The Art Biz ep. 158: Following Her Curiosity and Making New Connections After 60 with Jan McCarthy

Jan McCarthy describes herself as a maker because, in her eyes, that term encompasses more than the word “artist.”

Jan has made businesses, organizations, interiors, fundraisers, dinner parties, retreats, workshops, products, and plenty of art.

At age 69, she isn't slowing down.

Jan McCarthy mixed media
©Jan McCarthy, Freedom. Mixed Media on canvas, 6 foot x 4'5 inches x 1.5 inches.

While I’m in the midst of discussing multiple income sources on The Art Biz podcast and on the Art Biz Success YouTube channel, I don’t think Jan considers her interests in terms of income sources. She just follows her curiosity and her heart. If those leads turn into income sources, well, that’s fine.

In this conversation, Jan and I discuss:

  • The creativity workshops she has organized for corporations.
  • How she has brought together monthly mastermind meetings of women, and why a casual dinner party was the best format for them.
  • Why her project Art for the Heart is important for her as someone who has lived with heart disease for more than 25 years.
  • How she makes connections with interior designers, what the best social media platforms are for designers, and some of their concerns.
  • How she gets such great photos of herself.

Jan confesses to not using her email list of 2000 names to its fullest advantage. (She advises to do as she says, not as she does.) She knows that emailing her list is the most valuable thing she could do from a marketing standpoint.

Jan's vibrant optimism is infectious. She wants you to know that there is plenty of life to live after 50. And even 60.


Jan McCarthy art on dress
Jan wearing a dress featuring her art in the Venia Collection.


Jan with her A Month On The Run journal

Jan McCarthy Quotes

“You say, I'm an artist, and it automatically puts you in this box of an artist as someone who paints or draws. And I think art is so much more than that.”

“If it doesn't work, you do something else.”

“What I’m doing doesn’t need to be loved by all. If it touches one person … then that makes me feel really good.”

“It's such a healthier attitude to not care. To just go about doing what you're doing.”

“If I can just save one life by doing that project, then that's really cool.”


About My Guest

Jan McCarthy describes herself as follows.

I am a maker. I make art to autograph moments, the fleeting emotions and undefinable feelings that can only be expressed in imperfect swipes, lines, or ripped pieces of paper. I use my art as a way to connect and share these flashpoints of time that slip away. Every mark I make is a unique gesture. I find this process essential as a personal statement, a reclaiming of my point of view, of being a woman, of aging. It is my belief that we must forge our own path, creating opportunities that align with our purpose and curiosities.

Follow her on Instagram @JanMcCarthy

Jan MCarthy

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2 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 158: Following Her Curiosity and Making New Connections After 60 with Jan McCarthy”

  1. I loved listening to Jan. I’m 61 (I think!) and have more ideas than ever. Even better, I have the time to execute them. Before kids, I didn’t realize how precious time was, not I covet every minute. Thank you Jan for sharing your passion with us, and thank you to Alyson, for giving us older gals a voice.

  2. Another Jan artist here. At age 70, I really appreciate Alyson giving a voice to the older artists. Thank you! I have lived in Costa Rica for the past 25 years and my biggest challenge has been selling my work here. Costa Rican artists are favored (understandably) and shipping work to the US is costly.

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