Path to Success

How could I use my past art sale experiences to encourage other artists in any form to “A Path to Success”.

From my own experiences, which are the only ones I am qualified to give would be that hard work, consistency and love of what you do might lead you to that path. 

You have heard it all before, keep trying, don’t give up, believe in yourself, but you know what? All of that is true.  It’s not a cliche.  Not everyone can reach fabulous success, fame, fortune or whatever they wish for.  But, by sticking to a plan you can say you gave it your all, kept on trying to improve you skils and reached some goals and grown along the way. 

Personlay, I have found that my word is my contract and this has helped me gain respect and trust from everyone I deal with on a daily basis. 

From all the dealings I have had with galleries, customers, greeting card companies, if I said I would deliver, I would.  That was it.  There were never any excuses for being late on a promised end date for delivery, amount of work for a show, quality of work for the customers.

By keeping my promises this has given me a good name,  and it’s something I value from people myself.  I never Promise anything that I feel I cannot deliver.  I am disappointed if anyone promises me anything and they don’t deliver and the bond is then broken. Short of a life catastrophe, I will do what I say or won’t say it. 

My dream was to be an artist, I made it happen, my other dream was to illustrate a book, I was happy that it happened.  My dream still is to keep creating art pieces to share with others, I will make it happen.

 How?  I work at it, I think it, I keep trying, I am resilient and bounce back from negative experiences as quickly as possible. 

A path to success might mean something different to many people but, generally I would say it means you have reached something you have desired and worked hard fo,r and got great satisfaction for your efforts.  We can’t all become millionaires or super famous but keep at your dream, (set some realistic goals) and by being focused and true to yourself and others you may find your path to success.  I found my path to my version of success, and am still working on it!  Who knows what lies ahead still?

Things I have learned.

I have learned that for art sales to happen for an aritst the following helps: 

a)Like what you paint

b)Each piece should be well executed

c) it helps tremendously if your work is liked by the gallery owners

d)Your work is liked by the salesstaff

e) and, liked by the PEOPLE

Some artists paint what they love only, ignoring what someone may want to hang on their walls.  I think that is a bit selfish.

They should paint what they love but keep in mind the public too.  Most people are looking for something to hang on the wall that they can also relate to, or at least give a gift to someone that they hope will also like the painting they get.

While I love what I paint, I have no problem doing the occasional  commission of a scene I may not be familiar with, or even relate to but, that is not a problem for me.  I just add my happy colours to it and the kids I paint in the commission, and then hope the customer likes my version of their cottage, or ski chalet o,r whatever.

I have learned people like to be remembered when they come to an art show (huge honour for me), and treated with care and be thanked that they made it to your event.

   I have learned that the staff is very important during an art show and that good wine or coffee during the event helps too.

Also, a great invitation card for the show is important, mailing the invites out at least 2 weeks prior to the event.  Framing is important, positioning of the artwork in a pleasing manner matters too. 

I have also learned about fair pricing of the artwork and I have learned being humble goes a long long way.. A gallery owner once was telling me one of his artist’s had Big Headitis, I love that!  Being proud is one thing, thinking you are super special is just plain stupid..

Also support from family and friends is a must so they can listen to your high points and low points and listening to their criique of the work you just showed them,  and just producing quality pieces over the years and treating every piece with care will get the sale all the time.

These young ladies have supported me since they were very little!

What’s a Niche, you ask?

A niche is a style that most people would recognize in art for example.  20 years ago I found my niche and painted my happy, joyous kids doing activities outdoors.  This niche has made my work visible, recognizable and easy to spot from other artists work. 

For years prior to my “niche” I tried all mediums and enjoyed them all.. But the style I am known for is the one that spoke to me and others! 

It’s o.k. if one does not find a niche if painting but it was a natural direction for me.  It’s like a fish who stands out of the school of fish.  So glad I found my style and my own type of brand.  Occasionally I do try other methods of style and colours but no matter what the original comes back to my canvass.  

I can give many examples of who had a style and Picasso would stand out for me.  He did many things but came to be known more for his style of art especially in the figures he painted and silhouettes.  Van Gogh for his thick brushstrokes, Degas for his dancers and on and on.  All styles are beautiful but I am grateful I have found a style and stuck to it and have seen much recognition and success from it.

First impressions

I have been fortunate beyond words that my art has made great first impressions with a lot of viewers.  From day one when I visited a gallery in Canada’s capital to show my work and it was bought instantly by a customer just walking in.

First impressions are lasting impressions in all aspects of life and art should have a great introduction and leave a viewer with either questions, thoughts, or just feelings all from looking at art. I can still recall visiting the Prado museum in Madrid and seeing the most stunning paintings from so many years ago, to visiting Ottawas National gallery and always leaving ith wonderful impressions from other artits.

 There is so much talent out there,,art evokes so many feelings to different people.  I see young artists now at my art supply store and I am left with great first impressions from their work that they proudly show me now.  I can see some of them making a great career from their talent.

One of the greatest rewards fom me is the vast interest from all age groups towards my art.  From young children gravitating to the colours or simply feeling like they have been captured in happy moments, ones they can see themselves in, to grandparents going down memory lane. I hear so many stories that sometimes make me happy, sad or just reflective..and all from someones first impression of my work.  It’s a wonderful feeling for me to see and hear what people say when they see my work.  I believe in each piece being as good as the last piece I painted if not better.  Everyone deserves a great piece by me and I always keep in mind that actual people will buy the work and share it with others and I want them to have a lasting good impression from my art.

 I can only hope to continue making good first impressions with any new gallery visitors..

Back at it!

My one day trip to Tremblant was so refreshing and just what I needed to come to  want to paint more and more.  The skiers were amazing, such talent, such speed and such creativity in outfits. 

The condos, stores, restaurants all brilliantly painted was such eye candy for me.  The whole scene there was so dreamy and the snow covered and glistening trees sure were a sight!  Completely magical and not so different than the world I try showcase in my art.  Happy, bright, cheerful, dreamy. 

Went on the gondola ride a few times just to see it all and get a different and complete view of the beauty we have in this country of ours.

Came back from the day trip and jumped back at it, that is  into painting last night so I could still keep fresh the movement and colours I saw again.  Love this land of ours even in winter. 

Counting all my blessings!


Frame Change

Years and styles come and go…not for art, not for well done art but for some furniture, clothes, cars,

A simple way to spruce up your home and give it a fresh look is a simple frame change of your existing art.  Something small like that can really change the appearance of your walls and fit nicely with new furniture, and new wall colours.

Walking into a great collector of my work home a few weeks back, literally took my breath away. This family had changed all the frames of my work and her display in the dark brown wood of my art gave my work a new “look” .  This was a beautiful home and the furniture had been changed to a more current style, white tufted leather sofa, glass rectangle coffee table, off mauve walls and pillow to bring the wall colour into balance and there was my work. Colourful as ever, with it’s cheerful content all dressed up in the same dark wood frames. 

Since seeing this uniformity and seeing that all art can fit anywhere if you display it right and frame it right.  Art lives forever, it won’t break down, wear out, lose colour but a little Frame Change might do the trick to re invigorate your amazing homes and show my work the love it deserves. 

Now, I am off to re frame some of my artwork too, and I have a great collection by myself and other artists that I love.

Dollars and Cents

What determines art pricing? 

Well, you might never consider the cost of the canvas,paints, brushes, spatulas, varnish, cleaning solutions, gesso, markers, tape and much, much  more.

A quick visit to an art shop would surprise you at the cost of tubes of paint, brushes and the like.

 However, as an artist I can attest to the fact that it is very expensive to buy these supplies.  I make weekly art purchases and many times many more visits to my favourite art supply store.

I guess you can say that’s the cost of business.  Yes it is!  I personally would never talk about this to prospective customers at my galleries, but it’s something for people to consider.   

Many people look for bargains from artists, perhaps making the artist feel it’s a favour towards them to buy their work, and ask for lower prices or those never ending donation requests.  It is an honour for an artist’s work to be liked and even a greater honour to be bought..

So, If you like an artist’s work, and see a good fit for your home ,and know what the price is ahead of time, it would save the artist awkward moments of feeling they have to give a deal.  Or a freebie.. 

Art is unique. and one can’t say ” but I can find something similar for a lower price.. ” to an artist..It’s not like buying a door that many stores carry and you can choose the lowest price.

If you like the artist’s work and you have predetermined you would like to buy it, once a price is given it would be nice if the buyer respected that, or move on. 

 I am happy that my paintings are sold at  galleries and I don’t have to deal with the embarrassing requests about pricing.  Thank goodness for great salesstaff!

 But, many artists are not in galleries, many are beginners and even the seasoned artist can be put off by someone trying to lower the price .

Personally, I feel it undervalues the artist and can lead to resentment.  Painting for a living is, after all painting for a LIVING. 

 Yes, artists love their job, I know I do, but respect would go a long way toward the hard working artist who hopes to please you with a great piece of art. 

Do you agree it’s demeaning to haggle for prices with an artist?