I took a poll on several social media sites and in several private groups. This was hard for me. Putting my artwork out there to be critiqued. I told myself I would not look at the results until after my weekend because I am happy and excited about the future and did not want my heart to be distracted by any down side. I was super excited about celebrating my brother’s 50th birthday party. I texted messages some of my biggest critics as well. Polling on what their top five favorite might be out of about 20 pieces of art. Also asking for any critiques they might have. The polling goal was to break down by age, demographics, post pieces that were different color stories and style.
It feels like I am standing naked in front of my colleagues. Art and sharing is that way for most creative people. Our artwork shares pieces of our hearts. Our artful creations tells pieces of our story and journey. Thus it cuts to the core, even the best critique or advice. It is necessary to grow.
It’s Sunday as I type this. I am now looking over what I have asked my family, friends, community and colleagues to do. Rate their top five. Tell me what you think? What flaws do you see or not see? And here I sit on this freezing cold Sunday and tears start falling. Aligning my spreadsheets with the results. Taking a calculated approach to the creative parts of me. There is not one negative comment. Here I am running my own research campaign. Here I am putting my paintings out there to be, well you know, picked apart. I have nothing but positive notes. Even received a few orders. (Which is a wonderful surprise).
I am in a space of complete excitement colliding with fear as I move into the next level of selling my artwork. No one sees your hard work. No one is sitting at the blank canvas with ideas in your head begging to be painted. No one can read your mind. Knowing that even while you are a passenger in a car chatting away about things that have nothing to do with painting you are thinking about what to paint next.
I set a goal from April of 2021-December of 2021 to develop my art business. I read somewhere in the gazillion blogs, news pieces, gallery write-ups, and artist interviews that the most successful artists can produce 52 pieces a year. Being the over achiever I tend to be I set out to do that. I ended up designing, painting, and creating 100 pieces. I worked tirelessly to promote, and made my website to be a designer showcase of my art. Who is looking? Who cares? Am I really good at this? Do I have to be good at this? Do people even realize how much work goes into one single brush stroke? Abstract What?
And the admin. part which I loathe. In my brand and marketing business, in my interior design business, and managing my own retail business for years I had people. I hired people to do the jobs that I was not very good at. Number one being the admin part yet I have even managed to make that a priority. Learn what I need to learn. Truth be told I just learned two days ago to scan a document on my fancy printer. A feature I had not ever used. Are any of my readers from the mail in, fax in era. You get this, right?!
Then my biggest fan of all. Almost daily pushing me forward with his words of encouragement. I heard his end of phone calls. Telling his friends how good I am. Looking into the art room and telling me his favorites…and not so favorites. He proudly ordered four pieces for his own home. He is not a man of lip service. He is not a flatterer. When he likes something he tells you. When he does not like something he tells you. My biggest fan and my biggest critic. He has made me cry a few times. Yet I learned things I could do better. He has made me cry sometimes when telling me how cool he thought a piece of my art is and continues to encourage me and his words reach into the creative parts of my heart almost daily.
“I Took A Poll”. Why? Because I have goals and dreams for my paintings. I easily get lots on the apron, colored with the paints of the past. I get lost in designing, creating and enjoying the quiet of my thoughts of color and design coming alive. For the past several months I have shared, vetted out the ones that scale lower than others. “I Took A Poll” with my top 20 most popular paintings because I LOVE THEM ALL. the results are in. I am learning and growing from a business perspective that goes beyond the paint brush and canvas.
Thank you everyone. The 25-65 people who daily visit my website. The 200-400 weekly visits to my website is validation of my creative artful paintings. Having been a retail designer store I know what it feels like to have 10 people walk into my store daily. I know what a busy weekend of 20,30,100 customers walking into my store. My website gives me the same feels. Thank you. Thank you to everyone who took th time to comment and share your thoughts on your favorite pieces.
I had to come hear today and write this out in a post.
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