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What Makes a Photographer?

I got an interesting e-mail today… a promotion e-mail from an architectural photographer named Dan Poyourow (www.danpoyourow.com).

Dan is based in Maryland, and his work is well worth looking at. At the bottom of his e-mail, he included this tidbit…


“Photography thought for the week:

Contrary to what some creatives may tell you; shooting digital and reading a book on Adobe Photoshop does not make someone a professional photographer. There is still no substitute for experience, proper lighting techniques, good composition and all the other skills pro photographers use/used when shooting film. Digital is simply a new way to record the image; not an end in itself.”

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ArtWorks Featured Profiles

Profile: Kristen Stein Shares Advice and Lessons


What are the most important lessons you have learned about being an artist and selling your work?

I have learned that creating and selling your own artwork as an independent, self-representing artist is truly a 24/7 job.  I am constantly working…..whether it be creating new works, chatting about the newest pieces online, updating blogs and online listings or simply daydreaminga about the next painting, I seem to always be thinking ‘art’. I would imagine that other artists feel the same way about constantly ‘bringing our work home with us’ and never really feel like we take a day off. So, in this way, being an artist is truly a full-time job….but I can’t complain as it really is a dream job when you get to create and sell works that are borne from your imagination.

What advice would you give to other artists?

Persevere…even in the slowest and darkest times. If you love what you do and the work makes you happy, it will likely bring joy to other people as well.  The business cycle can get frustrating…especially in the slowest of times…. but continue to create according to your passion, and eventually the market will upswing again.  Continue to learn from the world and people around you and this will help you grow both in your art and your business.


 

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Profile: Kristen Stein on Roots and Inspiration

What mediums have you worked in and which is your favorite?

I am a contemporary artist working primarily with acrylics on canvas.  I occasionally dabble in pastels and oils. I love working in mixed media and often add gritty, grainy textures to my paint. I’ve also created paintings using layers of newspaper, paper towels, tissues, string, dried flowers, leaves and more to add extra texture and dimension to the painting. I sometimes work on wood, but generally use stretched canvas.  I’m in the process of learning silk-screening and hope to ‘pull’ my own prints.  I have also worked in digital painting and creating images as scalable vector graphics.

 

How did you get started?

I have been creating art for friends and as gifts for several decades, but I started selling my artwork as a business about 10 years. It began as a part-time passion while I was working on my dissertation in Economics at the University of Virginia. I still use a lot of my economics background on the business side of my art career, but my creative side won out and I starting selling my artwork full-time in early 2000. I am not formally trained in art. I took one class in high-school and one elective class in college. I recall several of the projects that I made in these two classes and I know that they have fueled my passion to continue to learn and grow as an artist.

Who has influenced/inspired your art work?

Friends, family and other artists have all played an integral role in influencing my artistic visions and enthusiasm for ‘all things art’. My parents are both incredibly talented and I know that they have directly influenced my love for the arts.  More recently, I’ve met several new artists online through various social networks and I’m enjoying learning how to use the new venues to expand the reach of my art to new audiences. I’ve also recently approached other artists and photographers to work on collaborative projects. It’s a fun way for artists to share their talents and create an image that embodies their various interests or styles. That’s how the “Spirit of Autumn Fire” image (with Lyse Marion) came about.  As for master artists, I love the works of Picasso, Gris, Matisse, Frank Lloyd Wright, Rothko, Dali among many others.

 

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Profile: Kristen Stein on Marketing

Tell us about your marketing journey. How did you start?

My online marketing journey started in 1999 using a personal website and the auction site eBay.  I sold on eBay for several years and then started cross-listing items on alternative auction sites and various online venues. Most recently, I created online stores at Etsy and on 1000Markets . I have designs at Cafepress and I have images uploaded at ImageKind and ArtistRising that offer giclee and canvas prints of some of my work.

In addition to selling online, I also sell directly from my studio and at various local art/craft shows. I also have several pieces in local galleries, shops and restaurants. A few designs are sold at Art.com and AllPosters.com as well.

Do you use Social media online alone or do you combine it with off-line efforts?

I use Facebook and Twitter to keep connected with my buyers and new fans of my work. I tie these in with my online blog and current art listings. I love the quick access that Twitter and Facebook provides to individuals who share similar interests and passions.

What has been the reaction to your making your work available in non-traditional ways, like mugs, jewelry etc?

I have recently made my artwork available in more non-traditional forms like ceramic tiles and handcrafted jewelry.  I enjoy offering these smaller versions of the artwork, especially at local art/craft shows as they are easier for folks to purchase and carry with them.  I believe that having a wide-range of prices in your inventory allows buyers to work within their budget.  I’m not sure they these new items have directly affected the sales of my regular prints and originals, but I would imagine that it brings new buyers who might otherwise not see my work. Plus, I enjoy being able to offer more wearable and versatile ways to display my artwork.

Where do most of your sales come from?

The majority of my sales come from eBay, etsy and from local art/craft shows.  I would love to be able to branch out and create a wholesale business for my images. This is something that I am considering as a business expansion in 2009.

 

Kristen Stein tile tryptych

 

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Marketing Monday: Truth about Getting Real

 

marketing monday good stuff weekly

Last week I talked about how potential buyers can’t be buyers if they can’t find you and I showed you lots of different ways to make yourself visible. Visibility by itself is not going to guarantee sales you’ll have to do a bit more to get to that point. The “bit more” I’m talking about  is developing a relationship with your potential buyers so they can trust you enough to give you their hard earned Dinero.

Any discussion of the kind of relationships you may want to establish with your buyers needs  to first travel through the land of friendly selling. Two terms are bouncing around marketing circles now, each is being talked about a lot but not in any great depth. As a result most folks looking to learn how to connect to their buyers are not getting the best guidance. The terms I’m talking about are: Relationships and Authenticity.

As a result of all the buzz and misguidance business owners are either completely adapting behaviors that appear to reflect these terms or they are completely tossing them out the window and continuing on in their ignorance. The problem is that most folks who adapt and try to use these concepts are going way to far into left field with them and as a result are feeling exposed and vulnerable and their buyers are busy scratching their heads wondering WTF?

retro_adds2Not what you expected?

So when we talk about relationships we aren’t talking about becoming BFF with every buyer or for that matter any buyer, no, you don’t have to have an anxiety attack, thinking this means you have to invite them over for dinner or even have coffee with them. What we are talking about is genuine friendliness, and an understanding that it is important to get to know them on whatever level you feel comfortable, depending on the kind of relationship you want to have with your buyers. Now you won’t have the same kind of relationship with every buyer in fact you may end up having as many kinds of relationships as you have buyers …and that’s ok. What is important to understand here about relationships is a couple of things:

 

    Do you ever want to see that ( or any ) buyer again?

  • Do you want repeat and referral business?

When you‚’re noodling over this, consider your perfect buyer profile and your Who and what statements. Why? Because depending who that who is you might like to see them come around more often and drag a few of their BFFs also.

When thinking about the two questions above, also keep in mind that your buyers are your most important resource. Let’s face it without them you’d probably be doing some crappy job punching widgets out on an assembly line. But here’s the kicker…like I said above you don’t have to be BFFs with any of them, you do have to be human and that especially goes for folks who really only want to see that customer’s face once! You never know who they might know…I’m just sayin’

One more thing…don’t fake it, don’t try to pretend that you want to have them for diner and a sleep over as you mumble to yourself you wish they’d just get their smelly body out of your space, they’re not as dumb as they may look..seriously!

There’s Authentic and then there’s authentic

How many times have you seen or heard someone trying to sell you something use the term authentic as if that word alone is supposed to ring your bell and get you to pull out your pen and ask  “where do I sign…?” What you were really doing was scanning for an escape route while thinking that guy was as deeply authentic as a mud puddle.

The problem is the way this term is being thrown around business owners are starting to feel like they have to bare all so buyers can ‚”really see who they are”. So they start talking about what they had for lunch and when they are going to the dentist. While that sort of thing may be really transparent you don’t have to go that far to ‚”authentically be you”. The authenticity that is important, is whatever is authentically you as an artist …your artistic persona. As an example: The way I write is my persona on my blog and in my newsletter, and, that persona is all together different than my persona as a photographer or for that matter in everyday life. As an artist your work may project a certain persona, a part of you that allows your creations to take form, and it is that persona that is your authenticity. It gives you and your stuff the meat you need to  attract buyers, because it reflects you and what you are trying to say with your art. Now that’s AUTHENTICITY! Think of  “Authentically Florida Oranges” just because they are grown in Florida doesn’t mean they have all things that make up Florida squeezed into their little orangie DNA…they are just grown in Florida!

OK…what you need to understand here is that if you want to keep selling your stuff you are going to have to figure this part out because it will play a major part in the direction you business goes or not. The ‚”or not” is because that’s where you’ll be if there is mismatch between where you want your business to go and how you treat those folks who keep showing up to buy your stuff. Selling stuff is about interacting with people.

Let’s get clear here…I’m not even coming close to suggesting that you go all bi-polar on yourself, if you are grumpy be grumpy and make it part of your mystique, your persona, then when people see that fun loving playful side guess what? They’ll be astounded that it is really you. See, this is important because none of us especially creatives are single dimensional, we have all kinds of sides, angles and quarks, you as an artsyfartsy biz person have to know which of those sides you want to show when and here’s the biggie…why.

In the end how you want to relate with your buyers and how much and what you want to show them of yourself will have an effect on your business success. If you see your buyers as the enemy and bark at them like a drill sergeant don‚Äôt start wondering why no one shows up to buy your stuff. On the other hand don,t go all Mary Poppins  and then chop the head off of the first buyer who dares ask you a question. Don,t worry about being ‚”authentic”, just be you.

 

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Marketing Monday: The Art of Being a Beacon

 

marketing mondat good stuff weekly the art of being a beacon

split_rock

Last week we talked about the importance of knowing who is likely to buy your work and  what it is your work does for them that makes them want it. The importance of really getting down and working out something that reflects both you and your work, helps you by giving you a strong understanding of your market and the beginning of a real tool to help you both stay focused and remain flexible in changing times.

The other main purpose of knowing your Who and What is the foundation it gives you when you actually start finding those folks who are gaga over your work. It is like having your own crib sheet handy at all times. Today we’re going to cover this in more depth  as we talk about how you let people know you’ve the stuff they are looking for how you can be a beacon guiding their search.

So what does this have to do with the price of beer on Sunday? Well, it is the all important key stone to expanding your Who & What into a way of describing the problems you solve and who you solve them for. This what we call “Marketing Sytax” a concept made popular by Robert Middleton and Mark Silver. The concept consists of boiling down all of the information you have gathered thus far about your buyers, their problems and how you help them.

Have a message

Identify the problem your buyers face, you described this in your What descriptions.

“I help young couples who are looking for unique locally handmade tableware”
Or “I help families who want to memorialize the key events in their lives but don’t want the standard portrait style.”

Here’s the key and important part of this…a problem oriented statement whether it stays in your brain or you use it answer questions about your work will, 99.9% of the time if worded right lead the person you are talking to to ask a “how do you do that” kind of question. And that is where the  the solution based followup comes in.

Focus on benefits when you followup so the statement above would look like this when benefits are added:

“I help young couples who are looking for unique locally handmade tableware. My pots are designed to make you smile when you dine and be great conversation starters when you entertain.”

“I help families who want to memorialize the key events in their lives but don’t want the standard portrait style. We create visual conversations of your families important events by  capture you as you are and building a story of the event. By building a memory book   families will always be able  to relive the event through the conversations the memories stir”

As you can see this is a whole lot more thought provoking and curiosity generating than the simple Who and What and that is the goal…you want to engage people so they eventually identify or not identify as a member of your fan club. You can expand the statements above for use through out a conversation by including stories of how your work helped someone, or the effect your work had on their lives. For example, your painting might have just the right feel to a neglected room that it is now a favorite. Or your pots may have create such a fun entertaining experience that the couple bought a custom table set.

Hang with them

This stuff is important when you are out mixing with with potential fans, it you identify you as the one and only person who can solve their problem. I t does this by giving you a way to engage them as the nice person you are instead of the way that used car sales man in the polyester ‘70s vintage suite can’t even imagine.

Now that you are fully armed with the best tools you can start to really hone in on finding the best places the hang and hang with them. So what might these places be? Everybody likes to hang out with people who they identify with. Brainstorm all the places you think these potential fans might hang out for example:

On the internet

Forums
A  jeweler who has identified young professional women could look for on-line forums where these women hang out. They  could be everything from Mommy oriented forums to professional societies or clubs. Painters and potters identifying homeowners interested in redecorating might hang out in home improvement or decorating forums.

Blogs
There are a lot of specialty blogs out there that might match up with your fan base or be aimed at helping them but don’t do so for what you have to offer. Finding those blogs and commenting on posts relevant to the problem you solve will go a long way towards driving potential fans your way and help establish you as the nice creative person you are.

Your blog
Set up your blog in ways that let people learn about how you can solve their problems. For example, don’t just limit yourself to describing and showing your process show how your work can be used. So if you are a fiber artist and your work can be used for walls or table tops write about and post photos that show how your work can be used to solve decorating problems.

decorating_ex

Off-line

Teach a class
This may not appeal to all but it does work for finding potential fans and buyers. Most folks taking classes at art centers aren’t there to learn how to compete with you they just want to do something creative. Teaching them how to do that and including how they could use the work your are teaching them create will help them identify with you or at least spread the word to their friends.

Talk to groups
Talking to groups is not an easy thing, in fact I hate it, and it does work pretty much in the same way as teaching does because you are actually teaching folks about both your medium and your work and how your unique has helped others resolve their problems. So you might talk to ASID (association of interior designers) if you are a potter, painter, photographer or any type of artist producing work that can be used to improve the environments of home or office.

Write
Quite often magazines are on the look out for articles that address problems and issues you may be intimately familiar with. It doesn’t hurt approaching them with a problem/solution based article like how hand made work is better than stuff bought at K-Mart.

Draw a map

Once have stirred interest you need to help these folks find your stuff AND buy it. No, I’m not talking about being a pest I’m talking about making the paths to buying your stuff obvious and easy find and follow. So here are some simple ways to do that:

E-mail
put all of your contact information on your e-mail signature and include your statement we just talked about. Include links to your web site/blog, facebook, twitter etc.

Your biz card
First don’t print your own business cards unless you don’t want folks to really take your serious. Design the card to have two sides one that gives your basic contact information the other that has your problem/solution statement on it.

Selling on-line
Design the page that shows only the work a customer is interested in to also show other items they might like, check out the way Amazon does this. Don’t give your customers to many options at one time generally anything more than three wil tend to freeze their brain causing them to wander of in a trance. Finally, put a clear call to action on your sales page like “buy now” or “click to purchase” or “learn more”. Your call to action should only give them two ways to go… buy or don’t buy.

Become visible

The point of all of this is to light yourself up in such a way as to be a beacon for all those  with a problem you solve better than anyone else. You don’t have to spend a lot if any money to do this here are some easy ways to get your marketing message out there.

Videos & photos
Put photos on your blog that illustrate how you solve the problems your fans face. You can turn those photos into slide shows and post them on your blog whenever you talk about that particular problem. You can also create a Youtube channel and link the videos on your blog to that channel. Flickr is a great place to show your work especially if you use their photostream which can be easily embedded into your blog. To see what this looks like check our featured artists.

Business card
Make it fun and make it reflect not only you but also the problem you solve.

Web site
In this day and age a web site is imperative and it needs to reflect you and who you work with. If you are thinking of using some freebee lame set up don’t even bother because you’ll waist your time. Blogs are the best format for getting and growing your visibility,  there are a lot of options available. Remember… a blog is just a web site that has more flexibility  and ease of use on your end than a static web site.

Images of work courtesy of Kristen Stein and Jane Campbell

 

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Marketing Mondays: Don’t miss the real costs


The final step in this part of the game, kind of involves looking backwards. See, the venues and the details required to turn them into winners is not free, and I’m not just talkin’ about money either. There is something equally important as money here, in economics it is called “opportunity Cost” or the cost of choosing a course of action that when added to the monetary cost tells you the actual cost of what you chose to do.


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Jane Campbell talks about Marketing

 

JC_featured_artist

il_430xN-5Tell us about your marketing journey How did you start?

Wow it has been a “journey”! Just a few years ago, which seems like only months, I had no idea what a blog was, -html, a widget, etc… It has been quite a learning experience. A whole world I never knew existed. Where as I once worked 9 to 5, I now work sometimes 10 to 14 hours a day. I love it so I doesn’t feel like I work that long. Usually it’s only when the family starts hollering that I quit for the day.

When did you discover that you needed to market?

I quickly realized that marketing is more than 1/2 of the job. To make money, to do il_430xN-6this as a business you have to treat it like a business and put yourself out there. This was very difficult for me at first. I’m basically a shy private person. I also discovered that people don’t just want a piece of your art, they want a little piece of you too, they want to know who you are, where this art came from. Art is a little piece of ourselves so we have to share ourselves as well.

Do you have a marketing plan or strategy ?

I’m still learning. I like selling online. It’s the largest audience. I have met people all over the world and my art is now in several different countries.
il_430xN-3I have been privileged & honored to be in several galleries in the Sacramento area. This is a great boost in moral, helps with marketing and I love the interaction with other artists & meeting the public, however, it seems to me that the audience in a gallery is limited, therefore sales are limited, but it is essential to be a part of the gallery experience.

Do you use Social media online alone or do you combine it with off-line efforts?

Mostly online medias but I do belong to the Swell Sister Society which is a wonderful group of Sacramento women artists. We inspire & encourage one another, do gallery shows together, keep each other up to date on what’s happening in the art scene. I love being a senior member in this group and it gets me out of my studio and keeps me from being a total recluse!

What has been the reaction to your making your work available in non-traditional ways, like mugs, jewelry etc?il_430xN-2

I’m proud to say I currently have my art being sold on jewelry that is in 2 Downtown Disney galleries in Florida; Pop Gallery & Hoipoloi. I also have a Cafepress site. I have had several sales but not enough to “cash out” the proceeds.

Where do most of your sales come from?

Most of my sales are online sales either from Ebay or Etsy. I have recently joined new online venues such as Blue Canvas & Artfire but do not have originals or print for sale there yet.

jane campbell on marketingil_430xN

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Marketing Monday: 6 must know things for pricing

 

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Know what your costs are

This is very simple and yet a lot of folks disregard it because they think it entails a lot of left brain machinations. I’m here to tell ya if that was the case I’d never ever address it…because while I grew up as the tail end of the slide rule generation I’m lucky to add 2+2 and get four if I have to do it in my head. Thankfully, I don’t have to any more due to the advent of those funky things we called Goesintas ( as two goes into four or calculators).

While it may seem obvious that your prices must at the very least cover your costs and if you intend to support yourself with your work the price must also include something extra to help you move out of your van. This process is called knowing your “Cost of Doing Business”. In its smallest form it amounts to adding up all the things you need to spend money on that

  • Cover the costs of the stuff you need to have to make your stuff… in other words supplies, expenses like costs associated with firing a kiln load of pots.
  • Let you move out of your van, like PROFIT.

    To do it the short way, just add up your studio related expenses to get a base number that will show you the least amount you need to make to keep your credit card bill down and your studio working. That’s your Cost of Doing Business.

    If you then subtract that from the income you receive you will have the minimum you need to at least break even.

    However, I would suggest an easier way that would give a good idea as to what you need to make to cover all your costs while factoring in a desired profit (for moving out of the van). There are a couple of tools available that I have used in my photography business.

    • NPPA (National Press Photographers Association) Cost of doing business calculator which is an online tool.
    • ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers) Cost of doing business calculator which does the same thing as the NPPA one only in more detail and as an Excel file. It is also designed to let you determine your annual income
      You can download it here: cdb_calc_06
    • Art Worth Calculator

    Know what you need to keep you in your studio

    Ok…now you know how much it costs to make your stuff and to at least keep you from either living in your studio or out of your van. It is probably safe to say that you’d really like to have living arrangements that at least gave you a kitchen and your own bathroom, so now you have to figure out what you need to make to get those tow important things. It is called profit and amounts to income that isn’t eaten up by other costs.

    This part is more art than science and subject more to your own preferences than anything else. I generally, list out the things I need… like paying myself, upgrading computer etc. And then prioritize them by their order of importance and NOT by their cost because cost can lead me down a rabbit hole. Once I’ve done that, I add what I call contingency which can be anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent to get the profit I need to make. The details of pricing individual products will be covered later.

    retro_buyersKnow your market and its buying habits

    Before you attempt to set pricing strategies you gotta know they have a chance of working with your market. So spend some time now reviewing your perfect buyer profile and both your market demographic and psychographic descriptions. What causes them to buy? What type of stuff do they buy? How do you really fit into their buying habits?

    Know what you are really selling

    Instead of describing what we make in a way that would put even the most ADD among us to sleep in seconds, we are going to look at how to REALLY describe what we make and when to use that description. For now just starting thinking of your stuff the way a chef might describe a sensuously luxurious meal.

    Know which three types of buyers you attract

    There are generally three types of buyers and it is important to know where yours fall. Knowing where your buyers fall will be key to your ability to price and sell without discounting. The three types are:

    • Those who willingly pay full price for your stuff because they know and trust and they know the value of your work.
    • Those who shop for cheap stuff because they really can’t afford much let alone your premium prices but they do recognize your value.
    • Those who are hunters, always pursuing the lost price possible as a trophy without regard to quality. These folks proudly brag about how they “saved” five cents on a whatzit despite using up $10.00 of gas hunting and bagging the prey.

      Knowing this information can help you with your pricing strategies by helping you understand what triggers their desire for your stuff.

      Know your market position

      Go back again and check your business model as well as your USP and make sure you are clear on how you are positioned in the market. Does pricing play a major role in your market position. So if you are positioning yourself as a true artiste aiming at the luxury market low pricing may hurt you. Your pricing must be consistent with your position.

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      Jane Campbell on roots and influences

       

      JC_featured_artist

      il_430xN_1First, tell me about your work?

      My work is full of color, fun, it’s folky but with a modern/contemporary edge. 90% of the time I sit down to a blank canvas, nothing drawn out or preconcieved, and I paint until I’m happy. My angels come to life on their own. Their eyes usually follow you, have a different expression on each side of their face, & uneven whimsical features which I feel gives them a special character & it makes me love painting them. They are my favorite. My folk art crabs, mermaids, & florals are inspired by my Carolina roots.
      I love painting on an imperfect canvas. Especially wood that is destined for the dumps or canvas that has been covered in fine sand. It’s the organic quality & rough texture that draws me to it and the feeling it gives me to turn waste into something wonderful.

      What mediums have you worked in and which is your favorite?

      I work with oils & acrylics. Working with oils is truly my favorite, however, most of my work is done with acrylics for the easeil_430xN of drying time.
      I also enjoy photography, altering photographs, clay work, sewing, knitting, crochet, & hand embroidery.

      How did you get started?

      I started painting when I was 13. Let’s just say that was a long time ago and leave it at that. I have always painted for myself, family, friends or just because my spirit needed me to. I dreamed of being able to paint for a living nearly all my life. It was when I found myself unemployed November 2007 that I decided to go for it. When my paintings started selling online I was amazed, flattered & compelled to keep painting. I am now living my dream. I have never worked as long and hard but never have been this happy either.

      il_430xN_2Who has influenced/inspired your art work?

      Walt Sorenson, a retired Art Director at Disney was a huge influence. His portrait classes instilled my love and appreciation of the human face. I no longer follow all of his rules as I once did. I like the freedom of being quirky instead of realistic.
      It would be impossible for me to chose a favorite artist but these are some of my favorites, not necessarily in order: Edward Hopper, Jack Vettriano, Winslow Homer, Maxfield Parrish, Michael Parks, Alphonse Mucha, Claude Monet, Henry Matisse, Diego Rivera, Raphael and of course Piccasso.

      jane campbell on influences

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      Featured Artist: Jane Campbell talks about vision and lessons

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      jane campbell What is your vision for your art?

      This is a difficult question because art is an evolution of self. It’s living. My vision for my art today may not be the same in a year or 2 or 3 or… At this point my vision is to honor God with my art, and make others happy, inspired and have my art provide for the necessities & luxuries in life.

      What do you see your work doing for those who buy it?

      I would like my art to touch people, enhance their lives or a little corner of it, and make them happy when they look at it. I am blessed to have received many emails telling me that my art has done this for them and I will continue to strive for just that reaction. My most touching emails I have recieved have been someone telling me that one of my angels reminded them of someone they have lost or how it makes them smile.

      How has your art evolved over time?il_430xN-2

      For many years it was all about realism. Pushing myself to paint like a photograph. I would drive myself crazy, sometimes abandoning a painting only to find it still unfinished years later because I couldn’t get something the way I wanted it. It was only when I began painting from my heart, painting what I wanted to & what I like, giving myself more freedom to not be perfect, not painting to please others or painting something to match the furniture, that I began to really truly enjoy it.

      il_430xN-3What are the most important lessons you have learned about being an artist and selling your work?

      The most important lessons I have learned are that marketing & being true to yourself is essential. It takes an enormous amount of time and work but staying devoted will reap rewards.

      What advice would you give to other artists?il_430xN-4

      Be true to yourself. Do what you love most. Don’t create art solely to make a dollar, there’s no heart in that or satisfaction. Create art from your own experiences and life, not others. Put yourself out there even though it’s not comfortable. Not everyone is going to like what you do, don’t be discouraged and lose your confidence from the few that don’t. Know your market place, market yourself, believe in yourself then others will & provide great customer service. You are your business.

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      Featured Artist: Jane Campbell

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      Jane Campbel is a Folk Artist  liveing in Northern California right in the heart of Gold Country. Her  home is just miles from where apples are grown, wine is made & gold was first discovered. She was born in South Carolina & spent her early childhood there before moving to Japan , Arizona & finally California.  Her  travels add to her varied taste in art. There isn’t any style that she does’t like! I love painting angels, mermaids & mermaid angels.

      il_430xN_7In her words

      Full-time contemporary folk artist, wife & mother of professional musicians and 2 spoiled poodles. After many years in the mortgage industry I found myself unemployed Nov 2007. I took this opportunity to do what I love!

      il_430xN_3My house is full of music everyday, My husband & both sons are musicians, I don’t like to eat a lot of things that start with the letter A with the exception of apples & artichokes, I love shoes but hardly wear them, I have impossible to curl blonde hair that is below my waist, I like to paint late at night, I like boating but get sea sick on the ocean, I like cats but have bad luck when it comes to owning them, I appreciate gardens but hate to garden, mustard yellow is one of my favorite colors, I am basically a shy person but I can hide it well, I am legally blind in my left eye, I would like to have a gypsy wagon, I do henna tattoos, I have lived in a house with ghosts, I used to catch & collect dragonflies when I was a kid, my friends and family call me Jana.

      My art is inspired by sweet things in my life, my loving family , my friends and sometimes by my goofy sense of il_430xN_8humor. My life is filled with music, artful things & loving people. I have enjoyed painting for 37 yrs. I am basically self taught but have studied art on my own & taken classes. After losing my job in the mortgage industry I decided to devote myself to my art.

      In addition to my love for painting, I am a crafter. I learned to crochet at age 7. I was mesmerized by Japanese sparkly yarn! This was the beginning of a lifetime of crafting! I enjoy crochet, knitting, sewing, embroidery & other needlework, perfume making, cake decorating, wood crafts, clay work & decorative painting. So in addition to my paintings you never know what you might find here!I am a member of the Folk Art Society of America & Swell Sister Society, a new group of Sacramento women artists. **I’m also a member of the Etsy CAST Team

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      My art has been sold all over the US and internationally.

      www.folkartbycampbelljane.blogspot.com
      www.alteredpages.blogspot.com
      TWEET! www.twitter.com/folkartjane

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      *Recent Exhibitions*

      Marco Fuoco Gallery, Sacramento, CA June 09
      Cafe Refugio, Sacramento, CA Feb 09
      Tangent Gallery, Sacramento, CA Nov 08
      Marco Fuoco Gallery, Sacramento, CA Nov 08
      Coffee Garden, Sacramento, CA Dec 08

       

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