Nadine J. Larder Artist Interview
Entrepreneur, coach artist Nadine Larder offers insights into her art business and gives advice on selling artwork.
Nadine J. Larder Bio
Nadine J. Larder is a #1 best-selling author, intuitive artist, art teacher, coach, award-winning entrepreneur, small business owner, creator and speaker.
As an artist, Nadine allows the canvas, her bright color palette, paint, brushes, and most importantly, her intuition, to lead the journey of creating each unique piece.
As an art teacher, Nadine’s focus is helping people unlock their creativity through intuitive art. With creativity being imperative to most of what we do in life, Nadine guides her students to find, learn and meet parts of themselves they’d not known before. Her students find her intuitive art courses to be life changing. As the founder of International Paint Party, Nadine inspires and motivates people who have never even held a paintbrush before, as well as people who have been creating art for years but have never experienced the intuitive art process.
To learn more about Nadine, visit her website at: NadineLarder.com
Please tell us about your work?
My work is as multifaceted as my creativity. I’m an intuitive artist, entrepreneur, #1 best-selling author, marketer, speaker and coach. My work as an entrepreneur has made it possible for me to pursue my career as an artist. At the core of everything I do is creativity and showing up in service of others.
“You can have everything in life you want if you help enough other people get what they want” is a quote by Zig Ziglar I keep near and dear to my heart as I do anything… it has paid dividends beyond my wildest dreams. I first heard this quote when I was young in my career and have used it as the foundation for every project I begin since then. I find that when I lead with serving others as the first priority, the rest always works itself out.
As an artist, I do earn significant income, but not enough to support my family… yet. My career as a working artist is still rather new and ramping up. It’s the business I founded in 2008 (PrinterBees.com) that pays the bills and allows me to pursue my career as an artist. PrinterBees is a print marketing company I built to serve the small business community. Small businesses must get their marketing out to generate business and stay in business. Most, typically lack the resources necessary to execute on what needs to happen and I knew I could help with that by offering the marketing resources small business need at a price that’s affordable and within reach. Printerbees fulfills that need for small business owners and we are really good at what we do in serving that community.
As an author, my journey as an entrepreneur is detailed in my first book, “The Secrets I Share With My Friends; Everything I Know About Building A Small Business.” In this book, I detailed every little detail/secret I could think of to help other small businesses find success in turning their own passions in to profits. My second book; “The Secrets I Share With My Friends; Life Lessons From An Imperfect Woman” is filled with the lessons I’ve learned along the way in my sometimes challenging and colorful life. It’s the good, the bad and the ugly, and a #1 best seller on Amazon. My third book, The Secrets I Share With My Friends; Conquering Fears To Create Masterpieces” is a journal I kept about one of the scariest most rewarding projects of my life, where I was commissioned to create a 600 sq. ft. mural for a very important client. This book has been enjoyed all over the world. Many have found the journal I kept of my journey to be life changing for them as they look at overcoming their own fears in creating their own masterpieces in life. All of my books are available on Amazon.
On your website you describe yourself as Artist,
Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker Coach, does artist
come before entrepreneur in your life?
I think the artist is always front and center no matter what I’m working on because everything I do stems from my creativity. If I didn’t have and exercise my creativity continually, none of it would be possible. Being an entrepreneur requires a tremendous amount of creativity and thinking outside the box. It requires the artist in me to be present, open and available to the possibilities. Entrepreneurship requires flexibility, ingenuity and never giving up, which is also required to bring an art piece to completion. I feel like it’s all intertwined and reliant on allowing my creativity to flow.
Finding intuitive art has allowed my creativity to find flow in ways it’s never flowed before because there are no rules in intuitive art, the style of art I create. It’s 100% about tuning in to my canvas, my paint and most importantly myself. Everything in my life flows better when I’m painting and allowing my creativity to flow.
Does your printing company require a full-time
commitment to manage and run?
Over the years I have become a master at delegating that which does not require my personal presence. With PrinterBees, I set out to build a business that at some point would no longer require my daily presence.
I have accomplished that and its one of the greatest secrets I share in my first book about building small businesses. I have an amazing team within PrinterBees and my team works together like a well-oiled machine. PrinterBees is not run by me anymore. PrinterBees is run by a woman named Nicole who has worked for me for the last 17 years. Because she’s worked for me for so long and we know each other so well, I have a tremendous amount of trust in her abilities. She is truly the “Queen Bee” of PrinterBees, her official title.
Early in my career I was fortunate to read the book E-Myth and it helped me to understand the power of delegating and empowering people to do what they do best so I can focus on what I do best. I’m great at many things, but not everything, which is true for most of us. When we don’t delegate, we don’t grow our businesses because it’s 100% dependent on us. We become the bottleneck to our own success when everything that needs to be done is done by one person… ourselves. I like to make sure I’m not a bottleneck in my own success in business and in life.
I’ve also done a great job of implementing marketing automation and systems that make my business run very smoothly. My systems are customer-centered, meaning that I use and have built those systems around serving our clients, which in turn serves my business. We always look at what the customers need from us to make it as easy as possible to do business with us and work backwards from there. When we make it easy to do business with us, we also make it much easier for the people who work in the business because the customers need less from us. It’s proven to be a great approach because we are so customer focused.
Has owning the business helped with your artwork?
Having a successful business has definitely helped me in my career as an artist. If I didn’t have PrinterBees supporting me and my family financially, I wouldn’t have the bandwidth/time to create art like I do. I’m prolific in my creation of art and the support of my business and the team of people who support me makes that possible. I was able to take four months away from my business to paint The 11:11 Masterpiece Wall, the 600 sq. ft. mural I mentioned above. My business and income were not at all impacted by my absence. As they say “it takes a village” and I can attest to that being absolutely true.
Currently PrinterBees remains a print marketing company, but we are currently exploring opportunities to enter the space of printing art related products.
Do you recommend other artists develop a
traditional business to help fund their art career?
I feel strongly about putting yourself/your family at risk financially to follow dreams that may never materialize. One of the many secrets I share in my second book is how I have struggled financially. I have been in line at the food bank to feed my five kids, and looked at bankruptcy when I was $1.3 million in debt with no income, having seen the bottom of the barrel financially. It’s not pretty. It’s stressful, overwhelming and unhealthy in my opinion, having experienced it.
I feel if you have a family to support that relies on you to keep food on the table and a roof over their head, that comes first. I also feel creativity and nurturing creativity is just as important and that we should pursue our artistic dreams with an absolutely never ever give up type of passion and attitude! I feel as artists, we should carve out the space in between our responsibilities to turn our dreams in to reality. I myself don’t spend a lot of my free time doing things that don’t feed my creativity and my desire to succeed as an artist. I would rather create art than watch TV, so that’s what I do. I fill my down time doing what I love, creating, learning, growing, practicing and making my dreams a reality. I have every intention of being a world famous artist and I work at attaining that every day as I grow in to that.
So, no I don’t think you should quit your day job if you have responsibilities. It takes balance, commitment and a willingness to do the work necessary to make it all happen. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. I wouldn’t change one thing about my own journey, each and everything I’ve experienced has been there to teach me something, every lesson being priceless.
Now, if you don’t have the responsibilities of a family depending on you, then by all means… do whatever suits you. “Follow your bliss” as Joseph Campbell says and do it with great passion and perseverance.
What is your art background?
I am self-taught at most of what I do with the help of online classes, Google, YouTube, experimenting and coaches when I want additional expertise to guide me. One of the things many people don’t know about me is that I have ADHD, a serious case of it! ADHD has been one of the greatest gifts in my life because it gives me the ability to learn new things at a record pace. What might take someone without ADHD months to learn, I can learn and master in weeks.
I didn’t begin painting until I was 49 years old and once I caught the bug, there was no turning back! I entrenched myself in to the study of art. I took a self paced online class and I hired a coach so I could learn at a pace that works for me… fast. Sitting in a classroom and learning in a traditional manner doesn’t really work with my personality or my ADHD, so I adapt so I can learn in a way that suits me best.
For the first 49 years of my life, I would have sworn to anyone who asked me that I could not draw, paint or create art that anyone would want to hang on a wall. When my children would ask me for help with their art-related homework assignments, I would tell them that I could barely draw a stick figure and I wasn’t any more capable of helping with their art projects than I was at helping them with their math. I had no idea that I could create art! No one is more surprised than I at my ability to create beautiful art that speaks to people who experience it. The fact that I painted a 600 sq. ft. mural people from all over the world desire to see and experience in person is even more shocking to me when I consider the stories I had about my lack of ability to create art.
I have always been “a creative” and nurtured my creativity with activities like sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, scrapbooking and graphic design (required for PrinterBees). Never in my life did I even consider art as a possibility. I picked up a paintbrush for the first time at a wine and paint party. It helped me to understand how to move the
paint on the canvas.
Part of what drives and inspires me to want to teach people how to create intuitive art is how it changed my life. If I can do it… anyone can and I know that to be true with the many many many people I’ve taught. I’m told time and time again that it’s life-changing by those who go through my courses.
You sell your artwork on your website, is that a
good way to sell art?
It works for me. I have created a following on Facebook by showing up and “sharing my heart and showing my work.” This works for me because I have created “a tribe” as many marketers call it. I didn’t set out to create a tribe, it happened organically when I started sharing my heart and showing my work. I believe that when people buy art, they aren’t just buying a painting I created. They are buying the story the painting tells when they look at it and experience it. Part of that story includes having the opportunity to know the artist who created it. I use Facebook as a platform, allowing people to get to know me personally. I share some of my most vulnerable moments on Facebook and people connect with the realness of who I am. They appreciate my authenticity and vulnerability, they connect with it. I unwillingly cry on Facebook Live all the time because I am that genuine and real when I show up. The
real person I am connects with the real person they are.
I do Facebook Live International Paint Parties every week, I allow people in my studio and behind the scenes. They love it because they can watch and participate in the creation process. They also become part of the painting themselves by joining me on my weekly live broadcasts. Think Bob Ross!
Because of my marketing background and my experiences as an entrepreneur, I have a unique perspective for generating and creating interest. I also have an outgoing personality for Facebook Live and because I’m not afraid public speaking, it works for me. If you have the ability to have your art in a gallery, I think that’s fabulous. I’ve not pursued that avenue and at some point I might.
Do you have any advice to help artists sell their art?
Yes I do! Share your heart and show your work! Join the Facebook group “Share Your Heart, Show Your Work” and learn how to do so. It’s an amazing group one of my coaches Allison Crow runs, it changed my life once I understood. And, if she offers her class “Share Your Heart, Show Your Work,” take it! It’s an amazing class. Let people behind the
scenes, stop hiding your gifts and talents.
As a marketer, my advice is to show up consistently in whatever way fits you, your art and your personality. Allow people to get to know you. Facebook has been tremendous for me in that regard and I’ve built some amazing friendships over the years, participating, engaging and showing up. People aren’t going to come knock on your front door begging to see your art if they don’t even know you create art and you don’t show it. It’s also important to have balance on your Facebook wall, so I don’t recommend turning your personal wall in to a sales page. I personally unfollow people who use their pages to sell stuff, that’s not why I’m there and that holds true for most people on social media. I’m there to connect and build relationships and I recommend allowing people the chance to know you, the real authentic you while you share what you’re up to artistically. Don’t share what you’re not conformable with being online for anyone and everyone to see, that’s my golden rule. You decide and control what you want to share publicly, so don’t be afraid of being online, just get yourself out there and participate. And… set your profile to public! How else will people who don’t know you find you?
It wasn’t easy for me to post my first painting on Facebook, it was terrifying. I was trembling as I hit the “post” button, so afraid I would be laughed at. I feared judgement, but the only one judging me… was me and that’s the same for all of us. Those who do judge don’t deserve our time or attention and can move along. I have amazing friends and they have supported me, cheered me on and encouraged me in ways I could have never imagined. Sharing that first painting, The Tree of Life lead me here and had I given in to my fears, I wouldn’t have a career as an artist. So much has happened as a result of that first post on my Facebook wall.
Build it and they will come only works in the movies.
If you have more questions for me, please find me on Facebook, I’m always there and I welcome any questions you have. I’m an open book and happy to support you in your journey.