Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How I Became an Artist

Recently I came across a very interesting article titled 5 Blog Posts Every Artist Should Write on a website called Imaginative Bloom. I have decided to answer these questions in an ongoing series.

Today I will tackle question #1 - How you became an artist. The reasoning behind writing this blog post is that it will help readers feel more connected to you. I personally often waver over how much of myself to expose on the internet. I admire those people who "let it all hang out" but at the same time feel like I would be too exposed if I did that myself. I even read advice from one very successful artist who said her sales increased significantly when she deleted all personal information about herself from her website and recommended everyone to do the same!

I do happen to think the story of How I became an artist is really interesting though, and worth sharing again for those who haven't heard it, so here it goes!



How I became an Artist
First of all, I have been an artist for less than 5 years! If I stop to think about it, it is still quite new and unexpected. Being an artist was never what I had planned for myself in a million years (although maybe deep down it was something I secretly wanted, but never thought could happen.) I actually have a Master's degree in something completely unrelated - Speech Language Pathology- and worked in that field for several years. I suppose I imagined that that was it for me career-wise, and I would be doing that job the rest of my life.

Of course, I have since learned, we don't have a whole lot of control over certain things. In 2003 I became severely ill due to chronic Lyme Disease and had to stop working in my previous career that was highly demanding and stressful (I worked primarily in Rehab hospitals with Brain Injury and Stroke patients)  This led me a couple years later to take a local class called "The Artist's Way" based on the book/program by Julia Cameron. I had always been kind of "crafty" as a hobby, but never considered myself an "artist" in anyway, shape, or form. For fun, I decided to make a collage and bring it in to the class for a kind of "Show and Tell." Well, the response was overwhelming! The teacher of the class wound up buying that first collage, and within a few months I found myself accepting commissions, having my work in local stores, and being accepted into a juried art show!

It hasn't all been easy though. There has been a huge learning curve in terms of technique as well as marketing myself, and I have still been dealing with ongoing health issues, that at times have made doing anything incredibly challenging.

I am, however, having my first solo art exhibit in a few weeks!!
Click here for more info

As a person who hasn't been an "artist" for all that long, this is a pretty amazing place to conclude the story of How I Became An Artist, if I do say so myself!

To be continued.....

8 comments:

  1. Hey Abby, I see you've put into practice the tips read in the post! That's great!
    It's a joy to see this and to read your story too!

    I must admit that after reading your story you art gain even more value. Yes, your collages are really beautiful and without having specific artistic studies in your background, you're able to create all this.
    This is absolutely a "point in your favor".

    Congrats and keep up the good work!
    { uh and thank you for spreading about the post :) }

    Cheers,
    Irene

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  2. It's so great to learn more about you! Your collages are beautiful!
    We have similar stories of how we became artists, so I could definitely relate!
    :)

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  3. Irene - thanks so much for the inspiration - so glad you like the collages and the post! Your blog is lovely and I look forward to continuing the series :)

    Abby

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  4. Soulful,

    Thank you! I love your blog and definitely will become a follower :)

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  5. Yes, do it! :) I thought it could be nice if you could show to the other IB readers how you put in practice the tips of the "5 Blog Posts Every Artist Should Write" post.

    So if you like, feel free to join our fan page on Facebook and share there your "experience" on starting this series. You can also include the link to this post.
    I think it can be of inspiration and stimulate other creatives :)

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  6. RE "I even read advice from one very successful artist who said her sales increased significantly when she deleted all personal information about herself from her website and recommended everyone to do the same!"
    I totally disagree and think most people buy "the story" that you create around who you are. An artwork has more meaning if we know the artist and can connect just like we love jewellry given to us by someone we know and love. Also i would love to feature you on Earth Sky Sea but don't even know your name! Have a look at greg Spalenka and how he markets himself and also Roxana Villa http://thebeeshouse.blogspot.com/2010/11/featured-artist-roxana-and-winged.html
    Good Luck

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  7. Hi Irene,

    I posted on your FB wall! It would be interesting to see other stories/posts inspired by this question. I'm sure everyone has a unique story to tell :)

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  8. Earth Sky Sea

    I agree that it is always interesting to learn more about an artist and their background/inspiration!

    Also, thanks for pointing out my name isn't anywhere on my blog! I have since changed that :)You can learn more about me at http://111collagedesign.com. I'd love to talk more about being featured on you blog!
    thanks
    Abby

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