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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To-Don’t Lists

Hi everyone.  As the retail-friendly Holiday Season is upon us, we often start making to-do lists in order to manage the craziness.  Even the most adamant anti-list person can succumb this time of year, and that got me thinking about the importance of lists both so you know what TO do, and also what NOT to do.

I think that while lists are important to keep organized, sometimes people should come up with a “stop-doing” list. Just as important as getting the important work done is weaning oneself off of bad habits and reprogramming your brain to follow more productive habits.

While the occasional jaunt down the information superhighway (aka internet, for all you youngsters out there) is just fine and dandy, and a lot of reference is just a Google-click away (although if at all possible, we recommend using your own reference), spending hours playing games on Facebook or on your phone doesn’t do anyone any good.

Fun little breaks and the like are good for you, but I want to address any major bad habits – and nowadays, many of these habits end up in the form of constant Facebook browsing or randomly selecting wikipedia articles to read.

Creating a To-Don’t/Stop Doing list is a good way to honestly evaluate what sort of behaviors and habits aren’t working for you. If you’re doing well and you’re finding time to get everything done, then great. But if you aren’t, it may be wise to evaluate how much time you’re really putting into your work and how much time you’re putting into reading Gawker or the Onion (or yes, even Upworthy).

If you aren’t sure what needs to go onto your Stop-Doing list, perhaps you should try to take notes on your day. How much time are you REALLY spending on your painting? How much time are you spending on marketing? Playing video games? Watching TV? Once you start taking notes of when you start and stop doing things, the picture becomes a lot clearer, especially when you figure out that your break has lasted for an hour and a half.

If you’re doing everything that you want to be doing, maybe try making a Do-Less-Of list instead. That way you can more properly realign your priorities. Maybe take the comic book reading down from an hour to fifteen minutes a day. Maybe take out watching that extra TV show that you watch just because it’s after your favorite crime drama. That’s an extra hour and a half that you could spend working.

Alternatively, if you’re hustling non-stop, maybe you might need to take it down a notch so you can actually enjoy life. Instead of spending that extra fifteen minutes writing an extra blog post, you could spend that time catching up with a friend – after all, maybe your To-Do list might need more living life fully on there.

We’re not productivity fascists that want you to overwork yourself. The main point about budgeting your time and making evaluations about what you’re spending your time on is to really think about what is necessary and focus on that. Whether you’re overworked or overplayed, finding the right balance in your life is what it’s all about.