Jodie King - Artist, Art From the Streets

Jodie King - Artist, Art From the Streets

Jodie King is your straight-talking friend, fellow paint-slinger, and mindset slayer. She likes to create things while breaking some rules and making a mess, because life is more fun in the splash zone.


Troy: Good morning, Austin. Hope everyone is having a wonderful day today, doing a rare early morning podcast cause it could opportunity to get Jodi on. Pretty excited about that. How's it going today, Jody?

Jodie: Amazing.

Troy: So good. So why don't you maybe start off just a little bit by introducing yourself, who you are and yeah, can go.

Jodie: Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate you having me on this. I, my name is Jodi King and I have been a professional artist for over 20 years now. And I have a company, Jodi King Media, and our primary goal is to help artists. Globally appreciate who they are and the services they provide to the world, while at the same time helping them make money, doing what they love.

Putting that whole starving artist thing to bed once and for all.

Troy: Nice. Yeah. It's the art world and just the creative world is a kind of at an interesting time, I feel like in, in where we're at just with different social media stuff and just all the different technologies that are coming about.

It's just a really interesting time for artists in. For

Jodie: sure. There was a time where the only feasible way for artists to make a living doing what they love was through the gallery system. And because as you said, because of there's so many different opportunities for artists to be seen now especially through social media and, various other things.

It's a game changer for artists. So the idea that, that you have to be poor or have a plan B or anything like that in order to be able to do what you love is tho those days are over. Now, that doesn't mean that you don't know how to run a business , right? Because that's the key is we. We used to just be able to hand our art over to a gallery and not have to worry so much about the business side of it.

But unfortunately, galleries take 50% of the profits. And so if we do know how to sell our own art through. Various different means. Art consultants there's actually four times as many anterior designers as there are galleries. Gift stores and just so many different things.

Our own email list, like I said, social media. There's so many different avenues for artists to sell their work without having to go away. 50% of the profits. .

Troy: Yeah. Like com commission work seems like it's becoming more and more common and not something that's just for ultra wealthy kind of people as well too.

And nowadays too not that you couldn't still go through art galleries, but so much of life and commerce especially is more direct to your client. If you're going that route, you're missing out. Cuz there's other artists that are doing it through being on Instagram, being on TikTok, being on YouTube that are building their audience and people are finding 'em that way because people aren't necessarily going to art galleries to shop for art per se, as much as they did 20, 30 years

Jodie: ago.

Oh, for sure. And one of the challenges that I feel, I've worked with over 6,000 artists globally, and one of the challenges that I find is artists actually valuing themselves first, what they do in the world. Because it's not gonna have, it's not gonna be the opposite. We're not all of a sudden gonna go, oh, the entire world is now gonna see our value.

And now we can make money. It has to start with the artist. Themselves truly believing that what they have to bring to the world is valuable. And when you think about historically the role that art has played, it's pretty profound. We know about like history through hieroglyphics, right?

That was the first art that we can really appreciate for what it brought to the world. So we did that. And then if you think about music and how music. Validates the human experience. We're right now, especially we are so disconnected and we are craving connection, but just through music and art, we are able to have our experience validated.

I like to say, do, would we even know how to have sex without Marvin Gaye ? Think of the value that he brought to the world. And just visual artists the work that we can create and how it changes an entire space. I was just talking to some. Some artists Yesterday, I have a program called Studio Elite with artists, and they were talking about how she was having to move her mother into a, an assisted living.

She has dementia and she's going from this house that she's been in her whole life into this little room, with a twin sized bed. And they're thinking, what is it that they can do? And my own experience is that if you bring. Into that space art that they're familiar with art that has, consoled them and makes 'em feel comfortable their whole life.

If you bring art into that space, it has a profound effect on that patient's mental health. So there's so many different ways that art and artists can bring value to the world, but it has to start with us knowing our own personal value.

Troy: Yeah, and it's one of those. . Every person, quite frankly, has that bit of imposter syndrome that they feel when they first start, any type of thing, right?

Whether you're starting out as a real estate agent, whether you're starting out as an artist, and so like it's natural to feel that, but a lot of times people don't talk about that. It's natural to feel that, but if you don't value your own self and what you can bring to the table as in any type of field, then why is the person on the other side going to value what you have

Jodie: to.

A hundred percent. And artists tend to think they as soon as somebody wants a piece of their art, they're like, oh I'll ju just take it or I'll give you 50% off or I'll give you 20% off. But we have to change that. We have to change that mindset because it's like, why would anybody want something that I created with, my bare hands?

Like it's, we really do. I'm so glad you brought that up cuz Imposter syndrome is, Yeah.

Troy: So maybe go back a little bit of your origin story. Obviously most people aren't originally from Austin, Texas, and so it's always interesting to hear people's or origin stories of where they came from and even sometimes more interesting if they actually are originally here from Austin, cuz that seems to be so rare.

Jodie: Yeah. I wish I was born and raised in Austin, but I had the next best thing. I grew up in South Louisiana, so I'm a Cajun girl, and with everything that brings. And but when I was in my mid twenties, I headed out with my starter husband to Fredericksburg and lived in Fredericksburg for years for, I wanna say 13 years.

Loved it out there. Had my children out there. I was in Austin often because a little town, you gotta go to the big city. So I think I was here at least once a month for all that time. So Austin really feels very personal to me. But then in 2005 I moved to Austin myself with my daughters and I couldn't wait to get here.

Austin just has. Amazing vibe, and I know people talk about, it's losing some of it. I really feel like the people here are just as awesome as they ever were. There's a great level of acceptance. There's a great art community. Excuse me. And I just I've always loved Austin and then I moved away for about 10 years and got back here as soon as I could.

So I've been back since 2018. And and yeah, I just love it. It's, there's, I don't think there's any place like.

Troy: Yeah it's definitely obviously changed, right? I've been here almost 18 years, and so you go down South Lamar, south First Street, even downtown, like all those things. There's, there is definitely a lot of difference.

And I can understand why people feel like, oh, it's, it's not, they keep Austin weird and losing some of the, some of its charm. , but things are always gonna change. Nothing really stays static. So you know, you can see things grow and improve hopefully, or decay. And so you'd much rather see things blossoming and growing and say, I think in my experience, I believe one of the big things.

That makes it such a great place for the people is like the American thing too, is like people who are willing to leave Europe and go sail across an ocean for however many weeks or months that took them to do and come to America centuries ago. That takes a cer certain kind of person, right?

And same kind of thing Now, although it's. Easier to move across the country or across the state. But it still generally takes someone who want, is willing to have that sense of adventure, have that sense of wanting to try something new and different. And so then it leads to a lot of people that have that similar mindset, which I think is a really cool part of the fabric and culture of Austin.

Jodie: Oh, a hundred percent. In fact some of my dearest friends, one of one of them is I won't say her name. Austin. Austin true and true native. Her family has contributed immensely to Austin to the University of Texas Athletics, all kinds of things. You would know if I knew or said her name, so I won't.

But the my other dear friends from California, so they've moved here, in the last 10 years, but they're the spirit of who they are. And like you said, why they love Austin is the same. We're all here for similar.

Troy: So you mentioned growing up in south Louisiana. What kind of got you into art and stuff?

Was it something from young age that was always a part of your life or when did that kind of spark hit?

Jodie: That's such a good question. Art was never a part of my life. The kids that are drawing and wanting to be an artist when they grew up and all of that was never me.

In fact, in third. Is when I decided I'm absolutely not an artist because our, the art teacher was bringing around clay and putting little blobs of clay in front of all of us, and the instructions were to create a mushroom. And so we were gonna form a mushroom, then we were gonna paint it, and then she was gonna fire it in the kiln and then bring it back to us the next week.

I was making my mushroom and I had a little bit of clay left over, and so I rolled the little leftover clay into little balls. And then I. Put the little balls on top of the mushroom. I've got now a red mushroom with little white balls on top of it and send it off. And then the next week the teacher comes back and is putting all of the mushrooms in front of us, and then she goes down the table and, says, good job, Danny, with this one.

And love your color here, Susie, I don't even know the names but then it came to me and she put the mushroom in front of me and her only, the only thing she said is, Jodi, those balls were not part of the assignment. And in that moment, true , right? And in that moment I decided I'm not an artist. Now I know.

She's just a wretched human being, ,

Troy: or she just wasn't in again, and growing up in a small town as well too, right? Like you didn't, it wasn't like you had to choose your teachers in a lot of different classes. Like this is your teacher for said class, right? That's who just who you got. And like I can think specifically in like some math classes of teachers who actually were really good mathematicians, but.

expl, like for me, I got math pretty easily, so it wasn't a problem. But for a lot of the other students, they didn't. And so he could do a math problem so quickly that he would skip these steps, that someone as a 10th grader needed to figure it out. And but and same thing with art, right? Like once once you realize that art's how you want it.

Like again, if you're doing a commission piece for someone and they have some guidelines for you, you do have to follow what they're looking for. You can't just be like, Nope I'm an artist so I decided to completely make something different. That's not gonna work there. But art is expression and creativity and those kind of things.

And so that's definitely an odd thing to to say to a third grader at that point. .

Jodie: Yeah, for sure. And, I didn't pick up art again until I was 35. And then one day we, I was with a big group of people. We were actually out in the hill country and it was we all got together for New Year's Eve, and so now it's New Year's morning, and we're having that discussion, what do you wanna do this year?

And so people were saying I wanna, exercise, like all the different things. And I, it came around to me and I. Never, I haven't picked up a paint. I shouldn't, I don't know, since I was maybe in third grade. He came around to me and just out of the blue, I said, you know what I wanna paint.

And there was a guy there that was an artist, and he goes so paint. And I go, no I don't know how to paint. And he said, just, And I really had never considered that I could just paint. And this was before YouTube, so it wasn't gonna be that easy to just paint, in my opinion. And so he's, I said, I don't even know where to start.

And he said, go to the art supply store, get some brushes and some paint, and just paint. So that's where it started. And. when I look back on it and I think, okay, what was that about? It was what I think so many of us deal with, and that is, I had young children at the time. It was a really busy time in my life of giving, to others not sleeping, always helping others.

And painting was just something for me. It was something that served me and and I. As soon as I started painting, I was absolutely hooked. It was I, now I know that there's something that happens to our own mind and there, it's almost like a meditative state. It's an incredibly healing thing to do, especially if you're creating what I call honest art.

And I have a whole thing about honest art, but Honest start is the art that we're not looking at. People's art to emulate and artists love looking at others. People's art, by the way, we love it.

Troy: So society likes looking at other people and making assumptions and comparisons, so that's not an artist specific thing at all.

Jodie: For sure. But artists tend to want to make art, like other art they love. So it's totally normal to do that. I've done it. Honest art is where you just start to trust yourself and trust whatever needs to come out of you, your own curiosity, whatever is wanting to be birthed. You trust that.

And even Matisse said it has bothered me my whole life that I don't paint like other people. So it is inherent for for us, like you said, to look at others and compare ourselves, and especially for. . So I started doing that. I started painting and our little bungalow that was out in Fredericksburg that was built in 1914 we had, we were asked to put it on a tour of homes because it was so cute and was remodeled.

And I put some of those paintings that I had been painting on the wall just to clean up. . Just cuz I, I honestly couldn't afford my, you don't wanna

Troy: paint the whole place. I'm like, ah, some art that'll cover some of the spots or some of the, yeah. Some different things. That'll be good.

Jodie: Absolutely. And truly I couldn't afford to buy original art. And one of the women that came through the tour owned a store in Fredericksburg, owned a gift shop, and she asked if she could start carrying my art in her gift shop and. , that was it. And I realized, oh, I could actually do this.

I could sell my art. And I used a lot of my other entrepreneurial experience and just all of a sudden I became a professional

Troy: artist. . Very nice. Yeah, it it reminds me, there's a story that I don't know how truthful it is cause I've heard it in a few different variations, but it's about like a college professor in photography talking about setting one half of the students and telling them you need to do like a picture.

You need to create a photograph a day, that's your assignment for the semester and another. The other half of the class was you need to create, or one was one half was you need to create the most number of pictures possible, the most number of photographs possible, and that's how you get graded. And the other one, the other half of the group was you only get one photo, but it's gotta be as good as possible.

And what happened was the people who actually did the most photos had a way better photo than the people that only tried to perfect the one photo. The back to the, you get better by doing. And that's the only way you're actually going to improve is like just. You wanna be good, you gotta just paint.

Cuz everyone sucks at everything the first time they do it.

Jodie: Absolutely. And somebody, I have people all the time, artists all the time saying, I, I wanna find my voice, I wanna find my style, how do I do that? And I always say paint a lot. Just paint a lot.

Troy: So third grade, you're probably about 10 years old.

You didn't pick it up again until you're 35 years old. So what's going on in the 25 years there in between? What what was part of the journey?

Jodie: Yeah I was on my own at the age of 18, financially on my own, at the age of 18. And so I started working in just hustling. And by the time I was 21 actually probably 23, I was running my mother's restaurant solely, with my, actually with my starter husband

And That was a five star restaurant. And so I was, I really that taught me a lot about running a business, working with people, customers, customer service. And then my later I moved to Fredericksburg and did another entrepreneurial thing where we opened a wine bar back in the early nineties before wine bar.

Now you say wine bar, everybody goes, yeah. It's a wine bar back then. Yeah. Wine bar

Troy: Friday. How could it now work? It's, you knows the wine capital.

Jodie: Exactly, but back then there were no wineries like that. So we opened a wine bar and we ended up selling that. It was really successful. And then once I started painting, I got a wild hair again to start an organic clothing company with my paintings and designs on the clothing.

And within a year it was picked up by Whole Foods. It Nordstrom whole Earth and 60 different boutiques across the us. So I had a lot of these different entrepreneurial experiences at the same time. I was having children it was quite a busy time to say. .

Troy: Yeah, very much you mentioned early on talking about artists and having to figure out the business side of things.

Obviously part of your journey even before you became an artist was running your own businesses and being an entrepreneur. How, what's the best strategy? Again, we go back to, you just gotta jump in and do it, but what's the best strategy for artists to understand and be successful at the business side of being?

such a good

Jodie: question. There are a lot of things that we can do as artists. The first thing is, I think it's important that because I didn't go to art school and I wasn't telling people early on that I wanted to be an artist. I didn't have people saying to me you. , have a plan B.

You're gonna need to get a real job. Good luck being poor. All of those starving artists tropes that are out there. So when that woman came through and asked to start carrying my art, I just started applying all of my business skills. To the art business, and I just thought of course this is gonna work because I've had all of these other successful businesses.

So the first thing that artists can do is they have to realize they can do this. There's gonna need some skillsets that are gonna come into play, but it is absolutely possible. So starting with their own mindset is key. The second thing that I always suggest is to realize that 99.9% of the world is never gonna see your art in person.

So what can we do to get seen, to get our art seen? There's lots of different things you could do. Number one, social media. Back in, I wanna say it was 2015, I was on Instagram posting pictures of my dog my vacations, highlight reels, that kind of thing that we all do. And then I realize that there are over 1 billion users, a.

That are on that platform, and I started posting my paintings and the process that I was going through, and between Facebook and Instagram, I started selling my art. From there, it's just, it blew my mind that this was a free platform. Now there's over 2 billion users per month on social media or Instagram alone.

So for artists to. Be using social media to promote their art is a real missed opportunity for sure. And there's all of these things about the algorithm, this, the algorithm that just get on it, start doing it and see what happens. I've had more opportunities come to me through social media than anything else.

The other way to get seen is start in your own backyard. Create an email list with people that know and love you that are, that already want to support you. So it's how do I create an email list? Start with your Christmas card list start, or your holiday list, start there with your own sphere and start letting people know what you're doing and putting yourself out there, being visible.

You're both you and your art is really, .

Troy: Yeah. Like you say the it's funny being in real estate, obviously a lot of social media and stuff comes into play there too. And then, you hear everyone complaining about the algorithms and how, how it impacts it. But I heard a good phrase saying that and replace that word with your audience.

It's just your audience. So if. And again, si same, similar there to being an artist. More than likely your first few posts are gonna suck because you haven't posted on social media before. Like it's rare that someone is so talented that they suddenly can just post. Post something inhabit immediately just blow up.

And a lot of the times when those things do, it's po possibly because they're able to hire people who know how to do it even better and have had some success. But as an artist, you at least have the O one huge advantage is that you, your stuff's already very visually appealing, which is what, so what the, one of the biggest things that social media is already is that visual aspect of it.

And so it's has the opportunity to grab people's attention and draw them.

Jodie: Yeah, for sure. And you make a really good point. , people can't expect just to post and then sell their art, right? Or just to post once and sell a piece of real estate. Maybe it happens. That's awesome if it does.

But there is, there's time where you have to do, you have to build up that no and trust factor, right? I have a course called Art Viz for Rebels, that's people can find on my website. It teaches all of this, and it also teaches artists how to use social media. To sell their art because there are some different skill sets that are actually quite easy and you don't have to pay anybody to do this for you.

In fact, I ran all of my own social media up until two years ago and sold a ton of art in the way that, that I used it. And it's exactly the way you're talking about is I never think of it as follow. trying to gain followers. I think of it as, this person, I think of it just like in my restaurant days okay, this person has walked in my door, right?

, they have come to my page. How can I serve them? , what is the best way that I can serve these people? And you just do it one at a time and you just think of it like that. So there's a whole method of doing it. You don't have to pay somebody At least not initially until you blow up.

Troy: Yeah. And even the posts that don't do well.

If you, if, and instead of this being your Instagram page, this was your own gallery that you had in your own city. , but it's free now instead of you paying $3,000 a month to rent. But if you know every potential person that came in just to look, you would be, you like hopefully wouldn't be trying to shove paintings down their throat and you gotta buy this.

If you come in here like you would be just. Thankful that they came in to take a look at your artwork. And so I think that's one of the thing problems with social media is we tend to want to just be selling people all the time. And that's not why people go on social media. They're usually going down there to escape a little bit of their daily life, find something entertaining, maybe find something educational.

And so the more that you can show some of that behind the scenes stuff or provide value or a way to escape. Let them see a cool piece of artwork is valuable in building your audience and your reputation.

Jodie: You're so right. And you said two things. You said in, in entertain and educate. I always say, if we're gonna post something, let's look at three things.

Is it going to inspire, entertain, or educate? And and that's how you serve 'em. That's how you serve people and that's what, makes them wanna come back and see what else you're up to and what you have to. .

Troy: So I know one of the initiatives that you're very fond of and is coming up here is Art from the Streets.

Why don't you maybe tell us a little bit about that and what's going on.

Jodie: Oh my goodness, I'm so excited about this. So Art from the Streets for your listeners who are not aware art From the Streets is an organization here in Austin that's been around for 30 years. And in fact, other cities in the US are looking at art from the streets to create their own programs.

Like it and Art from the streets serves the unhoused and at-risk community, they have a, an amazing studio space set up at the canopy on the east side, and they open their doors. Throughout the week so that the unhoused and at-risk community have a place to go to create. They provide paints, they provide brushes, they provide just incredible supplies so that the artists can come in and have a safe space to create and to not only create their self.

but also to sell their art, which, that is so exciting because not only do they provide a place for them to sell their art, but they allow the artists to keep 95% of the proceeds, which as we said earlier, galleries generally take 50. So for the artists to be able to keep, 95% is just. , it's incredible.

And art From the Streets reached out to me at the end of last year and asked if I could come in and work with their artists because there's there's a fundraising, their big fundraising gala is next month, April 12th, and they asked if I could come in and teach the artist once, to maybe create a piece that we could auction off at the.

For fundraising, but when I saw the incredible work that they're doing and I was able to meet with the artists I decided I would do four different workshops with the artists, with the intent of helping the artists really create their best work so that they too can have the benefits of making money doing with their love.

What I teach all over the world. But for these artists, and I think it's I think it's important to note that when I started creating art and I saw what it did for my self worth I was, I, it gave me a place to. say the things that maybe I wouldn't feel comfortable saying out, just into the world.

So it, it gave me, there was a lot of healing that, that happened through just the art of Yeah, just the process of creating art. So it created a space for me. To put things, and I think this is really important for people who are struggling, who are going through different life issues to be able to have a place to put that Creating art not only contributes to our self worth, but when we are able to create something we're proud of and then commu the community comes out and purchase it, then we can add to our net worth. So it just, it's such a beautiful thing to be able to do. I'm really passionate about art from the streets.

. Yeah. And so we're gonna be creating a piece together as the community of artists, and we'll be auctioning off that piece in April.

Troy: Nice. Where, so for people who have more interest in that in the gala or just in the gallery for the art pieces and stuff like that, where's the best place for them to maybe check that out?

Jodie: Yeah their website is Art from the They can also I know we didn't talk about this, but they can also go to their Instagram Art from the Streets as their Instagram handle. But you can go to Art from the You can learn more about the organization, if you're interested in volunteering attending the gala purchasing artwork, all of that.

It's just an incredible organiz. .

Troy: Nice. Yeah, no, it sounds like a really cool thing. And obviously any, anything that can help, again, any, anytime people can feel better about themselves, it's not only good for that person, but good for the people that they come in contact with. Cuz unfortunately, we obviously talked on social media and there's a lot of people that don't like social media because of some of the stuff that's on there.

Just hurt people, hurt other people, bad comments and stuff like that. Okay, great, someone doesn't think you're a great artist, but that's usually a reflection on them. And so the more that you can build up the self-worth of people through them accomplishing stuff, that, that's just gonna have a ripple effect on a lot of other areas of life as well.

Jodie: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And so it just, for the people around them it's, it ends up serving the community as a whole. It's just, it's. ,

Troy: where are the best places to stay connected with you and see what you're up to and some of the art that you.

Jodie: Yeah. You could I also have a podcast.

It's called The Honest Art Podcast with Jodi King. Or you could head to my [email protected]. There's an i e yep. J o d i e K I N Then I also have Instagram, which is my name Jodi underscore King underscore. So I would love to be able to. Meet you through whatever means if it's on Instagram or some other way because, I just love, I love what I do.

Troy: Nice. I appreciate you taking the time to sit down and do the podcast today. I know you're on the press junket today as far as getting the word out for the great organization and stuff that you guys got going. .

Jodie: I am. I it's a big day, but I so appreciate being able to talk to you and to to your community.

I am. . I am almost as passionate about Austin as I am about Art , so it's an honor to be here.

Troy: They're definitely one of those things that for especially for you, but I think for a lot of people are one and the same, right? There's just that art music and obviously within a week that South by Southwest is going on.

That's just kind of part of the fabric of the city. Exactly. Awesome. Again, appreciate you taking the time and hope you have a great rest of your day. Thank.

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