How to Maximize Every Opportunity to Help Your Art Business Grow with Allison Ford

[00:00:00] Made Remarkable Intro: Welcome back, and thanks for tuning in to the Made Remarkable podcast. Hosted by Kellee Wynne. Today Kellee is joined by the incredibly talented. Creative artist and entrepreneur. Allison Ford. Allison shares her adventure through the art world. Her collaborations with industry professionals. and her valuable insights on building a thriving creative career. Check out this in-depth conversation between Allison and Kellee. That is a wonderful reminder to not be discouraged by challenges. But rather embrace them as part of the artistic journey. Make time for creativity, even if it's in small increments and explore opportunities to share your story. And art with the world. Check out the show notes and transcripts for more information about Alison. 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 that you are made remarkable destined to achieve the unimaginable. Now let's get to the good part. Introducing Kellee Wynne and Allison Ford 

[00:01:23] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, hello. Hello. I'm Kellee Wynne, 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.

Well, hello Allison. It's good to finally meet you. 

[00:02:13] Allison Ford: No good to finally get caught up and chitchat a little bit. 

[00:02:17] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. Our paths just kept crossing across Instagram as much of us do. So it, it really piqued my interest, like you've been in design show houses and magazines and your arts really starting to be collected by a lot of people, and I just thought it would be fun to have like your point of view, how you balance life and art business and all of that so welcome. 

[00:02:39] Allison Ford: Thank you. Thanks for having me. 

[00:02:40] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Awesome. So I'd love to just know how you got to where you're at right now. Like what was the spark that got you started as an artist? 

[00:02:51] Allison Ford: Sure. I kind of feel like many people who have been involved in art and creative things all their lives from a young age, I was always dibbling and dabbling in something, whether it be calligraphy or, at one point I was into stained glass.

I mean, it was just any number of things that I. Wanted to pick up from time to time, but nothing really stuck. Then in college my, roommate was a studio art major and I spent some time with her in the studio just kind of following her around, but I was afraid to, take a real class, so to speak, for a grade. So I kind of followed her around a little bit, and then I took printmaking and sculpture. One of those I took pass fail just because I don't know how I thought I would, you know, literally fail a class. But I had convinced myself that that would happen.

And then the, the professor came to me later and said, why? Why did you do that? I said, I don't know. I had just thought that was just gonna ruin my g p a. So that was sort of my path to dibbling and dabbling. And then I went to, after undergrad, went to, to law school and was hoping to kind of make some time. And that just didn't happen. 

[00:04:05] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Well, as a lawyer may not have. Time to make art. I can understand. 

[00:04:10] Allison Ford: It just didn't happen and it didn't happen after that when I started, practicing. But it was, I was in between, working at a firm and then, leaving a clerkship and then going back to the firm, that I had some, potential time off, so to speak. And, my husband real smartly, said to me just kind of wise, maybe you should, take some time off and figure out something that you might wanna, wanna do. And I said, I really wanna learn how to paint, um, abstracts. And nothing has really stuck.

And I wanna try that. So I ended up taking, I call it was a course, but it really wasn't a course because everyone in the class. They were professional artists, very established artists in town and they kind of like to get together and paint together and kind of critique each other's work and just be in a shared space.

And I didn't know that. I was not, I was gone. 

[00:05:02] Kellee Wynne Conrad: You got thrown in. 

[00:05:04] Allison Ford: Yeah, I was the odd duck out who had no clue what was going on. But they were very nice and we kind of, um, instructor kind of took us, took me back at like more of a color theory and we were doing color charts and using those charts to do collage work.

And so that was kind of my introduction to. Collage, which I really love now, and why that's such so, so near and dear to my heart. But from that experience, I kind of said, okay, I think I understand a little bit better about color and how I can't really force this paint object. I really have to understand how the colors play together.

And so I said, if I kind of keep up with this, I may be able to figure something out. And so that's kind of what I did and I've. Just kind of stuck with me, this is the thing that stuck, 

[00:05:56] Kellee Wynne Conrad: This is the thing that stuck and the consistency, the showing up and continuing with it is probably what's propelled you forward.

[00:06:05] Allison Ford: Right, right. I kind of take it one day at a time and one step at a time. So that's been my, my approach. It just came about as, an opportunity for exploration and really just leaning into something that I wanted to do. 

[00:06:19] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. You live in South Carolina? Yes. 

[00:06:22] Allison Ford: That's right. 

[00:06:23] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. It's a very, very vibrant art. energy in the South right now. Like I've just seen it like grow over the last decade and so you were really fortunate in some ways, even though you're like, I'm the odd one out. I don't know really much about painting to be around all of the other.

So-called experts. I don't know at what level were considered an expert, but like all of these experienced artists that really exposed you to a lot of opportunity. Wonder if that shifted the way you looked at how you can be an artist. Because if you say they're successful, that kind of gives us an impression of what our possibilities are, you know?

Right, right. That influenced you seeing what they were accomplishing. 

[00:07:11] Allison Ford: I think it gave me some aspirational hope, but really just understanding. The impact of community more so than others, and that they were always still in a process of learning. These artists were, more experienced and they were also, a little bit older than me in age wise, but they were still pouring into their craft, still reaching out to each other, still accepting of feedback, just seeing that we're on a continuous path and journey.

Was helpful for me, and it's always helpful. Just thinking about it from a mentoring perspective, you know, if I've done shows and I've talked to people who they may have children who are older than mine or just in a different stage of life. Mm-hmm. And the feedback that I've received from individuals like that has been , valuable to me.

And it's really important. To give an example, I usually, Did about one show a year that was out of town. And I think I said to another, you know, you go to these shows and you meet everybody and it's just so much fun. Energy's there. And was talking to a friend about wishing that I could do more shows and she said, you know, Allison, I understand what you're saying, but there will be time for all of those shows and, right now your kids are young and you just have to like keep all that in mind and.

That just stuck with me. So you need to be, I have found that I need to be surrounded and talk to, and communicate and interact with lots of people in different areas, not just art not just business, not just legal. I just think the combination of all that really helps, inform the big picture of life is always important.

[00:08:48] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. And community and other people with experience that can pass on their wisdom. I like that. Mm-hmm. Especially that moment where you can realize like it doesn't have to be a rush to do it all right now. So that was great advice that the artist gave you. It's like we want, oftentimes as artists, we want it all to happen now.

We want all the shows, we want all the be in, all the design, you know, magazines or we want our art course or or program to be huge and we wanna travel around the world and teach, like I know we all have these big aspirations, but I like that in time it'll happen. Right. Be in the place that you are right now.

So you have younger kids, they're not babies, but they're not 

[00:09:27] Allison Ford: babies, kids, 

[00:09:29] Kellee Wynne Conrad: they're younger kids, but you're also balancing motherhood and art with being a lawyer. Right. So talk about a little how you, I mean, do you balance that or do you just keep juggling every day? 

[00:09:43] Allison Ford: I think that I have a good productive work balance.

Now, going back to what, we were just talking about that also means can't do all the shows, can't do all the opportunities. Lots of saying no sometimes, or just putting things on a, maybe this can happen in two years or three years, or something to think about. But just really pushing back and saying, I can't do everything.

Although this is a business, I mean, it's a business. As soon as Uncle Sam says it is, right. You know? Yeah. Whether you've sold one painting or not, you have to, you know? So a lot of times during the week people think, oh, you're painting all the time. No, I'm not. I'm. Paying taxes and taking care of all this stuff and responding to emails and just thinking big picture.

So that doesn't change. I mean, in fact adds more. But it also means, the time that I do get to paint, is very precious and always thinking about, okay, how do I leverage this into maybe more opportunities? How do I work? Smarter not harder. So it forces me to think about that.

And then, you know, just the time, time sensitivity. I think lots of jobs have time sensitivities, but when you're literally on a clock and thinking in six to seven minute increments all the time, like having that. Yeah, background in my mind, I'm usually thinking about how to be more efficient with my time, and I kind of carry that throughout life.

Now, I mean, are there downsides to that? Do I miss the boat sometimes? Am I organized? No, I'm working on it, you know? Yeah. 

[00:11:26] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I think that's, it's a work in progress for all of us. I mean like you said, you just have to take the baby steps. Is the thinking in six minute increments based off of being a lawyer.

[00:11:37] Allison Ford: Yeah, it's like, you know, billing time. Yeah. 

[00:11:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Because you're billing time. So you have, are probably far more mindful of what time means as it's passing. I mean, that's the non-renewable resource that we have is time. 

[00:11:49] Allison Ford: Yeah, no, that, that's very, that's very true. And I'm not in a, I don't have to build time now.

Thank goodness. And if people are listening who are in that season, like I totally get it. But what that experience. Taught is taking that potential, negative or not fun. It's not fun to literally have a timer run. It's not fun. But there is a way to think about that in a positive light. And so that's what I've had, you know, I've had to do. But obviously, first and foremost comes my family and my, full-time job and just trying to, to be flexible when it calls for it. But also that means sometimes, late night working or doing painting on the weekends.

It, it just really depends. 

[00:12:31] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, I understand. There's always gonna be so many layers of what we need to do to. Be human, right? Yeah. To be human, to balance the family aspect, the work act aspect. There's just always gonna be part of that, but. It's impressive to me that you just continue on the path of building your art career at the same time as you're building your law career.

And to keep that as a part of who you are and an expression of who you are. Yeah. And I know, I'm sure most of our listeners are still trying to figure out both sides of their life. Like, if you have a full-time job, how do you make time for art. 

[00:13:12] Allison Ford: Yeah. No, that's good. And that's what I like to talk about because I think that art, or just creativity in general fuels us in a really good way and helps inform, whatever work we do and helps us bring, a certain happy energy to our families and our friends, and, Just a, a different way to think about things.

Yeah thinking outside the box and being a problem solver. So I am a big proponent of making time, even if it's just the 15 to 20 minute increments. So, sometimes it may not be perfect, but I am the person that leaves, my easel up and my paintbrushes nearby. So if I have a few minutes, I'm gonna probably squeeze in.

And right now I'm doing more Bible journaling. So that's kind of been my thing. I leave that, ready to just approach that even for just a few minutes. And that's more, you know, for me more than anything, but looking for the pockets of time. And then in terms of like the business growth aspect, I'm also looking for opportunities that maximize my visibility, so to speak.

 Thinking about how can I you know, reuse content, create content, show up on Instagram. But more importantly than that, what's behind the scenes. So, looking for outlets who might want to share my story or looking at how that might fit in and then participating in.

Shows or jury shows we just had, in Town we have something called Flat Out Under Pressure, which is a 24 hour art making competition. Yeah, I love that. Like, that's what I do. So here I go. It's a little awkward and that, you know, I think that day it's during the summer, so I, take my kids to camp or swimming or wherever we go pick up the canvas, come back, do that other stuff, log in for work and get that done. So I don't get to start till, five or six, but that's an opportunity that kind of fits in my existing art making practice that now I can participate in.

I'm in a show. That's got some publicity and eyes on. And then also I can talk about it on my Instagram and people are interested 'cause they're like, how do you, how's she gonna pull that off? You know? So it's already, but, but that's, 

[00:15:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's a very fascinating point of view is that sometimes by participating in activities, we're creating content for ourselves.

What you said was you're looking for opportunities that maximize exposure, whether it's exposure to new people through participating in and maybe, um, publicity, but also just opportunities that you can talk about that might draw people into your world. I don't know that I ever really thought about.

Fit that way. Like I've looked for opportunities where I can collaborate with people, but I've never really thought about just the activities that I do for myself. Then become an interest for other people who are, you know, Instagram's like a little window into our life. So that's a really good way to think of it.

[00:16:25] Allison Ford: Yeah, for me, it works. I mean, it's something I look forward to. It's, you know, 24 hours of a push or 12 hours or however long. Right. But those are the sorts of things that I look to do. Am I gonna be able to do, A big road trip show, pack up the camper and take a bunch of product down there and sit outside in a tent for three days.

I can't do that. Right? So those opportunities I'm not gonna look to anymore. I'm not gonna feel bad about saying no to them.

[00:16:56] Kellee Wynne Conrad: On a 24 hour period. That makes sense. It's like, alright, so you know, grandparents or husband or who, whomever like hunker down for 24 hours while I go do this wild, crazy thing 

[00:17:07] Allison Ford: while I do this wild, crazy thing.

And then that's it. And then we'll milk and talk about that as long as we need to. Right. And then we'll move on. But to me, that's how I can. Show up. And I mean, that's why I also tell people we have to not be so, uh, enamored by somebody's Instagram or what they're showing, right.

Because it's not, they're complete reality. So I just shared a big thing. I mean, that's, if I'm recording. That whole time, which I don't, it makes me a little nervous. But if I am recording or taking some times to record the content, then all of a sudden I've got a lot of things that I can share.

And so people say, oh, it looks like you're painting all the time. And I say I paint a good bit, but it's certainly not all the time. And I'm not trying to create any illusions about it. But if you want some content, People say, oh, I wanna interview for this. Um, I actually did something recently this year for a lawyer who was focusing on like creative lawyers.

He wanted to come shoot me in my studio and I said, Hey, I actually don't have a studio, but how about we rent this space and. I'll pay for the rental space 'cause what I'm gonna ask you is for is to use all the 

[00:18:31] Kellee Wynne Conrad: content pictures. Yep, there you go. Brilliant. 

[00:18:36] Allison Ford: He said Sure. Great. So we spent a couple hours, I had tons of pictures.

I have good content. He used it for his project. I use it for everything else. You get clearance to do that. And now I have pictures of me, posing and I have pictures of me painting and so on. Now there's content and I can continue to use that. So again, opportunity that somebody came to me about that.

I had to think, and I'm not trying to be selfish, but how does this beneficial for everybody? That's a way 

[00:19:08] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Like you said, maximize your opportunities. Right. So I would love to talk a little bit more about, like, I, I noticed over your CV a lot of great collaborations being in High Point and being on magazines and whatnot.

So I would love to hear like how you got into that aspect of your business. Like how did you make those connections? And where do you see that going? 

[00:19:32] Allison Ford: yes. Um, through Instagram and you know, I sort of initially saw, I thought about where my art, where I wanted my art to live and I see my art.

In homes and corporate spaces, and that's usually where it lives. But I thought about, interior designers, and decorators, a skill that I do not have. But, reaching out to those individuals are really more, more so, and this is Instagram is a different place. A couple years ago it was, there was so much, it was the nostalgia, 

[00:20:13] Kellee Wynne Conrad: oh, the good old days of it. Good old days when it actually worked. 

[00:20:19] Allison Ford: But kind of getting to know people, especially, you wanna get to know people who are sort of ahead of you in the game, but also maybe. Where you are in terms of being on a growth trajectory. I can't say it. Let's say a growth path in their particular field.

It doesn't have to be your field. But that was kind of where some of these initial opportunities came to me was that I helped people or worked with people when they might have been starting out too. And they were growing and I was growing and so when they were looking for somebody to maybe do something that's more of exposure because I had a trust relationship.

And because I was in a growth area too than I'm willing to do something like a collaboration. And so that's kind of what happened for me to get connected with, a very successful interior design friend who wanted to place my art at High Point as part of her, High Point Furniture market for part of her showroom collection.

And she's continued to grow. And so, we just stay in touch and, and obviously things have shifted, but once you get a couple of those opportunities based on. Developing a friendship or a relationship supporting people, then they are likely to refer you to someone else or someone else's name that someone speaks highly of you or says that you were a pleasure to work with or went out of their way.

So, I don't think it means, giving up everything for free or, and I wouldn't, I'm not advocating that at all. And, and, and, and even if it's a low cost or a discount, think about, will you play for supplies or are you gonna mention my name here? How are you gonna, help promote me?

 You have to be careful because people always are, and I've done several things where I wish I hadn't, putting my art somewhere and I'm like, you don't ask somebody for a table for free. Why isn't it that you're okay with me donating my art for something? So, gosh, it's, it's, it's hard, but.

For people that you have a relationship with and you see their vision and they are interested in supporting you, then those are good collaborations to do and, and one thing can lead to another. 

[00:22:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, I love that idea of finding someone who's kind of the same on the path that about the same. Distance as you are in that growth, that really makes sense because you're both in a place where you need more collaboration to be seen.

So there is more of a mutual benefit in working together, even if like, maybe, like you said, it might not be a paid opportunity, but you're both working together to grow your business. Hmm. Interior design and an artist or, art consultant, you know, other people who are still looking to grow. I love that idea.

Like learn how to build those relationships early. And that's pretty brave to just reach out and start nurturing those relationships early on. A lot of artists think they're gonna just sit around and wait until it comes to them, but what you're saying is you actually have to be proactive and take action.

[00:23:34] Allison Ford: For sure. I think you have to be proactive and take action and start cultivating the relationship. I'm very much on, if there's sort of a new. Place to show my art or, or some, I mean, I have to research it, but if it's something that they've got the ingredients, they've got the audience that maybe is not my audience, a good place for additional eyes and exposure, the people that I may not be able to connect with and they're on the front and they're on the cutting edge of something, I'd rather be.

Amongst the initial cohort group of people that they've reached out to, then on the tail end and waiting to see if they were really successful. 'cause I've already internally determined that they are gonna be successful and I wanna be there to be on their success. 

[00:24:25] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, you wanna be there in their growth.

Journey. Just like they need to be there on your growth journey so that you guys can support each other for more than just, yeah, this moment in time that lasting relationships do make a huge difference in, in life and in the industry as well. Right. What kind of opportunities has that brought, like, let's first say what is high?

Point because a lot of people are like, what? What is she talking about? But I've heard of High Point, and it was years ago where I was just like a little envious of the idea of being able to show up as an artist at High Point. And it's still, I'm assuming there's been a recovery since the pandemic and it's active again.

[00:25:03] Allison Ford: Yeah, and I, it's been a couple years since I've been, but there's a huge high point. North Carolina is a sort of a small town that gets really huge a couple times a year because they have a big furniture. Mart that is well attended by, anywhere from your, your local interior design, um, colleagues to, you know, your H G T V stars who've got big licensing collaborations with, furniture makers, anyone in the home design space, your licensing, uh, individuals who are doing your, G clays and reproductions for your hotel spaces, your apartment spaces, your department store spaces.

So it's really a whole collaboration of showrooms. And, and so you've got your interior designers who are looking for, um, you know, furniture lines and things and stores who are looking. It's just a big, um, you know, a networking opportunity for those individuals. But it's, Everything in one place for a coup, you know, a week or so.

[00:26:10] Kellee Wynne Conrad: All the interior designers from across the nation show up for that one. 

[00:26:14] Allison Ford: Everyone's there, so yeah. 

[00:26:16] Kellee Wynne Conrad: So that's a great opportunity for, for exposure. And, and the way that you were able to get in there was by nurturing a relationship with somebody who, um, had access to space, right? 

[00:26:29] Allison Ford: Yeah. That was their world. And, I've done that twice with two different interior designers. They were designing a showroom and asked me to do a commissioned piece. And so because I had a relationship with those individuals, I knew they were going to take care of my work and take care of my name.

 That felt like a good thing to do. Yeah. And, just going up there to see the space and meet people. Also helpful 'cause you just don't know when an opportunity presents or when somebody will remember you because people are always watching.

That's what I try to keep in mind. They don't have to be following you. They might not be on your listserv, but people, people know who you are and so, It's just good to keep in mind. 

[00:27:18] Kellee Wynne Conrad: That's, but keep on showing up because you don't know how you're gonna connect in the long run. What opportunities came from being in High Point?

I did notice you've been in some magazines and that's pretty cool. What was your deal with H G T V? 

[00:27:34] Allison Ford: So this was, if I'm remembering the thing that I think that you're remembering, I, had reached out to, I think we might have been connected on Instagram, but she has a show and it was on a different network and it went to H G T V and I sent her a piece of artwork and she put it on the show and that's an example of something that wasn't paid.

And I didn't get the artwork back, but. To be able to say that you did that, you sometimes you just have to ask and. You ask in a situation and again you want to figure out how to make that the best fit. If you're gonna be able to, if you want to put something on the, a TV show for example, or donate something, I.

Do you wanna donate a 40 by 40? I wouldn't. I mean now you have to think about mailing that, right? And then that's a big loss and expense. But you know, is it something that you can do a print? Is it something you can do a paper piece, you know, to still get the exposure, but not just set yourself out in a hole?

So, yeah. 

[00:28:43] Kellee Wynne Conrad: But there is a cost you know,, as business owners, marketing should be part of our expense, and I see that as a marketing opportunity that's worth spending the money. Now I've gotten a lot of requests for donations to charities or somebody's. In the middle of Midwest America who has a small, little, like fundraiser they're doing.

And it's like, that's really sweet, but I can't give to every little teeny offer, you know, like it's important to me if it's something local that, that I know affects my community, occasionally I'll make a donation and that's fine with me. But there does come a time where, the opportunity is worth way more than the loss.

So Right. Donating something that's gonna be seen in H G T V, that's amazing, you know? 

[00:29:31] Allison Ford: Yeah, yeah. And I think it's back to leveraging it and so that you, if you haven't burned up all your sort of marketing, your things that you can donate, pieces, that you can donate opportunities on something that's not gonna give you the value.

You wanna save that for something that does give you, give you the value, even if you put it on your resume and then you won other opportunities. But it's great. 

[00:29:56] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Right, because sometimes when you look at that list of opportunities you've already had, then that sparks the interest of other high reputation to say, okay, well she's already valuable enough for H G T V or High Point.

Like let's, this is a good opportunity to include her as well. So exactly for Kim, for those of you who are guys listening to the podcast. But yes, so like I love that, that kind of exposure, and that's the same thing like, The work that I've done on Instagram, showing up regularly, getting opportunities to be in magazines and, on other people's podcasts and like that is actually a signal to the world.

Saying, I'm available, I'm interested, I want the opportunities. I'm willing to work with you. My whole goal is something that will elevate you as well as elevate me and see how we do these collaborations that we all benefit in the end. But I definitely feel like the more that you're cooperative in society in general, if you're supporting others that support tends to grow.

Right. If that makes sense. It's like it does signal to the world like, oh, she's open for business, you know? 

[00:31:05] Allison Ford: Right. And somebody trusted her to do this and do it right. I mean, it's all, it's all word of mouth. And our art world is. Kind of up against, not up against, but kind of connected to sort of this influencer world.

Yeah. And it really is sort of that, you know, if oh, if so and so says it's good, it must be good. Now obviously can't value our art and our, and our world based on that boat. I think we have to be conscious of the fact that that's the world that people are operating in. Is that, It's, 

[00:31:39] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I think it's been that way since the beginning of time.

We're looking for people we can trust to some level and experience equals trust. Where do you start with that? You start with exactly the advice that you gave, build and nurture relationships early on. Right? And when you do that, you know, and you always work. At your best capacity because, I used to represent artists and work with them in galleries, and boy were they sloppy sometimes and late.

And then it would be like, and even working with artists who are creating courses and when it's, you know, when they're disrespectful of your time, they're not showing up, they're not fulfilling their commitment. You know that rubs off in making decisions on who you wanna work with again, or who you would recommend.

So those who show up and they give 110%, those are the people that I'm first to recommend. Those are the people that I'm, I'm willing to, I. Like word of mouth, but my reputation on them. And so that's our responsibility as artists when we have those opportunities, is to show up 110%. Mm-hmm. And serve the way we promised to serve when we're collaborating on something, whether it's delivering art and making sure it's in perfect condition and not scratched and bent and.

And wired with fishing wire. I mean, like that actually happens. Someone brought in art to hang in the gallery and had fishing lines stapled to the back of their painting. Oh. It's like, oh my goodness. You know? So we always wanna show up as our best, our best day on Broadway. Right, 

[00:33:16] Allison Ford: right, right, right, right.

No, that's good. 

[00:33:19] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, and that's probably why you continue to get recommendations because you're showing up and you're doing the work. 

[00:33:26] Allison Ford: Right, right. I think so too. I mean, and it's, you know, I don't get everything. I mean, again, it's very small percentage, but where I am in my lane, I would just wanna do the things that I can do, do well.

 And if you can't, you know, if somebody says, oh, I need this buy whatever day, and you can't do it. You say that you can't, and then maybe work on another arrangement that maybe you have a little bit more time, but like you said, so that you can fulfill the promise, or what the expectation was for you and that goes for, that's for everything.

That's just life, right? 

[00:33:58] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It is just life. Don't say yes if you can't fulfill your promise. 

[00:34:04] Allison Ford: So basic, maybe something in kindergarten, but it's hard, right? 

[00:34:10] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It's hard because we wanna be able to do all the things, but I respect so much that you're balancing how much you're actually capable of doing. Having a full-time job and being a mom and continuing to work on your business, and I love that you're like, I'll just pick a couple of things a year, a few things that I know will really propel me forward, but not all the things, not all the shows, not all the experiences, because there isn't time and energy for that.

And if you do that, you'll, you will certainly burn out. 

[00:34:40] Allison Ford: Right. And then it's not fun anymore. Which is what the whole, this is what was what it was supposed to be. Yeah. Is fun. Right. And so now the fun, this is your outlet on the side. Yeah. This is the outlet is supposed to be fun. And the now the fun of it is something, is growing something.

'cause growing things are is fun. Yeah. So seeing that is fun. But it still has to be fun. 

[00:35:02] Kellee Wynne Conrad: It has to be nurturing to your soul. 'cause as soon as it becomes a drain, then why are we doing it? 

[00:35:07] Allison Ford: Then why are we doing it? Right? And if it becomes a drain, then I think that's the time to, at least for me, kind of restructure how the quarter goes.

And trust that. Because you didn't get an opportunity or because things are slow, maybe that's intentional. Yeah. Appreciate that. That Oh, maybe. Maybe I wasn't supposed to sell out all this work right now. Maybe I was supposed to hold onto it for a little while. I don't know. 

[00:35:37] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I'm not supposed to be painting big paintings.

Sale, maybe it is time to just do, as you said, maybe some Bible journaling or for me, I've been working on some, Gelli prints and, and, and drawing and, and pattern making just for fun. And then that rejuvenates us to the point where like, then that opportunity comes and you're ready for it. And it may take a year of that rejuvenation before it happens, but all in due time, all in the season.

And I, I agree with you on that quarterly. Blocks. Sometimes you just think in quarters so that, you know, I have the capacity for one big thing this quarter and that's it. Mm-hmm. And I'm gonna work towards that one thing and not, you know, 10 or 15 things like I've done in the past. Right. But I'm back now.

So this is really a good reframe. It's like there is time, you know, to do. There. There is time and time is also an illusion because it's gonna go faster than we think, but we don't have to do it all this year is basically what I'm saying. Right, right. We have to do it all this year. 

[00:36:39] Allison Ford: Right. And then those patterns and on and other smaller works or works on paper that you're doing.

I, I mean, again, thinking about it from the business perspective. All right. Maybe at some point you'll develop to be a pattern, you know, pattern or services, iron, if somebody wants to buy the patterns. I mean, you just, you just don't know. So it's just like always setting up the, the, the next thing and being ready for the opportunity.

[00:37:04] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Right, exactly. So I'm kind of curious if given the opportunity, or maybe it's just a choice where you're at now, would you go full-time art or is being in law still a passion for you that you see that you're not gonna be quitting anytime soon? 

[00:37:22] Allison Ford: Yeah, like for right now, what I'm doing works? Do. I recognize, um, does that mean I can't. You know, I can't, that means I can't put, you know, all the eggs and the energy in this other basket. And that for me right now is fine. And, I don't see a reason to do anything different now if, if Oprah calls me. 

[00:37:44] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, I mean, We're all in that boat if Oprah ever calls.

[00:37:48] Allison Ford: Right. I, and so, I mean, I always have to be fair in that respect. But for right now, this works for me and I like what I'm doing and I like, being able to share this story. Because I'm in the middle of it and because I'm, I'm doing it.

And the other thing I always. Try to tell people is that this whole idea of, full-time artist is not completely accurate either. Most people are doing something else, maybe have a side job to that, or when things are slow or within the art business, they have diversified their income and so that it's not just selling.

They're probably doing some teaching. They're probably doing some licensing, some consulting, so it's not. Everything isn't as it seems. And so that's what we have to keep in mind. If that's a good space to be great. But people who are entrepreneurs, like our full-time, I should say full-time entrepreneurs or even part-time if you talk to them, you'll hear the pain points.

Everybody has one and so 

[00:38:56] Kellee Wynne Conrad: well. I mean, there's the first pain point of how to make more money at what we're doing. But the second pain point is, is how do I actually get time to make more art? 

[00:39:05] Allison Ford: Right. So anyway, I think one of the consequences of sort of this social media life that we're all part of is that thinking that the grass is always greener, I have to tell myself this too, which is why I needed, you know, that artist to say, no, there's time for this.

Don't be fooled by everything that you're seeing. People aren't doing all of this. I mean, and so the grass isn't always greener. Somebody's grass is, you know, AstroTurf.

So I just have to say, 

[00:39:36] Kellee Wynne Conrad: you.

[00:39:39] Allison Ford: It is not, maybe not grass, 

[00:39:42] Kellee Wynne Conrad: maybe not. It's just a bunch of weeds, folks. And we each have our own path to forge forward with our creative journey and choosing to make a career out of it, make a business out of it, means that there's so many different things that we need to juggle, including finding those opportunities and the PR and, and all of those things to keep expanding to where we wanna go, right? 

[00:40:08] Allison Ford: Yeah. So just honoring this season and having a plan. I think about things that I might want to do, but for right now, you know, there's a lot to be said by just taking things one step at a time, one day at a time.

Baby steps. So that's kinda where I am now. 

[00:40:25] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Be present for what you have. Which has honestly been my secret to happiness is being present in this moment. Yeah. Yeah. That's good. Yeah, for sure. That's good. I love to ask one question at the end of every podcast, so I'm gonna put you on the spot a little bit.

What's your big, audacious dream? 

[00:40:45] Allison Ford: I knew you were gonna ask this. 

[00:40:47] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Oh, there you go. Good. 

[00:40:50] Allison Ford: I have one. I'm always trying to think about how much to share, but. the thing I love about my full-time job is, writing. I'm a writer at heart, so my big audacious dream is to connect the art with the writing and just.

What I just call is just creativity, because it shows up in so many ways. People think, oh, I am not an artist, but I'm like, you are. And what is it that you create and nurture and have created from emptiness and blankness, even if it's just that you offered, a different approach to something. So putting all of that together in some way is my big audacious dream.

[00:41:40] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I. Oh, that's pretty awesome. So where can everyone find you? 

[00:41:45] Allison Ford: Yeah. So my website is hello allison and I am mostly on Instagram because again, I wish I could be on all the social media, but I'm not good at that. So I just hang out on Instagram mostly @helloallisona rt and, yeah. That goes back to not being able to do it all.

[00:42:08] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah, no, that's the part focus on one platform where you can, you can show up consistently, 

[00:42:15] Allison Ford: consistently, as best I can. 

[00:42:18] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Yeah. That's the, that's the key. I mean, if you told me today I was supposed to be doing TikTok, I'd probably quit my job. 

[00:42:25] Allison Ford: I know, I know. And I'm like, you, I was like, oh, TikTok, I'm supposed to be doing that. And I was like, I can't do TikTok. Ah. 

[00:42:33] Kellee Wynne Conrad: I'm like, I draw the line. 

[00:42:35] Allison Ford: Yeah. So somewhere, I wanna spend more time in Pinterest, but I just can't do it right now. 

[00:42:41] Kellee Wynne Conrad: All in due time. 

[00:42:42] Allison Ford: All in due time. That's, 

[00:42:44] Kellee Wynne Conrad: well everyone come and say hi to Allison, Allison Ford. But hello. Allison Art. Yep. 

[00:42:51] Allison Ford: Two L's. That's important. Awesome. 

[00:42:56] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Awesome. Thank you so much. This was actually a really enlightening, I learned so much today. 

[00:43:02] Allison Ford: Oh, well I'm glad this was a joy. I love talking about this because, there's space for us all and we have to see that.

So yeah. 

[00:43:13] Kellee Wynne Conrad: Thank you so much. Thank you. 

[00:43:15] Allison Ford: Thank you so much. This was great. 


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