Blog Post 12.30.13 (My 2013 Art Year)

I started thinking about my “2013 Art Business” and I thought I would look at the paintings I sold this year.  sold 2013It was a pretty good year for me (new work, old work & commissions!), so I am trying to set my goals for 2014.  One thing I decided to do is try to do some art festivals.  I feel right now that it’s the only way to really get my art seen around the country.  The whole ‘trying to get into a gallery’ thing seems pretty impossible, unless you know someone and get an introduction.  So, I have decided to submit to some of the better festivals around the country and ones in towns I would like to have my work in.  We will see what happens, and I will definitely post my experiences here.  In the mean time, studio tours, select shows and lots of social media will be it!  Always working toward being a full time artist, and I WILL get there!
I do want to thank Gallery by Jeana Marino for believing in my work and helping me sell several of these pieces, which sometimes seems very difficult to do here in Austin!

BTW, if anyone has any great ideas let me know! 🙂 Always learning!

Blog Post 12.26.13 (My Favorite Art Blogs)

As a self-taught artist, I have had to do a lot of research about the business side of the art world.  Along with many artist friends I have met mostly through the Creative Arts Society here in Austin, we get together often and discuss how to sell our work and do a lot of research online to figure things out.  We have slowly come up with several blogs that we refer to often for information.  I thought I would share a few of my favorites!

I came across several of these either through friends, through other artists and on Twitter (I think it’s a great resource), or on Facebook.

Be Inspired, by my friend Maria Gatling.  She has the best ideas to spark your creativity.  Whether you are an artist or not, she has ideas that you can use every day.  She also teaches creativity workshops!  Please check out her blog and contact her if interested!

Skinny Artist, I came across Drew 1st through Twitter (He’s a great person to follow!)  I have found great posts that have been inspiring, made me think and I have even made their ’21 Artists to Watch’ list for 2013! (Which I was quite honored and surprised by the way!)

Artpromotivate, they have lots of posts on selling art, to websites, PR, and have great featured artists.  You can also as an artist submit your information to be one of their featured artists!  (And that’s where I got the idea for this blog post! 🙂 )

Fine Art Tips with Lori McNee, she has great information on creating art, art business and social media for artists.  Lori is also a great person to follow on Twitter!  She was ranked as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter and always shares great info.

The Abundant Artist, their goal is ‘Dispelling the Starving Artist Myth’.  Lots of resources on marketing, websites, etc.  They want to prove to us that we CAN sell our art!

Art Biz Coach is Alyson B Stanfield, she holds workshops, events, bootcamps, coaches and wrote the art marketing book ‘I’d Rather Be in the Studio’.  I also learned about Alyson through Twitter and is a great person to follow!

Red Dot Blog, has great art marketing and art business info on their blog.  It’s run by Jason Horejs with Xanadu Gallery.  They also have podcasts and hold workshops.

Artists Who Thrive, has great info from artist copyright to pricing artwork and more.  Very informative articles!

If you have any favorite blogs I did not mention please share them here!  I may have forgotten some also, so if I did I will add them under comments!

I hope this helps you on your way to making Art your career!

Blog Post 12.6.13 (Working on Art Commissions…)

I recently got my first painting commission.  I won’t lie, for a long time I thought that I would never do commissions, the thought just struck fear in me!  The idea of doing the perfect painting for someone just did not seem like something I could handle, after all, as an artist I always have that voice in the back of my head that makes me question a lot of what I do (I work hard on silencing that voice!).  But a few years ago I got great advice from a fellow artist.  He said he always does 2 paintings because it takes the pressure off.  It was a fabulous idea!!!  The idea of working on 2 paintings has lots of good points.  Beside just taking the pressure off of ONE perfect one, if the customer gets very specific with what they want (even if you don’t agree), you can do one their way and one with your vision.  Chances are they will like yours better, after all, they chose you for a reason! (They already like your art!).  Doing 2 paintings has an additional plus side to it… they may want to buy both, which is what happened with mine!

Now, I have heard horror stories from some artists, and I don’t think I would take on a commission if I get just bad feelings from the customer (like they would be difficult to work with) or doing paintings that are just plain not my style, I think I would refer them to a fellow artist that works in the style they want.  That would just be a pressure I don’t want.  I LOVE painting, and I want to try and keep it that way!

This is the painting that they saw and wanted a larger version of.  I did it 2 years ago and it sold this past spring.  I will be exploring versions of this painting further, it was really fun to do!

Bubbles

Bubbles

By the way, my work is abstract, so I don’t know if this would work if you paint realistically.  🙂

 

Blog Post 10.12.13 (Testing Technology)

I am extremely grateful & honored to be going to photograph a surgical mission trip to Guatemala. I am going with Dell Children’s Surgical Global Outreach and I am very excited!
I am now testing out the technology so that I know how to make it work while I am there. This is my first time doing a whole blog post from my iPad (with links & all). And I did not want to take a laptop, so I am trying to get everything to work w my iPad mini.
First I had to get my photos from my Canon 40d to my iPad. That turned out to be way easier than I thought! I bought a ‘lightning to USB camera adapter’, which I plugged my camera into and all my images show up on my iPad! I was worried that my raw format would not be viewable, but they are! I can import the images I want, then I can work on them with my photo apps. I did figure out that I need to convert my images to jpeg, which I did with a new app I got called Leonardo.
So far I posted an image to Facebook without any problems, so now I am trying it on WordPress!

20131012-161029.jpg

Lets see if it works!!! 🙂

Blog Post 9.2.13 (I Love my Smart Phone!)

My iPhone Photo Apps

My iPhone Photo Apps

I saw a post yesterday asking if the old master photographers were here today, do you think they would be taking photos with their iPhone?  My bet is yes they would!!

Vignette

Vignette

As a creative person, I find the camera on my phone so easy and handy.  It’s really always with me, and it makes it way too easy to just photograph any little thing I see.  I love the iPhone ad that shows how much taking photos with our phone has changed our lives.  Some may be silly or pointless, but some capture just beautiful moments that in a way we can keep forever.

FX Camera

FX Camera

I started taking photos with my phone with my old Android (Evo).  Some of my favorite apps were Vignette, Retro Camera and FXCamera.   I was very disappointed that they did not make Vignette for iPhone, but I have found plenty of apps to play with.  Have I used all these loaded on my phone?  Not really.  I got carried away, and I am sure there are some of you out there that have more apps than I do!  I do find myself using Instagram, Hipstamatic & Vintique the most.

Instagram

Instagram

Vintique

Vintique

 

Hipstamatic

Hipstamatic

 

 

 

 

Retro Camera

Retro Camera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course most of these apps have many filters and settings you can choose from.  The options seem endless!

I would love to hear what your favorite photo apps are!  🙂

Blog Post 8.3.13 (Determination…)

Determination: firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end.

I have wanted to be an artist for as long as I can remember.  It definitely has not worked the way I had originally planed, but I am determined to do it anyway.  Easy?  No way!!  It’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life!! But I would not change it for the world! Creating art has been one of the most enlightening and gratifying things I have ever done.  Being an artist working a full time non-artistic job is tough.  It would be so easy to give up.  But I keep visualizing where I want to be with my art and I keep on going.

One of the things that has made a huge difference is spending the time really devoting to exploring my painting style.  When I am at the studio, spending time experimenting is huge!!  It would be easy to just whip out easy paintings just to sell, but I want that “something special”, something that will make my work stand out!  I am not happy with just doing a painting, I want it to “Wow” me, and if it does that, hopefully it will “Wow” others!

As my work has been developing, I have received lots of good feedback from fellow artists, collectors, etc.  My hard work seems to be paying off.  I am so glad I did not give up, but I still have a way to go.  I am determined to be a full time artist, making a fabulous living, better than I ever imagined!!  What a ride!! 🙂

If you are in Austin I hope you can come by!!

If you are in Austin I hope you can come by!!

Blog Post 7.15.13 (Creative Inspiration…)

Where do you get your inspiration for paintings?

In abstract painting that is a bit more challenging. I always figured that most of my paintings are inspired by nature, and I knew that once I saw the beauty in Yellowstone National Park, I wanted to include those colors in my paintings. When I created my last few paintings in my Cosmos Series, I used colors I had seen in Yellowstone. I had not looked at my paintings & photos together until just now, and I was moved by how they looked side by side!

Grand Prismatic Geyser- Glow

Grand Prismatic Geyser- Glow

Grand Prismatic Geyser

Grand Prismatic Geyser

This is truly nature’s abstract art!  The colors are so vibrant and almost do not seem real!  Below are my Yellowstone inspired paintings in my Cosmos Series.  They are in the order they were created.  You can see how they evolved the more paintings I created!

Yellowstone Magic 14"x18" Acrylic on Canvas

Yellowstone Magic 14″x18″ Acrylic on Canvas

Magnificence 30"x48" Acrylic on Canvas

Magnificence 30″x48″ Acrylic on Canvas

Believe #1  8"x8" Acrylic on Canvas

Believe #1 8″x8″ Acrylic on Canvas

Believe #2  8"x8" Acrylic on Canvas

Believe #2 8″x8″ Acrylic on Canvas

Discovery 36"x36" Acrylic on Canvas

Discovery 36″x36″ Acrylic on Canvas

Majestic 48"x60" Acrylic on Canvas

Majestic 48″x60″ Acrylic on Canvas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Post 6.4.13 (A Painting at Home)

I love getting photos from collectors of my paintings, so I can see how my work is adorning their home.  This photo I just LOVE!!

Nature Reborn- at home

Nature Reborn- at home

He had an older painting of mine in there first, but when he got some flowers to decorate the space, he felt my “Nature Reborn” painting would work well with the flowers!  I also love the artistic shot he took!  (You can see my painting in the background)

Nature Reborn

Nature Reborn

Blog Post 5.19.13 (Teaching, Sharing & Inspiration)

People that know me, specially artists, know that I LOVE art.  I am in love with the process of making art.  I find so much joy creating art that I automatically share details freely with my fellow artists.  I think it comes naturally for me to share, so that maybe others can find the same joy I feel doing it.paint closeup 2

I had several friends tell me I should teach, that I am a natural at it.  Well, I can tell you that I never thought of myself as a teacher of any kind!  I guess the difference is that sharing something you love does not feel like teaching, so it does come naturally.  So I finally decided to give it a try and did a small test workshop.  I invited 4 friends to take part (several that encouraged me to do this in the first place), so I could figure out how to structure it for other students.

paint closeup 1I thought about what to name it and how to describe my workshop, and it’s so hard to put into words what I would like to teach.  Mostly I want to share fun techniques, tips, and play, to inspire those that are too afraid to “be” an artist, or remind those artists that lost the “fun” and “joy”, why they became artists in the first place.  I want them to come out of the workshop with their creativity wheels turning, ideas running through their heads and inspiration overflowing.  I feel it’s those little surprises that come out during play and experimentation that excite us and allows us to come up with something that no one else has done before.paint closeup 3

I also love working with other artists.  The inspiration you get from working with others is contagious, and in teaching others you come up with new ideas while you are explaining a process.  I know also that many artists do not share their ideas.  They are afraid that someone will steal or copy them.  Well, with the age of the internet I think that can happen anyway, without teaching someone!  Also I have seen that when you have a group working on an art project, each person has their own artistic vision in their work, which makes it different from the others.  I believe true artists want to come up with something uniquely theirs, that makes them stand out from the rest.

 

Blog Post 3.31.13 (Artists, Artists, Artists…)

Stevie Nicks at SXSW 2013

Stevie Nicks at SXSW 2013

A few weeks ago I volunteered at SXSW and was able to attend a couple of interviews with musicians (Depeche Mode and Stevie Nicks).  It was fascinating to listen to their answers about their artistic process.  They were asked about how they come up with the music and songs, their inspiration, and do they struggle with ideas, and they had a lot of the same answers as painters would come up with.  That got me thinking that I needed to get a dancer’s perspective as well, see if it was the same, so who better to ask than my father (Eugene Slavin)!  He was a ballet dancer, and choreographed many dances in his career, and a lot of his answers were the same!  I found out that ideas, inspiration, creativity is very similar no matter what your artistic outlet is.  Here are several of the answers I heard:  I play the music and the lyrics just come out, I read or watch movies for inspiration, I look at art and listen to music to get inspired, I see a dancer or hear music that inspires a dance.  I think when the creative brain is engaged, when we see or hear ‘it’ we just instinctively know it.

It was interesting asking my Dad about his artistic process (I had never spoken to him about it before).  The one difference it seemed was that a lot of the choreography was dictated by the talent the dancers, or what their strengths or weaknesses were.  I guess if us painters were limited to just paint with specific materials it would be the same thing, or a musician only able to use specific instruments.  Getting creative with what we have is what we have to do when the creative bug strikes!