#6 How to Establish an Art Practice

On the Left Brain Artist podcast, I will bring you weekly interviews with artists who are actively creating art and actively selling their art. Of course, I’ve chosen these artists because of the quality of their artwork. But I’ve also chosen them because they have experience showing their work in galleries, stores, festivals, and they have stories to share that can help other artists who want to sell their work. Each week I will bring you an interview with one of these artists. Later in the week, I’ll take one thing we discussed that I think it’s important to expand upon – one thing that they’ve done to increase their business. They’ve had success doing this one thing, and I want to share that success with you.

Listen here or download from iTunes, CastBox, or Stitcher.

When I spoke with artist Jennifer Love Gironda, she talked about how she creates an art piece a day. Here are my thoughts on why you should establish a practice of creating art every day and how you can do it:

  1. It will improve your skills and challenges you to try something new.
  2. It helps you to develop your style.
  3. It gives you accountability.
  4. Joining an art group gives you outside accountability, encouragement, feedback, and a sense of community.
  5. You will learn to start and finish a project.

Practical tips:

  1. Do small, flat pieces that store easily.
  2. Make with the supplies you have on hand.
  3. Set up a place to do your art or a way to take it with you.
  4. Set aside time every day.
  5. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect.

Here are some challenges you can find on the internet (click on the links to find them):

Creativebug 30-day challenges

Creative Every Day

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Drawing Challenge

And here are some interesting books I’ve found:

Make Art Every Day: A Weekly Planner for Creative Thinkers

Wake Up Your Imagination: A Journal for Creative Play

Draw Every Day, Every Way

#5 Jennifer Love Gironda — Art Teacher

Jennifer Love Gironda is a high school art teacher in Lake Worth, Florida. Her loves are textiles and beads, and she often combines the two. She has a habit of producing a piece of art a day (and she is on her 7th year!), and she publishes them on her blog and instagram. 

Jennifer attended the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Florida for a month in 2017. Here she is with a quilt that she is beading.

At the Hermitage, she also made these delicate paper cuts. She mounted them in a room divider which remains at the Hermitage for all to enjoy.

 

Here is Jenny on her trip to Japan. Left to right: She is with school children in Hiroshima; at a tea ceremony; and in Tokyo.

Jenny has exhibited many of her art-a-day pieces. This first one is from her GirlTalk series, which was shown at the PBCATA show at Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery in Lake Worth, Florida. The next photo is from her Disney series, at her show in North Carolina.

Jenny is always looking for a way to incorporate jewelry making into her art. She made this piece using a few of her art-a-day artwork.

Here are some of the things we discussed on this episode (click on the names to follow the links):

Jennifer Love Gironda has a website that shows every piece of artwork she’s made per day for over 6 years. Check out the blog section of her website at jenniferlovegironda.com.

You can also find her daily artwork on Instagram: artinw_damuse.

If you’re interested in applying for a retreat, see the Hermitage Artist Retreat.

Jenny holds a fashion summer camp at The Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

She is a member of the Palm Beach County Art Teachers Association (PBCATA).

She has exhibited at Clay Glass Metal Stone Gallery in Lake Worth, Florida.

Her artwork a day is always based on monthly themes. Here are a few themes we discussed:

Wedding Dresses

Mythical May

November Blue

GirlTalk: Influential Women and Black History Month

And finally, here are a few more takeaways from my conversation with Jennifer Love Gironda:

  1. When you move to a new city, take some time to check out the local art galleries, organizations, and public art.
  2. Search for an apply for artist retreats or residencies.
  3. Work to develop your style as an artist by creating one piece of art a day.
  4. Make a series of artwork based on a theme. This will improve your techniques and challenge you creatively.
  5. Don’t be afraid to call yourself an artist!

Give yourself a treat, and take some time to look through Jennifer’s website or Instagram. Allow an hour or two or many! I guarantee you will be inspired by all that she creates.

#4 Approaching Galleries: How to Find Them, How to Talk to Them

On the Left Brain Artist podcast, I will bring you weekly interviews with artists who are actively creating art and actively selling their art. Of course, I’ve chosen these artists because of the quality of their artwork. But I’ve also chosen them because they have experience showing their work in galleries, stores, festivals, and they have stories to share that can help other artists who want to sell their work. Each week I will bring you an interview with one of these artists. Later in the week, I’ll take one thing we discussed that I think it’s important to expand upon – one thing that they’ve done to increase their business. They’ve had success doing this one thing, and I want to share that success with you.

Listen here or download from iTunes, CastBox, or Stitcher.

When I spoke with ceramic artist Barbara Powell, she talked about how she approaches galleries about showing her work. Here are the takeaways:

1. Visit the space to see if your artwork is the right fit.

2. Talk with other artists who have exhibited there.

3. Attend an artist reception at the gallery.

4. Practice saying what it is you do.

5. Make an initial contact with the gallery owner.

6. Email the gallery owner, and include high quality photographs of your work.

7. Sign an agreement to display your work at that gallery.

8. Include an inventory of your artwork that will be displayed at the gallery.

Thanks for listening! I hope you learned something good today.

#3 Barbara Powell — Ceramic Artist

Barbara Powell is a ceramic artist living in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. In high school, she tried throwing a pot on a wheel, and discovered she had a natural ability for it. Flash forward a few years, and after a career in environmental science, Barbara has developed her skills in creating beautiful vessels, and fires them using the raku or saggar techniques.

Raku technique

Saggar technique

Horsehair saggar

Pots on fire

You can find Barbara’s artwork on Facebook or Instagram at Powell Ceramic Art. Her website is coming soon.

Here are the takeaways from this episode: (Click on the names to follow the links)

1. Seek out art classes at your local high school or college. They’re usually very inexpensive, and after you know what you’re doing, you can use their  equipment before committing to buying your own. You can also try selling your artwork at their shows in an easy, encouraging environment. Locally, she took classes at Broward Community College and Palm Beach State College.

2. Seek out museum gift shops to sell your artwork: Lighthouse ArtCenter, Cornell Art Museum, and The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.

3. Consider co-op style galleries, like Artisans on the Ave in Lake Worth, Florida.

4. Always be professional with your business: create a professional-looking booth for sales; and take good photos of your art.

5. Get yourself and your artwork seen by doing workshops and demos.

6. If you are a ceramic artist like Barbara, re-listen to this podcast for tips on how to set up and indoor and outdoor space for creating pottery.

I’ve had the good fortune of being able to watch Barbara and her husband Jerry remove raku pots from the kiln — it’s spectacular. They come out red hot and are placed into a can of paper, which immediately burns. You never know quite what the pots will look like after this process. If you ever have a chance to witness this yourself, you should.

#2 Why You Should Join a Local Artists’ Group

On the Left Brain Artist podcast, I will bring you weekly interviews with artists who are actively creating art and actively selling their art. Of course, I’ve chosen these artists because of the quality of their artwork. But I’ve also chosen them because they have experience showing their work in galleries, stores, festivals, and they have stories to share that can help other artists who want to sell their work. Each week I will bring you an interview with one of these artists. Later in the week, I’ll take one thing we discussed that I think it’s important to expand upon – one thing that they’ve done to increase their business. They’ve had success doing this one thing, and I want to share that success with you.

In my interview with watercolor artist Bobbin Salisbury, she talked about two arts organizations that she has joined and participates in actively. One is the Palm Beach Watercolor Society, and the other is the Wellington Art Society. Both of these are located in Palm Beach County, Florida, but you should be able to find one near you. We have at least a dozen more here. Some are open to all visual artists, some include performance artists, like dancers and actors, or writers, like writers of poetry or essays. Other groups are for specific genres of art, like watercolor or jewelry.

Listen here or download from iTunes, CastBox, or Stitcher.

Here are the takeaways from this episode:

1.  The yearly fee for being a member will be far outweighed by its benefits, such as access to shows and demonstrations by other artists.

2.  Pick the brains of your fellow members to find out where they find other shows, galleries, or shops for their art; how they photograph their art; how to set up a display at an outdoor booth.

3.  Go to the monthly meetings to develop relationships with other artists.

4.  Attend all the demonstrations, even if the artwork is not your genre. You’ll still learn valuable business tips from the demonstrating artist.

5.  Find out about artist receptions and attend them regularly.

6.  Join a committee. That’s the best way to learn how to put out a Call to Artists and how to hang art and run a show.

7.  Helping run a show will also teach you what NOT to do when you are an exhibiting artist.

8.  Use search engines to find an artist group near you.

9.  Visit a few of them to discover which is the best fit for you.

Thanks for listening! I hope you learned something good today.

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