Are you a creative who would like to break into the industry? Would you like to make more money from your art sales? Does starting at a blank canvas intimidate you?

If so, then Lift Off Art is here for you!

Creating art is hard. Creating art for a living is even harder. Artists and creatives are weighed down by crippling self-doubt, fear of rejection, and impostor syndrome. Add on a lack of solid business advice for artists and even less information about what it's like to be a professional artist, and even attempting to make it as a creative professional can seem like a Herculean effort. No wonder people believe in the myth of the Starving Artist.

Despite these obstacles and the downturn of the economy, in 2007, Rick Kitagawa and Eve Skylar made the best decision of their lives and decided to go pursue art as a career. After meeting each other at UC Berkeley at a theater club (Rick was studying Biology and Asian American studies, Eve was studying Narrative Theory and Acting), the two graduated and promptly decided to enroll in art school. While in school, they started vending at local art and craft fairs as Monkey + Seal. To keep in touch with fans, they started blogging.

At first, the blog was mainly about their art, but as they developed as artists and professionals, the content evolved to the emotional hurdles that plagued them as creatives. From artist's block to business mistakes, from fear of failure to the fear of the blank canvas, Rick and Eve began to shed light into the challenges and obstacles faced by artists trying to create and live off their craft.

Fast-forward to 2015. Although he couldn't paint when he started art school, Rick holds down sponsorship deals from multiple art material companies, paints for gallery shows, runs a successful screen printing business, and teaches business and entrepreneurship at universities across California. Taking inspiration from the animated films of her youth, Eve's artistic talent bloomed as a successful visual development artist, working in both the game and film industry with clients such as Paramount Pictures, SEGA, and Nightwheel Pictures to help create award-winning, internationally acclaimed films.

After unfortunately taking time off from blogging to build their careers, this dynamic duo is back. While there are many venues to learn the technical aspects of creating art, Rick and Eve found an absence in solid, research-based, tactical advice on dealing with the psychological demons that prevent artists from being their best selves. Just as sparse was any specific, tactical advice for breaking in and making it in the art world and how to present oneself to the industry.

After mixing first-hand experience with research in business, psychology, biology, and personal development, and sprinkling in an emphasis on intersectionality, identity politics, and empathy, Lift Off Art was born. We honestly believe that everyone is an artist at heart, and whether you want to create more or if you want to be a professional artist, we're here to help guide you. So join up today and let's change the world with your art.

If you'd love to learn more about the upcoming class that helps you break into the art industry, sell more art, find the success doing what you love, and more,sign up for email updates and you'll never miss out! Thanks!

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Learning Is Your Friend

There is nothing wrong with being ignorant.

Let me repeat that: there is nothing wrong with being ignorant. Whether you’re ignorant about the difference between a 401k and a Roth IRA or why they are important, or whether you’re ignorant about what the big psychological hurdle standing in your way of greatness is, it’s okay.  Maybe you don’t know anything about color theory, or who Camille Rose Garcia, or how how to screen print, it’s alright.
I don’t know about you, but often it feels like self-help books, or online courses, or going back to school when you’re forty (or thirty, or twenty five, or anytime you’re not 18) is some sort of character flaw. Seemingly, society’s rationale is that you were too dumb/poor/incompetent/drugged up/whatever to learn whatever it is you were supposed to learn the first time.
This rationale is one of the biggest lies that you can listen to. Seriously, this line of thinking will prevent you from learning and growing and really taking kick-ass control of your life.
Think about it this way: You grow up being told what to learn. You get tested on it, you learn it (short term, long term, whatever to pass), and then move on to new stuff. You graduate high school. College (if any) ends up being a big experimentation of you finding what you want to learn, but there’s still a structure that helps feed you into different classes. There are prereqs, degree programs, a bunch of stuff that basically tells you what to learn. While you’re busy trying to figure out which one of these is the best for you, you only have so much time and so much money to figure something out. So you rush, and panic, and maybe you don’t get to try everything. You’re too busy learning about astrophysics to learn how to market yourself and network, or maybe you’re learning how to network but you don’t have the time to learn how to replace your car engine or play the trumpet. Just because you learned a bunch of stuff doesn’t mean you learned the stuff that you need or want to have learned.
Our point is that there is nothing wrong with being ignorant. We simply do not have the time to learn everything all at once, so logically there is going to be tons of stuff in our adult lives that we don’t know very much about. However, there is something we can do about that.
I learned from Ramit Sethi that one needs to invest in oneself.  I developed Lift Off after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years learning about painting, art, business, etc. etc .etc.  Even now, I easily spend thousands of dollars a year on books, courses, and other ways of improving myself.  And I’m not saying this to brag, but because I’ve grown exponentially since I first put myself through school.  But it’s not just me, you’ll find that basically every successful person constantly is investing in themselves. Some might try and hide the fact so they look “cooler,” but regardless, successful people aren’t afraid of doing what it takes to learn what they need to. Granted, you don’t have to drop thousands of dollars, but you do have to take a lesson away from this – you need to invest in yourself.
Go to the self-help section in the library if you’re feeling stuck in your art. Check out a book on finances if you have no idea how to deal with your money. Watch some online tutorials on how to build a silkscreen exposure unit or how to change your own oil. Take a class on archery, or on any topic that interests you at your local city college. Some classes are even free!
You see, if you’re ignorant about something, educate yourself. In reality, we think that people at the top of their game will look down on us for trying to learn more and make ourselves stronger. The people who look down on us for reading self-help books when we know we have a problem or for spending hours reading coursework that will help us market ourselves better are really just envious and scared. They probably don’t even know it, but deep down the reason why they feel the need to be all high-and-mighty is that they are afraid that you’re going to surpass them.
In the end, who is the bigger fool? Someone with a problem who just ignores it and compounds the issue because they think they’re above getting help, or someone with a problem who learns about it and figures out the way to overcome that problem?  Don’t let fear of what others think hold you back from learning and growing.  Get out there and learn something new!
If you enjoyed this, do me a favor and leave me a comment.  If you had an extra five hours a week, what would you want to learn?  What would you want help with?

Happy 2014 everyone!

So as we close out 2013, I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year (go 2014!).  Also, I should remind you all that there are still seats left in our upcoming January classes.

Anyway, if you’re the type to go about making New Years resolutions, I just wanted to encourage all of you to make them realistic and easy.  Big, lofty, super-high goals (going from painting once a month to every day, going from making jewelry as a side hobby to making $60k in three months), while noble, are the kind that most easily fall through.  Unless your plan is super detailed and well-prepared and organized, these are the types of goals that leave you a)feeling defeated, b)super burned-out if you do make them and/or c)all of the above.

If you keep your resolutions manageable and bite-sized, you’re more likely to follow through.  Remember, often times KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid, not the rock band) is better advice than we’d like to think.

If you want to paint every day, resolve to make a single paint mark on your surface instead.

If you want to start a business, resolve to create a business plan.

If you want a solo show, resolve to research potential galleries you’d want to show in.

If you want to write three novels, resolve to write a word a day.

By taking your resolutions and making them digestible, what you’ll find is that you can always go above and beyond.  If you’re up for it, write a sentence instead of just one word.  Paint a whole branch rather than make a single mark.  Quests of  a lifetime start with a single step, of even a minute of looking at a map.  Pace yourself, as art is a marathon, not a sprint.

So what moves are you going to make in 2014 to realize your dreams?