September 30, 2016
McLeod is a painter, sculptor and muralist, specializing in fine art for residential, commercial and public art projects. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 1987, Matt spent a fifteen-year career in advertising, before becoming a full-time artist. Matt spent the last eleven years in fine art, developing paintings into his bold, vibrant style – what he calls Energetic Color. Matt’s Energetic Color is included in several private and corporate collections across the US and has brought significant recognition, including pieces in the Delta Exhibition at The Arkansas Arts Center and a painting on the front cover of the first Arkansas Artists Calendar, created by The Arkansas Governor’s Mansion Association. In 2011, Matt was the featured artist for Riverfest music festival. Matt was the featured artist for MusicFest El Dorado, in 2012. In 2013, Matt was the featured artist for The Thea Foundation’s Annual Spring Fine Arts Festival. Later this year, Matt will open a gallery in downtown Little Rock, specializing in highly collectible regional artists and residential and commercial commissions.
Visit Matt McLeod Fine Art Gallery at 108 W. 16th St. Suite A in Little Rock, AR get hours, current exhibition information and more online.
Matt says, “I paint Energetic Color. I believe that all living things are made of energy at their most elemental level. There is a shared energy within and all around us. Humans, animals, even plants all share this energy. What is it? Is it the living spirit? Is it the creative soul? Or is it the divine power of God? Perhaps it is all of these. In my paintings, I seek to discover and depict this energy of the living experience by using dimensional shapes of brilliant color. I contrast light and dark, warm and cool, dull and bright, creating color that jumps off the wall. It’s color that cannot be ignored. It’s color that vibrates. Energetic Color."
Kerry McCoy and Matt McLeod discuss taking a “leap of faith” to start a business. Up In Your Business is a Radio Show by FlagandBanner.com
[0:00:03.3] TB: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Be sure to stay tuned till the end of the show to hear how you can get a copy of this program and other helpful documents.
Now, it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.
[0:00:19.2] KM: Hello, you’re listening to KABF in Little Rock, Arkansas. I’m Kerry McCoy, and it’s time for me to get all up in your business. For the next hour, I will be taking calls, answering questions, and trying our best to give good advice to small business owners and to people who want to own a small business.
You might be asking yourself, what makes this lady qualified to do this? I’ll tell you, experience. In a minute, you can email or call and ask me anything. My experience is deep and wide and my advice is free. Unbelievable! 40 years ago, with just $400, I started Arkansas Flag and Banner. Since then, it’s morphed into flagandbanner.com with sales nearing $4 million. That’s why we’re saying again. I started Arkansas Flag & Banner with just $400, and today, we have sales almost $4 million.
I started by selling flags door-to-door, then went to telemarketing. Next, mail order and catalog sales. Today, we rely heavily on the internet. In addition, over the last 40 years, I’ve navigated Flag & Banner through two recessions and two wars. When people find out I'm that woman who owns Arkansas Flag & Banner, they often say, “Oh, I’ve heard about you,” and begin asking me the business advice.
I amaze even myself with all the knowledge I’ve gained. If you call me for advice, you will not be given textbook answers or theory, but you will be given candid advice from my real world experience, so be prepared to hear the truth. It's not always easy to hear. For instance, you may not want to hear this. In business, there are very few overnight successes. Starting and owning a business takes persistence, perseverance, and patience.
When I started Arkansas Flag and Banner, I supplemented my income by waitressing all while I pedaled my flags door-to-door. After nine years, did you hear me? Nine years of working a part-time job, the company began to grow and solely support me. My first hire was a bookkeeper to handle the clerical side of my business. My first expansion was to begin the manufacturing of custom flags, so a sewing department developed.
The next decade ushered in the Desert Storm war. Flags were scarce, so screen-printing department was hardly built to meet consumer demands. In addition to sales and manufacturing, Flag & Banner now has a purchasing department, a shipping department, technology department, marketing department, call center, and retail store. I spearheaded the development of every one of these departments. My experience is deep and wide, and my advice is free. Unbelievable!
Before we start taking calls or emails, I want to introduce you to the people at the table. We have Tim Bowen, our technician, who will be taking your calls and pushing the button. Say hello, Tim.
[0:03:04.5] TB: Hello, Tim.
[0:03:05.9] KM: He does that every time. I love it. My guest today is Matt McLeod; a highly successful painter, sculptor, and muralist specializing in fine art for residential, commercial, and public art spaces. After graduating from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1987, Matt spent 15 years in a career in advertising before becoming a full-time artist. I know that was scary. We’ll talk about that.
In 2015, just one year ago, he opened his very own McLeod Fine Arts Gallery in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas. Welcome to the table, accomplished artist and entrepreneur, Matt McLeod.
[0:03:46.3] MM: Thanks, Kerry.
[0:03:47.0] KM: You’re welcome. Matt, you say about yourself, and I quote, “I paint energetic color.” What does that mean?
[0:03:58.2] MM: How much time do we have in the program to —
[0:04:00.5] KM: One hour.
[0:04:02.9] MM: Okay. I think that every artist is trying to, at some point in their career, find out really what they're trying to get out with their work. Artwork is a communication with the viewer, and every artist that matures begins to realize that they're trying to say something and they’re trying to get at something. I think in my evolution, what I’ve been exploring is that I believe that we’re all made up of energy. I don't know whether that's our spirit, or what it is about us as people that are living and walking the earth. At some point, we all very much are interested in connecting with each other.
The great thing about art form is it's an ongoing process of connection. The more I examine that and the more I tried to boil down the essence of humanity, the more I got in touch with the fact that we’re really human beings that have and contain a sense of energy. What I'm doing with my paintings is trying to explore that all the time, and I’m trying to essentially look at things that I see around me. Often, they’re rather mundane things, but if I can take mundane things, explore what I believe is the essence of life and make that subject sublime by communicating the energy that I feel that we all share, then I’ve really done something. I’m able to connect with the viewer in that way.
I may have made a big circle on that, but essentially, what I'm doing when I try to show energetic color is I use the tools that I have, which are paints, colors, shape-making; and to try to communicate the energy that I feel that we all share. That's, in a sense, energetic color.
[0:05:48.6] KM: That was absolutely beautiful. It was. We are all trying to connect with each other.
[0:05:56.9] MM: I think so.
[0:05:58.1] KM: Art is so subjective and addictive. There’s entrepreneur inning.
[0:06:07.0] MM: Yeah, it’s for me.
[0:06:08.6] KM: Once you buy one piece of art, whether it's expensive or not expensive, you put it in your room, and you live with a little bit, and you become addicted to more art.
[0:06:19.0] MM: I believe that to be true, Kerry. Really, the people who live with fine art, unique works of art, know that to be true. The best art is work that you will come back to, that you will want to live with, and that speaks to you. You can't really put a price. I don’t know if we said expensive or not you, but you can't put a price tag on something that makes you feel really wonderful every time you connect with it. It’s something that really gets at your core.
[0:06:46.0] KM: There are some pictures, or rather, art that I have on the wall that I never get tired of looking at.
[0:06:51.3] MM: Right. That's the beauty of living with art.
[0:06:53.4] KM: It’s nice.
[0:06:54.1] MM: When people really start to get in touch with that, they just become collectors.
[0:06:58.5] KM: They really shouldn’t, because it’s very addictive. It really is. I love that.
[0:07:03.1] MM: They should, because it’s addictive.
[0:07:05.5] KM: I came to your art show last night. Very nice. First time I’ve ever been there. You had one at the end of the hall, looked like a teenager laying on the couch, and — Man!
[0:07:17.0] MM: It spoke to you, didn’t it?
[0:07:18.4] KM: It did. I woke up and thought about it again this morning and I thought, “Hmm-mm-mm-mm.”
[0:07:25.7] MM: You need to come back in and take another visit to that.
[0:07:28.8] KM: When did you first know that you had this gift, or is it just always been there?
[0:07:34.7] MM: I don't always look at it as a gift, but I appreciate you saying that because that means that you see it as such. I think artists know that they have to do it. I think there's a little bit of talent. I tell people that when I teach students, I say, “You have to have a little bit of talent, and then you have to have a whole lot of work.” If you put 10% talent and 90% work ethic, and you work at it really hard every day, you’re going to get really good at it. I think that’s —
[0:08:01.7] KM: It’s just practice?
[0:08:03.3] MM: There’s a part of being able — First of all, you’re not to going to practice unless you love it. There's a response that you’re going to have as a visual art form. For me, it's looking at something and recreating it and recreating it in a really interesting way. I really get a kick out of the viewer that sees something that I've done. Essentially, what I'm trying to do is I’m looking at something and I take it apart and then reassemble it using my own ability, creativity, and energy to make something that I hope is even more.
I love that part, but you have to be in love with it to practice it. My best answer to you is that it takes a real desire to do it, because you kind of really get a kick out of it, but then you have to pile a bunch of hard work around that.
[0:08:48.0] KM: That takes me to my next question, but before we do, I want to tell our listeners that you're listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy on KABF. My guest today is the renowned artist; Matt McLeod from McLeod's Fine Arts Gallery in downtown Little Rock. If you've got questions or comments for either of us, call — Tim, what’s the number?
[0:09:06.6] TB: 501-433-0088.
[0:09:09.5] KM: We have a new thing because we had listeners request that we used to have a way to email us questions. For people who don't want to call in, you can also email your questions to email@example.com. You can call what number again?
[0:09:25.7] TB: 501-433-0088.
[0:09:28.0] KM: Or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Matt, your last thing talking about talent versus practice. You are very educated. I read in your bio. I’ve known you for 30 something years. You sent me your bio after I nagged you a little bit. I was shocked to see how in-depth your bio was. For a creative guy, you did a really good job of laying it all out for me. Your accomplishments, you went to Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Did you study art?
[0:10:02.1] MM: No, I didn’t. Actually, when I went to school at ’83 to ’87, I didn’t know anybody in Little Rock that was making a living as an artist. I wasn’t one of those kids that just didn't know what he wanted to do. I thought I would try to get just a general liberal arts education, maybe get a degree in business. SMU's got those things. I went there to originally study business, and decided that I fell in love with the communications college there, and got a degree in advertising, and thought that, in the advertising business, I’d be able to combine both business and creativity. You can, and so that's what I ended up, getting a degree. I really did not study studio art at SMU.
[0:10:45.5] KM: I want to come back to your next career, but we’ve got a caller. Hey, caller. You’re on the air.
[0:10:50.1] SG: Hey, this is Shane Gray. I was just listening. I don’t know McLeod, I don’t think but what he had to say about art, I think, is really great. I think an artist could be a musician, writer, painter. I really like what he said.
[0:11:03.1] MM: Thanks, Shane.
[0:11:03.9] SG: It’s a good show. I’ve been listening in and I think I heard Tim that works at Flag and Banner with you.
[0:11:10.1] KM: He does.
[0:11:11.4] SG: Yeah, I heard his voice. We’re friends.
[0:11:13.4] TB: Hi, Shane.
[0:11:14.2] SG: I just want to let you know I’m listening in and I’m definitely going to look at — You said it’s Matt McLeod?
[0:11:18.7] MM: You can look us up at mattmcleod.com. McLeod is M-C-L-E-O-D.com. Take a look and let me know what you think.
[0:11:27.6] SG: Definitely, man. Thanks.
[0:11:28.6] MM: Hey, thanks for calling.
[0:11:29.7] SG: Have a good day.
[0:11:30.6] KM: Matt, you work after you got out of school, went to communications, and when you got, you worked in advertising.
[0:11:37.0] MM: I did. At that time, I was thinking I just needed to get a degree that was practical, something that I could use to make a living. Like I said, I didn’t know any artists then that are making any sort of a living. I wasn’t really that involved in the arts community when I was graduating from high school, but I thought that the advertising degree might be a good degree, practical.
I started working for various advertising firms. I started off in Dallas. I worked for a huge, huge agency. I was working as an assistant media planner on the Pepsi-Cola business.
[0:12:10.3] KM: Who was the huge agency?
[0:12:12.8] MM: At that time, it was TracyLocke.
[0:12:15.1] KM: I know that comp —
[0:12:16.7] MM: They were bought in or acquired and merged, I think. At some point, they became DDB Needham Worldwide, and they’ve probably been bought again. It’s just a big advertising world. I was a little bitty tiny fish in a giant pool, and it was fun.
Then, I came back here, and I’ve known Wayne Cranford and had a meeting with him with Tom. He offered me a position at — At that time, it’s Cranford Johnson Robinson. I got in the media department there. I don’t know if you want me to do through all my advertising career.
[0:12:48.2] KM: Oh, you’ve got a a bunch?
[0:12:49.2] MM: In the advertising world, sometimes, you have to switch jobs to make a pay increase, so I moved around quite a bit. I was trying to find where I really fit and what really was the right thing for me to do. I love the people in advertising world. They’re fun, funny —
[0:13:06.9] KM: They are.
[0:13:07.6] MM: Vibrant people. God, it’s just —
[0:13:08.7] KM: They really are and they’re creative.
[0:13:10.3] MM: It is a tough, tough business though, so competitive.
[0:13:14.2] KM: I would never — I know.
[0:13:16.0] MM: It wouldn’t have been the best fit for me, but I met some really great people and some people that are still really involved in my life and have encouraged me to do certain things including become an artist. That was a great experience actually.
[0:13:28.6] KM: I want to have Thoma, Martin Thoma and his wife on —
[0:13:33.0] MM: Martin and Melissa Thoma. They were my last employers.
[0:13:35.4] KM: They were?
[0:13:35.9] MM: They were, and wonderful people.
[0:13:37.4] KM: Wonderful people, and friends of mine. I’m going to reach out to them to come in. I think we’re booked almost all the way till 2017.
[0:13:44.1] MM: Wow, good for you.
[0:13:45.2] KM: I know.
[0:13:45.6] MM: They’d be great to interview. Really super people.
[0:13:48.2] KM: Husband and wife team. We can talk about nepotism and everything.
You had to decide to quit working and getting a regular paycheck. Look, he's smiling. To decide to take that leap of faith. Was there something that triggered that?
[0:14:06.6] MM: Yes. It was pretty profound in my life. You talk about leap of faith, and that's really what it was. If I take you back about 15, 16 years ago, I was working for Martin and Melissa Thoma. They were my last employer. We went through 9/11 together. They had a small firm at that time. I was trying to find out what I wanted to do. I was really studying a hobby of painting at that time. They were tremendously supportive people and very much about living your dream and finding out which you’re really good at, and utilizing your talents.
That discussion, that sort of environment, made me think about what am I doing and what am I really want to be doing. I guess you had a point in your — I think of midlife at some point, mid 30s, early 40s, something like that. You get, “What am I doing? What do I really want to be doing?” I knew I was in love with my hobby. I had lunch with a guy one time, and he said, “What are you really passionate about?” I go, “Well, I’m passionate about being your account executive.” He goes, “Okay, let’s set that aside for a second.”
[0:15:11.5] KM: Push it.
[0:15:12.2] MM: Yeah, exactly. He smelled it out and he said, “Hey, you’re a good account executive, but I get the feeling you’re really passionate about something else. Don't think about the question, just tell me right off what would you really love to be doing right now.” I said, “I love to be a painter. I love to be an artist. I just don’t think I can make a living doing this.” He said, “Whether you make a living doing it or not, I think you need to give it a shot. You get one life, and I think you ought to give it a try.” That was profound for me. I’m not trying —
[0:15:38.9] KM: You own your Christmas card list every year?
[0:15:40.8] MM: No. As a matter of fact, I lost touch with them, and I need to find out who that is, who that was. It was actually profound and I didn’t know it at the time, but I did think it was a God moment. I thought it was Him. I’m not here preaching religion, but —
[0:15:51.6] KM: You did go to Southern Methodist University.
[0:15:54.4] MM: I did. I have my own faith. I thought that was one of those moments that just didn't come out of a coincidence. That was meaningful.
[0:16:04.6] KM: You have those moments, don’t you?
[0:16:05.9] MM: I do. We all do. That was a moment. Then, post 9/11. That’s what I’m really trying to get at. The economy was terrible. I don’t know if you remember that? The world changed.
[0:16:16.0] KM: Yeah, I do. I was selling a flags like crazy. It wasn’t terrible for me.
[0:16:19.6] MM: Good business for you.
[0:16:20.7] KM: I’m sorry, but it’s true.
[0:16:21.1] MM: It may have been one — I hate to look at it that way, but that was only business probably that I knew of that was doing anything. Most of the people that we were talking to and trying to either find accounts or service or accounts, were not spending. Everybody was freezing their spending. We lost one account, because they just reviewed it every three years, and the other count was acquired. The rest of our accounts that we had on staff weren’t spending.
One morning, I have this conversation Martin Thoma. He sits down with me and another person says, “I haven’t been drawing a salary from my own business in the last two months and we’re going through a tough time, and we’re going to have to cut back, so I’m going to have to let you off.”
The first reaction when somebody tells you they’re going to let you off is like, “Oh, my gosh! What am I going to do? This is terrible. This is horrible.” I took it another way. I went, “You know, Martin. This is a good thing, and I think this is a God moment for me.” I think I’m supposed to go be an artist.” He said, “Matt, you’d be a great artist!” He said, “I want to support you. I want you to leave today and go be an artist. We’re going to help you with a severance payment to help you do that.” They are really wonderful people over there.
[0:17:28.1] KM: I almost feel sorry for people who have a really great job and a really great income and everything is really cushy and good, but they are not fulfilled because they don't get pushed out into the world to go and find out what their path is and what their passion is and where they should be, because it's too soft where they are.
[0:17:47.0] MM: I couldn’t agree more, Kerry. The scary thing about it was I had a house payment, two car payments, a child, just all the reasons that have to just try to secure.
[0:17:57.7] KM: I wish all of the people I let go would be that nice when I let them go and they go, “Oh, this is really nice. Thank you.”
[0:18:03.1] MM: It’s a sudden leap of faith, that’s really what it was. I just thought that these were two very significant signs that I needed to go give it hell and try.
[0:18:11.4] KM: They absolutely were.
[0:18:13.0] MM: Either just fall on my face or die trying. I don't know that I had your guts to go sell things door-to-door, but I took that moment and just ran. I just worked as hard as I could.
[0:18:24.7] KM: I went to your first show. I didn’t that was your first show. I thought it was when I was there that night. It was in 2006. It was at Local Color Gallery up on Kavanaugh. When I was reading that, I thought, “I remember that being your first show.” That has got to be — Talk about baring your soul, ready to show your work, and for people to judge it, and to judge you; how hard was that?
[0:18:54.0] MM: It was really hard. It’s scary as hell. I wouldn’t kid you to tell that it was anything else. It’s just absolutely scary. It's like you’re holding up your children and you’re just hoping that nobody says that, “Hey, your baby’s ugly.”
[0:19:06.9] KM: You're exposing yourself to all that criticism.
[0:19:09.5] MM: You are and you just have to — You said leap of faith, that’s part of it, and part of it is you just have to thicken your skin. Yeah, this is the way it’s going to be. I have to put myself out there, and putting myself out there means that I open myself up for criticism, and that’s just it. At some point, you have to say to yourself, “Okay, look. Not everybody’s going to love you,” and they don’t.
You have to focus your attention on the people who do love you. You can start with your family. I think one of the best things to do is just sort of start accounting the people who really love and care about you. I started with my family, my friends, and just anybody that I thought would come and support me in that way. You put it out there in the public, and if people don't like you — Most of the time, what I found is people keep it to themselves and they just don’t come. People who do love you and really want to support you will come over and over and over again. That's the real blessing of it.
[0:20:03.6] KM: You’ve done very well. Let's break here to tell our listeners again that you're listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy on KABF. My guest today is the renowned artist Matt McLeod from McLeod Fine Arts Gallery in downtown Little Rock on Main Street. If you got questions or comments for either of us, call —
[0:20:20.8] TB: 501-433-0088.
[0:20:23.6] KM: Oh, it’s pointing to it on the wall. There you go. Or send an email to email@example.com. Not everybody becomes an artist. Look, we’ve already got a phone call. Let’s take that before I ask the next question. You’re on the air.
[0:20:43.1] B: Thanks for taking my call, Kerry.
[0:20:44.3] KM: You’re welcome.
[0:20:45.2] B: I’ve listened to you I think ever since your program debuted.
[0:20:48.3] KM: Is this Bob?
[0:20:49.2] B: How’d you know that?
[0:20:50.2] KM: I could tell. You had the best four-legged stool comment.
[0:20:53.6] B: You like that?
[0:20:54.2] KM: Yes, we still talk about it.
[0:20:57.4] B: The good thing about having a name like Bob is you can spell it backwards and it still works for you. I love what you and your guest are doing, because you’re stepping out of the shadows. Pardon the phrase, you two have made it, and you’re telling people basically, I’m here on a common thread here. Stepping out on faith. I believe Tim made a comment about 10% of building and 90% work ethic or something along those lines. I love stories like that, that are rags and riches. That’s not necessarily accurate, because it’s kind of cliché, but stepping out from — Let’s put it this way, a comfort zone possibly.
[0:21:36.2] KM: There you go.
[0:21:37.7] B: I’ll tell you a brief story about my own career, and I’ve been in this business career for 25 years. It’s funny sometimes, when a stranger tells you something, they’ll hit you right between the eyes. Maybe your mom and daddy been talking to you for years or your wife or whatever, and you just didn’t quite get it. I was on a plane going to see some in-laws in Christmas time around 1991, somewhere in that range right there. It turns out — It was southwest, so I got three-cross seating. The third fella that was sitting there was from Russellville. He was an engineer who worked for [inaudible 0:22:15.2]. At the time, I was late 20’s and toiling in an unnamed factory job, which was the epitome of a dead end. Let me tell you.
[0:22:28.0] KM: Yeah, I bet.
[0:22:28.8] B: I’d never forget. This guy — I went to this guy. This guy was successful. He had a college degree, he was an engineer, he had a good gig, etc., etc. He had everything that I thought I was aspiring for and wanted, and I just met him five minutes ago. I’ll never forget what I told him. I’ll never forget what he told me on the plane. He looked at me and he said, “Bob, I hate to tell you this brother, but as long as you’re working in that factory, you’re going to be miserable for the rest of your life.”
[0:23:00.4] KM: Your parents and wife had told you that already and so many words?
[0:23:04.4] B: Half my parents, but dad split when I was about three. I guess he didn’t like my haircut. I’m not sure which, but anyway —
[0:23:10.8] KM: I’m sure it was your fault.
[0:23:12.3] B: You’re right. It was. Anyway, dad hit me right between the eyes.
[0:23:16.3] KM: Sometimes, it takes a stranger, doesn’t it?
[0:23:17.8] B: It’s like a slap in the face. It was like God put his hand on my shoulders. He’s like, “Hey, brother. Wake up. You’re underemployed and —
[0:23:24.2] KM: How long did it take you to turn in your papers? Don’t tell me two years.
[0:23:28.2] B: About a year. About a year. Here’s the crazy part of it. I went back to school at a technical college, technical school, which is long since gone. I got an associate degree. Here’s the craziest part of all. I never even worked in a field I got the associate degree for.
[0:23:45.2] KM: That happens all the time.
[0:23:46.6] B: Here’s the thing. Let me tell you what it is. I had a student loan. I had a student loan to repay. I remember at one point, I contacted the student loan people about a payment reduction or change the payment at whatever case may be, was. I’ll never forget what the lady on the other end of the phone had asked me. She said, “How do you like working in the [inaudible 0:24:06.4]?” I said, “I never had got any job in it.” And there was silence on the other end of the line. She said, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” I said, “Don’t be.” I said, “That’s not the point.” She said, “What do you mean that’s not the point?” I said, “Let me tell you, when I was working 50 hours a week in a factory and going to school full-time at night, it showed me I could do something I didn’t think I could do.”
[0:24:31.1] KM: Well there you go.
[0:24:31.9] B: It took my confidence sky high.
[0:24:36.3] KM: You never know who’s going to give you that vote of confidence. Bob, you’ve got to call in every week and give us some words of wisdom.
[0:24:42.7] B: I appreciate it. There’s one thing I was going to say, Kerry. I looked at your website, it’s a great one, by the way.
[0:24:47.0] KM: Thank you.
[0:24:48.1] B: You have to put some patriotic music on there.
[0:24:49.9] KM: That’s funny. Okay.
[0:24:52.1] B: Anyway, I got to ask you. I’m looking at your picture and you started this 40 years ago?
[0:24:54.8] Km: Yes.
[0:24:55.3] B: You’re like five years old?
[0:24:56.4] KM: Yes. You got to call back next week.
[0:25:03.0] B: Kerry, was that a pass on-air? Take care. Bye-bye.
[0:25:05.3] KM: Bye.
Matt, not everyone starts a business about their passion. Talk about opening your gallery and fears you had to face. I know when you start painting, you probably didn't think, “I'm going to open a gallery one day,” because nobody knows. Speaking to you and Bob about what you are saying about you never know where life’s going to lead you. You just have to do these leaps of faith. You probably didn't ever think, “Oh, I’m going to start being an artist, and then I'm going to open a gallery.” I know when you decided to open a gallery, I want to hear why and how you opened it, because I know there had to be more sleepless nights.
[0:25:42.5] MM: Sure, and there still are. You talked about living your passion. Once I became an artist, that’s really what it was all about. At some point, I think what we've all been talking about starting off was very modest means in trying to drive your business. At some point, you realize, “I can only make so much money doing this.” It isn't all about money, but at some point, we’ve been talking about responsibilities and obligations; car payments, and electric bills, and mortgages, and sending kids to college.
[0:26:15.5] KM: Less stress, the nicer you are.
[0:26:18.7] MM: Those are very real. I just thought I really like working with other artists. Part of my background in advertising business taught me the business side of things. I really learned how to be a business person within somebody else's business in that experience; but I understood client relationships, I understood working with the team, I understood working in delivering on deadlines. I began to see that those experiences led themselves to something that was more than just being simply an artist. I thought I’d like to combine those two things, both my business skills and creative skills. I saw an opportunity to open a gallery and —
[0:27:00.7] KM: How’d you see an opportunity to gallery? Someone just called and said, “Hey, you want to open a gallery here?”
[0:27:05.4] MM: No, I’ll tell you. I began working with another artist to try to do some public art projects. I became interested in working large. I’ve always enjoyed painting large canvases, and I began to want to be a muralist and work on some public projects. I actually got a meeting with Mayor Stodola about some ideas that I had. At the time, he's always looking for ways to improve our city. They can’t fund art projects, and that’s the really hardest part for the city. They just can’t do it.
[0:27:34.4] KM: They need to call the tourist and visitor information center. They got all kinds of money down there.
[0:27:39.3] MM: Don’t tell everybody. I’m working on it right now.
[0:27:42.6] Km: Just a tip.
[0:27:43.2] MM: I appreciate, but you’re right. They’re very interested in seeing creative things happen in our city and make the city better. A lot of times, they have to go find other funding sources, but that’s an interesting thing. That’s something I learned. In that process, he said, “You ought to go talk to this guy who’s bought these buildings over on Main Street, because they’re looking to create a creative corridor in that area. We’d love to see some visual arts in that area.” I did.
I met with a guy named Scott Reid. I don’t know if you know Scott or not but he’s been kicked around a little bit. He’s from Portland and he bought the buildings over on the 500 block of Main Street. He’s actually a decent guy.
[0:28:20.3] KM: Was that the — Did he buy the Art Porter Building where Art Porter —
[0:28:23.0] MM: He did it. That’s right. That’s right. They ran out of money on the different parts of those projects. That’s not really what I’m getting at. One of the things that I was part of that whole conversation, and quite honestly before I get away from that whole topic, I think he's a decent guy and the people who are trying build and he’s had difficulties with, they’re really great people. Those deals were money, and finishing the project, it just didn’t work out.
[0:28:49.5] KM: We’ve all had those dead-end streets. Everybody has.
[0:28:51.5] MM: That happens in real estate development.
[0:28:53.2] KM: It happens in everything.
[0:28:54.1] MM: I don’t want to say bad thing about anybody that’s part of any of that.
[0:28:57.6] KM: No, we won’t let you.
[0:29:00.9] MM: Part of that conversation was that I could can see that the city and the developers and people who want to really come bring Main Street back and revitalize it wanted to see real creative elements down there. I thought, “Wow! I want to be a part of that, because not only I can be an artist, I can be part of revitalization of Main Street. This is my Main Street.” That really resonated with me, so I began to showing up at meetings and I began to contribute.
[0:29:30.7] KM: You landed the mural on 6th and Main Street.
[0:29:32.9] MM: I did, and it was part of that same —
[0:29:33.8] KM: Beautiful. Does it have a name?
[0:29:36.3] MM: Beneath the Surface.
[0:29:39.3] KM: I love it.
[0:29:40.0] MM: Thank you.
[0:29:40.6] KM: Then, you ended up looking at it every day because your gallery is right across the street.
[0:29:44.4] MM: It’s kind of fun. I like looking at it, because it’s public art and I love public art.
[0:29:52.2] KM: I love graffiti. I know that’s great. I do.
[0:29:55.9] MM: Just as long as it’s not graffiti over my mural, that’s okay.
[0:29:58.4] KM: Yeah, right?
[0:29:59.4] MM: Yeah.
[0:29:59.6] KM: That’s not good.
[0:30:00.2] MM: I think there’d be some cool things that we could do to some street artists, graffiti artists, that if we find a place that really makes sense to do it and do it really well. That could be really fun. That’s art from the street, and that’s really what it’s about.
[0:30:11.0] KM: I’ve got a wall.
[0:30:13.6] MM: Maybe that’s something we could organize. Yeah, absolutely. Just showing up and having conversations with people who are trying to create something really interesting and vital and creative in the city is how I ended up finding space in that building to open a gallery, and I was able to do a mural across the street.
[0:30:34.4] KM: That is an A. You got the rep on one corner, you got the mural on another corner, and then you’ve got your gallery on one corner. What’s on the fourth corner?
[0:30:43.4] MM: That’s really cool. Cranford Company.
[0:30:46.7] KM: You got an ad agency that’s close to your heart on the other corner.
[0:30:49.4] MM: The Cranford Brothers, Wayne Cranford’s sons formed their own marketing communications firm on that corner. Right next to them is Ballet Arkansas.
[0:30:57.2] KM: Oh, that’s right up there with My Heart.
[0:30:59.5] MM: Yeah, they’re moving in.
[0:31:00.5] KM: I saw that sign when I was down there last night, and I was wondering.
[0:31:03.6] MM: Man! You talk about beautiful artists and athletes. Oh, yeah. Right, the ballerinas are beautiful. There are unique combination of athletics and art form. It’s just really cool to see them and have that energy down there. Hopefully, the building is going to get finished relatively soon. Hopefully, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is going to move in next to them. I don’t want to speak for them. I’m not doing that, but the initial design was to have them be right next to Ballet Arkansas.
Ballet Arkansas, the Rep has got an annex theater right next to where Ballet Arkansas is.
[0:31:35.8] KM: Really?
[0:31:37.0] MM: Yeah, you should check that out. That’s really cool. They do real small intimate performance —
[0:31:42.1] KM: Black box.
[0:31:43.2] MM: Black box in the round type of place.
[0:31:46.0] KM: Oh, I love that. 20 years ago when we used to have another mural — What was his name? Dally. I sent him a letter when I bought the Taborian Hall on 9th Street, and I sent Jim Dally and said, “North Little Rock has got the art district. Can we be the theater and performance and district?” He loved it, because we have something like seven theaters between all the way up to 6th street, or maybe it was 9th street, because you can do the children’s theater. If you go from 2nd street all the way to 9th street, Little Rock has, I think, seven theaters.
[0:32:24.2] MM: I think it’s a great idea to create a performing arts club in that area.
[0:32:26.4] KM: It sounds like it’s happening.
[0:32:28.6] MM: I’d love to see, but I’d also like to see a visual arts component of all that.
[0:32:31.4] KM: Well, that always goes with it too.
[0:32:33.5] MM: Sure.
[0:32:34.2] KM: Was signing the lease scary?
[0:32:36.0] MM: Oh, absolutely.
[0:32:36.9] KM: How long — I don’t want to ask you how long you have to sign it, but I know you had to sign it. To me, that was one of the scariest things about the Taborian Hall, was signing the paper that said you’re going to do this for so many years.
[0:32:48.0] MM: Yeah, it scares the hell out of you. You know you’ve committed to a certain amount of money. The other thing is payroll, trying to meet a payroll every week. I can’t imagine what it’s like for you. I’ve got one employee that is just —
[0:32:58.0] KM: Did you know that your own employee used to work for me when I came to the gallery last night? She hugged my neck.
[0:33:02.5] MM: Good.
[0:33:02.9] KM: If anybody from Arkansas Flag & Banner is listening, I want them to know that Caroline Crocker is working for Matt McLeod. I feel like I raised her all the way. Hey, Caroline. I know she’s listening. I feel like I raised her all the way through college. She worked for me for seven years. I was so happy to see her, and she still looks like she’s 12.
[0:33:22.2] MM: She does look young, and I’m thrilled to have her with me.
[0:33:25.0] KM: What do you think about — Yeah, you should be. She’s an artist also.
[0:33:28.4] MM: She’s really good.
[0:33:29.0] KM: Are you punching a block these days? Do you have to be at the gallery all the time? When I moved to Arkansas Flag & Banner out of my home and into a storefront, it was a shock.
[0:33:38.8] MM: Absolutely, and it’s a shock for me. Yeah, it feels like I’m there all the time. Fortunately, I did hire Carry — I call her Carry, Caroline Crocker.
[0:33:46.3] KM: I know.
[0:33:48.0] MM: Fortunately, I did hire so I can occasionally get away. I went to a wedding this last weekend and I’m going to the Razorback game tomorrow.
[0:33:53.4] KM: I saw that on Facebook.
[0:33:54.7] MM: Yeah, go Hawks! I get a day off every once in a while, but there’s very few days off. When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like it’s work all the time. I know that sound cliché.
[0:34:04.9] KM: But you’ve only been doing that a year. I’m going to ask you that, five years.
[0:34:07.8] MM: Yeah.
[0:34:08.1] KM: I’m here with my guest; Matt McLeod, from the McLeod Fine Arts Gallery on Main Street in downtown Little Rock. You’re listening to Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy. If you’re got questions for me or Matt, you can call us — Hold on. I’m fixing the radio — At 501-433-0088 or you can — Tim is not in very good — Or you can email me, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Pricing your work. Every artist I know sells too cheap. Then you could tell I’m business person. I’m like, “That’s too cheap. I know how much paint cost. I know how much time that took,” but artists never think their time is worth anything. I know that was your problem in the beginning, and you’ve finally parsed over to the other side.
[0:35:02.7] MM: Have I?
[0:35:03.2] KM: I think so, because your prices last night were right up there where they should have been.
[0:35:07.6] MM: Good. I’m glad to hear that. I still think I’m a bargain, but you know —
[0:35:11.2] KM: There you go. That’s the entrepreneurial spirit.
[0:35:14.2] MM: I have to tell you quite honesty, people in Little Rock are a shop for a bargain, and so that’s part of it is that you have to understand what your market is willing to pay. I think people do need to spend a little more on really quality art work.
Really, the reality for pricing — That’s what you’re asking, right? There has to be a pragmatic side. If I was to tell another artist, I would say, “Okay, look. Be ultimately pragmatic. Look at what your materials really cost. Look at the time that you’re going to put in on it and what’s that — If you put an hourly rate on that, what would that come up to? Then look at it as how many paintings am I selling a year, and what does that mean and what do I need to make and how do I cover my cost?” Because the thing that breaks my hearts is to see artists who are really talented who can’t make a living.
You were mentioning part-time work, and that’s part of it too. Some people go back to white tables, and I’ve done all of that. I’ve done anything, everything.
[0:36:09.1] KM: I think most artists don’t have enough business sense. You and Matt Matthews, both of you are my friends, and you both have got some business background, and you understand an income statement and a balance sheet and it’s not just, “Oh, I bought $10 worth of paint, I’m going to sell it for $20.” There’s overhead, there’s employees, there’s advertising. There’s a lot that goes into it. I think too many artists don’t realize all that goes into it.
[0:36:40.2] MM: I think that most artists work on — I can’t remember if it was left or right side of their brain.
[0:36:44.3] KM: Oh! I looked that up, because the last time you and I had this conversation, neither one of us knew, they work on the one you don’t think they’d work on. They work on the right side.
[0:36:52.2] MM: Right side of their brain, and that’s the creative side. They want to stay there. It feels good to be in that part of your brain, actually. A lot of artists wants to stay in the right side of their brain, and actually that’s good for me be because they allow me to use my left side of my brain to help sell their work and handle a lot of those business things.
[0:37:10.4] KM: I noticed at your gallery you had — Probably, your art was the least amount of art last night. There was only two, I think, paintings of yours, and there were several. There were three or four artists there who had more paintings than you. Is that right?
[0:37:24.0] MM: That’s accurate. I would address it this way. I’ve been really fortunate. This year, I’ve done a lot of commissions, and I haven’t done a lot of what I call spec work, which is just creating something and putting it on a wall, and that’s a real blessing for me.
[0:37:38.5] KM: Is it hard to come up with new ideas when you are just doing — When you’re not doing — No.
[0:37:43.0] MM: No. I love it. My idea is — I’m one of those artists that don’t sit and contemplate certain emotions and stuff like that. I’m much more interested in finding something that I see and that maybe you’ve seen and pulling it apart and putting it back together in an interesting way. I have an unlimited source of inspiration.
If I find anything, I’ll try to look at it, recreate it, reframe it — I’m working on that level of visual interest and creativity. No, I never run out of inspiration. I find stuff all the time. A lot of the times, what I do is I start my work in my camera. I’ll walk around with my camera all the time finding interesting visual compositions and I’ll start composing within the rectangle of that view finder within the camera. I’m not a great photographer, but I start thinking in terms of composition and light, and that’s run. That’s really really fun. You feel like you’re an artist when you’re walking around sort of kind of creating within your camera and thinking about ideas that you might turn into paintings.
[0:38:45.7] KM: That’s a great tip for artists. That’s a great tip for artists who are wanting to get started or create. What else? Do they have to go to school like you? What other suggestions do you think? I heard you say 10%, 90% work. Have you got any real advice for somebody who wants to do art and get started?
[0:39:07.2] MM: Do we have another couple of hours or —
[0:39:10.2] KM: Just give us a couple of big pointers. If you were starting today and you’re going to start all over again today knowing everything that you know, would you start with your camera?
[0:39:20.6] MM: It’s not that simple of an answer, because a lot of artists are very much interested in showing people and the figure. If you’re that type of artist —
[0:39:31.3] KM: What does that mean; showing people the figure?
[0:39:33.3] MM: A lot of people, like my friend Kevin [Kresse].
[0:39:37.1] KM: Yeah. Oh, yeah. I’ve got his.
[0:39:37.7] MM: Okay. He’s very interested in sculpting the figure, people.
[0:39:42.0] KM: Oh, I got you.
[0:39:42.7] MM: Forms, people.
[0:39:43.1] KM: Figure. Yeah, people Okay.
[0:39:45.8] MM: If that’s your thing, you need to go with your thing.
[0:39:49.7] KM: You got to take a lot of neck in people.
[0:39:51.2] MM: You do.
[0:39:52.6] KM: No wonder Kevin likes that. I’m wondering how his wife feels about that. I’m going to talk to her.
[0:39:58.6] MM: She’s amazingly supportive of all of that actually. She laughs about it too.
[0:40:01.8] KM: I know.
[0:40:03.1] MM: The thing is what I would say is embrace what you really love and just run with it. I just happened to be someone who’s always looking at landscapes. I like people and landscapes, things and landscapes. I’m always searching in that direction, because that’s what drives me. If I was to talk to me, the starting artist, 15, 16 years ago, I’d say, “Look, what is it that you really feel like you need to say or that you really respond to? Embrace that completely and work your butt off for it, and don’t be afraid to supplement your income in other ways, but just keep working at it.” That’s what I would say. Don’t give up.
[0:40:43.7] KM: Yeah, I worked for nine years till Flag & Banner couldn’t support me. People often say to me, “Oh! You’re creative Kerry, and I don’t have a creative bone in my body. I have no desires to paint, to saw, to draw, to sing.
[0:41:00.4] : People say that to me all the time too because of the area that I’m in. You know, I think you’re probably really creative in the way you manage your business and the way you think about how you’re going to build your business. I think that most people in the business world and highly creative about how they want to build their business and what they want to do with their lives and how they’re going to direct their business. I find that to be highly creative.
[0:41:21.8] KM: I think you’re right. It kind of hit me about six months to a year ago, and I thought, “I love business. I love building business.” You kind of described it earlier about having an idea and then kind of putting it on paper and figuring out the flow of the idea. Thinking about the end results, and then the process of getting there in a weird sort of way, that is creative.
[0:41:46.5] MM: Absolutely, and I don’t think you would have built a business to a $4 million sales point and not resonate with the people who see your business, and that’s really what it’s like in an art form, is that you’re finding something that resonates with people, and the dollars come along with that. I think that building a business is a highly creative endeavor.
[0:42:04.9] KM: Yes. Thank you for that kudos. You’re listening to Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy on KABF, and my guest today is artist; Matt McLeod from McLeod’s Fine Arts Gallery in downtown Little Rock. If you’ve got questions or comments for either of us, call 501-433-0088, or send an email to email@example.com.
Matt, your gallery is only a year-old. What happened that you didn’t think was going to happen? If there has to be something that you’re like, “I didn’t expect this.” Like when I bought the Taborian Hall, I had no idea that it was going to biggest billboard ever in the world and then it was going to make people know about my business. I didn’t know the recognition I would get from being on the 6:30 freeway.
[0:42:59.3] MM: I thought that people would just come and just drop off tons of cash at the front door every day.
[0:43:07.1] KM: Isn’t an entrepreneur an internal optimist forever? I think that has got to be in our moral fiber, that we are the eternal optimist.
[0:43:17.6] MM: The thing I learned is that you do have to be an optimist, but you have to temper that with the realities that people have to find you. They have to seek you out. You have to be consistent. You have to find something that is unique. You have to constantly market. You were saying persistence, patience, and perseverance. All of those things is something that you think you understand in a cocktail party or something, but when you start being responsible for the in and out of your cash flow, those things really hit home.
It’s expensive to run a business, and you don’t know that when you get started. When you start a small business —
[0:44:00.1] KM: You never do your business plan exactly. Did you do a business plan?
[0:44:04.4] MM: I did. If I was to recommend somebody starting any small business; whether it’s a gallery, whether it’s just becoming an artist or not, I would write a business plan and I would try to follow it as best as you could. Then, I would also temper a lot of creativity and flexibility to that because a lot of times it doesn’t go the way you originally have planned it.
[0:44:20.7] KM: How much miscellaneous? Did you add a little 10% to expenses that said, “These are the things I didn’t think of?” when you did your business plan? Did you go 10% miscellaneous expenses?
[0:44:30.8] MM: I tried too, but there’s always things that you just don’t foresee. You don’t know what signage is going to cost, and so you try to put one up. You don’t know what your advertising really is going to take until you start paying for advertising. You don’t know —
[0:44:45.9] KM: You should. You were in that business.
[0:44:47.4] MM: I know it.
[0:44:48.8] KM: If anybody should know, you should know.
[0:44:50.4] MM: Right. Back then I just pulled our eight card and ran through it and worked through it and crunched the numbers on that stuff.
[0:44:56.4] KM: That was a long time ago.
[0:44:57.6] MM: Yes, it was. There are certain expenses that you just don’t know you’re going to have until you’re in that position.
[0:45:05.7] KM: I’ve known you forever, it feels like, and I had no idea. I feel like a terrible friend. I have no idea that you’ve done so much. I think I said at the beginning —
[0:45:15.1] MM: I didn’t know you’ve done so much either, Kerry, so I guess we’re both terrible friends.
[0:45:18.9] KM: I know, right? I think at the beginning of the show, I talked about that. I’m going to give one last shot out of our phone number and then we’re going to wind it up and I want to talk about some of your awards.
Again, you’re listening to Up In Your Business with Kerry McCoy, and my guest; Matt McLeod from McLeod’s Fine Arts Gallery on Main Street in downtown Little Rock. This is KABF 88.3. If you’re got questions or comments that you’d like to ask Matt or me, call us at 501-433-0088 or you could email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yeah, you’ve won some awards, dude. I think you got two — Your resume. Oh, before I list them, we’ve got a caller. You’re on the air, caller.
[0:46:09.6] : Yeah, I was just calling Matt McLeod. I think he’s a wonderful artist. Did you used to live out on Burling Gate?
[0:46:18.3] MM: No.
[0:46:19.2] KM: Who Kerry or Matt?
[0:46:20.8] : Kerry.
[0:46:21.1] KM: Me? Burling Gate?
[0:46:22.0] : Yes.
[0:46:23.8] KM: You know, I think — Oh! No. No, but I did have some property out there a long long time ago that was under my name.
[0:46:31.0] : We did a remodel — That’s how I got no match work because the home owner had a picture that she just got and they were hanging it on the wall there and I saw it.
[0:46:43.0] KM: Isn’t that nice?
[0:46:43.6] : It [inaudible 0:46:45.1] his color scheme and it was just a real pretty picture. I found out who it was. I’ve been a big fan of his ever since.
[0:46:53.7] MM: Oh, wow! Thanks a lot.
[0:46:54.5] KM: You need to come down to his gallery.
[0:46:57.0] : Yeah, I know. I don’t get out much. It’s just beautiful. I think he does what an artist spoke to, because he sure talks to me. I can get in his world by looking at it and I could look at it for a while.
[0:47:10.9] MM: Cool. All right. That’s a payoff.
[0:47:12.3] : I just wanted to say something, because it would really be a shame if you didn’t take a leap of faith. I’m glad you did.
[0:47:20.8] MM: Yeah, thank you.
[0:47:21.7] KM: Oh, that’s a great call.
[0:47:22.2]: I just wanted to say. That’s all I want.
[0:47:23.8] KM: All right. Thanks for calling. That was a great call. Thank you. A little vote of confidence that we were talking, how you have to put yourself out there and you never know.
[0:47:31.9] MM: You really do. Then you’d find people who, really, it resonates with them. That’s everything.
[0:47:35.1] KM: Boy! Isn’t that a [inaudible 0:47:35.6] feedback. That was worth coming today, just with that phone call.
[0:47:38.6] MM: Absolutely.
[0:47:40.2] KM: I bet the painting he saw was full of orange and purple.
[0:47:42.4] MM: I’m sure. I use that a lot. Yeah, it’s sort of a triad, but it’s orange, purple and green.
[0:47:47.2] KM: I know. I love that. I really do love that. Let’s talk about some of your recognitions. You were best in show — I’ll probably say this wrong. How did you spell that? ACANSA Art Festival? Is that how say that?
[0:48:00.3] MM: ACANSA, right.
[0:48:01.0] KM: ACANSA Art Festival. You were best in show. You’re the featured artist at the foundation. You were the featured artist at Music Fest in El Dorado. You were the featured artist at Riverfest. You were on the calendar of the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. You were in the Delta Exhibit twice, Governor’s Mansion calendar twice, and you were there one time painting at the Governor’s Mansion when I was there for Our House.
[0:48:31.1] MM: That’s right.
[0:48:32.6] KM: I was bidding on it, and my husband, Grady, was like, “So glad when I lost that —” Because it was going through the roof. I hope to have Georgia from our house on a few weeks to talk about running —
[0:48:47.1] MM: She’s great.
[0:48:47.7] KM: Ain’t she great? We’re about to finish it up here. We’ve got a few more minutes. Anything you want to tell starving artists out there?
[0:48:56.8] MM: Thanks for mentioning my accomplishments, and that’s just part of it. I think those come from just hanging in there, perseverance and working at it, persistence. That’s the thing I would say, as it isn’t going to happen overnight.
[0:49:08.7] KM: Your dad still involved with you? He still come?
[0:49:10.4] MM: Yes. He really is. Very supportive.
[0:49:12.0] KM: I looked for him last night. He is.
[0:49:14.0] MM: He couldn’t make it last night, but they’re tremendously supportive, and you need to appreciate your support group. I will say that we’re on 108 West 6th Street, which is just west of Main and 6th.
[0:49:26.3] KM: Oh, it’s not really the corner.
[0:49:28.0] MM: It’s not exactly Main. It’s just down the street at 108.
[0:49:31.4] KM: Barely down the street. I felt like I was going in the corner.
[0:49:33.6] MM: Great spot.
[0:49:35.3] KM: Yeah. It’s really not Main Street. When I say it’s on Main Street, it’s really on 6th Street.
[0:49:39.0] MM: That’s the best way to find it, 6th and Main, but it’s actually on 6th. Yeah, 108 West 6th.
[0:49:42.5] KM: The address is 6th Street. Then they can go to — What’s your web address?
[0:49:46.9] MM: My web address is www.mattmcleod.com. That’s M-C-L-E-O-D.com.
[0:49:55.1] KM: Yeah, I didn’t know that’s how you spelled your name either.
[0:49:57.0] MM: Right, yeah.
[0:49:57.7] KM: It sounds like C-L-O-U-D, cloud, but it’s McLeod.
[0:50:01.4] MM: We’re eventually going to change that to mattmcleodgallery.com, but right now it’s mattmcleod.com.
[0:50:06.1] KM: What are your hours, or do you keep hours?
[0:50:08.3] MM: We keep hours from 10 to 6 Tuesday through Friday, and Saturday 10 to 4.
[0:50:14.8] KM: Like a real store.
[0:50:16.1] MM: It’s a real store.
[0:50:17.5] KM: Wow! I know that’s shocking your system.
[0:50:20.7] MM: It is shocked the system, but I still get to paint and have fun.
[0:50:24.5] KM: Do you paint down there?
[0:50:25.1] MM: I do. I like to sit up in the window and people walk by and check it out and come in and engage and conversation and it’s just really — I try to invite people in as much as I can. That’s the beauty of being downtown. It’s just vital and stuff going on all the time. It’s really cool.
[0:50:42.2] KM: Last night, there was somebody shooting still photography in alley at 7 o’clock at night with special lighting. Everybody was going into the rep. You had your show. There was a man pan handling, of course. I knew him. I recognized him.
Samantha’s was packed down the street.
[0:51:02.8] MM: Yeah, it was packed. We went down there after.
[0:51:04.9] KM: It was packed. I was like, “This is really got a great feel.”
[0:51:11.4] MM: It’s great vibe to it, doesn’t it? Yeah, it’s really a lot of fun. Little Rock is kind of coming back in the downtown area, and it’s just becoming a lot of fun to be down there. I’m glad to see more and more people coming down there. It’s fun and exciting.
The thing is that I was attracted to, is anytime you have arts culture in there, it’s going to be fun, funky, weird, and just really a fun place to be. That’s what’s happening. I’m glad to be a part of it.
[0:51:35.7] KM: Okay. I need to thank our guest today, because starting a business is like birthing a baby. Here’s your cigar.
[0:51:46.4] MM: Thank you. I’m a proud parent.
[0:51:48.4] KM: You’re a proud parent. That came from Colonial Fine Wines and I guess Humador. They got a big Humador in the back. Yeah, you’ll enjoy that. I smoked one the other day.
[0:51:58.5] MM: Really? I’d like to see that.
[0:52:00.1] KM: Aha! Me and Monica. No, I’m just kidding.
[0:52:04.5] MM: Thank you y’all. I enjoyed this.
[0:52:06.3] KM: Thank you, Matt McLeod, from McLeod’s Fine Arts Gallery. I’m so proud of you.
[0:52:10.6] MM: Thank you, Kerry, and I appreciate you having me on the show, and it’s been a lot of fun.
[0:52:14.7] KM: No problem. Thanks for coming to my third show.
[0:52:18.5] MM: Oh! What a pleasure, and please come see me at the gallery and everybody out there.
[0:52:21.2] KM: You have to come back and help us — Maybe next year you have to come back and repeat this because I think you have a lot of great information for people.
[0:52:27.5] MM: Sure, I’d love it.
[0:52:28.3] KM: My guest next week is Al Haj from Arkansas Capital and Laura Fine from the Small Business Development Center at UALR. We’re going to talk really specifics about business plans and balance sheets. Some people don’t know the difference between those two. Not Matt, because he went to school for business, but a lot of people don’t know those two and don’t know how important it is to write out a business plan. Even if you’re not asking for money, it helps you to go to the process of seeing if your idea is good enough to work. Every time you start off, you’re kind of shocked, I think. You’re like, “Oh! I thought that was such a better idea.” Then when you did the expenses, you’re kind of like, “Oh, well.”
After that, I’ve got a sitting guest, RJ Martino from iProv will be sitting in and he’s got a surprise guest, so that will be a surprise. Then after that I believe is French Hill, our congressman. He owns small businesses. He’s going to talk about owning a small business, and we might ask him some political questions too.
To our listeners, I hope you’ve learned something today that will help you up your business. I’m Kerry McCoy, and I’ll see you next week on KABF Radio every Friday at 2:00 in the afternoon. Until then, be brave and keep it up.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:53:42.3] TB: You’ve been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. Want to hear today’s program again or want someone else to benefit from it? Jot this down. Within 48 hours the podcast will be available at flagandbanner.com. Click the tab labeled “Radio Show”, there you’ll find today’s segments with links to resources you heard discussed on this program. Kerry’s goal: to help you live the American Dream.