Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thoughts on Being an Artist

 Contain your experience with the divine so that it does not escape you but rather shapes you. Be silent. Silence will help you avoid engaging in the games of competition and illusion that regularly seduce us in the outside world. Silence also helps you avoid distraction. It helps focus the busy mind—-the mind that always has to be doing something, thinking something, the mind that always has to be otherwise engaged lest it become introspective and allow the soul’s voice to override its own. The silence I am describing is a silence that you use to contain the grace you receive when you enter the Castle of your soul. This quality of silence allows you to engage in discernment. You carry this silence within you, even when you are with others. It allows you to hold your center amid the chaos of your life; it keeps you clear so that you do not do or say things you will regret or make decisions out of fear.” Caroline Myss

Painting, art, creativity, they are my life. Add in family, friends, animals and nature and that sums up my passions, add in books and movies and the list is complete. *Oh my I forgot to add in spirit or god or whatever you call source, my spiritual practice is so combined with my art practice that I forgot to put that on my list of passions :-). Art is top of the list and always has been, it is why I am not married and why I have no children, not that you can't do art while being married, many have, but to me it was too big of a distraction to really consider seriously, not to belittle love, I also never found the right man :-). To do my art I have given up money, very few vacations for me or fancy cars or fancy houses as I work little, so I can paint a lot, and have not yet made enough on my art to live on, I say yet as I believe that is coming and already on it's way.
I love my life, every minute of it and I would not trade it for anyone else's life. Money and my own family are not too high a price to pay for this life of constant art making and quiet and peace.
I sale my art in many places, galleries, websites, Etsy, Redbubble and something has come up that has been bothering me, a lot. Branding! They all ask, what's my brand! First off I hate trendy things and I hate that name. I am not a cow. I think if you have a clothing line or make cupcakes then yes, have a brand, but for those of us that make one of a kind, handmade, unique pieces of art  having a brand is not something that is possible.
I see so much cookie cutter art out there and it may in fact have a brand, but it does not fit what I do at all.
How do the rest of you deal with this? No offense if you have a brand, this is just a personal feeling I have about such things :-). I needed to rant a bit. Let me also say that there is much wonderful art out there that inspires!
I have no art to show as I am working away on my big 47"x 47" and it is very labor intensive, I will say there is much sewing, and burning of holes going on :-).
Happy Sunday. XOXO




lynne h said...

i hear a lot about branding, annie, but i'm not sure i know what it means... can you tell me in a few short words? : )


p.s. obviously i know about 'brand names' - is that what it's about? i just cannot wrap my mind around how an artist could 'brand' themselves. i guess if your art has a certain look you could somehow brand that. i must say the thought of that leaves me cold.

Annie said...

Lynne, I share your confusion.
I believe it is a way to target your buyers, and it is like a brand name only more a way to brand your style or personality.
It leaves me very cold indeed.

Kate P said...

Happy Sunday! I thought you might like to know that I finally figured out where I wanted to hang your painting, and which frame I wanted. It looks BEAUTIFUL on my living room wall and makes me happy every time I look at it. :)

lynne h said...

thanks annie... i can't feel the heart behind this idea. i can feel the money and the mind, but not the heart...


Annie said...

Kate P, I am thrilled you love your painting! This is why I make art.
Thanks for this Kate. xoxo

Lynne, you are a master of just the right words, that is exactly how I feel too. xoxo

Judy Shreve said...

Branding is all about marketing - but I - thankfully - don't know any artists being bothered by it. I guess we could think of it as our 'voice' or personal style. Saying it that way maybe gives the heart back. That's the problem with galleries - they don't want you to ever grow or change -

Annie said...

Judy, I would say some galleries, really good ones like you to grow :-). I don't like the idea of branding my "style" as that would be so limiting to me. Thanks for the input :-). xoxo

Sharmon Davidson said...

I'm with Lynne... I'm never quite sure that means in regard to artists and their work, yet I sometimes hear artists say they're working on it... Coincidently, I just a minute ago saw that Jason Horejs posted an article about branding on the Red Dot Blog - here is the link:

I didn't read all of it yet, but it seems to have a lot to do with seeing your work as a product and keeping it consistent. Like, if someone sees your work they would automatically know it's yours. While I do think quality should be consistent, I know that I'm not going to keep my work the same for the rest of my life - yikes! I'll have to investigate this idea further, I guess.

ZenDotStudio said...

I feel this post coming directly from your heart, Annie. Such great thoughts. And yes, I think branding is for cows, and cereal and cookies. I think artists ponder ways to sell their work but branding, I don't think many artists think of their work in that way.

As I shift what I'm doing in my work I have hardly even thought about selling my work which is funny for me as I used to think about it alot. I will think about it again at some point but it doesn't seem to be up on my radar right now.

Annie said...

Sharmon, Thank you for the link, he was one of the people I was talking about, asking me if I had a brand. I do believe in being consistently good, but I will not be branding my work anytime soon :-). ZenDot, Thank you, I do want to sell my work and I do sell it, but it cannot be the reason I do the work, just a happy end result. There are certain things I am not willing to do to sell it and branding is one of those things :-). xoxo on Thoughts on Being an Artist

kj said...

annie, you are so true to your word and your life. sometimes you are the wind for my own sails. you match your commitment with faith.

i am so glad you are happy with who you are and how you live. i can't imagine anything that matters more than that.

love love

Annie said...


Such kind words, thank you. I really don't know any other way to live :-). xoxo

Mim said...

I'm glad to see that everyone else is confused by "branding" - I had no idea what it meant. I think once you find a brand...if you're a good artist you've probably moved past it!!!

lovely post Annie, wonderful

Annie said...

Mim, Yeah, I don't think you can brand an artist and trying is really silly. xoxo

Unknown said...

Hi Annie,
It's funny to me how artists are expected to jump on all of the new marketing and selling bandwagons, as though what we do can be explained, quantified, and summed up in some cute little package or logo. Art is now put into the same category as clothing or any other "product." These are strange times, indeed.

Annie said...

Very well said! xoxo