Today on the show we have Christie Shinn. Christie is a fantastic artist. Her books are weird and wonderful.
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She has worked on ‘DISintegrate’, ‘Caligula’ and San Diego Comic-Con 2015 story ‘Today’ in Bare Bones publication ‘Pocket Book Heroes’, Self-Published – ‘Sepulchre’ and ‘Personal Monsters: A Compendium of Monstrosities of Personality for San Diego Comic-Con 2015’. Cover for ‘Kickstarter for the Independent Creator’ for M. Holly-Rosing. *http://www.horatorastudios.com/#!artist-cv/c21xa
She is also experienced in video games, fashion, beauty, web, and tech. She’s really built a really cool career and I had her on to talk about it. Boy did she make an amazing guest.
In fact, everything she said in about the first minute of the podcast framed the whole conversation we had. She talked about pushing and pulling work, cutting people out of her life, and putting work out there even if it scares you.
We started by talking about what pushing vs. pulling work meant and how it leads to people’s success. Christies believes that even though you don’t have to be as passionate about client work as your own personal work, you will always work better on things that you are passionate about. If you aren’t passionate, then the work shows.
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I had this similar experience with a recent book I wrote. I wasn’t 100% behind is, and it showed in the work. It also took me forever to finish the book. I’m used to 5-10k words in a day once I get going, and I was lucky to do 1k, and that was pulling teeth.
Christie puts a big premium on working with somebody she can collaborate with. She wants to be able to communicate with them and feel heard. This is so important even if you are paying an artist. It’s not just your project anymore. You are paying for their experience and knowledge as much as their artistic ability. So it’s bad business to discount it or treat them just as a contractor.
You also risk turning off the artist if you don’t involve them in the collaboration. Especially on a long term project this is critical. You need the buy-in of everybody if you want to have amazing output.
We also talked about putting stuff out there even if it scares you. I loved when Christie talked about being miserable not putting stuff out there, so she decided it was better to just put it out there because she couldn’t be worse than miserable.
But the crux of our conversation was on cutting people out of your life and the power of positive thinking. This is not a mindset show, but mindset has so much to do with business.
If you keep negative people in your life, it will lead you into a spiral of negativity. You will think your work sucks, and stop putting new stuff out.
However, if you surround yourself with positive people who encourage you and raise you up, that leads to good things happening.
We talked specifically about shows, where thinking about the positive always leads to more sales. If you think about how you aren’t making any money, less people will come to your table, and you won’t be as engaging to them, and they will walk away, and you will make less money.
However, if you are instead focused on the positive and how you are talking to people that are responding to your work, you will end up making more because your passion shows through.
I tabled next to Christie @ Zinemelt in March, and I can tell you she was hustling. She put books in people’s hands and smiled as they asked her questions. She seems so interested in what they had to say, and at the end of the day people bought her stuff.
I love this mindset shift, and it’s one I use all the time being a relentlessly negative. Focusing on the people that respond to your book, and nurturing those, is such a great way to have more fun.
But cutting negative people out isn’t easy. It’s even less easy to see yourself in that negative light, especially when we start out. When we start out, we are naturally going to attract people who think we can’t do things. In fact, most of your friends will think you are crazy, especially if they have stable jobs with stable incomes. There will be some of them that even resent you for showing them there is another way.
However, there will be people you have unbridled encouragement. They will buy your projects, but more importantly they will be cheerleaders. Those are the people you need to gravitate toward, because as artists we are full of self-doubt. If we allow those negative people to get into our lives, we will be in a spiral of self-hatred that will lead us to having worse or no output.
However, if we focus on the positive people then we will be encouraged to make more because they will think we can do anything. Christie’s book Personal Monsters was her attempt to cut these negative people out of her lives, and I encourage you to check it out.
Christie also told me about the quarter system, which I loved. The basic idea is that 25% of people will love you, 25% will grow to love you, 25% will like you and grow to hate you, and 25% of people will just hate you off the bat.
So it doesn’t make sense to focus on the last 50%, when there is 50% who love the heck out of your work. This is definitely the most “self-helpy” episode we’ve ever done, but this mindset shift is sooo important.
Check out Christie’s website @ http://www.horatorastudios.com/ or follow her on Instagram or twitter @horatorastudios.
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