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The Nitty-Gritty

As an emerging artist, the majority of my income comes from commissions I receive from friends, family, and now referrals (YAY). People who are close to me and my career have an understanding of what goes into their custom pieces, but not everyone is exposed to the "art world". Clients who just stumble across my work on Instagram or are referred by a friend often have no idea what it is to be an artist or create pieces of work. So here it is (only speaking from my experience of course).

My studio door at Redux Contemporary Art Center

Creating quality works of art takes TIME and MONEY. Art supplies are EXPENSIVE and need to be replaced regularly. Not to mention, artists require suitable spaces in which to create their art. That means there's things like studio rent to consider. Depending on ones medium, a piece can take anywhere from hours, to weeks and so on. I work primarily with oil paint, which requires periods of drying time between layers. Smaller commissions take me at least three weeks to complete, while larger works take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. When I receive a commission, I cant simply start painting that day. I must plan the composition, think about what color choices will be best, purchase any supplies I might need for the piece, sketch out a few ideas, and then finally proceed to put brush to canvas. 

Stage one: preliminary sketches

Stage two: layering on the paint

Finished product at the 2017 Charleston Fashion Week

Canvases, paints and other supplies are also delicate and temperamental. Everything must be carefully stored, packaged, transported, etc. Whether I am purchasing my materials, am in the middle of creating a piece, or installing a piece for exhibition, I find that I handle my work like children (or in my case, like my precious fur babies). Art requires constant attention and consideration, not just from its viewers but from its makers. It's of course rewarding, but also very consuming and draining. Make no mistake, I am NOT complaining, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I've ended up laying on my studio floor for a 5 minute recharge every now and then...

My hard working studio assistant...

My hard working studio assistant...

In my case, I am not yet a full-time artist. I balance my studio time and pop up events/markets with my full-time office job. So what this means to me is... TIME IS PRECIOUS. Seriously, I cant emphasize enough how much I value the hours in each day. I have multiple calendars and detailed schedules planned down to the minute. So, when clients see what looks like the house portrait they commissioned, I see the fruits of the 4+ weekends spent working on it in the studio. What's a month's worth of weekends worth to you? It's a strange thing to value!

When I'm not in the studio, I'm popping up somewhere! Like the Celadon Warehouse Market...

or teaching a painting workshop at Candlefish!

At the end of the day, I LOVE being an artist and what I do in the studio. I love everything about it. I love that my work takes time and deep attention and consideration, it makes me feel incredibly fulfilled. I love spending a few weeks with a pet portrait and getting to know a member of someone's family in such an intimate way. I love seeing how excited my client is to receive or gift it, knowing that it will be hanging proudly in someone's home. All of this makes me feel connected to something bigger than myself and gives me purpose. I hope this post helps people understand better what career artists put into their work. Can't wait to be at it full-time!

quality time with my DaniGirl

quality time with my DaniGirl

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Open Studios Night(s) at Redux

Next Tuesday night, the Redux artists will be opening our doors to the public for Open Studios night! 

open studios 9.17.jpg

Open Studios night is an awesome opportunity to see what we all have been working on. While we are usually hunkered down with our creative weapons of choice, on Tuesday we'll have our doors open and work on display. This is our chance to answer questions and meet more members of our supportive community. Many of us will even be serving refreshments and will have select items ready for purchase!

always something new to see in our gallery spaces

always something new to see in our gallery spaces

Fellow Redux artist, Samantha Reuter, hard at work

Fellow Redux artist, Samantha Reuter, hard at work

Our plan is to host these Open Studios events more regularly so that we can remain involved and engaged with our community. We hope to build relationships and grow our personal businesses. We want Redux to be known as a welcoming place where exciting things are happening to strengthen Charleston and what makes this city so special. Hope you'll join us on the 12th!

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Better Ways to Purchase

GREAT news! It is now easier than ever to purchase artwork from yours truly. I am now represented by a wonderful online gallery: Straight to Art.

Lauren and Jennifer are the two masterminds behind this wonderful service

Lauren and Jennifer are the two masterminds behind this wonderful service

Straight to Art is an online gallery, as well as a studio management service, for artists. Their team enables artists to spend more time in their studios, and less time managing administrative and marketing tasks. This local Charleston business couldn't come at a better time. Charleston is brimming with creatives and we all share similar struggles: how to produce at our highest level and how to make our work accessible to potential clients. Straight to Art is offering a wonderful solution to this problem.

Jennifer and Lauren are the masterminds behind this service. They have gathered a really wonderful and talented group of artists who they currently represent, and I am very humbled to be included in this group. Not only will they be managing all sales from their online gallery, but they also organize and host several group and solo shows throughout the year. Be sure to follow S2A on Instagram and Facebook to stay tuned for all the upcoming events!

In addition to my inventory with Straight to Art, you can also find select pieces of my work at Art Mecca on King street, and as always, I am available for commissions

 

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Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow...

One of Charleston's staples closed its doors this past weekend. Fish Restaurant was well loved by many Charlestonians, at least at some point in their lives. Whether it be attending their amazing Bastille Day bashes, taking advantage of their tasty happy hour specials, or frequenting "Club Fish" on the weekends, many memories were made there. It had been a while since I was a Fish "regular", but it will ALWAYS hold a special place in my heart as one of my first haunts since moving back to the Holy City in 2012, and as the place I forged several new friendships. 

The picture I took of Fish Restaurant, on which I based my original oil on canvas portrail

The picture I took of Fish Restaurant, on which I based my original oil on canvas portrail

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Which gets me thinking... It's important to continue growing and evolving throughout life. As an artist, this means that I must always test my limits and get out of my comfort zone. I need to be open to new methods, practices, subjects, and directions, regardless of what "success" I may or may not be experiencing. I NEVER want my work to become boring or stagnant, and the best way to remain relevant and interesting is to be present and engaged in the world around me; to be inspired and even influenced. I challenge myself to listen to my subconscious and trust that it will take me in the artistic direction that is "right" for me and me only. Easy to type out here on my blog, we'll see how that translates in the studio...

juuuuust contemplating life in the studio, haha. Thanks to Nickie Stone for the pic!

juuuuust contemplating life in the studio, haha. Thanks to Nickie Stone for the pic!

So, while I am nostalgic about Fish and the memories it holds for many, I am optimistic that it is simply evolving into its next chapter as a Charleston establishment. Best of luck to everyone involved in its next phase as Parcel 32. 

If you would like to purchase on of the last Fish prints, I still have a few left. I wont be having any more printed, so contact me today to place your order. The original oil on canvas piece is also still available for purchase. 

If you would like to purchase on of the last Fish prints, I still have a few left. I wont be having any more printed, so contact me today to place your order. The original oil on canvas piece is also still available for purchase. 

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