I don’t want to leave this until it’s one of those long overdue posts. There are some people who deserve my thanks. It’s only been a few months since I began working toward art as a vocation (that is, since I’ve been making serious attempts at getting paid for my art), but I have already received so much priceless help from some phenomenal people – people who I haven’t even met. I want to bring much-deserved attention to their amazing work and acknowledge them for what they’ve done to help me get started.
First, there was Robin Sealark. I found her on Youtube when I was looking for an instructional video on mixing flesh tones. She had a great video on that topic, and so much more. Robin is young and full of energy, witty, charming, and adorable. Her paintings are full of vibrant color and she dares to experiment and reinvent herself. Watching her videos made me feel like I already had a friend in the business. I would like to spend the first profits from my own paintings to purchase one of hers.
Next, there was Stefan Baumann. Wow. Just wow. I may have watched all of his lectures on Youtube (there are a lot) and I know I’ve watched at least a dozen of them a second time. I’ve never seen, or rather heard, art classes taught the way he teaches. I am so amazed that instruction this valuable is available for free on Youtube. The gift that he has given to the artists of the world in these videos is enormous. If you are a painter, you need to watch them. Even if you don’t paint in oils, you need to watch them. Even photographers should watch them. You won’t agree with everything he says, but you need to watch them. I’ve added attending one of his workshops at his Mount Shasta ranch to my bucket list.
Finally there is Patrick at Art Storefronts. He does their podcasts. I have determined that I am not quite ready to purchase their software/services to set up an e-commerce website with “Live Preview” (a super-cool feature where you can see what a painting will look like on your own wall). But they have so much genius advice available in those podcasts on the topic of marketing art. I’m so thankful that they offer it for free.
Besides the great people I’ve found online, I’ve been encouraged by some great people I’ve met face-to-face: church friends, friends at my day job (which I’m not quitting any time soon), old friends that I only get to see on social media, and especially my new friends at our local Urban Sketchers group — it was phenomenal to sit down with a group of strangers, talk and laugh like we’d known each other for years, and walk away friends. I look forward to getting to know you better. I’m so glad I live in a city where people care about art and artists have the means to find each other.
Most important of all, there’s my family, not one of whom ever told me that I would starve if I tried to make a living as an artist. Really. Not one discouraging word from one relative ever. Not when I was a teenager considering attending an art school instead of a traditional college. Not now, after I’ve had other jobs for decades and decided to get back into art and make it a profession. Not even one snarky comment. How rare is that?!!