted from the, the idea that we have to produce content. We are also in a time and era where when we put the right things into play and try to keep it simple so we don't go crazy.

We can actually build something for ourselves without needing a lot of money to do it. We don't need ads. We don't have to get on the radio, you know, like take out an ad in the magazine or direct mail. I don't know. What did we do before there was the internet? 

[00:22:09] Susan McCreevy: I don't know. I certainly wouldn't be here without it. That's for sure. 

[00:22:11] Kellee Wynne: I don't think I would be either. So as much as I know that there are times where it's like, uh, the content. Treadmill, but then I stop and I say, look at all these relationships I've built. Look at all these people that I know. Look at all of these lives that are changing. Look at all the friends that I've made.

It's an opportunity still to this day. So it's all a matter, I guess, of how you look at it. 

[00:22:33] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, definitely. 

[00:22:34] Kellee Wynne: So what has been your biggest aha over the last year when you together and you were growing your business and pretty much doubling, tripling, I guess, quadrupling, even your income. 

[00:22:46] Susan McCreevy: I think it was right from the start when we did that one hour session together when we really sort of took a deep dive into the business and planning how I wanted to live my life and how I wanted my business to run, you know, you really did listen carefully to, to what I wanted to say.

And it wasn't just all about. you having ideas for me, you really did take on board the way that I wanted to run it. Cause I think Jane said the other day, one of the other girls, she said, you know, you listened to everything Kellee said and you did everything. I was like, but no, at the start we were working together to work out what the plan would be.

And, obviously I was listening to your advice, but you didn't, dissolve my own ideas. I think that's what I'm trying to say. 

[00:23:27] Kellee Wynne: Yeah. Like every one of us gets to build our business the way that works best for us. And if you just have a few foundation principles, which is let's not do all the things, that's one of my biggest things, you know, that took the whole year for everyone in the league to finally come around and go.

Oh yeah, if I do less, I'm going to have more energy and time to make art. But to not do all the things, pick the, the direction you want to go and go all in on it. Just build your list and continue to nurture the people who are in front of you. That's kind of the most important thing. 

[00:24:00] Susan McCreevy: Yeah. So the, the way that you helped me to structure it was to have two signature courses.

So one in the spring, one in the autumn, and then one collaboration. And then we've got the book deal this year, but I think next year I'll be able to build in more time for my own creative development. So that's the sort of structure and it's really simple. And each year it'll become easier because, I'm learning more every year and I can use the same emails over again.

 I've got. A virtual assistant has helped me do all my reels and things so we can repurpose all this content. So it's not going to be as hard next year. I'm hoping. I 

[00:24:37] Kellee Wynne: don't think it will be. And that's the biggest mistake I've made over the years as I kept reinventing the wheel. And when I finally.

Realize that's why I was exhausting myself is because like every year I was like adding more things onto my plate and new ideas and like, I get it. Cause we're creative. We're always going to have new ideas, but at what point do you stop and say, I'd also like to have time to do other things. I mean, it would be really nice if I made some time for like a haircut.

But you know, it's really, it comes down to that. You can, once all the systems are put in place, yeah, you repurpose it, you refine it, do you improve it, but you don't have to reinvent it.

[00:25:17] Susan McCreevy: Especially if you know you've got a good product and you know you're getting good feedback and this six week course has been phenomenal.

Everybody's been raving about it. So I think, right, you've got the bones here for something that's that can continue for a number of years and that's going to give me a decent income. I'm getting where I want to be and I'm so thankful to you for, for getting me here. 

[00:25:38] Kellee Wynne: Well, you did a lot of that on your own and the fact that you didn't give up your art practice even when life got hard and you were suddenly found raising kids by yourself and all the, man, life has not been easy.

I know that for most people it's been, it's been a bumpier road than any of us. would imagine, but you trusted in yourself, you believed in yourself, and you kept going with your art practice. 

[00:26:03] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, and I love the fact that, I mean, I'm quite happy to tell people I worked at McDonald's and I'm a single parent, and just because it gives a lot of women hope that are in the same situation that there is a root out of that.

The black hole that you find yourself in that, if you put in the hours and the work, you can succeed. There's no reason for us not to succeed. 

[00:26:24] Kellee Wynne: Right. A lot of people have a hard time imagining though, what direction to go and then how to even. Get started. Actually, I find that a lot of people are not thinking beyond traditional work, right?

And so I love that there is this whole group of creatives and artists that are really pushing the boundaries of what work is, what your art practice is, what your creative business is all about. But for a lot of people, they don't even know where to start. Where would you suggest that they start? 

[00:26:57] Susan McCreevy: Well, I, I think the most important thing for me was having the confidence that I could pay my bills and that I could take that pressure off myself. So I think if you go into, right, okay, I'm gonna be an artist and I'm giving up my job, and you've got no income, then you're just gonna be stressed about money the whole time.

Mm. I took that pressure off myself. We didn't have a lot of money, but we had enough to cover the bills so that I had the time to work my practice. So I, I'd say that. While you're growing your business, have a side job to make sure that you're not struggling. 

[00:27:29] Kellee Wynne: I love that advice.

Like, don't, don't scream at your artwork, make me money. I'm so stressful. Let something else pay the bills until you're seeing that it's working for you. Oh, that's genius. 

[00:27:44] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, because your creativity is not going to happen if you're stressed, you've got to be in a good place and relaxed to enable your sort of creative energy to come out.

I think as well, try not to think about what other people want. Do what you love doing. And develop what you love. And then the people that like what you do will find you. 

So if you're, if you're just trying to please the algorithm or what you think is going to make you money. It's not because people are going to not, it's going to be fake.

It's not going to come from your soul. I mean, all the work that I make is I make it because I really love it. And that's what I'm interested in. And I show people sketchbooks that are like eight years old and they look really bad, but you can see the little nuggets of ideas. that have started there and they're now coming out.

So they've got to sort of be developed that way, I think. 

[00:28:36] Kellee Wynne: Yeah, be developed and in your own voice. I mean, nothing could be more tragic than doing something for the algorithm, getting stuck in it and hating it, but being a slave to it because that's what you're now known for and that's all people want, which can happen.

I mean, Honestly, if we talk about my father a little bit, who did not have the influence of the internet, but he did have the influence of galleries and buyers, and he made a few paintings that people really liked. He had developed his style and these really like contemporary landscapes, the red trees.

And a lot of times they were like lined up in rows on top of a hill. And honestly, if you see the kind of work that he did, you might even recognize it because I think a whole new genre took off after he was making this style. But then like a decade later, he's like. I can't paint anything else because nobody wants anything but more red trees.

I'm like, well, you have to break that mold yourself. But it's one of those things that once you get pigeonholed, it can be a little bit stifling unless you're willing to develop your own voice. 

[00:29:41] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, definitely. 

 Think having the income from the teaching has taken the pressure off me having to sell in galleries and exhibitions now.

I've sort of, my focus is on course creation. And the, the art is really like a byproduct for me and I want it to be out there. I want people to enjoy it in their homes. I don't want it just to be sitting around and if I can sell it. I'm delighted if somebody buys it, but it's not. My biggest focus, whereas I think if, if the art is your only income, you know, I can see how it would be easy to sort of get pigeonholed.

If you find something selling, you're just going to keep doing more of that. That's 

[00:30:20] Kellee Wynne: right. Absolutely. So not everyone wants to be a teacher, though. I do have a PDF that's a hundred different ways that you can make money as an artist without selling your art, and they're not all teach an art course online.

Believe me, there's so many different ways that you can do it, but that does bring up something of why I mean, I'm just having this little thought right now. So many people want to be able to make art and sell art. And even though there's a lot of art out there, we think, okay, my art, I'm going to get my art out there and I'm going to sell my art as a product.

You know, you've, kind of. You've monetized your art in that way. But they hesitate to jump into some of these alternative things. Specifically, let's talk art courses because there's a lot of people doing it. And yet the difference in almost everyone I talk to who goes from, I'm trying to sell my art and I make X, Y, Z.

Like for me, I maybe made 18, 20. I think one year I might've made 22, 000 as an artist selling art. Being in galleries. Exhibiting, like I was even a juror. I was a curator. Like I put these exhibits together. I marketed the hell out of them. And that was the best I could do. And then you turn around and you're like, I can make like 10 times that by creating a course.

But then suddenly everyone's like, is that the only option? There's just so many different ways. The market isn't saturated yet. There's still a place for you to show up doing the thing that you love to do and finding a new path. Like, I think that's really the key is to think outside of the box. 

 Yeah, I think that especially the sort of the age group I'm at when you came out of art college, it was either you go down the gallery route or you go to, to be a school teacher.

[00:32:11] Susan McCreevy: And for me, it was the tutors that came into art college, the ones that were more inspired and were the ones that weren't. institutionalized that had been out in the workforce and were coming in and they were fresh. So it kind of put me off going down the teacher route. So, I mean, after all these years now, I am a teacher, I guess, but I feel like I've still got the space to be able to, to grow my own art practice as well.

Whereas I have friends that are teaching and it just takes their whole energy and they just don't have that time to invest in themselves anymore, and they've got that still got a creative urge, but it's all given to the kids and their courses and all the extra work they have to do.

So I think it does sap that life out of you if you're a school art teacher. 

[00:32:55] Kellee Wynne: Well, because you have to do it according to their rules and that's the beauty of running your own business. You get to do it by your own rules. 

[00:33:02] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, definitely. I have a lot of women that were teachers now coming to me and they're saying, this is my time now and I've got time to create myself.

So they're just sort of coming into it now. 

[00:33:11] Kellee Wynne: Yeah. I actually have a lot of people who come and join my programs that were teachers. Former school teachers, too, or they are still school teachers, and they're like, how do I get out of this and I don't want you to leave because we do need good school teachers, but I totally understand, like, how often as women or artists, I know, but not everyone who's.

In my circle of, of the podcast are just women, but majority are women, but how is it that, you know, we, we spend our whole life just trying to make our own identity for ourselves and never really realizing our full potential to be able to build a business of our own. Like it is pretty phenomenal. 

[00:33:52] Susan McCreevy: Yeah. You've got to wear a lot of hats though. It takes a lot of determination. I don't think it's for everybody this. 

[00:33:59] Kellee Wynne: It's not because do you ever stop thinking about the business? Like, I don't know that I ever really get to take a break of thinking about it. I, I take a break from working on it, but I don't ever take a break from thinking about it.

[00:34:11] Susan McCreevy: Yeah. It's really difficult to switch off, especially when Your, business is on your phone and your phone is next to you 24 hours of the day. It's like, oh, it's just, it's hard. That's something I've got to really work on is having that separation and downtime. 

[00:34:25] Kellee Wynne: I was, I've been thinking about like handing my phone over to my husband on the weekends and just be like, if someone calls me with something important, then come and get me, but keep this screen away from my face.

[00:34:37] Susan McCreevy: I was speaking to a guy at WASP, they have like a digital meeting once a month. This is the, the creative hub that I work in. And he said he has a work phone and a home phone so that he can completely separate it. So I'm thinking that might be a route I might need to go down and just get like a little Nokia one that's not got any apps on it that you can just get emergency calls.

Yeah. Something. 

[00:35:03] Kellee Wynne: Hmm. I kind of like that idea. Yeah. All right, solutions, creative solutions for finding some boundaries between work and self, because we still do exist outside of this whole all encompassing creative business that we're in. But like you said, from the very get go, I did encourage you, and I'm really glad that you mentioned that, to build it your own way.

To use your own ideas and do what works best for you, for your rhythms, for what works best for your lifestyle. And I think that's the beauty of having your own businesses that you get to design it exactly how you want it to be. 

[00:35:40] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, definitely. I mean, even I'm starting to think about next year now, so I was hopefully going to get involved with another summit early on in the year, then do the botanical course again.

And then there's women that I've met through. the botanical course that want me to come to Norway. So I'm thinking like, okay, I could maybe plan a little trip into Norway and then, you know, just sort of, yeah, start to feel my way into maybe the international. Teaching abroad and things. So that's sort of the kids are just starting to get a little bit older.

So we're getting there. 

[00:36:11] Kellee Wynne: Yeah, they're teenagers, huh? Well, you did put that on your list of big audacious dreams to be able to travel and teach. So I'm really happy to hear that you're putting it into the agenda for possibly 2025. But don't forget, we'd love to come to Scotland. So you should host something in Scotland one of these days too.

[00:36:32] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, I have said on my website, 2025, I will host another workshop here. So if I can free up the, if I can do the, the collaboration at the start of the year, I think that gives me a big block in the summer where I can maybe organize something for you guys to come over in the summer. 

[00:36:48] Kellee Wynne: Ooh, I definitely, that's piquing my interest for sure.

Well, let's see if everyone can just find Susan McCreevy on Instagram and on your website. How would they find you? 

[00:37:00] Susan McCreevy: Okay, so it's just Susan McCrevey Artist is, on Instagram and Facebook, and my website just susanmccrevey. com, so nice and easy. 

[00:37:09] Kellee Wynne: Nice and easy, and you have an amazing free mini course to give people a taste of how you do your botanical prints.

Or is it a landscape one? 

[00:37:21] Susan McCreevy: Yeah, well it's Gelli prints and the landscape, so it's the essence of landscape, it's the free course. So you're getting a taster, but you're coming out with a finished product at the end of it,

[00:37:31] Kellee Wynne: well, there you go, take one of Susan's classes, if you have a pile of Gelli prints, and you don't know what to do with them, she's going to show you exactly what to do. Finished product. That's a really great idea. That's a good little niche right there.

So much for joining me. I hope everybody comes and asks you questions about your process and everything that you've been doing and signs up for your Essence class. 

[00:37:58] Susan McCreevy: Okay. Thanks very much for having me, Kellee. 

[00:38:00] Kellee Wynne: Thank you. Okay. Bye. 


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