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Today I am a full time artist, exhibiting my art and running workshops both in person and on-line. My mission is to inspire people to be brave and use their creativity more. I love being on my own in the studio, finding my flow and painting for a whole day. Even more than that though, I love meeting likeminded people with the same passion for art and painting together. The happiness and joy that I find when there is a room full of people fully immersed in their own flow is magical. During 2017 I will expand my workshop schedule and the plan is that during 2018 workshops will be a big part of my business. You can find my workshop schedule on my website and keep updated by signing up for my newsletter.
I have my art studio in my garage at home and there I have enough space for all my stuff and all the mess I make when I find my flow. I love my studio, not because it is fancy or beautiful in any way, it is very rough, but I love it because magic happens in there. I am currently looking for a bigger studio space where I can run workshops as well. Hopefully I will find one this year. I work in the studio every day. My kids are very welcome to join me and they love to use all my stuff and spend time in the studio. It is amazing what they create when they get the space and time to just be creative. There is so much to learn from kids! Let them be creative without boundaries and just watch!
Method and Approach
My art emerges while I paint. I work in many layers and my art is very rich in depth and texture. I use acrylic paint, paper, fabric, oil pastels, inks… anything really. The imagery slowly develops during the process. Either it appears in the paint on the canvas or I get inspired by something I see and I get the urge to paint it. I love it when I do not have full control over the result, such as when the paint is dripping or I splash the paint on the canvas. I try not to worry about the result until the final layers. I work on several paintings at the same time, in different stages. When I get stuck on one I usually get inspiration to work on one of the others. I hang my unfinished work in different places around the studio and my home, such as the kitchen and the living room. I love having them around when I do house work and get comments from my friends and family. When the paintings “speak to me”, or I get inspiration to continue, I bring them to my studio and I continue to add new layers. I also make my own art journals where I try new techniques and media. I love working in the journal to loosen up and to let go when I feel stuck. I focus much less on the result when working in my art journal.
My inspiration varies over time, but right now it is to focus on my inner creativity, to be vulnerable and brave. I am trying to listen, and when I feel that I resonate with something, I paint it. When I find my flow there is a direct contact to my inner voice; an endless source of inspiration! I get very inspired by other artists. I love following artists on-line and seeing how their art develops and also how they develop as humans. I love the energy in galleries and museums but the absolute best is working together with other creative people to be creative together and collaborate in the creative process. The energy around creative people is what inspires me the most at the moment!
Marketing and Promotion
Marketing and promotion is part of everything I do. I am very active on social media, especially Instagram and Facebook. I share mostly my work in progress both also finished pieces. My website is updated regularly and that is the base for all my marketing material. I have everything there. I also send out newsletters on a regular basis including information regarding my workshops and events. I am very active in my local art community, participating in joint exhibitions and local events to market myself locally. Marketing is very important but it takes a lot of time. I find it hard to find a balance sometimes.
Exhibitions and Shows
I am exhibiting my art both in galleries and in local shops. Sometimes I sell a lot and sometimes I sell nothing. I am trying to keep exhibiting my art in as many different contexts as possible. I market my art on-line and sell my work all over the world directly from my website and from Facebook.
Obstacles and Challenges
For many years, as a young adult I did not paint at all. My inner critique and my expectations on the result were so strong that I did not paint at all. One day I just decided to paint anyway with the only goal to have fun during the process. When I lost the interest to add more paint to the canvas I put it aside and I never looked at it again. This continued for a couple of years and was a very important period to find ways around the block and to find my flow again. Debris of the block is still around and I stumble upon it sometimes, but I have now found ways to push through and ways to not let it stop me. Nowadays I do not think of the end-result and I just paint straight from my heart and not my brain. It is all about finding my flow and not letting my analytical brain steer the process. I just paint even though I feel uninspired. Art journaling is a great tool for pushing through the blocks.
Tips and Advice
My advice to everyone is to listen to your inner voice and let your soul speak! Paint, if that is what you love doing. Do not think about the result but just have fun! When it comes to building an art business it is important to not let a “no” stop you. Keep sending your paintings to different exhibitions and ask local stores and restaurants if they want to exhibit your art. Be brave and vulnerable! Show what you are doing. Not everyone will like it, but that is ok! Your creativity is your soul speaking and your art is your unique contribution to this world. Please share it!