Artist’s Elevator? What?

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Okay, the comments on my last post concerning me taking a free booth at an open fair have me a little freaked out. I think that I have some ‘splainin to do about my art!

I have NO art training. Unless you want to count art class in elementary school; I don’t.

I’ve drawn all my life, but I did more in my first 15 years than I did in the next 25.

August of this year, my husband gave me an iPad. It had an app called Brushes on it. I had never done a digital drawing before. Unless you want to count goofing around with MS Paint when work was slow; I don’t.

The portrait I did of Socks, on this blog, was the first one I ever did. That was Oct 8th. I did it for her, so I could give her something artsy that I made, because she gives me so much.

The entire history of me playing with Brushes is on this blog. I was doing the portraits for fun, and loving it. I drew my friends, and then a picture for a blogger I didn’t know in my offline life. Others saw and asked for their kitties to be drawn. It was so easy and fun! I’ve done more art in the last month than in the last ten years, or longer.

Then someone asked me to draw her cats for her and said ‘how much.” I was floored. This had never occurred to me, not once. She was the spark that lit the fire – the one with the big fireworks that spelled out ‘you can do this.’

I’m not an expert; I’m so new at this that it is funny. Scary, too! I’m a little, more than a little, intimidated when professional artists give advice. I barely know what you are talking about.

Now, can I use any of that to sell myself, or do I need to make something up? πŸ˜€

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30 responses »

  1. It doesn’t matter!! You draw very well indeed – I wish I could draw like you. But in my experience, you need to just accept that you are talented now and work from there. You don’t have to have a BS line like an Apprentice candidate, you just need to be about what you love. It’s your enthusiasm that counts. And you have a powerful advantage – you’re American accent! (assuming you haven’t lost it!)

  2. Oh hun, take a deep breath. You’ll be grand. πŸ˜‰ Ha! I said Grand. Really, don’t over think it. The advice given was wonderful but don’t let it get you too overwhelmed. This first time experience for you will teach you loads about not only you as a budding new artist but the people in your community, what they are looking for etc.

    • Thank you! I’ll do my best to be grand πŸ™‚ I just started to feel… like a fraud. Not exactly, but something like that. Or was that all just another big apology for my work instead of saying thank you? Ugh…

  3. You’ll be fine, Sis. Some of the most famous artists are self taught – no shame in that! You are doing a wonderful job and if your whimsical style speaks to someone they will want your work! The business cards are a good idea, and Moo cards are a fun way to have them! I might have suggested you not mention logo design because that does get you into a whole other ball game – making sure they are printable for the different needs of the customer is more than just doing a picture on the iPad. “Fine art” portraits is much more forgiving (and fun)! I’d play logo design down and promote doing what you are enjoying – pet portraits and even people portraits! I can’t wait to see more of your art – you are fab and need to know it! Smooch!

    • Excellent point about the logo – there are standard formats and software etc, which definitely won’t run on an ipad. At least not yet! And for proper print, everything has to be CMYK. For photobox /moo print etc though it’s all RGB, which is what most things that aren’t specialist work in anyway.

    • Thanks, sis! I think part of what is bothering me is that you and Socks both went to art college. I feel as if I’m some kid given their first box of crayons and thinking they are an Old Master :/ I wonder what else I can do, at the same time! Such an odd feeling – I started the blog to write, not draw!

  4. What do you mean to make something up? Like a story why you are good? You don’t need a story, they don’t need a story, they need your work!

    Studying is good. It helps people come to the results they want faster than they can, if they still keep moving to these results without studying. You feel like you want some – I’m sure there are podcasts, free videos and blogs about methods, theories, history etc. The future has come, you don’t need to go to important looking buildings to find the knowledge. You can find it still sitting on your sofa.

    Sometimes studying is not necessary at all.
    When it comes to art, there are a few basic rules and the rest is practice, practice, practice. And practice doesn’t equal time. It’s about the intensity.

    The “I’m a fraud” feeling happens to more people than you think. This feeling doesn’t go away easily, but please believe me, this feeling is lying to you. People LIKE your drawings. It already happened. People like you drawings not because of what you have or have not studied, not because of what you do or do not believe in, they just simply like them!

    Keep drawing and it’s OK to be scared, just keep drawing.

    • I am! Got some more subjects to do πŸ™‚ I’m just a bit baffled about making a business out of this, I don’t have one, never had one… I’m an unemployed office drone with a blog. I guess I will have to say something if someone asks, though!

      • me too! unemployed office drone. !! starting a creative business! brand new to mosaics, but who cares? My Mom likes my stuff! >:-D

        here’s the deal: I’m older than all of you (I think) and certainly crankier. I also shove women in the ribs when they forget to feel their power. Find your power and your truth and hang on to it. (I’ll be back for a dig in the ribs if you get shaky and I beg you to do the same for me!)

        Spiders, this is hard because it’s personal, it’s from your guts, it’s not software electrons.

        This is the reason I would encourage you to write down and MEMORIZE that one-liner about what you do. You already have the talent for those one-liners–in your About Spiders patter! Which cracks me up every time! (And then there’s Minlit with her “Can’t stand lettuce.”!

        Having that statement links to your internal power–the more you say it, the more you believe it and then holy guacamole, paying customers believe it! It isn’t about sucking up to the suit in the elevator, but it is about selling you, which you have to do to make a living. It takes the sting out of the selling because you just repeat your memorized line. And you could be in an elevator sometime with about 30 seconds to say what you do!

        Having a business is mechanics. Having a REASON to have a business is a joy! There’s tons of help to understand how to run a creative-based business. I ran a tech editing business for years. Once I learned how to keep records and file, that was easy! Having a statement ready was important because “tech editing” is an amorphous blob and folks used to ask (pre-statement)–do you work at the newspaper?

        I need to write about this stuff on my own dang blog and leave space here for other commenters. Buck up, girl! Van Gogh had to buy his first paintbrush, too!

        • iPad as paintbrush – I like it! This thing (that I didn’t know I even wanted) is my best birthday present ever. And they are rare over here, I get tons of people asking about it when I cart it around with me.
          I have always wanted to work for myself, and came up with several ideas in my long-ass unemployment. Hubby isn’t an entreprenurial spirit, and he wouldn’t help. This time, he’s really behind me, which is a huge, huge help!
          I think you have the record for biggest comment πŸ™‚

        • Sometimes I use an opening question. The most awkward moment I find at shows where you’re there to sell stuff, is that moment where people are admiring your things and you need to open a line of conversation. I normally say something about Mojo being a very talented actor, which opens up a conversation about pets, which is what most people want to talk about. The stuff either sells or it doesn’t. But they have a good story that kind of tells itself.
          Also, about the ipad – sometimes it just takes the right medium to come along to burst out the stuff you’ve been building up like a big artistic pimple…. (Good statement??!!)

          • Excellent statement! I’m grateful to be old enough to appreciate new technology, and young enough to not be baffled by it. Then again my dad is 72 and he’s not baffled, either… I think you’re right about the accent bit, a big ‘Hi how’re ya’ in my accent is a good icebreaker right there. Maybe if I tell them a short story about the pic they like the most? All of mine so far have a story…

  5. Sure, you can use all of it, but I’d suggest writing it in a different way. I call it “sales-ese.”

    I’d start with something like- “I was born with an innate desire to put my thoughts to paper- but in picture form.”

    In regard to your use of the iPad- “Once discovering this new application, I quickly realized I’d found yet another way to utilize my talents.”

    Instead of saying you’re not a professional, try something like “My work is my own. I put my heart and soul into every piece I create. It may not be work that hangs in a museum, but it is completed with every bit as much desire, creativity and love.”

  6. When someone looks at your art, they don’t really care how much experience you have or how long you’ve been doing it. Talent speaks for itself! I have enjoyed all your paintings/brushings so far. You are so good at capturing expressions. and your more abstract purple kitty was so elegant and adorable. I don’t have any advice or anything… All I can say is, thank you for sharing your art with us!

  7. Wow, I’ve so enjoyed this thread! I needed to hear some of this again myself. It’s so easy to doubt yourself and something you create. You like the images, WE like your images! Remember that! Attitude counts for a lot when you’re selling, and yes, definitely tell a short story of the image they’re looking at! (Unless they don’t seem to want to chat – you’ll get a feel for that type). You should be proud to say you’re self-taught, too, if anyone asks! You’re a creative person – a writer AND artist – and come by it honestly! πŸ˜€ (Our mom was a writer and I’m an illustrator/designer, to explain to Spiders’ friends here). Ok, others said it better on here than I am. I just want you to know I’m excited for you and your latest artistic endeavors!

  8. Art isn’t about how much school you’ve been too. All it does is give you tools to get stuff on paper. You can learn all the technics in the world and STILL not be an artist. It’s something you are, or are not. As example is my grandma. She took tons of painting classes. She knows how to transfer something she’s looking to into a painting…. but they have NO soul. No heart, they don’t touch you. Just because you know how to do it, doesn’t mean your soul does. So don’t worry about how much schooling you don’t have.

    • Wow, thank you. I hope I get a feeling of soul in these furry people I do – I know I’m good at the eyes, and that is important – getting a look, a feeling of personality. I’d be happy to think I get some soul in there, too.

      • You can see the animals personality shine through and that’s not easy. If people love them, if they move the people who look at them, if they move YOU (clearly they do judging by the story of wanting to cry when you found out the one kitty had passed on), then they have soul. That’s what matters. πŸ™‚

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