The Art Biz ep. 49: A Year of Cleaning with Daryl Johnson

A lot of people are using their self-isolating time to clean out. Not artist Daryl Johnson. She has nothing left to clean. (I can't imagine!)

Cloud Painting by Daryl D. Johnson
©2020 Daryl D. Johnson, Clouds Wrapping. Oil on canvas, 24 x 48 inches. Used with permission.

Daryl is a member of my Art Career Success System and messaged me in March when we had a spring cleaning theme in our community. She said she had spent the last year cleaning out her life in preparation for a big move.

Most people who know they're going to move delay the hard part of getting rid of things until packing time. Again, not Daryl. She made a year-long plan to alleviate much of the stress by recycling, donating, gifting, and selling many of her possessions—a little at a time.

Daryl's notes and schedule for cleaning out possessions.

In this episode of the Art Biz Podcast, Daryl talks about a life-changing event that led to a very different relationship with things. When you listen, you'll discover why the plan took an entire year to implement (it's brilliant).

You'll also find out how Daryl made a big wad of cash by selling things through carefully selected channels.

Listen Now

Music by Wildermiss.


  • Daryl's background and how she gave up graphic design to paint full time. (1:30)
  • The incident in Daryl's life that incited her and her husband to radically
    Studio of artist Daryl D. Johnson
    Daryl's clean studio in preparation for her move.

    change their relationship to things. (4:00)

  • How she worked with a gallerist to consign certain artworks in her collection. (7:00)
  • The week-by-week process she used to consolidate her belongings. (7:45)
  • How Daryl got her husband on board with her discarding process before their big move and the monthly calendar she created for project. (10:00)
  • The different outlets for sales and donations Daryl used. (17:20)
  • Why she went paperless and will never go back. (22:00)
  • When Daryl turned her attention towards her studio. (23:40)
  • The money Daryl made from selling her unwanted items. (28:00)
  • Daryl's advice for other artists who want to do the same thing. (30:00)
  • Her pre-moving studio sale and how COVID-19 affected her plans. (31:20)
Daryl Johnson Postcards | Art Biz Success
The postcards for Daryl's pre-moving sale that ended up being very successful, even though everyone was sheltering at home.


5 Simple Steps to an Organized Studio with Fiona Valentine

About My Guest

Daryl D. Johnson gathers inspiration for her paintings of clouds from kayaking, gardening, and motorcycling. The views are familiar, but the subtext is the underlying chi, the sweeping momentum.

Artist Daryl D. Johnson with her work.

She was the first girl to take mechanical drawing in her high school, having to plead with the guidance counselor for permission to enroll. She likes to tell the story of her first day in class when Mr. Ruthizer took out a drawing implement and said, “This is a pencil. I am going to show you how to sharpen it.” She knew immediately she was in the right class.

Daryl's year of cleaning was prompted by a decision to move from her longtime New Hampshire home to New Orleans.

Follow her on Instagram: @daryldjohnsonartist

Music by Wildermiss.

Recommended: Magnetic You

This episode is sponsored my signature business-building program, the Art Career Success System, of which Daryl Johnson is a member.

All of the lessons you learn in the Art Career Success System are tasks you will do over and over again throughout your art business and career. That’s why it’s a SYSTEM.

In the ACSS you will build a strong foundation using my video and audio lessons, worksheets, and transcripts. And you will be part of a community full of support from other ambitious artists, my team, and me.

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19 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 49: A Year of Cleaning with Daryl Johnson”

  1. Thanks again, Alyson, for a splendid job interviewing Daryl Johnson, and asking all the questions some of us would be hesitant to ask, but you’re also giving me the opportunity to share something I just found about yesterday. Let me explain, if you will.I’m a member of Matt Tommey’s “Thriving Christian Artist’s Group.” Matt interviewed Anthony, Founder & President of Listening to the interview with Daryl sparked me to introduce this thought to you in case your audience might want an active part in helping this cause, plus, there’s a lot of artists who are also wanting a way to part with old but good art pieces and works that would be an incredible gift for this organization to use to raise funds to help rescue children and adults caught for human trafficking. If interested, Alyson, go to: Also: Matt has over 800 artists in his group & is an artist/basketmaker exceptionaire! Alyson, I think you’ll be thrilled to walk through this heavenly gate on earth! (Note from Alyson: I thought this comment was approved soon after it was written. I apologize that it got hung up in a filter.)

  2. Well, this is an immediate answer to prayer! I’ve been trying to downsize, and our husbands seem to be of the same mindset. Daryl’s approach is so sensible that I’ll be following her suggestions.Your questions, Alyson, were just what I’d wanted to ask. Thank you so very much.


    Hi Daryl, I met you in Golden and sometimes I send you cloud photos. I am still a fan! Congrats on your new adventure. I am in FW. Much closer now. Come visit!

  4. Very inspirational and timely for me. My pre pandemic plan was to start working on just this very thing, bit by bit. But because of covid 19, I couldn’t go to my beloved Italy where I usually spend half the year. So I had decided to focus on the downsizing on of our home in Florida. I love this idea of making it a year long “plan”. Thanks for the inspiration, sharing and great tips!
    Btw, Daryl, do you have any additional tips on how to go about selling old photography equipment?
    Thanks again!

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Diane: Glad this spoke to you. I, too, have some photo stuff to sell. Not sure that was on Daryl’s list, but I’m thinking eBay (though now I’m intrigued by FB Marketplace).

    2. Diane: How’d your progress with the Florida home clean-out? You need a wide audience for the photo equipment so be prepared to have to ship it. Etsy account would work. FaceBook Marketplace is worth a try but usually covers a very small area (the buyer sets the preferences for the area.) Alyson’s right about EBay. You can also research photo equipment tag sales that pop up yearly or semi-annually. It’s worth all the work in the end!

  5. Thank you for such excellent suggestions Daryl and expressed so succintly! I too am in the same phase, trying to get rid of furniture, clothes, ornamental stuff and paraphernalia that I inherited and that others would get only if offered free of charge. It can be a struggle and is always tedious. However, being a third generation ardent book and art magazine collector I cannot live without my prized medley.
    Hope your next move is smooth and full of joy.

  6. I enjoyed listening to Daryl! It’s so inspiring because I was imagining “behind the process” prep work and planning involved to get it all together. It’s a lot of hard work. I was able to relate to Daryl because I love and enjoy keeping an organized space.My heart ached while I was listening when she had to make the decision to let go of her antique Danish furniture, sewing machines, typewriters, cameras etc. etc. But, I learned so much about what you need to do to make it worth for you even though you are parting away your valuables that you held on to for a long time. It’s certainly a great feeling to give away and decluttering helps with every phase of life. New Hampshire is one of our top family vacation spots and we have spent quite a few summers there. Daryl, you make beautiful paintings and I wish you good luck with your new move!

    1. Alyson Stanfield

      Vidya: I get it. I’m such a “things” person. Not because they are valuable possessions, but because they hold valuable memories. Thanks for listening!

    2. Vidya: Tough to get rid of the sewing machines and typewriters because they were family heirlooms and they are TOOLS which I cherish. I certainly did NOT get rid of the antique Danish furniture – that’s now sitting pretty in my New Orleans home! Move was tough but SO worth it – living lightly down here!

  7. Bravo! A heartfelt thank you for all the great information AND the comment that allowed us to plan to hold our open studio tour——you provided an opportunity for a private view of your studio sale. When we were deciding what to do for our tour, your idea for a private view was an AH-HA moment. It provided an option that we could incorporate and proceed.

    1. Judith – how did the Open Studio Tour go? I learned that from all the years doing shows and creating my mailing list that there was pent-up demand for my work. Collectors bought the BIG paintings during the private viewings – one couple came back again and bought more! Good luck to you.

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