S2E1. How To Find Out What’s Holding You Back From Financial & Creative Success w/ Pennylane Shen



As creatives, we can often get caught up in turning our work into a business and lose the direction that we started out with. Pennylane Shen is an artist consultant, curator, and educator who assists over 500 artists a year to help them find their audience, simplify their vision and grow their business. Today Pennylane is here to help guide you towards asking the right questions so you can figure out what is working for your creative business, and what is not.

Interview Host: Sachin Khona // May 2019
Listening time: 55 mins

A self-described mix between a financial planner, football coach and therapist, Pennylane is all about setting the record straight and helping artists become as financially and creatively successful as possible. We dive into what it is like to curate a large scale outdoor mural festival, acknowledge the common problems she sees in most artists development process, and explore ways to hone into your craft and be unique regardless of the competition.

With an open mind, acceptance of change and a willingness to know that your creativity is a process, Pennylane provides tips on how to narrow into what you do best, play to your strengths, set yourself apart and get your art in front of your ideal clientele. Learn why you absolutely need to have an artists statement, how to increase your ‘bankable time’, and much more. Pennylane has an abundance of knowledge and shares what she knows with us today to help you build new ideas and approach your art uniquely.

How does Pennylane’s perspective on communicating an artists vision, maintaining creativity and accepting the good and bad days fit into your creative process? Share with us in the comments section.


  • Finding a balance between making art for the sake of art and paying the bills
  • Common mistakes artist make and good habits that you should start forming
  • Finding a balance between your organic creative spirit and monetizing your work
  • Tips to help you better access your creativity and inspiration on a daily basis
  • Exercises to narrow into your creative strengths without getting repetitive


“Having anywhere from a week to seventeen days to be able to create an extremely intricate piece [of art] on a gigantic wall, its really really about time management.” (6:23)

“Art is in fact, at the end of the day, incredibly subjective .. and we know that. And one thing can be approached in so many different ways .. and there hasn’t been a shortcut to figuring that out.” (14:14)

“I find that many times artists are swayed in a direction because it is trendy to be x, y or z when really they should be playing to their strengths.” (17:13)

“Artists are weird, right? They’re oddballs, they are misfits and that’s what makes them awesome.” (32:11)

“Repetition is fantastic up until a certain point, until you are drowning in it. You don’t want it to get to that level, so find another way to support your financial costs because you need to create new work!” (48:29)


Dazed & Confucius Website

Vancouver Mural Festival

Thrive Women’s Artist Community

Pennylane Shen at PechaKucha Night Vol. 43

How It Sounds Seminar Information

Follow Pennylane on Instagram

A Big Important Art Book (Now With Women) by Daniella Krysa


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