My Library and Courses
Last Update: Tuesday June 15, 2021

Key Idea: Sell Beauty

Ken Done proves that people will pay plenty for products that make them feel good. More...

Key Question:


If Ken were driven by the leading-bleeding edge within art, he would have an entirely different kind of business.

His trademark "look-and-feel" literally  taps into a large collective consciousness. His work is bleasant to the yere and evokes warm metaphors.  It may remind one of where we live or where we have been on vacation. It is pleasing to many because it moves our minds to pleasant memories or pleasant dreams.

If beauty sells, then how can you make your products and services more beautiful?  ...more perfect?  ...more efficient?  ...more engaging? the grade-school kids might say, "More better."

Questions for this clip: 1 | 2

Think about it

Where can you add beauty, order and cleanliness?

Clip from: Ken Done Gallery, Sydney - Leverage Art

   "I see business... as the most creative act of all." - Ken Done

Sydney: Meet Ken Done.  He has become one of Australia's most  beloved and respected artists with his own world-class following. We all struggle to master our talents and apply these talents in a meaningful way. That's life. And, that is how the best among us also define our work.

Meet a man who spent eighteen years mastering his craft and learning business skills. Then, he broke away to go down his own path.  Almost unwittingly he started a business through which he learned how to leverage his art in creative ways.

This business is a family businesses.

You meet Ken Done, his wife, Judy, and their daughter and son. Ken was never a starving artist yet he certainly paid his dues. With over 150 others working within this family enterprise, they make art affordable, often wearable and  even whimsical.

Today you meet an artist who like so many others follows his own heart. Often there is a price to pay  among the art community's elite.  In the earlier days they were not gentle on this man and his work. But Ken Done stood firm within his vision, he persevered, and today even his critics are giving him his due.

Go to all the Key Ideas and their videos...
Go to the homepage for this episode...

The Ken Done Galleries

Ken Done, CEO, Artist-in-Residence

1 Hickson Road
The Rocks

02 9274 2740

Visit our web site:

Office: 02 9274 2740

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1991

Sell Beauty

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Ken Done spent 16 years in the advertising industry in London, New York and Sydney.

KEN: And now, see, if we take this bit of green out...

HATTIE: (Voiceover) This prepared him uniquely to be an artist who would not starve or deprive his family. Just like all prosperous entrepreneurs, Ken Done had a gut feeling that he could make an idea work financially.

KEN: Save that one. That's good, very good.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) In his case, the idea was that he would make paintings and people would buy them. He would not starve. Prescient about what is nurturing to all of us, Ken Done's work is beautiful. His subjects are typically nature, and he captures its amazing and never-ending wonder.

KEN: When I was a boy growing up on the coast of Australia, my parents -- and my mother -- had a subscription to The Saturday Evening Post, right? So my first imagery of kind of bright, colorful things -- because you have to remember in the '40s in Australia, magazines weren't in color. I mean, they were still in sepia, in black and white. This is going back a long time -- I can still smell what it was like to unwrap a Saturday Evening Post coming from America, smell the ink. And just to be confronted with those kind of glossy images and those, say, classic Norman Rockwell covers was very influential in my life.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Like Norman Rockwell, Mr. Done is a masterful illustrator. In these drawings, you see how he prepares himself to paint nature. This colored-pencil drawing on paper of a basket containing shells demonstrates his attention to detail, as does his single shell. It is the artist's disciplining of his own talent to draw this fish just as he caught it which informs his abstract, a fish in this 1993 painting of the Great Barrier Reef titled "October Reef."

KEN: Somewhere between the brain and the hand is the act of painting.

KEN: (Voiceover) There's all kinds of joys in painting. I mean, there's the quality of the paint itself, there's the mixing of it, there's the physical act of doing it. And always, in a sense, it's about discovery. It's about a particular journey. Even though you might have an idea when you start off, the painting itself will dictate where you're going.

KEN: (Voiceover) And then at some point in time, you've got to say, `Well, that's the feeling of it. That's the feeling of being under water,' or `That's the feeling of the coral.' Or it has to be something about just that kind of first flick of understanding or of joy when you're under the water. And then over time, you find more and more little beautiful things going on, little fishes swimming around, little beautiful coral, little tiny beautiful creatures.

Not a member yet? Learn!  Be empowered! Join us!