Friday, February 22, 2008

Living on the Edge

REMINDER: Texas WAX reception tonight at CAMP, 2631 Commerce, Suite B, Dallas, TX, 6:00 - 8:00 TONIGHT

When I started this art career some ten years ago I knew that I was taking a big chance, and my income would be undependable, to say the least. That has proven true. What I wouldn't have guessed back then is how valuable good relationships are, and how important it is to align yourself with like-minded people. That truly is the secret to my success.

Technology has changed everything in ten years, including the commercial art business. Where once I would have to paint originals to submit as design concepts, now I spend time on my Cintiq monitor, painting on the screen creating digital images for approval. Now, I don't actually paint anything until I have a purchase order. A trend that has influenced this way of working is the popularity of photography in public spaces. More and more I am asked for photography instead of paintings. And sometimes I do mixed media pieces which incorporate both.

Yesterday I got a request for providing photo files to be digitally printed on wallpaper! That's a new one for me, and requires another new pricing strategy.

As detached as I have gotten from hands-on artwork, I was jolted back yesterday when I attended a lecture of ten artists working in encaustic, including Joanne Mattera, at ArtSpace, running during the CAA conference in downtown Dallas. The sincere thought processes that are the catalyst for creating meaningful artwork were shared by these artists who came to describe their personal visions -- the meaning behind the work. These were all artists using the encaustic medium, but were loath to describe themselves as encaustic artists, preferring not be be labeled. For most, the medium provides them the technical properties they needed in order to tell their story. It was a long afternoon of slideshows in a darkened room, but it fed my creative soul, and reawakened the passion for my work.

Once again I was reminded of the importance (on so many levels) of keeping company with like-minded people.

Inspiration of the Day: relationships


Joanne Mattera said...

Hi, Robin--
Nie post, and lively to have net you in Dallas. One little quibble, I advocate strongly against the use of the term "encaustic artist" and it always takes me aback to fine myself identified that way. Encaustic, yes. Artist, yes. But I am a painter who works in wax, a point I made at least twice on Friday.

CMC said...

How true that we all need to get out and rub shoulders now and then with our peers. You have to spend lots of time alone with your work...but great to talk with other artists now and then.
One of the great things about this show is I think the work came from artists, first and the medium was just a method of getting their thought across.

Going to the Fort Worth Modern tomorrow night for the Puryear show.

Joanie Gagnon San Chirico said...

Good relationships, definitely! I wrote about you and just that on my blog the other day.

Joanne, I have the same issue with textile artist and I need to change that.

Walker said...

It took me awhile, but I finally see the problem with describing an artist by the medium they employ. It doesn't work! Saying "encaustic artist" doesn't say anything about the art. I should have instantly realized that, since I am an artist using many different materials myself. I stand corrected! Cheryl's right, the medium is just the method to get the message out.