|Art Career Experts|
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Come on in and meet me!
Listen to Theresa talk about following your passion on Blog Talk Radio w Dana Woods
Art! What a great way to make a living! What other job exists where you can gently mix creativity, emotion, color and hard work and pour it all into a comfortable living? Or take the same ingredients, shake them up a bit and pour them into an experience? What other job affords such a diverse array of experiences in the form of people, places, movement, sounds and above all, a visual cornucopia of treasures?
How have I managed to grab this life and not only live it, but encourage others to pursue it?
Sure, all the awards and recognition are pretty exciting at first, but after awhile, well, it's the clients who matter most! Maybe you've seen my artwork in “Veranda”, “Carolina Country” or “Our State?” Or maybe you've seen my illustrations in Breakthrough Publications, McGraw Hill or Houghton-Mifflin publications? I have over a thousand portraits displayed in homes and businesses around the globe. Now that's exciting! It is hard to put a price on the gratification and emotional value of portraits and artwork that delight my clients!
My university art experience did not exactly match my artistic hopes. The reality of the education was a disappointment. But what I did discover was that life experiences strengthen the artistic mind and open the doors to the colors and dynamics of the world!
I spent a lot of time in and among the energy and competition of the dog and horse show worlds. I felt the biting cold of northern winters and the peaceful oasis of underwater exploration. I experienced world travel, hot humid southern summers and sailing. I like to think that all of an artist's life experiences lodge somewhere on shelves in the mind just waiting to be pulled out and dusted off when the visual need arises!
And so when I create a painting for a client, a little piece of me goes onto the canvas.
When I encourage artists to create and market their artwork, a little part of me goes off with them, cheering them on and watching them move out of the corner and into the middle of the ring!
I took back my marketing brain years ago, to the dismay of a few gallery owners. But no longer would I be molded into anyone's expectations of what an artist should DO. Who in the world decided that an artist could not function on her own?
My own quest began as an effort to break free from the pack and forge my own way. No one else would follow. It's been quite a journey. First as a single mom supporting four children with my art and then later with an artist husband who understands the unique composition of artist and business owner!
It won't take you as long to reach your goals as it took me because I have blazed a trail. I have stumbled over a few roots, dug my way out of a few holes, swatted a few pests and struggled up a few hills! Now I experience that inner peace and contentment that comes from making a living while creating my art.
You can visit our portrait website at:
Come on this trip with me! Sure it can be hard work but company is always a pleasure, conversation is a balm and we can create as we explore this trail of art marketing!
The architecture and engineering that I studied at Penn State could not capture the artist that was in me. And it took me awhile to realize that using my hands to create was the journey I was meant to take.
My opportunity came when I went to work at a small sign shop in Philadelphia, I learned the practical aspects of the arts. What an amazing series of skills I learned there! From the ancient craft of gold leaf application to hand lettering, metal fabrication to glass neon tube bending.
In addition to the design, painting, gilding and practical applications of the business, I learned one of the most valuable skills of a working artist. How to work with clients!
Later, when I opened my own sign business, I learned the critical lesson of ANY business. Something must be sold for income to come in. And income is necessary to pay the bills.
So I had to learn to sell signs and designs which did not yet exist! The designs were just concepts in my head. This became invaluable later when I was painting portraits by commission. I had to learn that creativity was not some vague "waiting for the muse to strike" concept but a business process that had to be accessed when needed as in any other business.
As an artist, I had to not only create a beautiful piece of work for my client, but also have the TRUST from my client that I would create the piece!
As the sign business became more and more standardized and computerized, I turned to the fine arts. When I met Theresa, she was a single mother with four children and supporting them all by working as an artist. What a journey she was on! And as all artistic journeys go, changes and growth occur. Before long I was creating and painting watercolor portraits. I went the original route that all artists are told to take and gathered my share of ribbons and awards but awards don't pay the bills! The Art Galleries that I worked with did not sell my work as fast as I did. And the watercolor commissions sold!
The journey took me again, into another direction and I began to paint plein air landscapes in oils. And here I have also found a profitable niche!
All the time, we both applied the marketing and sales techniques we had learned from our different previous businesses to our art business.
Our success has come from taking the Art marketing road less traveled! Come take the road with us!
You can visit my website at: