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I Said Simple Not Easy

April 4th, 2021

I Said Simple Not Easy

With my last blog posting, I made the statement this art career is simple. I said simple, not easy! The art career strategy that I have pursued is unique to me and my situation, so it may not be suitable for you.

First of all when I convinced myself that it was possible to have an art career and that just maybe my art was good enough, and people may want to display it in their homes. I had to educate myself about the “art market”, of which I knew nothing about. I had grandiose thoughts of putting my works of art in galleries and maybe participating in local art shows, etc. After researching the internet, and watching hours upon hours of videos from art coaches and mentors. It became clear to me that I had a very large mountain to climb.

I happened upon a video talk from the late Paul Klein and enrolled in his artist career strategy course. Klein Artist Works Paul was able to clarify any misconception I had about an art career and to help me prepare a strategy and pathway to success.

Reality sets in! The recommendations were wonderful and precise, however, they were not exactly for me. They involved developing relationships with gallery owners and joining art organizations, etc. This involved money and time I did not have! Most of the potential collectors and career makers traveled in higher economic circles.

Depression, depression, and a feeling of loss, my career will never get off to a start. To become a successful artist you have to be rich, come from the upper class of society. At least that is what I thought at the time!

In conversations with my adult daughters, and family members. I explained and complained that maybe there was no chance of becoming a success. They encouraged me to at least create art for them, and my eldest daughter asked what about the internet? You’re good at using the internet to your benefit.

Research and more research, more videos to watch! I’m not going to detail here specific information I discovered because this blog posting would become too long. But after hours of soul searching, prayers, and serious thought I came up with a personal strategy that appears to be working.

Remember I said “simple, not easy”.

1. I needed to improve my craft and artistic skill. Explore different mediums, and creation techniques, and keep my eye on the larger goal and honest self-evaluation. (I enrolled in a few economically priced professional art courses.)

2. I discovered there are hundreds if not thousands of online juried art competitions and exhibitions throughout the year. After the pandemic hit, that number has increased dramatically. (I planned and entered my artwork in some of those exhibitions.)

Disaster, depression! I spent a cumulative of 70 dollars over three months and NOT ONE piece of art was accepted! The application fees are not refunded. This is a scam, it’s a way for them to rip off hard-working artists. That money was needed, I sacrificed to come up with the fees. Back to step number one. Knuckle down on my art skills, and talk to myself, and lots of prayers and self-reflection.

Success! In September of 2019 my piece “Doubting Thomas” was accepted and won a special recognition award. The first time, any of my art has won any kind of award since I was 14 years old. (Notice the title of the piece! Someone was talking to me, and I needed to settle down and listen.)

3. To pursue the plan of entering physical exhibitions and galleries I needed funds. Plan and apply for artists' grants. I am now at this stage of my career strategy. I still need to continue with steps one and two, however, I now have enough competition and exhibition awards under my belt as they say to fill up two double-spaced pages. I never really considered how much I had achieved until recently while completing a grant application. They required a one-page artist's resume. I had to edit down to single space.

What a nice feeling!

Let’s wrap this long-winded blog post up. I said simple, not easy, do you understand now? As a side note, the recommendations from Paul Klein were valid and useful. I just modified them for my career pursuit. Your art career is available, and the art market is what you make it. It’s all up to you, and if one door is closed then find another. When you encounter doubters and negative feedback, and maybe people that want to discourage you. Hold your right or left-hand high, whichever you favor. Extend that
proverbial middle finger, and go about your business!


Crossing The Rubicon

March 1st, 2021

Crossing The Rubicon

With this art career, I have crossed the Rubicon! Do you know the ancient Roman maxim that means a point of no return? Smoking my tobacco pipe, and thinking about this art career, while watching a historical documentary, crossing the Rubicon popped in my head.

I am about to toot my own horn, and start bragging! Almost four years ago there were only about ten to fifteen people in this world that knew I had artistic talent, family, and close friends. The relationship with my daughters had been strained and separated for several years. My little girls had grown up without me in their life. However, I always had them in my thoughts and prayers, and thankfully for the internet and video calling technology our relationship was re-kindled. As young beautiful adult women, they were curious about me, and what I was doing with my artistic talent. My daughters remembered my drawings and sketches I made for them when they were little. With their loving encouragement, I began to draw, paint, and sketch again. Reviving old brain cells, shaking hands, using skills that have been dormant for over 26 years.

Then I had a crazy idea enter my thoughts! I had always worried about leaving a legacy. When I depart this earth I wanted to leave something of value to my daughters. Could it be possible with my works of art? This is the genius of my art career pursuit. These past four years I have followed specific strategic planning and continued to work on my craft, and skill set.

I am a professional artist! If I were to die today or to quit creating art. My daughters will inherit my legacy of works of art. I have created over 400 works of art, and have been accepted in and exhibited in over 25 international art competitions, winning special recognition and excellence in art awards. As an emerging artist in the parlance of the art world. My career is on a positive upward trajectory.

Yes, I have crossed the Rubicon. This artist's life is something that I use to dream about from my youth. Time to stop bloviating, and if you’re an artist wanting to start an art career.
Send me an e-mail note, and I’ll tell you specifically what steps I’ve taken. You’ll be surprised at just how simple it was.

Art Master And Student Relationship

February 3rd, 2021

Art Master And Student Relationship

As a self-taught visual artist, sometimes one feels a little intimidated by other artists that list their credentials, schools attended, and qualifications. However, it is the quality of works that’s important.

But one can always improve in their artistic craft, but where? When you study art history you read about the old masters that were understudied with a master artist. All the great masters would start their art careers with a master artist. This has been true throughout the ages!

Self-taught artists may be at a loss to find a master artist to study with, maybe? Now in the twenty-first century with social media and the internet, that task is at your fingertips. One can spend hours upon hours watching YouTube videos at no cost. Any medium, any technique you want to learn is available!

But what about the special one-on-one teaching? The student, master relationship? Plus there needs to be respect between the student and the teacher. Not all art teachers or artist coaches, mentors are the same and for you. How I judge the quality of an art teacher is after a lesson, can I implement successfully what was just taught? This is no reflection on the quality of the instruction. Because I do have a hard head, sometimes things don’t always register with me. However later when I’ve thought about the lesson and reviewed the technique. Then I feel like I’ve successfully achieved a positive result. For me, that’s a good teacher!

Returning to the master-student relationship, concept. There are more opportunities available than ever before. Depending on what artistic craft or skill you wish to improve or learn. All available at your fingertips for various fees. I have enrolled in Kelli Folsom’s Vital Art Life sessions on a monthly subscription basis. Kelli teaches painting techniques and concepts from the old masters. With each video lesson, I find something new to learn. I pick up on a unique tip that I had never heard before.
Plus, she is available for question and answer sessions. What I have come to realize the master-student relationship is here and now. Her course is self-paced, however, she encourages daily or weekly painting. She is always saying, “you need to put in some brush time.”

Even though I am almost old enough to be her Father! I find myself in the position of the student at the master's feet.

Artist Guardian Angel

June 29th, 2020

Artist Guardian Angel

It has been a long time since posting to this blog, and my art career has been on a continuous upward trajectory. My lack of posting has more to do with me being not much of a writer. However, blogging is one of those tasks an artist must do.

Because of economic reasons, I started entering my works of art in on-line gallery exhibitions and art contests. I have kept a pace of four to five entries each month since September 2019, with two main purposes in mind. First, to create works of art specifically for each contest to improve my craft and skill. Second, to establish and display my works of art in the international market.

Since the pursuit of this artist's journey I have been awarded seven awards for “Special Recognition” and my work has been included as a finalist in various international contests.

My artwork has been exhibited digitally in Europe, and during Art Basel week in Miami Florida. The fascinating feature of these art shows and gallery exhibitions is that along with physical works of art, digital displays are installed.

I don’t claim to have futuristic powers of observation. But since the coronavirus pandemic the art world has changed and fully embraced these digital forms of exhibitions. The strategy that I pursued was because of economic reasons, not having the funds to ship my physical art to galleries and art shows.

However, just maybe my artist guardian angel is looking after me. What do you think?

Front Line Report Coronavirus

March 14th, 2020

Front Line Report Coronavirus

The real story from the FRONT Lines of the coronavirus war! For those here that don’t know my two daughters live in Italy. I frequently talk with them via Facebook video. At least once a week, sometimes twice a week. They are confused as to why I’m so worried about them. My daughter Erika lives in Northern Italy, in the RED ZONE. Below is a picture she sent from Friday 13 March. She’s 7 months pregnant and doing fine. However this morning Saturday she canceled our call because she is in the hospital for an overnight stay. She has been having problems with high blood pressure and headaches. So the doctor wanted to keep her overnight for observation. NO coronavirus… just pregnancy problems.

Plus when you watch the news they say there are not enough hospital beds for the sick. That story doesn’t match up! Both of my daughters say no police or military patrolling the streets. People are wearing a mask if they have them and stay at least a meter distance, etc. My daughters don’t have any masks because they were sold out. However, they wear a scarf around their face. It’s considered bad manners now to go out in public without covering “brutta figura”.

The small shops in the neighborhoods are OPEN and no hoarding! They’ve been grocery shopping, drug stores, etc. However, big supermarkets and big box stores are either closed or partially closed. Thank God for the small shops not being pushed out of business by the big box stores! To enter the shops they need to stand in a single file one meter apart and only two or three can enter at a time. So it takes longer to shop… But everyone is laughing joking, and the small shop owners are family. Kinda like the way it was in the '50s and 60’s here in the US….

This is not to say… the virus issue is all blown out of proportion. There are real concerns and people are sick and have died. But the Italians, are having fun with it… well. their grandparents and great grandparents survived World War Two… They will survive this… and so will we!

Art Exhibition March - April

March 7th, 2020

Art Exhibition March - April

Once again I am pleased and honored to participate in an Artbox Projects exhibition. For the entire month of March and April my art piece titled "Saint John, Repent" will be on digital display on their 8 foot flat screen monitor in the Zurich Switzerland Artbox gallery. Located at: Giessereistrasse 1 8005 Zürich
right at the "Schiffbau" in the urban art district of Zürich.

From March 18 - 22, 2020 The same piece will be on display in Barcelona Spain located: at Valid World Hall, S.L.C/ Buenaventura Muñoz 6 08018 Barcelona Spain Hours: 10 am to 8 pm 18th - 22nd March 2020

Please if any readers of this blog are near these locations. Please take a snapshot with my art and send to me. Thank you so much for your support.

Gread Read On Medium

January 11th, 2020

Gread Read On Medium

I read and follow several art related articles across the internet. Here's link to really great and concise article on medium.

Why You Should Buy Art From Living Artists

Review Of Art Career Achievements 2019

December 31st, 2019

Review Of Art Career Achievements 2019

It is amazing when I think about all the achievements for 2019. I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.

Let’s list them?

1. Finally all my art postings across the various platforms, Fine Art America, Red Bubble, Society6, Artpal, Zazzle, and Shop Vida have paid off. My art is on home décor products, and apparel, prints, and has sold one or more items from five of the platforms eleven months of the year! Economics was not
the goal, only presentation and representation of my art. However it is very flattering and nice when a stranger orders a dress, scarf or pillow or blanket with my art on it.

2. To improve the quality and craft of my works I watch a lot of video’s on YouTube. One particular series of video’s that I enjoy is from Artists Stefan Baumann. I have implemented many of his teaching and found success. I have been awarded “Special Recognition” for my art works Sep, Nov, Dec in three
international jury shows.

3. My art work has been exhibited in digital format in my first brick and mortar gallery show for the entire month of October in Zurich Switzerland.

4. The first week of December my art was on display in a Miami Florida gallery during Art Basel 2019.

5. An increase in outside commission works for the year.

6. Creation, production of the Artists Friends Podcast distributed across the internet with thousands of listeners. I am very grateful for the participation of my two good artists friends Diane Hunt and Constance Brosnan. We’ve been meeting weekly in video conferences and having so much fun motivating and inspiring each other. So, why not record part of our sessions and share with the world?

7. Substantial increase in social media presence due to the advice and recommendations of Gary Vaynerchuck. I follow his postings religiously and have attempted to put in practice his advice. I am a long way from achieving the maximum recommendations.

2019 was the year of education and partial implementation. I think that years in the future my memories will return to this year as a major mile marker in the art career. It’s hard to believe that I only launched this fantastic journey in 2017!

2020 Set For Success!

Once again my art will be exhibited in Zurich Switzerland for the entire month of January. Following in February I have several international contests in the works. I’ll announce dates and locations when and if I am accepted. Plus, in March I’ll be participating in an international gallery show in Barcelona Spain.

During 2019 my studio art production exploded! So many works and now the unique problem of storage. However I am fired up for setting new increased works production for 2020.

What a wonderful life. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this recap of 2019. I know that I have forgotten many achievements for the year, so please have a blessed and Happy New Year.

Art Basel Miami 2019

December 5th, 2019

Art Basel Miami 2019

I am so honored and humbled that my art work is on display in Miami FL this week Dec 02 - 08 during Art Basel week. The work will be on digital display on one of two of the big 7x7 foot monitors. If you're in the Miami area visit the gallery located at: Eduardo Lira Art Gallery 2065 NW 2nd Ave,
Wynwood Art District, Miami, FL 33127 open 11 am to 8 pm. The Art Basel Artweek in Miami is probably the biggest art event worldwide! Over one hundred thousand art lovers visit Miami during this week each year. Various art fairs, galleries in the art district Wynwood and art events
inspire the visitors year after year.

Art Collection Budget

November 16th, 2019

Art Collection Budget

You don’t have to be wealthy to start collecting original works of art. Especially works of art that matter to you! We’ve all read about art collectors that choose pieces based on how much they’ll appreciate in value over the years. You should be buying art because it moves you emotionally, it touches your soul and gives you some kind of fulfillment.

Let The Art Inspire You!

Collecting starts with “knowing what you like and what you can afford.” Research, and research! Look for artists that inspire and capture your imagination. Attend local art walks and fairs, you’ll find art for your collection, and make meaningful connections with local artists and galleries.

Make the most of your money

You don’t have to have millions of dollars to start building an art collection. But how you allocate your art collecting budget matters.
Let’s say you have $100 to buy art with. You have a decision to make here: Do you want to spend that money on several less expensive pieces or one to two more impressive ones? Choose quality over quantity, but what about covering the white space on your walls?

I once read a statement from an art dealer, “If you’re just looking to fill space to avoid visual boredom, that’s decorating, not collecting.”

Forget “Good Investment” Thoughts

With emerging artists who are still experimenting with their styles and working to grow their fan bases, it’s “impossible” to make such predictions.
There is one area where you can improve the chances the value of a piece will hold or increase. When you find artists you like, choose iconic pieces that best represent their body of work. For example, if a particular artist paints both nature scenes and portraits, but is best known for their paintings of mountains at sunset, a mountain painting would be the better buy.

Be choosy about your source And Set A Purchase Budget

It’s best to buy your art directly from the artists or a gallery. Either way, there’s a guarantee that the work is authentic. Establish an art collection budget, on a monthly basis, put way in a savings account a few dollars specifically for art. Based upon how large your budget grows, plan on purchasing at least (1) new piece each year. Of course this is all up to how fast you want to grow your collection and how much you spend on each piece. Creating an art collection budget may seem obvious. Sometimes we have to be reminded of the obvious. Setting aside a few dollars each month specifically targeted for collecting art, can and will grow!

What a wonderful feeling to know that not only are you collecting something of beauty. But you’re helping another human being grow in their potential and provide a living for their family, the artists!

 

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