Entrepreneurship Podcast post

Creating Value with David Drebin

George Grombacher August 23, 2023

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Creating Value with David Drebin

LifeBlood: We talked about creating value as an artist, what that means, the necessity of taking a business-like approach to relationship building with galleries, putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, and embracing the grind, with David Drebin, Internationally Renowned New York City-based photographer and artist.      

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You can learn more about David at DavidDrebin.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

David Drebin

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:02
David David is an internationally renowned New York City based photographer and multidisciplinary artists represented by the finest galleries worldwide. Welcome, David.

David Drebin 0:14
Thank you for having me on the show excited to have you on to also learn about your personal lives more about your work, and why you do what you do

you want an answer that question, all three of them? Yes.

What’s the first question?

george grombacher 0:33
Tell us a little bit more, tell me a little bit of my personal lives more about your work and why it is you’re doing what you’re doing.

David Drebin 0:42
For me, my work and my personal life are kind of blended into each other. It’s not really a work life balance. Because if you love what you do, it’s not work. And it’s only work if it’s actual work. So it’s a lifestyle that I’ve created, kind of as a projection from the world that I see, to create the world that I wish it would be visually, which is what a lot of artists do. They reject the world that’s given to them, and they create their own world, whether it’s through music, art, photography, just creating their own world as a way of being creative and to survive emotionally.

So your question,

george grombacher 1:43
it does have have, have you? Have you always thought that way? Or is this is that perspective was it earn through maturity or experience?

David Drebin 1:54
In my early 20s, I was searching to find something to do with my time, I was very passionate, but I didn’t know what to be passionate about. And I tried many different careers. For a very short period of time, I was a failed actor, I was a failed chef, I was a failed singer. I tried all these things that I thought would be great until I found photography nearly in my early 20s, not the early 20s. But my early 20s. And the moment I found photography was it was like magic to me. And that was the beginning of creating something using my imagination. And I’ve since recreated myself making many different types of art forms. It’s just a way of expressing myself to the world, showing my mind to the world in a visual way. It’s an accidental business. This was a passion that turned into an accidental business that I had to catch up with, once there was demand for the photographs that I was making.

I think it’s fascinating. Go ahead, please. No, this was all unplanned. It’d be I think, do you think it’d be weird if it were planned? Would it be as good if it were planned?

Well, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. Because nothing ever turns out the way you think it’s gonna turn out ever. It just ever, you just have to pivot and be able to adapt to all situations that are put in front of you. And I’m just lucky enough to have found something that I’m really crazy about that I really love doing on in all aspects of it and loving the grind every single day.

george grombacher 3:35
What is the grind of being internationally renowned photographer, and multidisciplinary artist?

David Drebin 3:42
Well, the grind is to never believe the hype about yourself ever, actually. And to keep working really hard and there is no there and no success nor failures ever final. I rarely ever pat myself on the back. So I hear people say these things about me, but it’s just the alter ego that I created. That’s David Drebin, but I’m still David. And I think it’s important to create that alter ego. Like in my personal life. I actually rarely ever wear hats. But on my social media, I often wear a hat because it’s it’s almost as though Oh, there’s the artists like there’s the monkey at the zoo. There’s a police officer. There’s the chef but I rarely ever wear hats. And when I see people they say where’s the hat and my response is I never wear hats. It’s just an alter ego that I created. I never had

george grombacher 4:37
so I am I’m I’m very interested in sustainable success. I am a fan of of art and athletics essentially, I guess. I love seeing human beings, you know, sort of perform at at the highest level in whatever their arena or medium is. And so I respect And appreciate Bruce Springsteen for being able to do what he’s been doing for as long as he’s been doing it and did have Tiger Woods for being as good as golf for as long as he’s been and so on and so forth. And you are talking about embracing the grind and, and not reading your your belief in your press clippings. How do you how, how else does does does the grind sort of manifest? How do you how do you keep and maintain sustainable success?

David Drebin 5:31
That’s a great question. I never wanted to be the trendy restaurant, I always wanted to be the classic restaurant I, whenever I travel, I always ask the concierge in the hotels on the thing, what are the classic restaurants in the town, I don’t want to go to the hot new place. Because I always want it to be classic and not trendy. And a lot of artists don’t have a sustainable long term career because they’re sorry, there’s one there sorry, because they’re too busy trying to be cool. And they get into it for the wrong reasons. So for me, it was all about being classic. And the work that I made 20 years ago, still relevant and in demand today. I was never the hot artists. I was always extremely consistent all over the world.

george grombacher 6:23
And does that come naturally to you? Consistency.

David Drebin 6:27
And it really, it really does come naturally to me. I never stop. I never stopped building and maintaining relationships. That’s the key watering plants, building relationships, maintaining relationships, and trying to find the right people to surround yourself with. That is the number one biggest focus for me because I already have the work. It’s about finding other people to share the pie with.

And that could be that could be anybody. I also

No, no, no, this is what I really think. Okay. And I probably shouldn’t say this on a podcast, but I’m gonna say it anyway, I built up a very, very huge inventory system of works that are in demand all over the world. And what I have learned is that people are loyal to money, and are never really loyal to me. So I have this huge pool of inventory that people want. And they contact me generally when they want a piece of the pie. I never think they’re contacting me because they like me. They’re contacting me because they want money, and they want a piece of the pie. But I never did this for money. But the others I work with generally do this for money. But I don’t do this for money. So I feel like they’re loyal to the money. So no problem. I’m going to create a pie with a lot of money, and I’m gonna share my pie with you because you’re loyal to money. And that’s okay. That’s life. That’s your Bible. Okay.

george grombacher 7:55
So you talk about your your inventory. This is works by David Drebin art you’ve created.

David Drebin 8:04
Yes, I make I make neon affiliations, photographs, Diamond Dust prints, I make lenticulars. And I make them all in a very small limited edition. And I have distribution with the finest galleries all over the world. So my decisions are very small. We know how to create a demand for the word works. And galleries love to sell the work because they love the money. I think sometimes galleries don’t really care what the work is, as long as they’re making money. That’s what I really believe. And that’s okay. Because it is a business for them. Galleries are the middlemen between artists and collectors and I don’t sell my work directly to collectors. So galleries are necessary. But find galleries all over the world and I share my pie with the galleries who are loyal to money more than they’re loyal to me. And that’s okay.

george grombacher 8:59
When did you figure that out? Or sad because figure that out. And now

David Drebin 9:05
economy kind of makes me sad. Sorry to interrupt, but it kind of makes me sad to figure it out. But that’s that’s life. And I’m a very happy, sad, happy, sad, sad, happy, happy, sad person. I’m always happy and I’m always kind of sad, because that’s the reality but I’m happy because I know the reality. But it makes me sad but also makes me happy because I understand the way people think and people are thinking about their own survival. They’re not thinking about David Drebin. Now I’m doing the thinking, how can I make money with it off David Drebin? I really believe that and if if any artist thinks otherwise, then they’re not realistic with running a business. That’s what business is providing value for other people, which is what I do. I know how to make artworks that people really want. And I’ve done it for a very long time.

Isn’t Thinking I realize I ask you a pretty stupid question. They’re like, why would you be sad about that? Now, it’d be like, if I were talking to somebody who the majority of their customers come through Facebook ads? Well, Facebook doesn’t give a shit about, you know, whatever is you’re selling, they’re interested in making money. So it’s a, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. So why would your relationship with galleries be any different now if you were making art, just to make money, because of what you know that people are going to buy, and you didn’t really give a shit about them? You just wanted the money, then that would be different.

I don’t do this for money. Right? I’ve never done this for money. I do this because I have a need to create. And the money is a byproduct of winning.

So it’s never been about the money for me, ever. And I feel bad for people who just work for money.

Because it’s so soulless just to work for money. But if you work for to win, then money is a byproduct of winning. I think Diana Ross plays for her music or got into this for money. No, she got into it, because it was part of her soul. Wash it, wash it, wash it. Sorry, almost died in the car there. Sorry. And you edit these podcasts? You edit these podcasts? By the way? Are they just straightforward the way they are?

I can absolutely edit that out.

But maybe it works. Actually, sir. Senator Roth, for example, figures, you know, musicians get into playing music because they love music. And money is a byproduct of having a passion to do something and to win. And that’s always been my thinking with creativity is to create because I love to create and show my work to the world. And then I’m represented by galleries, who saw my work to their collectors all over the world. I’m in a third party validation business. I’m not in the first party validation business. Artists who sell their work directly can only get to a certain level, I think it’s important to have representation. Because someone else saying that you’re great, is a lot more believable than us saying that you’re great. I’d rather date someone said, David Drummond is great as, as opposed to me saying, I’m Dave driving, I’m great. Because I don’t really feel that way about myself. Actually, that’s a great point. I wish I did. I wish I did. So I wish I thought I was I want to talk about that way. But there’s this. It’s like, I feel like I’m a messenger from the universe. And it’s never enough. And I wish the universe would just give me a break from my thoughts. And let me take a couple days off. But no, I work for the universe. I don’t even work for myself. And it makes me crazy. Sometimes I just can’t even go take a day and go to the beach. I’m just so driven in the time that I have in this world, to create and show my creations to people who will appreciate them all over the world.

george grombacher 13:00
So how does that how I’d love to learn about but your your process or if it’s a daily routine, different habits you have for action for kind of what what what all that looks like

David Drebin 13:16
my daily routine sort of changes daily. And creativity comes at you in waves, and you never know when it’s going to hit you. So I spend my days focusing actually on my health, and making sure that I’m an optimal, healthy state, so that my mind can function at a very high level because my body has been moving and gets the juices flowing. And then when creativity hits me, then I decide to create something. And I have a whole team of people who I work with, who helped me realize my creations. My primary focus is actually optimal health. That’s my primary focus every single day because healthy body healthy mind, and then creativity comes at you when you least expect it. It’s not like I could wake up in the morning, go, I’m going to feel creative today. It kicks you out of nowhere, because it’s not you that being creative. You’re just a messenger from the universe. And creativity is coming through you once you can locate it but it’s not you love it.

So this team that helps you to realize your creation, creativity. Can you give me an example of like it’s an idea and then you start sketching something out or it’s an editor. What how does that actually look? Well?

We’ll put it this way. I have a beautiful apartment in New York City that I struggled many many many years for and it’s a joy reminds you of New York. And it overlooks the Empire State Building and the Chrysler tower. And I’ve had this place for over a year, and I’d never made photographs in the apartment because it wasn’t the right situation, I was getting extremely frustrated. I’ve had this place for a year, and I never made any photographs. And then a spouse that I work with contacted me and said, I have the perfect model. I’ve got the perfect makeup artist, can you make photographs with all these clothes that I got from the top designers all over the world? And can you make this happen? In two weeks, and at that moment, I said to myself, of course I can. And I made it happen. And I waited until it came to me and it took a long time. So I think it’s really important to be extremely patient, but aware of grabbing hold of opportunities when they’re presented to you. And that’s kind of how I deal with all aspects of creativity. If a thought comes in my mind, then I decide to pursue it with action. I don’t force creativity, I don’t force relationship. I just accept what’s given to me. By being open and studying other people’s behavior, and always looking for mutually beneficial partnerships all over the world.

That makes a ton of sense. I respect and appreciate, stayin healthy, and making your body as strong as possible and your mind and and I imagine emotionally as well. And then being available for when creativity when the universe taps you on the shoulder or hits you in the face with an idea or whatever it might be that you are, you are, you are ready, when it strikes to to say yes, and then move forward. That’s right.

When you say about being open and being and being aware of what is coming through you

do you ever get Do you ever have stuff? You’re like, no, that’s crap.

I never think that’s crap. I think is this worth it to pursue? Okay.

Nice. When you talk about studying other people’s behaviors, what do you mean by that?

Well, we’re all human beings. And you can’t do all of this or what you want to do in life by yourself, you need to interact with other people. So I like to form relationships and partnerships all over the world. And oftentimes, people don’t see the way you see yourself. So you try to find people who see you the way you see yourself and see them the way they see themselves. And that’s what makes the most beautiful relationship is when both parties see each other in a very similar way that they see themselves. And that’s a recipe for growth in all relationships, whether it’s personal or business.

Do you? Does that often happen? Immediately? Do people grow into it? Get to know somebody and it in does it happen organically? Do you do try to? I don’t know if you know what I’m asking.

I understand what you’re asking. Basically, we’re always selling ourselves all day, every single day. So it all starts with your own self competence. But almost every interaction you have, in a way is selling yourself, selling your thoughts, selling your ideas, selling communication, selling your value to other people. At the end of the day. It’s all about creating value for others in all aspects of your life and to think about other people first, and to think what can I do for you? Where so many people are always thinking, what can you do for me, but I’m always thinking, What can I do for you? Before I’m thinking what can you do for me? And that’s one of the reasons why I feel like I’m successful because I share the pie. And I think, what can I do for you? How much money can I make for you? What can I give to you? What can I do for you? How much money can I give to you? What can I do for you? How much money can I give to you? How can I be of value to you? How much money can I give to you? That’s my thought process. And that’s what I really believe is what drives the world providing value for other people.

I can see where people would like that. And I imagine

imagine calling people could you imagine calling me bought for Real Estate? hi, I’m sorry to bother you, but can I just give you some money right now? Please, please, I’m sort of audio. guys give me some money right now. I think that that’s what drives people. That’s not what drives me, but it drives other people are often driven by. So I keep that, in my mind when I’m interacting with people. I’m not thinking about what they’re thinking of me. I’m thinking, what do they think of themselves? And what are their intentions and what’s important to them? And I think that’s an elevated way of thinking is when you’re thinking about other people before you think about yourself. No, I definitely agree with that.

And the proof is in the pudding, that you’ve developed all these wonderful relationships with galleries all over the world. And they are, I imagine falling all over themselves to be featuring your work because it’s putting money in their pocket.

Not really, actually. Because at the end of the day, most artists in the gallery are one of many artists in the gallery. So my marketing of my work is very important. A lot of galleries aren’t so great at marketing, their artists work, but they’re very good at marketing themselves. So if I just made the work and I relied on the gallery to sell the work, I’d be out of business. So I make the work and I market the work. I just don’t sell my work directly.

I love it. Where did you grow up?

David? I haven’t grown up yet. I never want to lose the kid inside, actually.

Thank you. Thank you for that. That’s awesome. Thank you for the question. Thank you so much. Well, David, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? How can they engage? Where can they find your work?

Well, my Instagram is at David Drebin. My new threads account is at David Drebin where I post my ideas and so my work behind the ideas what inspires the work and my website David drebin.com. Dre bi n.com That’s it.

Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did, so David, your appreciation and share today share with a friend who also appreciates good ideas go to David drebin.com D A V i d d r e p i n.com. Find David on Instagram and threads at David Drebin certainly link all of those in the notes of the show. Thanks again, David. Thank you so much. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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