It's hard to make a living as a creative, and it can seem even harder if you're trying to do it on your own.
You can't just throw paint at the canvas, music into Pro Tools, or words onto paper and expect people to buy it.
Blake Jamieson started with a plan, knowing that he would have to work every day, build his brand, put in the hours, and never stop learning. He also knew that there are no shortcuts when it comes to success.
Listen now to hear Blake discuss his journey from the beginning to where he is now, creating high-value art pieces for athletes and major companies such as Topps!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- How Blake moved from a career in digital marketing to creating art
- Why a self discovery trip might be valuable to you
- How going all in can boost your career
- What separates a great creative from an average creative
- How to set your prices as a creative
- Why creative thinking and business go hand in hand
- How you can get a celebrity’s attention (without being creepy)
- Why having an agent or manager isn’t always a good thing
- What NFTs are, and how you can harness their power
- Why NFTs are so powerful
Join The Discussion In Our Community
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“The best quotes always happen when the camera's off, and the best way to avoid that is just to turn the camera on all the time.” – Blake Jamieson
“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” – Andy Warhol
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[00:00:00] Brian: Welcome back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood, and I'm here with my big bald beautiful co-host who's not wearing a purple shirt today, but he usually does. Christopher J. Graham, how are you doing today? My dude,
[00:00:13] Chris: I'm great, buddy. How are you doing?
[00:00:15] Brian: I'm doing good, man. You've, you've been slacking a lot lately on these podcasts intros, because usually you'll talk and like you'll have something interesting or witty or like, or sometimes like completely pointless and meaningless to say.
[00:00:26] Chris: What did you you've shamed me repeatedly for not asking how you are. And so I
[00:00:30] Brian: I know, but like at the same time I have nothing, the whole dynamic of this podcast and the reason we've worked for all these years, Chris is because you say silly, stupid stuff is fun and lighthearted the intro just to ease people in. So we're not going straight to business. Cause here's the thing in the south here.
[00:00:42] Like I'm from Alabama in the south. We don't go straight to business. You small talk for like a while before you ever talk business. That's like, that's the culture of the south.
[00:00:50] Chris: I have small talk. Okay. You shut up all small talk. Here we go.
[00:00:53] What's going on in my life. I recently, and don't go out and buy one of these yet. Cause I'm trying to get an affiliate deal with them. But I, you know, those purple mattresses that are all fancy schmancy. I, I went large and I got like one of their nicest ones with an electric bass and it like moves around and like, I have never slept better or been more comfortable in my life.
[00:01:15] And so I lie in bed a lot.
[00:01:17] Brian: that's a trend that you've, if people have probably noticed on this podcast in the, of, for awhile, is that anytime you talk about gear or hardware or something like something like that, it's always the most exciting, amazing thing you've ever experienced in your life. It's like, it's the extreme, it's always the extreme.
[00:01:31] You're never medium Chris.
[00:01:33] Chris: I'm a superlative superlative.
[00:01:35] Brian: Okay, well, God don't, don't start the punts or anything like wordy today. Cause you man, last episode, last interview was a train wreck with your stupid puns. All right. Let's let's, let's dive into that. We got a, we got a good guest today. Uh, His name is Blake Jamieson. He is a artist who is making a killing, selling his creative works.
[00:01:52] He has been featured on CNBC. He is from what I understand is a multi six figure income artists, which is hard to do in his world. And he's made nearly, this is, this is just the numbers I'm finding online. So correct me if you want Blake we'll get, we'll get into your story here made nearly 50 K in six weeks with NFTs, which, you know, that's a thing that's heightened, heightened and popular and you know, in the last year or so, and there's a quote I'm going to pull from your CNBC interview.
[00:02:18] You said my business went from 100 K to 800 K in what felt like a second. So we're going to dive into a lot of this stuff and some of the backstory and some of the things that I think a lot of our audience are struggling with. So Blake, thank you for coming on the podcast.
[00:02:31] Blake: Thanks for having me happy to be here.
[00:02:34] Brian: And there's always, it always, we never do this, but thanks for sitting through the stupid intro, the me and my, my class, it's always, it's always weird doing these.
[00:02:41] Like, because for years we did this podcast was just me and Chris. We never did interviews. So it was like we could banter and do stupid stuff, but now it's like, we got guests just watching us. So we full yeah.
[00:02:49] Blake: Hey, live your life, man. Live your life.
[00:02:51] Brian: just to start things off, I'd love in your own words, like w what would you, how would you even describe what you do at this point?
[00:02:57] Because you, you seem to have gotten a very winding path, what kind of go back through, and you seem to have your hand, your eye, like a few different irons in the fire. How do you describe what you do with it?
[00:03:06] Blake: I'm a pop portrait artist focused on painting portraits of professional athletes based in Brooklyn, New York, originally from San Francisco. Uh, I grew up in a very creative household where I was always encouraged to create my parents are both creatives in their own. Right. And when it was time to go to college, they encouraged me to go to art school and I've, I very much rebelled from that and thought that it was not a viable career path.
[00:03:27] And so I studied economics skated by as a C student, a C minus student through college, and then got into digital marketing. And it was really early at Zynga, a gaming company
[00:03:37] Brian: Oh, yeah. Familiar with it.
[00:03:39] Blake: That was my first job right out of college. And got to ride that wave. And could kind of leverage that into a pretty successful career in digital marketing, working for a variety of clients in different industries and different company sizes.
[00:03:52] And at the end of the day, I learned that I was moderately good at selling stuff online, whatever it was. And so I sold, you know, it was whether I was driving app downloads or like I sold chlorine, like pool chlorine, and sold millions of dollars of it on Facebook for one of my clients. And so. It was doing that over and over and over again for all these different brands.
[00:04:13] They gave me, I think, enough confidence to say, you know what, I could probably actually make the art thing work. And so when I was 30, which is six years ago, I left digital marketing to pursue painting full time and having look back and I've had two niches since then. Now the sports niche has really been one to kind of take my business to the next level.
[00:04:31] And specifically within that, I work with tops baseball cards and my art is turned into baseball cards and that's a licensing deal, which is a big source of revenue for me in terms of you know, the mix. But yeah, and if T's, you know, with my background in tech, I was very bullish on NFTs pretty early and got to ride a lot of that that hype cycle that we got to see earlier this year.
[00:04:51] And I'm still bullish on the technology. Long-term, that's an exciting thing. And, and man, I just get to wake up every day and paint pictures, and there's not much better than that in my book.
[00:05:01] Brian: I think our audience can resonate with that, that vision a lot. So we have a wide variety of people that listen to this podcast, but they all have one thing in common. they are either doing it or they want to do, they want to wake up and do their creative talent for a living, what they want to do.
[00:05:15] And so you're, you're kind of doing that. So I want to, I want to step back a little bit. You talked about the, the career at Zynga, and I don't want you to, I'm not going to ask you to bash them or do anything, but you did mention something that I saw on one of your interviews, that when I was doing my pre episode research, which was There was never a point where you're like, I can't, this is the day I'm putting my flag in the ground. I'm going to go full-time and doing my art for living. But you said as a gradual decline until eventually in your thirties, you left to go pursue art, or actually you left to go do a big trip talk about that transition that made you eventually, what was that gradual wear down that that said, okay, I'm successful in the digital marketing world, the day job, the golden handcuffs as we call it where you have probably a good living and you're successful, but you're not really fulfilled, or I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, but that's how a lot of people feel.
[00:05:59] What was that transition like that got you eventually to say, Hey, I'm going to go down to this other.
[00:06:03] Blake: Yeah. I mean, it was gradual and it wasn't like I didn't plan ahead of time that I was going to leave and start painting full time. When I decided at age 30 to quit the corporate job. It was just because I was just tired of looking forward to Fridays and dreading Mondays. And that was something that did happen over time, where at first, you know, you get a new gig and it's exciting and there's new challenges and new things to learn creatively, even like in the digital marketing space, I was still able to flex my creativity a little bit.
[00:06:31] the last company I was with, I was there for two years. I love the people that I work with. You know, like the company wasn't like passionate about what they were doing, but like, it was cool, but yeah man, just enough, enough Fridays that I was just so stoked for and then followed by a Monday that I was bummed out, just all added up and I turned 30 and I was like, what's the point?
[00:06:49] Like, like you said, golden handcuffs. Like I had I was in Arizona at the time I had bought a house and remodeling that house was kind of. Art project, I guess of the two years that I was at that job. And I basically got the house so close to completion and I was like coming to the end of that project.
[00:07:02] And I'm like, well, what am I going to do next? Cause I can't just like go this cubicle job Monday through Friday and you know, whatever, they, it's just not what I, that's not the way I wanted to live my life. So I, I put a notice. I quit that job that business was seasonal. So I actually ended up staying.
[00:07:15] I gave them like four or five months notice just so that I could like run them through their busy season. And then I'm planning this trip to Barcelona. Spain. I had never been to Europe in my life I didn't know anybody there. I had a backpack and night the first night, like reservation at a hostel that I found online.
[00:07:34] And just went with it. And, and actually the goal when I went to Barcelona was it was a five week trip and I'm a really big audio book guy. I love audible. And specifically within audible, I love, I fall in love with narrators more so than, than authors. And so like, I'll follow specific narrators where any books they get, they, they are narrating.
[00:07:53] I will buy that book and there's a narrator named RC Bray. He's a total beast. and he's like a legend. He like wins awards in the audio book kind of world. And he happens to do a lot of zombie fiction. And I had never been a fan of zombie fiction, but I had kind of gotten into it because I was following like all of his books and I listened to like 12 of them and I'm like, I get the formula.
[00:08:14] I could write a zombie, I could write a zombie book. And so my goal for Spain was to. Right. As AMI book with the ultimate goal of having RC Bray, be the narrator of the audio book version. And so I was writing specifically for the narrator that I wanted in mind and I got to Barcelona and I started, you know, I'd go out and explore the city and stuff during the day.
[00:08:34] And then at night I'd come home and sit in my, crack a beer and right. And that book is fired by the way. I've only, I've only written probably about 25% of it. Then what happened is at the, at these hostels in Barcelona, they have like these walking tours through the city where the front desk person at the hostel will say, oh, well, if you like architecture, you can see this gouty walking tour.
[00:08:53] If you like art, you can see this street art and graffiti walking tour, if you like this. And so like, I was always drawn to like street art and graffiti stuff. And so I took this walking tour where. this tour guide Raquel walked us all, you know, a group of a dozen of us through the city and we'd stop at different kinds of iconic places where artists do street art.
[00:09:10] And she explained the history of street art and graffiti and Barcelona, which is kind of through the eighties. It was like one of the meccas of the world because the city would actually let you let artists just paint everywhere. And then I think it was mid eighties. They started, they stopped doing that, but still like, it has this like crazy like history and there's still like these spots that are, that are super legit.
[00:09:29] And then I get back to my hostel that night after the tour. And I look across the street and there's an art store and I'm a very much like, everything happens for a reason kind of guy. And I saw that as a sign and I'm like, all right, I'm just going to go get some paint and see what happens. And so I go get some paint and I start like spending the days of going out or exploring or writing or anything, I'm like cutting stencils to go out at night and then spray paint and do like little tag.
[00:09:53] It's so much fun. And like, because I knew where the tour stopped, all the different key spots. That's where I would tag is because I knew these are the stops. And so then I hit all these spots, like sequentially over certain nights, I'd go and I'd hit the different spots and then I would go, and then I went and I took the tour again and Raquel's like walking through.
[00:10:11] She's like, oh, well this is a new artist. We don't know who stoke is, but this is interesting. And then we go to the next spot and she's like, whoa, stoke is everywhere. stoke was my name. Am I like, you know, handle or whatever for, for tagging. And so like then, like, I can't, I'm such a bad secret keeper.
[00:10:25] Like by the end of that first tour that I took, when she likes all my stuff, I'm like, Hey, I'm stoke. And she's like, are you serious? I'm like, yeah. So she's like, that's so cool. It was just, it was, it was amazing. Like, it was just so funny, like how it all works and like the timing of it all. But, you know, I had always enjoyed eating in different fashions and doing art painting specifically had always been a love of mine and also like the street art and graffiti angle was always an influence.
[00:10:48] Like I loved, you know, Shepard, Fairey and Banksy are some of my biggest influences. And so. I had always like, you know, loved that stuff. And then being able to make it myself was fun. And like being in college, being from California in Spain, I meet other local artists. Yeah. They're like, whoa, you're from California.
[00:11:04] That's the coolest, like your art is so cool. And like, even though, like, it was whatever, but like, it would have been different if I was in California doing our in California, like where I'm from and people will be like, okay, cool. You're just, you're just an artist, but they're like, oh, you're an artist from around the world.
[00:11:19] Like this is epic. And like just sometimes just a tiny bit of like positive feedback is, is enough to like, get you over that initial learning curve and creative endeavors where like most people just stop because they don't think they're good enough. And they don't have validation for somebody else to say no, no.
[00:11:33] Like given how much time you've done this, like, you're pretty good. It was really good to get that. And so when I came back to the states, after that trip, it was signed, sealed and delivered. I'm like, I'm gonna.
[00:11:42] Brian: Yeah. So I think anytime someone's trying to find their way in this new path, that they've never had any experience before that imposter syndrome, I think holds back so many people we've, we've touched on this in some past interviews we've done recently of just imposter syndrome, stopping so many talented, creative, amazing people from doing something that could potentially change the world or change someone's life or help someone to provide value to someone just because they didn't have that initial boost of confidence that you got on what I call your self discovery trip to Barcelona.
[00:12:09] So what was it if I'm doing the math right? I was 2015. You were in Barcelona.
[00:12:12] Blake: let's see. So I'm 36. So I put in notice when I was 30 on my 30th birthday, I stayed for like six months later. So that was actually February of. I guess it must've been February of 2016 that I went, so I left the job in like August of 2015, even though I gave, I gave or maybe not, I don't know, it's hard, but it was, it was January of 2016, February of 2016.
[00:12:34] Then I was in Barcelona. So, you know, I tell people I've been painting for six years, but really when I do the math, because of like the lag on the notice and stuff, it's really closer to five,
[00:12:42] Brian: That's what I'm trying to get is like, this was relatively recently. It's not like you've been plugging away for 15 years of this. Like you're very far along in a short amount of time, but there's a, there's a next step in your journey that I want to cover. Now. That is you, went on this journey, you went on the self-discovery journey.
[00:12:57] You were going to write the zombie apocalypse, whatever,
[00:12:59] Blake: I still will.
[00:13:01] It's still, in, it's just still in progress.
[00:13:03] Brian: I trust you.
[00:13:04] Chris: So a buddy of mine actually is in that genre and he has a book called zombie haiku in its haiku poems about
[00:13:12] Blake: I love that.
[00:13:13] Chris: It's so amazing.
[00:13:14] Blake: love that.
[00:13:15] Brian: Well, let's, let's go, let's get back on topic here. You were, you went to write this book, which is, which is really cool. And like, I've, I've listened to a few, a few, like in the bigger books in that genre. So like I do like fishing books like
[00:13:26] Blake: I'll give you, I mean, this is also like it's a made for TV book, if I could say. So it is a zombie apocalypse that breaks out at EDC and there's the protagonist, who's like a tech tech surfer from LA, which also is like, kind of like, oh, we're all writing on, stuff are familiar about, right? So it's like this nerdy tech surfer that is building this like wetsuit company.
[00:13:46] He goes to EDC with like his super crushed that's like this girl is totally out of his league. There's a bad batch of ecstasy that ends up turning into turning people into zombies. And it's at EDC where there's all these, you know, scantily clad chicks and they become zombies and they come up to dudes like, ah, they're like, woo.
[00:13:59] And then they get fucking bit and becomes zombies. I
[00:14:02] Chris: sexy zombies. I can't think of anything
[00:14:04] Blake: dude, it is literally will be a feature film stuff. but before that RC Bray will narrate it. And uh, yeah, no, I I'm. There's no doubt in my mind that those things will happen. It's just the timeline changed.
[00:14:14] Brian: Yeah. Yeah. So, but you went to do this, but you got distracted. You it's a side quest really now it's like when you're successful, one thing is actually easier to leverage into these other, other areas. So you had the side quests that turned into your main thing, at least for now. And, but then you did something.
[00:14:28] What I would consider unexpected, but shows commitment. You sold your house and move back in with your parents. Is that, is that accurate? Why, why would you.
[00:14:38] Blake: I was making a lot of money, but I wasn't S I w I'm not a saver and still not. I reinvest in myself all the time. And so I had put a lot of money and sweat equity into this house and done a ton of improvements to the point where the value had increased 50% over what I paid for it.
[00:14:55] And I figured at first, the first the plan was because I don't know still, like, I'm not sure, like when I'm going to be able to buy my next house. And again, that's because I'm like investing in other things. And so like the fact that I was able to buy it, like I really wanted to hold onto that house if I could just to have that asset.
[00:15:12] And so my plan was to refinance and just pull some of the equity out that I had gotten into it. And then when I saw the appraisals come back and then also just saw kind of the strength of the market within the neighborhood that I was in. And literally, like I found the buyer to my house. It was, it was like the best friend of my neighbor.
[00:15:28] And, and like, it just, it just fell in my lap. And so I'm like, okay, I can get full asking price the first day it goes on the market with like a six figure profit just on, based on like the work that I put into the house, you know, over the last, the previous two years, It just made sense to be able to kind of walk away from it and just, just pull the cash out.
[00:15:48] And lived in the house for two years that I wasn't hit with capital gains tax. It was like, there was all these kinds of perfect storm of like, okay, now all of a sudden I have this nest egg and I have a super supportive family that will let me, not only just move into their house house and like help, like with cooking and laundry Dre and stuff, but also like my parents' property, which actually belongs to my grandparents is this beautiful too, or kind of ranch north of San Francisco.
[00:16:11] And like, there was this three different or four structures on the property. There's a main house where my parents live. There's a guest house where my grandparents live, who owned the property there. And then there are two different barns. There was an old barn that's strictly storage. And then there's the new newborn, which is still not very new, but like, there's like a horse and like stalls and everything.
[00:16:29] It's like, it's a proper barn. And my grandma. Who also is an artist. She actually paints pictures of horses. No surprise. Had at one point had an art studio set up at the very end of the new barn. And as she got older and a little bit less mobile, even though she's insane, still insanely like sharp and agile for, for her age.
[00:16:49] She wanted to put the studio closer to her where she like stayed in the, like the cottage. And so they built like another, like one of those like prefab structures from like home Depot where it's like a single bedroom, like, you know, a single little cottage and she just moved her so that she could literally like walk out of her door and be at the studio instead of having to walk to the back of the property, which is like up this little hill and go to the barn.
[00:17:08] And so like, there was already like basically the bones of an art studio. Plus like free laundry, free food, free rent. Like my parents are super dope. I like, I hit the lottery. I think a lot of people say, oh, you got lucky because of the top thing you got lucky because of this, you got lucky because this, I got the luckiest because my parents are just so cool and understanding and supportive and just everything possible that I could ever want in parents.
[00:17:35] I have. And so it was a no brainer to move back there.
[00:17:37] Brian: Well, there was something that there's a reason I brought this up and, and I can totally relate to that because I started my business out of my parents' basement when in 2009. And so like, I have incredibly supportive, amazing parents the same way. Not everyone's that lucky, but whether or not you have supportive parents, you did something that I think a lot of people wouldn't do.
[00:17:53] You said, this is a new thing I want to pursue. And I want to sell my house. But instead of doing what the traditional American path is of, I've got so much equity. I'm going to go buy a bigger, better house, or I'm going to go do something with this money. Then like saving it and moving in with my parents because you were committed to actually making this thing work.
[00:18:10] That's why I wanted to kind of put this thing out there. There's maybe you don't have. We'll do this. If you're listening right now, but you're not making the sacrifices that Blake has made so far in order to make this career work. So I just want to point that out as an important step in your journey, because you're not the first person that's done this, like, oh, we had a guest a few episodes ago, Rodrigo.
[00:18:28] Taska where he moved in. He moved in from New York into his parents' house in Florida to start his video production studio. And now he's wildly successful as well. So I think that's a trend that you see as people are willing to make these sacrifices all along their journey, no matter what the path is or number, no matter where the destination is, they're just willing to make those, those sacrifice.
[00:18:46] Blake: Yeah. And the crazy thing too, is that like my first, like I came back and I, and then I was kind of blinders on. I want to learn how to paint. Like I knew like I needed to catch up. I didn't go to. And although I kind of painted as a hobbyist, like I had a lot to do. So I did, like, I was focused on just getting better myself at painting in that, that nest egg allowed me to do that.
[00:19:05] But then as soon as I felt like, okay, I'm gonna, I'm going to start putting myself out there more as an artist, I actually hired a videographer on Craigslist. This guy, Matt Webster, a freaking amazing videographer. We'd both gone to UC Davis. He was just graduating. He had at the very end of his college career left premed to pursue videography full time.
[00:19:24] And so I convinced not only my parents to let me move back home, but I'm like, Hey, I'm going to move in. But also this guy that I met on Craigslist, can he move in for three days? And he's gonna live with us and fill me every single day. And we're just going to document what this looks like to like, try to break into the art world.
[00:19:40] And they let me do that too. So like then, like Matt basically got my bedroom where like I moved back in with my parents and I was sleeping on the couch in the living room for, for all summer, because I wanted to be able to give a room to the videographer. And we, we did this project called 90 days to MoMA where I spent 90 days from becoming like a brand new artist to try to get my art into SF MoMA, which is like a world-class museum.
[00:20:00] And I'm not going to give it a score. I'm not going to give a too many spoilers, but it was, it's amazing how, like, even now, like I'll rewatch that content and we're producing a video a day. It's pretty short. It's like anywhere from like three minutes on average for an episode. And so you could watch all 90 of them.
[00:20:14] The time it takes to watch one movie, but it's like crazy how my mindset is like exactly the same now. And although I didn't know as much about art world, I didn't understand it. I was still thinking of like creative ways to like market my art and stand out and have a niche and build a business from the jump.
[00:20:29] So it's insane. Like, and that's also like hats off to my parents because not only was I'm like, okay, surprise. I'm coming home. Also bringing a stranger from Craigslist. Also, hopefully this works out like it's insane.
[00:20:40] Brian: So, so there there's a couple of things I want to point out there that was, was super interesting. It was either further sacrifice. You literally gave up your bedroom in your parents' house for this essentially a stranger, because you had a vision for something that was bigger than what you know, other people may have initially had.
[00:20:54] So here's one thing that I really enjoy about what we're gonna talk about next. You, you talked about 90 days to Momo and I saw it. I saw it. I saw some of those emails and I saw the shirt. I had no idea what MoMA was. So I'm glad you explained that. Like it was it was like this big, hairy, audacious goal that like most people that are just starting out wouldn't have the goal of getting a MoMA their first 90 days.
[00:21:10] Like, that's, that's incredible. But so I want to talk about that. You talked about and I probably skipped over some things that I wanted to mention, but that's the way podcasts go. You talked about documenting the thing, right? Is it you are doing, I want to, I want to talk, I wanna touch on that because this is an important step that I think a lot of people miss out is.
[00:21:24] Being willing to share part of the journey and let other people in so many people build in secret, they have this like passion that they're learning or this thing they're pursuing, or this business they're building, or this art they're creating, or this talent that they're using, that they never let anyone in because of that is that imposter syndrome is that fear.
[00:21:41] already know why you did it because you're like, you're, you're like me and Chris, just the, just blindly self-confident whether you should be, or shouldn't be, but like you have that self-confidence that you just do it without ever considering the consequences. So that's just your personality, which is a great superpower of yours.
[00:21:55] But let's talk about like, what were the results of that? What was this talk about the actual content creation thing about how that helped build your audience? Like got you started like talk, talk through those things. Uh, Just from the perspective of like people listening, they want to maybe replicate that or maybe utilize that in their own businesses.
[00:22:09] Blake: Yeah. I mean, I think like the reason that, that content creation and, and not even necessarily content creation and publishing even just content capturing what's so important is because all of the brands that I'd worked with for the previous eight years in digital marketing, I was always trying to capture every single thing, everything we're doing, we're capturing, even if it's only internal, let's just capture it and see, we never know when we're like, you know, the best quotes always happened when the camera's off and the best way to avoid that is just to turn the camera on all the time.
[00:22:37] And so I've had that mindset just kind of like built into my DNA at this point. And so once I started doing the art thing, I'm thinking like, okay, well, like I'm serious about this and I'm not going to give up, but also, like I already know that there's going to be all these cranes. Blocks at the beginning that if I just like skate by and do it and don't document it, it's going to be really easy to forget this in 1, 5, 10 years, whatever, which is true.
[00:23:00] And still, like if I don't document something it's swept in the past and like it's never going to be brought up again. So I thought it was like really interesting to like, think like, okay, if art is what I'm going to pursue my legacy. why not have the very beginning of that journey filmed and rather than just putting it on a tripod and filming myself, cause I'm used to doing that.
[00:23:18] And I still do that all the time and just bank hard drives and hard drives of footage every single day. I figured like I had just sold this house and I made a nice little chunk of change. And so I'm like, I'm going to reinvest some of that into just content for the future. And so like we have, you know, a very cool product of these 90 videos that I think tell an interesting story that is a different take on the art world than you usually see.
[00:23:39] And then I think what's also special is that there's, you know, each day we would be filming typically for like eight to 10 hours. And then, and then Matt would go and spend like two to four hours editing. But like we also just have banks of footage from that, that startup process that I've never watched back and, and know plan to for decades and someday.
[00:23:58] And I have it backed up in multiple spaces in multiple states on multiple hard drives because that's like gold to me. I think it's just going to be fast. Like if I could go back and look at like, when Andy Warhol decided to become an artist, like, what was his day like, and then actually see the entire day for 90 days straight of him starting and like the thought process of like, I'm going to do this.
[00:24:19] Oh, I'll try this. Oh This happened. Oh. You're like, whatever, like that just doesn't exist yet for other artists. And so I'm gonna try and like have the blueprint for like here here's everything. And like, who knows, like maybe I end up being a mediocre artist. And that's fine, but like the fact that that's there, I just think it's so cool and so unique I don't know.
[00:24:39] I think it's, it's going to be special.
[00:24:41] Chris: Dude. I love that, man. I watch a lot of . Documentaries. I recently watched. I can totally blanking on the name of it, but it was a story about a portrait, a photographer in New York. she would shoot in large format Polaroid and large format. Polaroid is like, like three feet wide and six feet tall.
[00:24:58] Like the negative is that big.
[00:25:01] And it was so cool to just see another artist process through, through film and to see like what they struggle with and what was hard for them and what the roadblocks were. I love what you're doing, man. Like I think we have this strange culture that I think is beginning to break where artists really went out of their way to be mysterious. to me, that just seems like a boring move to be like, I'm just going to completely be a mystery to everyone.
[00:25:27] Brian: I don't, I wouldn't call it a completely boring cause people like Banksy did it really well, but I, I will say
[00:25:31] Chris: True.
[00:25:32] Brian: it could be, it is really easy to make really boring because then you're just unknown. That's all it is.
[00:25:37] Blake: Yeah, I think that like also, think this goes for artists, but it all, it goes for all types of creatives or all type of people where they think that their moat is what's in their head and they think that's what makes them special. I don't think that's the case. I think that everybody has good ideas.
[00:25:50] Everybody has great ideas. The only thing that separates a great creator or a great creative than, than the average creative is the great one executes more of the ideas that they have in their head. And so I've always felt like from the jump I've been his parents like, Hey, I didn't go to art school. I don't, I don't, I don't know how to paint.
[00:26:07] I taught myself how to paint through YouTube and through like, watch it like trial and error and learning from other artists. And here's everything that I've learned along the way. Every single mistake. There's literally nothing that an artist could ask. Yeah. Artist to artist or just person to artist, whatever of saying, how do you do X or what do you think about X?
[00:26:24] Or what do you think about this? I have no problem sharing all that information and to the, sometimes to the point where people are like, whoa, why are you, why are you telling them like every little financial detail of where your money comes from and where it goes or whatever. I'm like, I don't care.
[00:26:37] People can know anything that they want. It doesn't mean that they can, like, they're not going to outwork me. They're not going to out Blake, Blake which isn't necessarily like working the hardest. It's like just prioritizing and like thinking creatively and then executing those ideas very quickly iterating and just keeping up.
[00:26:53] Brian: So you, you touched on something that I think is kind of one of our core tenants. It's, you know, not hoarding information, but freely giving information. if you've ever read the book, the Go-Giver, they talk about this in detail. We had Bob Burg on our podcast you know, a few episodes back, but the whole gist of the book is like, you don't hold information and you don't hold things in, or you don't put, you don't put a gate behind things and say, I will do this. If you do that, no, you just freely give that information.
[00:27:17] And that seems to be your mindset. I don't know if you need to read the book because you're already like
[00:27:21] Blake: No, it sounds right up my alley, man.
[00:27:23] Brian: It's why we touched on this all the time is because it is very different. To have a scarcity mindset and be successful these days with so much free information out there.
[00:27:32] So many people that are willing to so many people willing to give bad reviews or talk crap about you behind your back. Like your reputation is gonna be ruined if you're not, freely giving information or freely helping people out without strings attached to it or things like that.
[00:27:44] So let's, let's actually shift it. I want to talk about one thing related to that 90 day content thing that you did to start your career out. What were kind of some of the results of that you don't have to give away spoilers of the actual 90 day results from your Momo thing, but what were some of the results as far as followers or like social media people or whatever you like, what, what did you gain from doing.
[00:28:00] Blake: It's funny watching it back now, because I remember at the time. Simultaneously being really proud of, you know, consistently getting a thousand views on the videos. And like I had kind of the really maybe 20 or 30 people that were the diehard crew that were commenting on everything that I did and getting those messages from random artists or, or, or people that had seen it and been like, you know, feeling inspired to go pursue their own dreams and see if they can do something epic within a 90 day.
[00:28:27] You know? So my short time, yeah, window at the time, like, I think, like I had seen a lot of like almost viral stuff access on behalf of clients that I was really hoping to like capture where I was. I was thinking I was going to get magnitudes you tire I guess, visibility that then the project got now looking back, you know, five, six years later.
[00:28:45] That was, it was a lot like it was, it was really strong engagement within kind of the niche, a small group of people that saw it. And so it's also interesting because every second well thing that I do there, all the mindset stuff is exactly who I am like. It hasn't changed at all. And now I have a much bigger platform through my work with tops and these athletes that I'm working with in different, you know, things like CNBC covering the NFT success definitely gives me this much bigger platform where like I'm kind of waiting for the perfect time to kind of rendered, introduce that project to the world.
[00:29:20] Cause I think that it holds up really well. It's very timeless content. And I know that at some point this project will get the recognition that I think it deserves. I'm in no rush to make that happen because I think that like the longer I go and the more successful art career. The more impactful it is to be, to be like, yeah, guys, but this was, this was a decade ago and I've been, I've been like this, it just took you guys a while to catch on.
[00:29:44] Like, then, then people are gonna be like, whoa, like that really is like, that's that dude? So, yeah. I mean, it was cool. And then in terms of like tangible results, like, I mean, I don't wanna give too much away, but like I got my art into MoMA
[00:29:56] Brian: Spoiler alert,
[00:29:58] Blake: Spoiler alert. I got in a, in a, in a, in a very creative way, it worked and it was, it was meaningful and impactful.
[00:30:04] And again, I think that, like, I think ultimately what's w my work, if it will end up in SF MoMA is going to be that documentary will be like part of their film program or something like that. Where I'm, where I'm, where I'm constantly in there. I got in there, I get in there for a short window and made it happen.
[00:30:19] You got to watch it to see how.
[00:30:21] Brian: we're going to put that on our show notes page, James. We'll have to find that and put it somewhere because I'm going to go find it myself. But so when our audience to watch that as well, so that's cool. So they're the reason I'm asking you about this is because at some point you've built a following because I was watching something in my research and something stood out to me.
[00:30:38] And that is like, when you, when you finally started to sell. He made $5,000 in one day. And no one just does that without something happening to build that up. It's it's that whole overnight success sensation. People always think like they see, they see Blake, oh, he sold 5,001 day what an overnight success, but they don't see all the work that went into it before that.
[00:30:56] What sets you up to where you could actually sell $5,000 worth of art on your first day of actually selling any artwork that you've heard?
[00:31:04] Blake: Yeah. So part of it was because I didn't go to art school and I didn't have formal training. I wasn't comfortable selling my art right away, you know, but I was sharing my art. I was posting pictures. Posting videos of the process or whatever. So people would reach out and say, oh, how much does that piece?
[00:31:20] Sorry, it's not for sale yet, but I'll let you know when something's ready. And, and there was a lot of that to the point where I was meticulously keeping track of interested buyers. And so when I finally got to a point where I was ready to sell some art and I guess I'll take it one step back.
[00:31:33] Almost all of my art is stencil based, meaning that I'm taking a piece of paper or a poster board and using an Exacto knife and cutting out a stencil, which is like holes to make a face or a portrait or anything really. And then that allows paint to like go through. So like the central cutting takes a long time.
[00:31:49] And then once I have it cut, the painting is very fast. And that goes all the way back to like in Barcelona of street, artists could do very complex stencils, but then they can put them up in the streets and spread it super fast and runaway before the police catch them or whatever.
[00:32:03] Chris: It's a system that's amazing.
[00:32:05] Blake: Yeah. So I had done like a ton of stencils stencil work throughout of. I think it probably took me about six months to feel comfortable selling a work. I was painting in general, like 10 hours a day, 12 hours a day. I wasn't doing anything else at that point in my life.
[00:32:18] and then like promoting it and, and fostering those relationships. And so then when I finally was like ready to sell art, I said, okay, here's how we're going to do this. I bought, I went out and bought 10 canvases that were 16 by 20 inches. Just blank canvases. And I did that had a special video.
[00:32:31] It was during, it was actually during 90 days to MoMA and I said, I'm ready to sell some art. Here's how it works. I have these 10 blank canvases. They're 500 bucks each. And if you buy one, you get to choose. What stem cell I'm going to use to paint on it and what color scheme you want. And those are the two, like, so you're getting whatever you want.
[00:32:46] And so for the people that like saw a James Brown portrait and were like, I really want, I wish I had that all of a sudden, they're like, oh, now I can get James Brown and it could be whatever color I want. And so then I would, I followed up with every single one of the people that had said, oh, I was interested in this painting.
[00:33:01] I said, Hey, you know, while that painting is not for sale, I am doing this new thing where for 500 bucks, you can get anything you want any color you want from my existing stencils. So those sold out extremely quickly. It's also cool. Like at least half of those she'll 10 customers have like, continued to patronize.
[00:33:17] Like they're still like collectors and they have like the early, early G stuff. And it was just like you said, like building up all the preparation to be an overnight success And it was validating, you know, just like it wasn't Spain being told like that my art was cool.
[00:33:31] Cause I was a kid from California. Same thing with like, if people are telling me I'm cool with their wallets and saying, you know, here's 500 bucks, here's 500 bucks. Here's 500 bucks. I mean, it felt easy. It wasn't, but in that moment it was enough to say, all right, I think I can make this work.
[00:33:46] Brian: How do you know, you are truly not prepared to accept someone's money for a piece of art that you created versus just being scared? Like, do you think that it was just a fear thing? Like the imposter syndrome of why you wouldn't accept their money? When they clearly said, I want to pay for this? How much is it
[00:34:02] Blake: Yeah. Yeah. Well, part, so part of that is at least with painters is it's, it's really difficult to price your work. And I think that there's a lot of creators out there that, that undervalue themselves and they price their work too low. And they're going to get themselves stuck in that wherever they, wherever they think they are.
[00:34:20] So, I mean, knew from the jump that I wanted to have, like respectable prices, I guess, and respectable, such as subjective term, who knows what that means to me, I decided for us a 16 by 20 painting, that was 500 bucks. It was respectable. It wasn't, it's not crazy. a lot of people, a lot of people that I was connected with, like that way.
[00:34:37] Too much of a calculated purchase for them, right. They're like, okay, well, we've seen what Blake's doing. Like, we want to support him in some way or another and 500 bucks. Isn't going to stress. I'm not going to lose sleep over spending that whether or not my art career is successful or not. Because I don't think that like almost nobody was buying as strictly an investment to say, this is going to be worth more some day.
[00:34:56] It's like, I believe in what's Blake's doing. And so I was putting a price tag on that and still trying to like, maintain the balance between having respectable price, but also a price that's cheap enough that people aren't going to have to like check with the wife and balance the checkbook and like, really think about it for a long time to see whether or not they can do it.
[00:35:13] And I think I nailed that price point in terms of like them just selling super quickly. And like, even like there were 11 or 12 or 13 people that also were like, oh, I wanted one, but I missed it. And like, you know, they bought something later because after that it was like, okay, flood gates are open.
[00:35:27] And I kind of used that as, as the, my floor to say, okay, well, 500 bucks is the cheapest also worked for And I even said that at the time, I was like, I'm not going to sell work for less than this. Like, this is the best deal you're going to get. So, yeah. I don't know. I think I mean, I was afraid to be honest, like I, I had done all the preparation I could, but at some point, especially like when the video guy like maps, they're filming me every day and I talk, I'm like, okay, we're going to do this.
[00:35:48] And it's like, he's filming me. I can't not do it. Like, we're just going to try it. Right. But I remember like pushing, enter on the Facebook post or whatever, and being like, oh I hope something.
[00:35:58] Brian: How large was your social following at that point, whenever you sold out of those $5,000.
[00:36:03] Blake: Oh, pretty small couple thousand on Facebook. Probably I was at like 30 K on Twitter. Twitter, Twitter has been my biggest platform for a while, but also like all of my social followers knew me as a digital marketer and knew me as different things. I had this social experiment on Tinder that went viral and I got like a ton of press and a ton of like recognition for my work, like growth hacking or like helping people maximize their Tinder profiles which is like silly, but like, you know, a ton of my followers were those people that literally knew me as this is the guy that helped me get more matches on Tinder.
[00:36:37] Brian: Were you like a profile doctor? I've actually talked about this in the past.
[00:36:40] Blake: Before profile doctors were a thing kind of when I moved to Arizona to take that corporate job Tinder was like brand new. This was 2014, January of 2014. Tinder was pretty fresh.
[00:36:50] Brian: Which I had, I met my eventual wife on Tinder in 2015. So that's
[00:36:55] Blake: love it. I love it. So I did, I was moving to a new city and I faced I a Photoshop, my profile picture and used a font that looked like Tinder's and it said hot match of the day. And I put like the Tinder logos. And so like, I basically made it look like I was endorsed by Tinder and, but it was kind of like a fun, you know, it was a fun thing.
[00:37:12] And so, and then I was just swiping right on everyone both in Arizona where I was moving as well as LA, where I was moving from as well as San Francisco. And I was like back there getting stuff. So I got like 800 matches in, in a couple of days. And then I wrote a medium article about it and being like, here's how I, like, I hacked Tinder.
[00:37:28] And then that just went viral and got picked up by ad week and FHM and New York times, like all, I mean, big, big places. And so then all these guys started emailing me that are reading the article saying, well, okay, you got all the matches, but like, what do you say to get a date? How do you, how do you get a phone number?
[00:37:43] How do you do this? And I'm like, okay, cool. They just wrote a table of contents for. I'll write the book is so I just, I took all those questions and I wrote a table of contents and I sent that out to my email list. Cause I started collecting emails really early on that, against that like traffic, I was getting to that medium article.
[00:37:57] And so I just wrote, I sent like on a Friday I sent an email with the table of contents saying the book is almost done. You know, you can pre-order it right now for $17. Otherwise it's gonna be $27 and it's going to launch on Monday and I got a bunch of pre-orders and I'm like, I better go. Right.
[00:38:12] This whole book. Like I ha I actually, like, I had the data in the backend because I had been like don't yet, but I hadn't organized it all into a book. And so that was that ran on Tinder, hacks.com and Tinder hacks was the e-book that crushed it. And so anyways, that was all because like my audience was a, not that big and be super fragmented.
[00:38:30] Brian: So this, this sounds way off topic and people were probably like, why are we talking about Tinder? What is this? So there's actually something about this. This is not what I intended to go for in the interview, but this is actually, there's a learning moment here to two learning moments that I spotted. One is something called a social proof and credibility indicators.
[00:38:46] So this is great for any sort of marketing that you're going to do as a freelancer, as a creative of having some sort of stamp from some bigger trusted source. That's what place he did in his, in his fake Tinder profile photo, where he put hot match of the day from Tinder and made it look like he was like the stamp of approval from tender to get his 800 matches.
[00:39:03] So that was like, that was just a funny use of that and like a fun and like lighthearted way. But then there's a second, the second kind of lesson from this where you just talked about, it was kind of the whole ready fire aim mentality of starting a business where you, you were sharing something that caught on.
[00:39:18] There was some. For it. People are like saying, Hey, I want more of this. And they literally helped you create your own niche here. So this was, it was super interesting. You can dive into that. We don't have to go deep into this, this whole topic, but I just love it. Like you accidentally found this niche when so much of our audience is out there doing something similar.
[00:39:33] They're not doing dating stuff, but they're doing something similar, creating art, doing something creative and fun that people want to do. They're just not listening. They're not paying attention to what signals the, their niche is sending them and thus missing out on opportunities where you you're just like, I'm going to sell a frame and have the standby.
[00:39:49] Oh, I sold a lot crap. Now I've got to write this book. Like, I just love that sort of mentality there.
[00:39:53] Blake: Yeah. I mean, having your buyers basically validate your idea before you executed is, is super valuable. It's awesome. Also, also just fascinating of like the dating niche in general, never thought that DNA, but man, there is such little price sensitivity when it comes to like finding a date, finding love or like, you know, hooking up, like people will pay whatever it takes.
[00:40:15] And so like I was selling what started as like a 25 page PDF ebook for $27. They would, at first they would literally like pay, just PayPal it to me. And then I would just like email them the PDF. And then, you know, I set up more systems and affiliate program and whatnot, but it's crazy, man, that people will pay you whatever you say.
[00:40:33] And there's, there's a lot of, there's a lot of stuff like that where it's like, you're tapping into that. Primal thing where they're just like, I will do anything to have that.
[00:40:41] Brian: Yeah. So that goes into my Maslow's hierarchy of needs and like a whole other there's like a lot of psychology behind why that is, but we don't, we don't necessarily have to get into that. Cause it's not, it's not completely on topic for this podcast, but I do love that story. It's just an interesting kind of thing.
[00:40:53] So let's actually, it's a good segue. The niche conversation into the niches that you're now in your, you, you, you said pretty clearly that you do pop art for NFL athletes,
[00:41:04] Blake: athletes.
[00:41:05] Chris: I'm so excited about this part of the conversation.
[00:41:07] Brian: before you even did that, you actually planted your flag in the startup world. Is that, is that right? Or you try to, is that, why was that?
[00:41:13] What was that? What was your, like, that was your first niche. Why did you choose that one? Or why did you decide to go down that.
[00:41:17] Blake: Sure man. So I told you about the 10 paintings I sold something that I started really early, and I think this is great for artists. If you're, if you're in, if you're making physical art like me and giving, selling it to customers, keeping track of the, of where your art is going, who it goes to is very valuable to information to have.
[00:41:35] And so I had sold those 10 and then over kind of the rest of that year, I think I sold maybe 20 or so more paintings. And what I did was I knew from the jump, like, I want to have a focus, but I didn't, I didn't want to come in without any validation and just make my focus. I wanted to like, let the focus find me.
[00:41:53] And so at first I was painting for anybody that would pay for painting and I would pay anything that they want. And I still will I'll pay anything that anybody wants. If they're willing to pay me the price, there's no problem. But I looked at my Excel or my Google doc spreadsheet, and I had a very meticulous list.
[00:42:08] What paintings went, where, who they are, what they do and, and not in all cases, but as my, as I could, like, where's the art hanging. And oftentimes and this is definitely biased because I came from the world of digital marketing and tech companies and PR firms and marketing agencies. So it shouldn't have been a surprise, but it was a little bit eyeopening to say, oh almost all of my work is selling to like tech professionals.
[00:42:31] And almost all of my work is hanging in their office, whether that's their office office or their home office, that's where people put my paintings. And so I just was like, cool. My niche found me. And so I branded myself as like, I make art for offices and kind of came up with this ideal customer avatar that.
[00:42:47] A company that was moving it just raised a series of funding was moving from co-working space into their first own office. They have all these blank walls that they don't know do with. And the really important part is that they have a budget for it. And there's not, it's not an emotional decision. It is just a strictly, there's an art budget.
[00:43:04] And I was going to be able to fit into their art budget, whatever that was. And so I did really well in that space and worked for some awesome companies, mainly post people that were already in my network already saw what I was doing. And I, so I already had that like a little bit level of like trust and familiarity with them.
[00:43:19] Brian: Yeah, I'll let you get the, let you get your foot in the door, essentially in an area that most people may not be able to get their foot in the door
[00:43:24] Blake: Yeah. Yeah. And so that did really well. And I was, I mean, I think, and I say this and he's like, I think if I had stuck with that, I would be the dude for office art. Now, like do this, like six years later, five years later, I would have my art in offices all over the world, all like, you know, working on big projects.
[00:43:41] However fate had a different plan for me. And I was delivering art to a client in Las Vegas, met this guy named Jared Faison who had played in the NFL and now manages NFL clients. And he really liked my work. We really got along and hit it off and he said, Hey man, I've got some clients. Why don't you pay these three of them for free?
[00:43:59] And I'm going to get them to promote you on social media, to their teammates. Maybe they're going to buy one after you give them one and I'll help you. Like, I got to meet all those players in person and deliver the work myself. And so it was like I was busy, but I wasn't busy. I wasn't so busy that I couldn't take on it.
[00:44:13] Like can hit a flyer on top of some other opportunity to be a little side quest. And, uh, it worked out exactly like Jared said I delivered art to three NFL players. One of the three immediately just turned around and bought a piece for $5,000, which was at the time, my most expensive piece that I'd ever sold.
[00:44:29] and then it's like the teammates started seeing it. And so like I ended up and have to this day and still do use what I call strategic gifting as a way as a marketing expense for myself. And so I will be very strategically doing pieces of art for athletes, where I give it to them for free in exchange for hopefully some social promotion.
[00:44:47] And it's obviously, it's hard to control that and manage it, but you do enough of them. And I, I know like it's a numbers game and so. I just continuously was, was doing free work to get my foot in the door, usually with like new teams. And I would find a team that I wanted to break into. And I started in the NFL now I've kind of branched out to other sports and I found out pretty quickly, like, you don't want to do the stars you want to do guys that are respected in the locker room, but guys that are like probably getting their first fan painting.
[00:45:12] Right. And it's, and if you can get, yeah, if you can find those right people, you sit, you ship it to the training facility instead of to their house. I used to think it's cool to have their home address. It's not, they don't, they, they, it takes them so long to receive that mail because that's like vetted or just sitting in their hallway of their mansions or whatever.
[00:45:27] You send it to the training facility, they unwrap it to make sure that it's not safe or whatever. And then they put, put that art into the player's locker. And that a 24 by 36 painting will fit perfectly in an NFL locker and be sitting below the weather patterns are hanging and it's like a fucking billboard man.
[00:45:43] And so it's just like, that was my marketing. And I didn't do any, any papers, the acquisition besides that, but I was paying to make the camp, like buy the materials and spend my time doing the canvas and then spend the shipping. And then there was like tracking it in the spreadsheet and following up and making sure that they got it.
[00:45:58] And like, you know, sometimes they don't post. And I got to say, Hey, like, you know, we talked like, can you share a picture of that? Because like, I would reach out to them ahead of time and say, Hey, if I do a painting for you, you posted on social media. And then I sent him some examples of my work and my conversion rate was really high.
[00:46:12] If people saw the message sometimes with celeb like celebrities or athletes, they don't necessarily see it. And obviously you can't do anything about that. It's a numbers game, man. And that's, that's like how I built the business. And then ultimately tops caught notice of some of the athlete work I'd done and invited me to be a, one of their licensed artists to design baseball cards.
[00:46:29] And here we go.
[00:46:31] Brian: Gosh. So this is, this to me is like the ultimate power of a niche kind of story, because like, you could be the like artists. Trying to sell their paintings to someone that'll, that'll try to buy it for like 20 to 50, to a hundred dollars. And like, maybe you can make a living or a side hustle on that, but you're not going to get invited by tops to make art on a licensing deal for their baseball cards.
[00:46:49] Like that's not going to work. So I just love, I love like how, how well you've done in that niche and the opportunities is brought to you. And I want to, I want to ask real quick, like you've mentioned multiple times something that I, I hope hasn't slept our listeners that you've been tracking data.
[00:47:04] Like you're a data-driven dude for someone who's an artist to be that data-driven and have spreadsheets. That seems pretty unusual. Can you talk about like, how you, like, how do you even know that that's something you should be doing?
[00:47:15] Blake: Yeah, it's super, it's super unusual. Well, and sometimes that can be frustrating when I'm trying to help other artists. And I might talk about something that to me seems like common knowledge. And to them, they're like, I don't, you know, eyes, glass over and they're like, I don't get that. I got to get props to one of my original mentors in digital marketing named Roy Steve's.
[00:47:33] Uh, He's still to this day, like one of my best friends, I was the best manager as well. Amazingly smart dude. And he was um, one of my early digital marketing clients. He was my boss and really kind of taught me what data-driven marketing meant. And not only that, but like really held me accountable to like, when I was spending company money, whether or not I'm driving results.
[00:47:55] I better have reports and I better, I better know if w if it didn't work, like why do I think it didn't work? And what were we measuring and where did we fall? Short of expectations. And he did it in a, in a good, like a friendly way, but like a very firm, like, this is just, this is how it's done. Like, you don't do, you don't spend advertising dollars without measuring against like 10 different KPIs and seeing like, what's actually moving the needle.
[00:48:17] And so it just kinda got baked into my actus of doing everything. And so I thought when I started painting it also helped you that, like, my dad is an architect. And he told me early, he's like, Hey, when you finished painting, you need to take a picture of the front and the back he's like, because I, you know, I'm buying works all the time where we're trying to authenticate it based on the markings, on the back of the painting.
[00:48:40] And if there's not a picture of the back of the painting we're just guessing. And so I was doing that from literally from the very first painting I sold to every painting I've done now. I have a picture of the front and the back and on the back, it's very, well-documented where I'm writing.
[00:48:54] Like the PA, like I keep track of the painting number that I do. So like 20, 21 dash 0 0 1 is the first painting of the year. And it just goes so forth. I do roughly 200 paintings a year. They're all meticulously numbered and I'm writing all the details of where it was created, what the medium is, what the size is because in pictures you can't necessarily tell what size of painting is.
[00:49:13] You can only tell the aspect ratio. All of those tiny little details is a combination of like my dad telling me what's up about keeping track of my art and then Roy keeping track of like the data
[00:49:23] Brian: The reason you're in, just to clarify why. While you're doing that is because you know, that eventually the art will be selling an auction for high dollar amounts and does need to literally be authenticated for proof that it is a legitimate piece that you have created. And it's not a fraudulent piece.
[00:49:38] That's, that's the reason you're doing
[00:49:40] Blake: it is. And, and that ties into earlier of saying like, I'm super transparent about everything. Like, if people are like, oh, how did you get this texture? I'm like, oh, I use this mesh and this paint, or how did you do this? Oh, I did this. Like, people could count if somebody is good, like they could counterfeit my work.
[00:49:55] And honestly, I've thought about multiple times doing a challenge to the internet to say, Hey, here's the stencil, here's the canvas size. Here's the materials. Here are the exact colors. Whoever can do it closest to the way that I can do it gets a job.
[00:50:07] Chris: Yeah,
[00:50:09] Blake: I'll do that at some point. I'm just not, I don't think I'm, I'm not quite famous.
[00:50:12] To have enough interest I guess, in that. Right.
[00:50:15] Chris: Blake, we need a word to describe your creativity in regards to, I guess maybe you'd call it entrepreneurial creativity. Like you just have bat crazy ideas that are awesome.
[00:50:28] Brian: well, I think here's the, here's the unfair advantage is your parents try to get you to go to art school to become an artist. And you said, no, I'm going to go get a degree in advertising and digital marketing and whatever else, but that's actually the career that has helped you so much, I believe in your art career now.
[00:50:43] And that background because of what you just said. I didn't, I don't know why I didn't put two and two together that your, your day to day data-driven background in marketing has helped you a lot in your world in art, because you're so meticulous about tracking, understanding buyer personas, understanding how to reach your ideal clients, understanding the psychology of gifting and reciprocity effect.
[00:51:03] And so when you send somebody something it's an, and you know, it's a numbers game, cause you probably know exactly what percentage of those people will end up buying something from you in the future. Like you've set yourself up for success and I'm hoping people on this journey so far. Has understood that some of the pieces of the puzzle that has helped you become successful because so many people are just painting or whatever your creative thing is taking photos or creating videos or whatever.
[00:51:25] Again, whatever your creativity thing is, insert in the blank, but they're sitting in their parents' basement or even their own basement and just creating an avoid. And instead of actually going out and, and meticulously building a career, which is what Blake has done here. So I just wanna make sure that's.
[00:51:39] Chris: Well, and that brings up a great point. Brian, you know, when we first launched our podcast, we started talking about this, this myth in creativity. If you build It they will come. It's literally like do just start making creative art and whatever you're making, the universe is, going to empower you with superhero abilities.
[00:51:57] And then the world's just going to know, and you know, bull crap. It's not like that. And you look at your ability that you see marketing as a creative extension of the art itself.
[00:52:08] Blake: It is, And Andy Warhol, I had a great quote about that. Of like marketing is the best kind of art or something like something like something to
[00:52:14] Brian: Ooh, we need to find that out. James, find the quote and put it in our show notes. Cause I didn't know what that is. That's a cool quote.
[00:52:19] Chris: I have to throw in one random thing as I'm sure we're going to talk about tops here and just. I was recently digging through my stuff in the basement.
[00:52:27] And I found about 20 baseball cards that were my favorite from about 1989. And I sat down with my son and we looked each one of them up and to my extreme excitement and surprise, I realized I have a mark McGwire all-star rookie Topps card.
[00:52:43] That's worth like 2,500 bucks. And so I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm getting into this whole, a tops baseball card game. I need to sell these items.
[00:52:51] Brian: Well on that transition. I do want to talk about this because as creatives, it can be, it can be daunting when we're presented with an opportunity. That's, that's terrifying. And I feel like this was probably one that was maybe a little scary. At least our I'm projecting that way. Where someone as big as tops, even though you're working with these big athletes, someone like tops, a big corporates, everyone's heard of tops has coming to you to create art for them on a licensing deal.
[00:53:12] How do you prepare yourself to work with them in a way that uh, is a win-win for all people and you're not getting taken advantage of, or your, or do you even care? Like it's tops who cares? Just do the art and figure it out from there? Like, what was your approach?
[00:53:24] Blake: Man. I, I remember reading so tops uh, this guy, Jeff Heckman, who was managing a project called project 2020 last year, where they were Tufts was recruiting 20 different artists to re-imagine 20 iconic baseball cards. Mark McGuire's 87 rookie being one of them. I believe that was 89,
[00:53:41] Chris: Yeah, it wasn't 89. Oh my gosh.
[00:53:43] Brian: Wow. You nerds.
[00:53:44] Blake: uh,
[00:53:44] well, Mark McGuire is my guy. yeah, so when they filled out, like literally like the contact form on my website. And so I get this automated email saying new contact form submission and say, I'm Jeff from tops and blah, blah, blah. I thought it was fake. I didn't think it was, or I was like, cause I always got so much spam and it was always like, oh, I'm such and such a important person.
[00:54:02] I want to buy art. I have a budget of $5,000 to $9,000 us, you know, it's just like scams are like
[00:54:08] Brian: And it's somebody like you send a check to this address and then we'll send you this and you catch the difference in like it's always some stupid scam. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:54:14] Chris: I almost fell for that while buying a kitten a couple of weeks ago,
[00:54:17] they were trying to scam me with a, with a fancy
[00:54:20] Brian: That's that's a new low
[00:54:21] Chris: Yeah,
[00:54:22] Blake: Yeah, that's brutal. Uh, Did you get a kitten?
[00:54:24] Chris: well, this won't air before hand, so I'm surprising my kids on father's day. We're going to the, instead of getting a fancy one, we're just going to the humane shelter and they're going to each pick out a kitten and then I don't know how I'm gonna prevent a fight, but Yeah,
[00:54:35] we're getting a cat on site.
[00:54:37] Blake: awesome. That's awesome.
[00:54:39] Brian: So let's turn out to be a real person, by the way they contacted you.
[00:54:41] Blake: Yeah, so I, it was real. It was real. And we did the call and uh, yeah, I mean, I was in from the jump. I said, you know, I I'm in, and it's crazy like in the art world, there's, there's so many different ways and ways that you can go. So I had always been, you know, managed myself.
[00:54:55] I didn't have a gallery, I didn't have an agent. I didn't have a manager. And I thought that having taught. I mean this top steel, which came with like a pretty modest minimum guarantee where I knew I was going to make some chunk of change. And obviously there was upside on royalties as long as my royalties exceed that minimum guarantee.
[00:55:12] And so I leveraged that and I went to an agency I'll leave them out of it cause it's irrelevant. But I went to an agency that manages artists and I said, I have this opportunity to, but tops. I want you guys to manage me. If you can you know, you can have this contract and a percentage. if you will manage me and get me other gigs and stuff.
[00:55:31] And so they said, you know, they brought all the bells and whistles yeah. Were gonna, you know, took me to a nice dinner, like, oh, we're going to crush it for you. Like, first of all, we're going to get all these extra things from tops on this, this contract. And then we're going to plug you in on these other projects.
[00:55:43] The short of it is like I told him, like, look, don't push back on anything too crazy on tops. Like I there's a last thing I want to do is blow up this deal because some agent comes in like, oh, well this artist needs paid X amount. And I'm like, no, no, no, no. I just want to do the work. So like, I made that very clear.
[00:55:57] So they basically like didn't really negotiate any new stuff for the tops. They just took their percentage. And then all of the other opportunities that they were wining and dining me about kind of evaporated after they signed the deal and took their cut on the first deal. So I ended up firing them after that one contract was done.
[00:56:14] I said, okay, I'm just going to go back and do this myself because I can manage myself just fine. So that was like, I, it was an interesting learning experience, you know, I thought like putting, getting it, getting an agent would be putting me on a more legit level and plugged beanie into more opportunities like that one, because I definitely was one of the few artists that they picked that that was not really represented before that one guy or company or whatever.
[00:56:38] But yeah, I mean, I think like I, I keep getting myself in these crazy situations where like I painted a live at a super bowl park, cam Newton, super bowl party a couple of years ago. You know, doing the tops thing. I did my first show at art basil in 2000, December of 2019, and among artists that were way above me in terms of like career-wise and there's definitely like, there's a moments of self doubt for sure.
[00:57:01] I mean, there always is like this, you know, the imposter syndrome or whatever, like, am I really ready for this? And like, every time I think that like something I really pride myself in and it's something that's that is developed even more later in life is like, Amazing self-talk and just literally telling myself, I'll like, I'll just go and sit alone and tell myself, like, this is, this is what you work for.
[00:57:21] This is, this is exactly where you're supposed to be and whether or not you're ready, this is why you're here. So let's just go put on a show. and I, and I'm like, I even, I get goosebumps like right now saying that because it's like, I think that really good self-talk is something that every single person creative or not can benefit from because at the end of the day, it's just you and your own thoughts and the world is, is just how you perceive it.
[00:57:43] And so if you can change that perception, you will be ready. And that's how I've lived my life and, and all these opportunities. I continue to get myself into situations where I'm like, I don't deserve to be here, but I do deserve to be here. And like, let's do this, you know, like, it's just, it's just that, like, it's a tiny little switch.
[00:57:59] Brian: So we're at the, about the hour mark is, which is where we typically start to wind down interviews, but like, I, we, we have to talk about the NFT. We have to talk about the NFT thing. So like, first of all, just for our audience who may have heard of what NFTs are, like, explain what that even is just because not everyone is really in the art.
[00:58:15] Blake: Yup. Okay. Bear with me for one second. Cause this is going to start off sounding hella boring, but I promise it will make sense. Alright, NFT, non fungible token fungible means interchangeable for something else. A dollar for example, is fungible $1 and another dollar both are equal. Therefore they're worth the same there changeable.
[00:58:34] So a non fungible token is something that is entirely unique. And the way that happens is essentially it as its own serial number that lives on the blockchain, which is a special section of the internet. And it's special because it is decentralized, meaning there's no governing body, no, no central organization that controls it.
[00:58:53] And it is a transparent ledger. So every single transaction that happens on the bus chain, if you know where to look, anybody can look it up so you can see what an NFT has sold for in the past, who created it uh, so on and so forth. And what all of that means. I know that it's boring sounding, but what all that means is that you end up with this digital app.
[00:59:14] That is living on the internet that is guaranteed and provable to be both scarce and authentic. And whenever you have a collectible an asset that is both scarce and provable to be authentic, that's like how markets are made uh, or at least that that helps a market be made. You still have to have demand for the product,
[00:59:32] Brian: So what are some NFT, some notable ones that you've seen sell that people will be familiar with, just to give some people some context
[00:59:38] Blake: sure. So uh, there's an artist named well there's crypto punks, which is one of the very early NFT projects, which are these kind of eight bit looking avatars punk. They're just called punks for short. Those are very popular. And also now very, very expensive because they're one of the original NFTE uh, projects.
[00:59:55] There is a people who is a graphic designer uh, artists who really, I think, I feel like. I vibe with him a lot. He, he did every days where every single day he would complete a new design and share it online. He was sharing it on Instagram or Twitter or his blog or wherever. He was able to take his back catalog of all of his designs and do a huge, he had a $69 million sale at Sotheby's auction.
[01:00:19] Brian: Which, by the way, if you can find that video, it'll be in our show notes page at the six-figure creative.com. The video of the auction of when it jumps from like 20 million to 60 million in like seconds. His reaction to that is just as fun to watch someone that's like, just seeing that much money come out of thin air is just an intense thing.
[01:00:36] I'm sure for anyone to experience
[01:00:37] Blake: absolutely, absolutely. And so people's a big one. And then in the sports world, kind of where I'm based right now Gronkowski was the first to do a really kind of NFL or really any sports related thing. And he had a successful launch. Did I think 1.7 or 1.8? And then we had followed pretty quickly by Patrick Holmes, who did another collection.
[01:00:59] His was entirely to charity, but that did 3.6 million. I was yeah, asleep early, like I was before people and before Gronk and before my homes uh, I was making NFTs and trying to sell them, not, not really with much success, but dabbling because, because of my background in tech, I, and, and because of just my limited understanding at the time of the technology and what that can kind of unlock in the future and we can get into that.
[01:01:24] I'm very bullish on it. And was then I got into NFTs last June. So it's been about a year and in the grand scheme of things, like that's relatively early because we, and if he's really, really pop in like February of 2021. And so I was six or seven months before everybody was mainstream saying, oh, I'm going to make an NFT or, or at least like hearing what they are.
[01:01:45] I was already dabbling in and trying things. And when, so, because of that, I had positioned myself with six months of trial and error experience that when the NFT craze was really started popping, I was able to say, okay, game on, let's go. And I was testing all the different platforms that you could, that I could possibly try uh, did really well on a platform called superhero.
[01:02:06] Open C makers place foundation, just every platform that I could possibly test I was testing. And that was also thinking kind of back to like the Tinder hacks days of like, I'll be the crash test dummy, and I'll go and learn all this and I'll go and get shut down by 800 chicks to figure out what works.
[01:02:25] Uh, I would also go and get shut down in the NFU world or like, you know, try projects that don't necessarily go perfectly, just so that I could like gather that data. And, and then now, you know, I have this kind of very robust and Ft starter kit. And in fact, I'll give you guys a link so that you can put that in the show notes, if you want.
[01:02:39] It's just a, it's a doc in notion of just everything that I've learned in the NFT space and all the different platforms and notes on what they do and what they can do and can't do and should do. And so it's just been a really fun journey and I was able to be in the right place at the right time to sell roughly 50 K of NFTs over six weeks.
[01:02:55] And that was like middle of February to uh, I guess end of March. And I've still like since then, I've still sold some, you know, we had, we saw this like crazy gold rush of NFTs where they were just flying off the shelf. And part of that is because people thought every NMTI buyer is going to go up in price and that's just not how artworks at all.
[01:03:13] But for awhile it felt like that. And so I was able to leverage that and like sell a bunch of my works. I think that my work is actually were, were good investments for the people that bought them. And then since then, since the market has cooled off I have been working on NFT projects, but more thinking about this longer term roadmap and vision where I'm not just trying to like put out in Ft just so I can sell it quickly for one of Ethereum or whatever.
[01:03:36] It's, it's more just like being very calculated and plant about the NFTs are making it what they actually do. Long-term and what that, what that can mean for creatives.
[01:03:45] Brian: Yeah. So the NFT market reminds me a lot of what Bitcoin was like when that first big craze in the end of 2017, where like Bitcoin shot up to 17,000 and everyone was talking about it and everyone was like, bye-bye bye. And then it crashed for like two years. It was like hovering it three or $4,000, which is like just a fraction.
[01:04:02] The peak value was, but now you see what it's at now. It hit a big peak and it's kind of leveled off again, but it's like 30, $40,000 for one Bitcoin right now. And I say that just to say, like, if the NFT markets, any index, if that's any indicator of what NFTs will be like, you have the big initial explosion of popularity, a cooling off leveling period, and then slowly trend upwards or fast trend upwards long-term so You said that you're still kind of staying in that world, figuring it out, like learning and taking that long-term
[01:04:28] Blake: Yeah. Yeah. And the other thing worth noting that I meant to mention uh, first with kind of the explanation is one of the really interesting things about NFL. Is that because it's on the blockchain and it's all transparent and you can see all the transactions and everything is measured and tracked.
[01:04:41] There is a royalty baked in for the original creator. And so the royalty percentage is actually adjustable. So I have most, the standard is 10%, but every single secondary market sale that happens with that NFT, whenever it changes hands, I'm getting a 10% kickback.
[01:04:59] Brian: I had no idea. So if people's thing resells for a hundred million later on,
[01:05:03] he'd get whatever percentage of that.
[01:05:05] Blake: $10 million. And so you think about when you sell, when I sell an art piece to somebody, I sell it to you for 500 bucks back when I was doing the original paintings. If you, if you go out with my career, really pops and then you go out and sell that five, $500 piece for $5,000, I don't ever see any of that revenue.
[01:05:22] And I also don't ever know that it happened. And so now with the blockchain. I not only know that it happened. I see who you sold it to. I'm also getting my 10% royalty automatically just back into it, my crypto wallet or bank account essentially.
[01:05:36] Chris: thought NFTs. Weren't that? Cool. You've changed my mind.
[01:05:39] Blake: Yeah. And so like, and I, and I think like there's so much opportunity there.
[01:05:43] So like, I also think that the way that we see NFTs now where it's like somebody is selling a JPEG or a video or a song uh, that's super transactional that doesn't capitalize on what, like the RO like maximize what NFTs can do. And so when that NFT craze was happening, I came up with the crazy scheme of like, well, what if I just give a thousand of them out for free?
[01:06:05] And so I made, what's called a Blake coin and it's literally just like my logo and it's, it's not, it's not a cryptocurrency, it's actually an NFT. And so I would literally just, I gave it to all my email subscribers. And then if people hit me up on Twitter, they're like, yo, let me get a Blake coin. I'm like, no problem.
[01:06:19] What's your address? And so I was. Probably about $6,000 in transaction fees, just to be able to transfer all of these out to different people. But I set the royalty percentage at 23% is abnormally high. But part of that is, and I have this whole, like when you buy it, there's this what's called unlockable content where only the owner of the token of the NFT can see it.
[01:06:39] And so I have this unlockable content area where it's a video of me saying, Hey, congratulations, you got to Blake coin. It was free if you're the first person to have it, but if you sell it, the cool thing is, is me as the creator makes money. So I encourage you if you want to sell it, go sell it. Uh, And so there's going to be a really interesting where I think that I'm, I'm queued up to like ha.
[01:07:00] Serious passive income for the rest of my days and beyond because once the demand for this Blake coin grows enough that people are out there like getting offers to buy them, I'm going to literally just be getting paychecks. And what that means on the backend for people that have the Blake coin is it's not just, I mean, it is just a spinning graphic of my logo from the front end, but like I do private events that only Blake coin owners can come to.
[01:07:24] And so we did a zoom call where I actually do a lot of live streaming on YouTube where I'll live stream painting or you know, different things to my fans. I never done something like this where it's like face-to-face interaction. So I had a zoom call and I had like about a hundred people showed up, which is great.
[01:07:40] Cause that's like 10% of all the Blake queen owners period. And I like announced it. I just said it was going to be on June 1st, June 1st, June 1st. I didn't tell him what it was gonna be or where it was going to be or what time. And then the morning of June 1st, I said, okay, Blake, when owners too. Live stream, but it's a zoom and I want the fans to come on and us to talk.
[01:07:56] And I did like a ton of giveaways and stuff, and it was just, it was a blast. I just got to chat with my fans and build community for three hours. And you know, in the future I'm doing there's a sports card convention called the national. And if anybody is at the national, I'm going to be there signing autographs basically at a table for money.
[01:08:13] And if you show me that you have a Blake coin, you can have three autographs for free. And if you come to art Basel in Miami this year, your Blake point is going to get you into the VIP party, which will be like the pre the pre-show at my art show. And, and, and it's going to, it's going to build like that where, like, I just keep adding all these perks and I'm like, and to get this, all you gotta do is have a Blake coin and they're completely free.
[01:08:32] You just gotta like, go, like, you just gotta have one. And like, I still have a handful of them that I'm still just distributing when I meet people that want them, I would just give them out. And once, once miner got, and then I give out for free, then I think the market's going to kick in and I'm going to have this royalty income stream.
[01:08:44] That'll be, I mean, it could be, could go wild.
[01:08:47] Brian: so you basically, you give these out to all your podcasts that you get interviewed on,
[01:08:51] Chris: Yeah, I was just going to
[01:08:52] Blake: Exactly. Absolutely. Absolutely. I just need your Ethereum address and I can help you. I can help you uh, figure that out. If you, or any listener, doesn't know how to look at how to get one.
[01:09:02] Chris: I don't. I have no idea.
[01:09:04] Brian: So one thing I wanted to note about this, because it is, it is probably farther off topic than most things we've talked about on this podcast, but there is something interesting within everything you just shared there. Well, of just being, being creative in this new kind of wild west area of NFTs, like as a creative, you have this interesting way that you're essentially monetizing your future success as an artist where as you're in demand as a, as a person, as you're harder to access, as someone as people want to be around you or be near you, you have a way for people to access you in the future through these Blake points, which I think is a super interesting kind of creative way to, to set yourself up for success long-term and be able to capitalize off your future.
[01:09:46] clout, I guess, is a
[01:09:47] Blake: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and it's great. I mean, it's, I'm running a blank. Coin is if another creator might run their own Patrion or their own private discord channel or private Facebook group, little mastermind or anything like that, I'm just, I'm just lumping all of those kinds of community driven features into a single NFT because.
[01:10:04] It's just like I said, like just the tech is just so strong and it's, it's going to be in the future. Like everybody is going to have a crypto wallet, just like they have a bank account and everybody's going to have their own little NFT collection, which could be a bunch of different things. I think the NFTs will change the way that we do ticketing for events.
[01:10:20] There's not going to be no scalpers because it's going to be a digital ticket that is provable to be authentic. And I think that when you buy a ticket from like ticket master, you're going to get the NFT. And if you want the actual ticket stub, because you collect ticket stubs, you're going to have to pay extra because that's printing and cutting down trees it's going to be amazing.
[01:10:37] Chris: and this is so beautiful because right now what happens is, you know, perfect example, like I live in Columbus and that we have these huge shows at the Schottenstein center. And, you know, an artist will come in, they'll have this amazing show and then scalpers will buy the tape. And we'll sell the tickets and the scalpers keep all the margin.
[01:10:55] Blake: Yep. And this way scalpers are getting, I mean, scalpers can still make money, but the original person is going to make a royalty on the, on the secondary market. And there's already, I mean, I don't remember what basketball team, but like the 76 years or something already did an NFC for ticket. Like this is, this is happening.
[01:11:11] There's no doubt in my mind that it entirely will take that over and there's going to be so many other little things that like it does. And I don't know. I just think it's gonna, it's going to be a part of our daily life for the rest of our lives as well as our kids' lives. And,
[01:11:24] Brian: this has opened up a whole new like world in my mind. Cause I don't know a whole lot about it other than just the basic surface level stuff, because I've never really, I've never really dove into this world, but I, I'm definitely going to when we get that link from you, I'm going to dive into that and that document that you created.
[01:11:38] On on all of this and try to learn what you've put together and, and however much detail you've put into that.
[01:11:43] Chris: You know, it's funny when, when Brian and I first met, it was in a mastermind group. This guy, Liz Shaw that has this other podcast. Recording. See your rockstars and he's like a Bitcoin. Yeah, he killed it. He got in his first podcast was about Bitcoin, like 10 years ago and yeah, he had a bunch of Bitcoin and it's, it's been good for him.
[01:12:05] Blake: No kidding,
[01:12:06] Brian: All right. So I think this is probably a good place to wrap this, this interview up. And I felt we could probably talk about the NFT thing for a long, long time, but where can people go if they want to follow you or learn more about your, like, where do you want to send our audience to, to connect.
[01:12:18] Blake: Yeah. Sure. So my website is blake.art. That's where you can see all of my work and the best place. If you want to connect and talk. I'm very active on Twitter. My handle is at Blake Jamieson and I try to respond to everybody, whether it's tweets or DMS very active.
[01:12:32] Brian: Good. So if Chris wants you to do fan art fan fiction art for Lord of the rings, he can contact you there for a commission
[01:12:38] Blake: Twitter's the spot.
[01:12:40] Brian: Perfect. Perfect. Thank you so much, man. So that is it for this episode of the six figure creative podcast. Chris, what did you think? My dude.
[01:12:48] Chris: So I wish I knew like 75 more people like Blake. And I think that's been one of the most fun parts about this new season of the podcast is we get to meet people who think differently than everybody else on the entire planet.
[01:13:01] Brian: I'll have to bet. I was a little hesitant in getting somebody that does like physical art on the podcast, just because that's, it's so different than what we typically talk to is freelancers and service providers. But he really was like, he, he creates art for people on commission pieces, which is no different.
[01:13:14] He's providing a service to NFL athletes and getting someone on the podcast that works with that high caliber of a client charging 5,000 plus for a painting is somebody that I want to learn from, because we can, I mean, as you heard, if you're at this point in the podcast, there's a lot you can learn from Blake and people like Blake.
[01:13:30] So I, yeah, we, we covered so much and there's, so many golden nuggets, like, I don't know how many clips we're going to get from this, but we have plenty of like awesome spiels from him of things that he was doing that were just awesome.
[01:13:40] Chris: Well, it starts to beg the question about what the future really looks like. And you look at like iPhone in 2005, there was no such thing as an iPhone. when the iPhone came out, Nobody could have remotely imagined where that was going to go. Bitcoin was the exact same thing. When it came out, I was like, ah, that seems kind of silly and stupid and 10 hat, nobody knew what was going to go NFTs.
[01:14:05] And this whole idea what he talked about as far as it being guaranteed to be scarce and authenticated will that made a ton of sense to me. I think what we're going to see is that different parts of the creative ecosystem are going to jump into the future quicker than other parts.
[01:14:24] And this is something, you know, we see it all the time. I'm fond of saying that we live in a planet that is a hillbilly paradise speckled with modern societies. You're listening to a podcast. Congratulations. You're probably in the modern society, but there's this great saying the future is already here.
[01:14:38] It's unevenly. And with NFTs and with what Blake is doing, like the way he's thinking he is way off into the future. And I think it's quite possible that he is way ahead of his time.
[01:14:52] Brian: I mean, I don't know what else to add besides that, like, it was an awesome conversation and a good story. And like, so there's so many learning points in that, so,
[01:14:59] Chris: Blake is no different than any of the rest of us listening. He takes his creativity, he finds a customer, he finds out what that customer wants. He makes it for that customer and he gets money for that.
[01:15:14] Brian: well, do you meant you skipped one important part is he finds out how to market to that customer so that they will pay.
[01:15:20] Chris: Yes. And he's figuring out like what that's worth to the customer and like his idea about like when I do free work, I make it the perfect size to fit in an NFL football line. Oh, that's so smart.
[01:15:34] Brian: specific advice. Like you're not doing that. If you're doing all things to all people.
[01:15:39] Chris: I think this is the biggest take-home we can have as a community from this is that Plake, isn't copying anybody. He's doing crazy stuff that nobody else is doing. And that's why it's working. He's not looking at other people in his industry and say, optionally, do exactly what banks she did want to do.
[01:15:57] Exactly what Shepard Fairey did. He's coming up with something completely brand new he's forging his own path
[01:16:02] Brian: How do you create that level of confidence though? That's the thing like, cause I, I resonate with that cause I'm, I'm overly confident in a lot of things that I do. I don't struggle necessarily with the imposter syndrome thing. I just blindly do my own thing and I don't really look left or right. Or compare myself.
[01:16:17] So I think a lot of it comes down to maybe not comparing yourself, although I don't know if that's how he does it, but like w w I don't know how to dissect that, but I feel like this is a huge part of his success. And one of his, what I would consider superpowers as an entrepreneur is his just utter confidence in himself.
[01:16:32] Chris: Yep.
[01:16:33] Brian: How do you replicate that? That's, that's a conversation for another day, but man, that's, that's a battle. I think, worth fighting. If you're someone that doesn't have that level of conscience,
[01:16:41] Chris: Yeah. And, and this, you know, we didn't get into mental health or anything in this particular episode, but, you know, for that sort of self-confidence I think in a lot of instances, I'm not gonna try to diagnose Blake or anything. I'm not a therapist I don't ever want to pretend to be, but I think that there must've been something formidable.
[01:16:56] It could have been trauma or it could have been something really nurturing Put him in a position to be different than everybody else, you know, he's not, he's absolutely not in the rat race. He is off on his own. And something kind of intense has to happen for a human to decide to leave the rat race.
[01:17:12] And I think that's true for almost all of us creatives. I've never met a creative that's blown my mind that didn't have a significant Exodus. It was traumatic and scary and you know, a coming of age type of thing. So,
[01:17:27] Brian: Yeah. And just to clarify for people that aren't familiar with the term rat race, that just means day job,
[01:17:30] Chris: not just day job. I mean, in a big, in a bigger sense rat race and trying to be like everybody else.
[01:17:36] Brian: Well, I think one thing that that may have helped her was just maybe it was more of a sign of his confidence was just willing to be willing to go to Spain for five weeks alone. He didn't go with anyone like that was just a self-discovery trip. He did. And I, and I resonate like around that same time I was in Europe for five weeks on my first big adventure alone.
[01:17:54] Like I feel like that is a huge part of building confidence is being willing and able to travel and be independent. It doesn't have to be some big international trip. I just think that's a big part of it, of being able to see other cultures and stuff. So wheat, we will be talking about this more where the six-figure creative is the travel side of things.
[01:18:09] My wife and I are leaving at the end of this month of this episode airs in August, the end of this month for a full month in Spain and some other places as well. So I do like that part as a creative of building confidence, getting a little bit of time away to breathe and think and try new things. Like all of these things that were kind of part of his journey to, I guess, a pilgrimage, if you will, to discover this new chapter of his life.
[01:18:31] And I think we should probably talk about some of those sorts of things more on, on six-figure.
[01:18:36] Chris: I think we shouldn't. And to be honest, that scares the crap out of me. I've never traveled alone before. And I think a lot of that's related to I've driven, you know, I toured and stuff like that by myself, but it wasn't like I ever. Went overseas by myself and putz around and did what he did of like, you know, I'm going to book myself in a hostel because for me with PTSD, that was just, there's not a possibility.
[01:18:58] It's fascinating, but being in a, in a healthy spot that doing some sort of like pilgrimage sounds pretty interesting.
[01:19:05] Brian: Yeah. I mean, I, what we'll show this conversation for another day, but yes, absolutely. Maybe that's an in-between the sodas is planning and creating your first pill, big pill pilgrimage for someone who's scared of this stuff. So if you want that, just comment in our community and let us know. I don't know how let's start, kind of get the feedback from people here, but I think that's a good place to wrap this thing up.
[01:19:22] Anything else for you from you, Chris? Any other poignant endings?
[01:19:24] Chris: So as you're looking at your own creative business and you are thinking about how to get to the next level, there's the temptation to look the side, there's a temptation to look at other people in your industry. And I think the value that Blake brought us that was so intense today is Blake showed us what it looks like to just look ahead
[01:19:42] Brian: Blinders.
[01:19:43] Chris: blindly.
[01:19:44] Brian: Yeah.
[01:19:44] Chris: Blake is one of the most brilliant people I've ever met in that regard, because he's audacious. He's willing to do the crazy, he's willing to take risks. He's willing to be the first person and to do something. And those are the best types of creatives without a doubt. So, as you're getting stuck in this sort of your own little tribe, you know, Brian and I come from recording studio world and in our world world, there are certain things you're allowed to do and certain things you're not allowed to do in photography.
[01:20:11] There's certain things you're allowed to do. And certain things you're not allowed to do. There's a little more freedom. It seems like, but for people that are really blazing, an interesting, amazing creative path, or they're also killing it, they're doing something new. They're doing something weird that probably makes them and their friends and their family a little bit nervous.
[01:20:28] So I think just that encouragement that you can go out and do something nobody else has ever done and crush. That's cool. I want that.
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