I decided to try online marketing. I have decided to open an Etsy shop. I chose Etsy because of the simplicity of the message. It is a shop and there is no pretence to anything else. My shop is not a gallery with hidden messages that you can buy. It is simply a shop. I noticed that there are few painters in the Etsy collection of artists and I hope that is not a deterrent. Here is my plan: I will sell mostly small works and I will start by selling mostly works on paper. Once I get a handle on shipping and the details of selling, I may graduate to bigger items. I will wait and see how it goes first.My first works will be inexpensive and I will gradually work my way to regular pricing. The first people to go to my site will get deals, as they say.
Starting this journey is interesting. I always hated painting small. I found that I spent as much time on a small work as I did a bigger work (almost), so I avoided ‘small’. Now, I am making myself paint small and after about 20 painting, you know, it is not so bad. I have chosen to specialize in landscape….Alberta, Saskatchewan, BC….. I have more photos than I want to own up to from our trips to the western provinces for our children’s sport activities. I have started taking them out and working with them. I discovered that I like skies; storm, sunsets, sunrises and wispy clouds. I learnt something about myself.
Go far away is not important. Going to a location that you have never seen before near your home is travelling too. Or going to a familiar location at the time of year that you have never been. You are opening yourself up to new experiences. For example, I we go camping in the same location every summer with family. However, I have never been there in winter. We decided that we would go there looking for an Xmas tree. Well, that was an eye opener. The beautiful wilderness was completely hidden by a blanket of snow and the landscape looked completely different. It was a new world. A light snow was falling and it slowly turned into a swirling storm. This painting is the result.
I love travel. This way I see new -to-me ideas and inspirations for my painting. My last travel experience was India. I participated in an artist in residence experience in the Himalayas. It was beautiful there and also very different from my own experience with mountains. My artistic goal was to compare the Canadian Rockies to the Himalayas. I am still digesting all my information but it was definitely worth it. While I was there, I worked in watercolour (because it is easy to travel with) but once I was home, I really focused on skies. I saw these glorious mountains but it is the skies that impressed me the most, it seems.
If you want to see my India photos, you can go to Youtube. Check out my channel. Just search Doris Charest….and Tada! There I am.
As you mature as an artist, it is recommended that you have a solo show. This shows that you are now moving into the ‘professional’ category and that you have a solid body of work created. So, the question is: How do I get to that point?
First, pick a theme that you enjoy painting. If you are a landscape painter, pick one area (ie. Elk Island Park) and paint scenes from that area. Or, paint only trees. Or, paint only fall fields…. you get the idea.
Second, pick a color palette that you will use for all the series. Six basic colors that you will use for the whole series. You can vary this with a few more colors but stick to those chosen colors.
Third, create at least 20 works that you are happy with on that theme. This may seem like a lot but when you go to fill a room with your own work, it has been my experience that you always need more work than you think.
Fourth, Work only on this series for a ‘certain’ time period. If you concentrate on that series, your work will be more consistent. Consistency is important for a solo show.
My solo show is now over so I was wondering what I could write about that would interest people and was somewhat new so that it would be interesting. I decided that I would write about making my videos for the courses I offer on my site.
Making a video about your artwork is a bit like this image. You get an idea first. The idea seems great so you think ‘why not?’. This is what I did. I recorded the information that I wanted with a video recorder I had at home. Then, I could not get the video to download to my computer. Hours and hours later, I consulted an expert. They told me that my video recorder was too old! I had to start again.
Once started, I found that I had to also learn editing. More hours of learning later, some of it figuring out which program was best and then how to use it… Groan! There is so much to learn!….Next was uploading the video in a format that others could see it. Finally, it was done and I had a video. What next? Whom do I want to show it to? You will find this in the next post……. a little mystery to keep you coming.
Preparing for it involved some serious elbow grease. I had to decide what I wanted to show. Although I had a lot of work ready, I wanted everything to go well together. I ended up creating a whole ‘bunch’ of new work so that I had a cohesive show. Tweaking some of the existing work too. Even though I thought I would be ready early, I was burning the midnight oil until the day before. The volunteers at the Centre put up the show (the artist was not allowed there) and they did a great job. I want to thank them for all their hard work. The show could not have happened without them.
I will be blogging about what it is like to be an artist.
Everyday life as an artist. What is it like? Well, I can assure you it is not boring. There is always some new challenge on the horizon. I will talk about getting ready for shows, daily life, preparing courses and much more. Keep in touch and you will find out ….
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