I saw this painting below that Jill painted and thought it was brilliant!! Jill has a shoppe called J Dryer Art. [jdryerart.etsy.com] I love how she uses chairs in a lot of her artwork. I've always had a fasintation with drawing chairs as well. [although, her's are much nicer then my own] Her style is wonderful, and all of her work is really whimsical.
CRAFTING: I've always loved being artistic - and since about high school I knew I wanted to be an artist. But I got a degree in journalism instead (thinking there might be more career opportunities) and ultimately had a 15 year career in advertising sales. Looking back, I don't have regrets on the path I took since it paid my bills quite nicely and taught me a lot about the business world (basically laying the groundwork for having my own company). Now that I'm an artist full-time, my job is incredibly rewarding, I feel more balanced than ever and I look forward my work everyday.
GENRE: I've always enjoyed illustration and painting - so my medium hasn't changed much over the years. But the content varies from children's books and kid-related artwork...to corporate and commissioned pieces...to paintings that represent my own life statements.
INSPIRATION: I'm inspired by other people who are devoted to doing what they love. For instance, my friend Milton Mizenberg, a Chicago sculptor who has devoted his life to his art and to bettering the neighborhood that he lives in. It's a wonderful story of a man on the southside of Chicago who brought hope back to a neighborhood that people had given up on. As Milton will say, "he's a scrap man. He takes things that no one else sees value in and turns it into something beautiful".
There's also my friend Birger Juell who owns a high-end wood floor business in the Chicago Merchandise Mart. He's 91 and still goes to work everyday. He's lived an amazing life and always has wonderful stories to share - from coming to America from Norway on the boat when he was 17, Mackinaw Island sailing races, being a ski-jumper in the 1930's, etc. He is more excited about life than anyone I know and he lives everyday to the fullest. You really can't hang out with him for 10 minutes and not be inspired.
CHALLENGES: I think the biggest challenge is to find your niche in the marketplace and to figure out which things are working for you. For instance, I think it's important to have things at both high and low price points so you're always selling something. So for me - that means I sell prints on etsy at a lower price point and I supplement that income by selling original paintings and taking on commission projects. In general, I haven't figured out the perfect formula for making a strong living off my work just yet...but I feel like I'm getting closer to cracking the code everyday. It takes a lot of dedication and an open mind to run a small business. You have to be able to create without boundaries and still be willing to listen the realistic feedback that you get from buyers.
Most of all - I wish everyone luck on their artistic projects and would like to give a big thanks to those people who support handmade!
I just find Jill's work very joyful. I bet you'll agree! :) Head over to her Etsy Shoppe and let her know what you think! jdryerart.etsy.com
NOTE: Sorry, i'm at my family's house and thier PC won't let me link or spell check, i'll fix it when i go back home.