Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Imitation is Flattery

This week I realized that someone has been watching me.  Not like stalking, but watching my progression as an artist and I believe that I have inspired that person to follow their own art passion.  When I received the invitation to  read their blog and check out their Weebly website, it began to dawn on me that these are the same steps I took.  Even down to joining their communities local artist guild.  When I started thinking that I might actually be able to achieve that life long dream of becoming artist, I didn't have a real clear idea of just  what the first steps should be, but I knew that painting every free moment to develop and improve my skills certainly needed to be at the top of the list.  So painting I have done and I can look around my home and find past paintings staked all around and hanging in every room.  Painting, however is just a part of the whole successful picture.  You need unrelated people who want to stare at your work in amazement and not just step over it as they move from room to room.

Both networking and marketing are also vital in becoming a  successful artist.  To really network, I first figured that I had to start rubbing elbows with other artists and find out what the opportunities in Las Vegas were for me.  I got up my courage and I joined the local art guild a year and a half ago.  Crazy person that I am, I now find myself their treasurer, workshop director and this month keeping their website updated was added to my growing list of guild responsibilities.  I also asked artists on facebook to become my friend so that I could constantly be inspired by amazing artwork each morning when I log in.  It is almost as if I have the pleasure of attending a gallery opening each and every day.  So at this time,  I think I have the area of networking covered.

My marketing plan has been also a time consuming process.  I soon learned that all successful artists seem to have both a blog and a website and many have newsletters.  I think it is very important to figure out right away what your internet niche is, so that you and your art work can stand out.  One dear artist friend on facebook, Nancy Medina, paints the most amazing flowers and lives in Flower Mound, Texas.  She blogs about her 3 pug dogs and sells painting faster then she can clean her brushes.  There are artists who specialize in equestrian art and are always posting pictures of themselves out in some remote desert or pasture, with their plein air, french style easel looking great while wearing cowboy boots and jeans.  The artist that helped me get started by providing amazing online lessons so that I could learn to paint clouds, trees, and mountains just like Tim Gagnon.  His style is unique and his trees and clouds are amazing.  I could watch his Youtube videos for hours.  It is a toss up between him and the late Bob Ross.

So for over a year I have studied and watched other artists to realize today that now I have someone watching and following my own steps.  It is a rather humbling realization but on the same hand I feel so complimented.  I must be doing something right.

So here I am...a 50 year old church accountant, wife, mother to six and a soon to be grandmother of 5 trying to find a niche that will set me apart from all the other artists that are trying to survive in an economy where people are spending their savings on paying bills and necessity rather than spending it on works of art.  You have to self analyze and dig deep.  What really excites you?  For me, I have always loved the state of Nevada.  From the first time, almost 34 years ago when my soon to be husband took me out and we found the ruins of an old mining operation near Sandy Valley, I have been hooked.  I love history and this huge state is chalked full of pieces of history scattered all over, waiting to be discovered.  It is a rockhounding, history buff and yes, an artists dream come true.  So there is my angle...I'll be a Nevada artist, and spend my rest of my days trying to capture the essence of Nevada with some paint on a canvas.  

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