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What Art Career?

April 27th, 2022

What Art Career?

First of all, let me apologize for my lack of blog postings. As I have said before, I am not good with the written word. Maybe that is why I am a visual artist?

If someone had told me six years ago that my artwork would be on exhibition during the Venice Biennial in Venice Italy. I would have thought they had been smoking too much funny weed.

But it is true! Three works of art will be on digital display Artbox Projects May 01 - May 31 Tana Art Space, Fondamenta de la Tana 2109A, 30122 Venezia Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday 11h00 – 19h00

The Venice Biennial, running from May to November each year, alternating between art and architecture, the Venice Biennial began in 1895, and now attracts half a million visitors a year. A celebration of art and architecture, the Biennial explores themes of politics and contemporary cultural & social issues through performance, sculpture, and installations. The Venice Biennial is one of the most prestigious cultural festivals in the world. During the run of the Biennial, various small galleries hold exhibitions outside and around the main pavilions.

Plus, my artwork has been on the digital display for April, in three separate galleries. Two galleries in Switzerland, URBANSIDE Gallery Zurich Switzerland, the Thomson Gallery - Zug – Switzerland, and the Lelie Galerij - Amsterdam – Netherlands.

Let me speak in a skeptical voice. But Clyde, these are only digital displays, and your artwork is included in rotation with other artists. That means your artwork will probably only flash on the screen for 30 seconds maybe two or three times per hour. Now how can that be an exhibition?

These past few years I have entered several online juries art contests and exhibitions, and have won various art awards. Here’s the skeptic's voice again. Clyde, these are small online galleries with only a few thousand entries and are not affiliated with the major artist societies or organizations. My questions for that skeptical voice? How can an economically poor artist launch and endure a career in art? Should I wait to be discovered? Let me ask you why is it that only the so-called privileged only allowed to pursue an art career? Why must one pay to play?

My entire life has been to detest the word NO. I have always seemed to be blessed to find and surround myself with inspirational people. One such person was the late artist coach and mentor Paul Klein. I frequently hear his voice, “take baby steps.”

These efforts are the baby steps for my career. The traditional methods of entering art contests and exhibitions are costly and prohibitive for me, including framing, shipping, and insurance. Membership in the various big-name artist societies and organizations is extremely expensive.

After exhaustive internet research, I found these organizations that support emerging artists around the world and offer physical brick-and-mortar exhibitions digitally.

When I began this art career journey I did not have an artist's resume. As of today, I can say I have a two or three-page resume. A listing of multiple award-winning exhibitions, online and physical. My next stage in this career is to obtain financing to pursue the traditional exhibition path. Grants, and more grants, all categories and purposes. However, each grant application required evidence of a professional art career and a resume! Now, do you see my purpose? Those baby steps will lead to leaps and bounds and a career sprint soon enough.

Let me ask you, how many artists from Oklahoma can say they have exhibited in Europe and especially during the most prestigious cultural festival in the world? Several artist mentors and coaches promote creating your own art world. I think I have done just that!

Art Aesthetics

July 26th, 2021

Art Aesthetics

What one likes or dislikes in art is something very personal. A piece will speak to you or touch your soul. You will identify with what the artist is trying to say, or not! However, when starting an art collection on a budget one can become so frustrated or even depressed. You don’t have the funds for an original Van Gogh, or Picasso, Thomas Kinkade to name a few. Prints are available, however, you are also interested in creating a collection that may mature in value.

Current Artists Original Works
Why not consider, current working artists? There are thousands of artists worldwide that create works very similar in style, to the named famous artists and more. Some artists copy exactly and are very proud and good at it. When developing your artistic aesthetic taste, utilize many of the various artists' platforms available on the internet.

Sites To Find Artistic Works
Fine Art America is one of the largest. You can search by artist name, or style, and categories. Red Bubble, Society Six, Art Pal, are other sites to name a few.

Researching Your Favorite Artist
Once you find an artist's work that touches your soul. Search FaceBook, and Twitter, Instagram, and Google for their website. Reading the artists' statement, biographies should give you an idea as to the state of their career and if they’re on an upward trajectory. Plus, with the above sites, you should be able to see the progress in their craft. All key pointers to the future value of their works.

Collect With Your Heart
Last and the most important thought! You must love the work, and it will be pure enjoyment looking at the piece every day of your life. Buy with your heart, not only as an investment or expectation in future value.

Time To Bloviate

May 20th, 2021

Time To Bloviate

Once again it is time to bloviate, the definition, to discourse at length in a pompous or boastful manner. In other words to blow my own horn! For most artists, this is a very difficult task and a necessary evil in our career achievements. I am no exception! However these past few years I have learned to bloviate gently.

In the pursuit of this wonderful artist career journey, the entering of my works of art in online juried art contests and exhibitions has been met with rejections and success. In the past few years of entering and being accepted in several of these contests and exhibitions, I have been placed on a mailing list of “open calls” for artists. This past April an online gallery Art Show International sent me an invitation to enter my artwork in their monthly juried contest. Since I was not aware of these folks I diligently investigated them with online resources. After all, there is a lot of fraud and scams out there for artists.

Everything checked out to be true and positive reviews. I then looked over their past exhibitions, and the style of art and artists they accepted. All types of works of art had been accepted and exhibited, with an overabundance of modern, abstract, expressionist styles. At this point, I probably would have declined to enter my works because my style is representational. However, the words of art coach Paul Klein echoed in my mind. Be yourself, create the kind of work that you want. Don’t try to please or make art for the market. Create your art market!

I jumped in their still life competition with two pieces of work and ended up with an honorable mention award. Then in May, I entered five pieces in their solo art competition. These were from my animal and nature series. A couple of weeks later I received an inquiry e-mail from the competition jury asking about my artworks and style etc.

Once again the coaching of Paul Klein entered my mind. Remain honest, and vulnerable, when talking about your art and creation process. His coaching turned out to be true! The Art Show International gallery sent me an invitation to represent my art and a request for ten more images for a solo show. The gallery hosts artists at all levels of their careers. Some mid-career, emerging, and established artists. However, what surprised and thrilled me was the majority are abstract contemporary artists. Very few traditional representational artworks. Art Show International Artists

Here is my artwork, listed as one of their in-house artists, with my first solo show. Clyde J. Kell Solo Show

Like all galleries, they will rotate their artists in featured shows and exhibitions. Plus promote us through their social media accounts and within the worldwide art communities. However, unlike brick and mortar galleries they do not take commission fees on all works sold. There was a small fee requested upfront, which is placed with the prize money awarded to artists participating in their monthly exhibitions. So now I can bloviate that I am represented by an art gallery!

Emerging Artists

April 30th, 2021

Emerging Artists

In the process of learning how to collect original works of art. You will come across some strange terminology. Emerging artists, a term you will often encounter. Attending an online webinar with art curator/collector Cheryl McGinnis, she gave the best explanation I have ever heard.

Most artists are “emerging” regardless of how many exhibitions or how many art galleries represent them. In her opinion, unless the works of an artist are in the collections of the world's major museums and galleries. High-level, respected national and international institutions, the artist is NOT established. This is only important for pricing and appraisal.

Thus most artists are still emerging in their careers.

Please don’t confuse this with your love of a particular artist's work, or quality. It is simply a term that you’ll hear and read while researching the background of working artists. Galleries and professional art dealers use the term all the time.

Speaking of galleries, the traditional way that art is sold. These collector blog postings are designed for the beginning low-budget collector.) However, let’s not neglect galleries. Bargains can be found and in some cases an easy way to finance their higher-priced works. However, always keep in mind that a gallery usually splits the price 50% or less with the artist. The pricing will always be higher because of exhibitions, operating costs, etc.

If your favorite artist is represented with a gallery, consider this service as a possible method for financing. An artist friend recommended this site.

What Is Art Collecting?

April 24th, 2021

What Is Art Collecting?

What is art collecting? If you own two or more pieces of original art, a painting, sculpture, handmade jewelry, you are a collector. Cost, value does not matter, and your heart skipped a beat when you first laid eyes on that unique piece. You had to possess it!

As a new collector of art, the number one confusing or disturbing issue you will encounter is price. Why is there such a diversity and range of prices for some works of art?
Some works of art with what appears to be very little detail sell for a high price, and other more detailed intricate works are priced low. Why? There’s a very long answer for this, however, I promise to keep it brief.

I’ll use my pricing structure as an example. When I started this art journey, pricing created a lot of anxiety. I spent hours researching YouTube and other internet resources to come up with a comfortable consistent structure.

I start out using the square inch method. I take the width, height and multiply, then take that number and multiply with a dollar figure. This gives me a base rate for any size of an artwork.
I then spent some time searching the internet for emerging artists with a similar background and style. Reviewed their websites for their price range.

I searched my target market area for what art similar to mine are selling for, and I adjusted down or up my prices. In this manner, my price range is not that drastic from one piece to another. There are also other factors to add in, framing, material, shipping, packaging, etc. But with this article, I wanted to remain brief.

As a new collector, look for consistent pricing, across all sizes, and price growth. Large swings up or down may be a risk, unless the artists can justify a major event in their career. For you, the collector growth in pricing is a good thing, as long as there is a gradual climb.

Life does get in the way of your collecting passion. The focus of these postings is for the budget range of $100 to $5000 or less. You can build a wonderful collection as a legacy for your children and grandchildren, and have fun.

Collecting Art On A Beer Bottle Budget

April 11th, 2021

Collecting Art On A Beer Bottle Budget

The art market can seem like a daunting scary world, for those with millions to spend. But don’t be intimidated, anyone can enjoy affordably owning art. The key is to choose something you love and buy with confidence.
These quick five tips will help you start your art collection, and not break the bank!

1. Take your time and do your homework. There are lots of opportunities to find quality art for a reasonable price. With the internet now more than ever artists are presenting their works online and available for purchase. (art is very personal and subjective)
 Google search the artists, look at their website. Subscribe and read their blog postings, follow them on Instagram, and FaceBook. Don’t be afraid to personally contact the artist about the piece you love. After a few days, you should be able to identify if the artwork will fit your budget. One price does not fit all! With millions of artists around the world, you will find one with the talent and price structure that you can afford.

2. Don't buy something because you think you'll flip it. Buy what you like, and buy to keep. Think of your collection as your estate. Something to pass down to your children or grandchildren. Always keep in mind that only one percent of artists become famous and their works multiply in value!
 Buy something beautiful for you and that you want to look at every day on your walls. However, when you decide to collect the works of a particular artist, research their careers. Do they have a body of work, and are they demonstrating skills and craft growth?

3. Trust Your Instinct. Buy something for the simple reason that you love looking at it. Be discerning and brave. If you’re looking for something in a particular style. Consider the works of an exciting emerging artist than scrimp and save to buy something second-rate from a well-known artist. Something is very satisfactory in supporting the next generation of artists.
 Plus, I once heard an expert art dealer say that all artists are “emerging” unless they are represented by established major world-class museums and art galleries, in New York, Rome, London, etc. (The purpose of this post is not for that level of art collecting.)

4. Don't be too hip. It's hard to be on the upside of the curve unless you're an insider. Better to buy something that's gone a bit obscure, even out of style, think modern, not contemporary. Again this returns us to number 2. of this post.
 Don’t buy something only because you think the piece will gain in value. Art collecting, is a long-term process, and a love and passion for the works themselves. The artists' unique style, and subject matter!

5. Finally “Price” How Much To Pay? This is where the first tip comes into play. Research, the artworks, and artists. Try to find out what method the artist uses to calculate their pricing.
 Through careful research, you should be able to determine the price level the works are selling at in the open market. Research comparative works in a style, skill level, and selling price.

When you decide on a piece, don’t be afraid to ask the artist for a discount of 10 to 20 percent. If you’re buying directly from the artist, most will be glad to agree.

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?


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