There comes a point in life as an artist where you reach a milestone. This is it for me. It is happening on Tuesday, June 29 from 6-8 pm. I have admired and loved what Luna Fine Art Gallery has been doing for the last couple of years and have wanted to feature my art there and be a part of that creative family. Anyone that knows me knows that the connections I make in life with other humans are meaningful beyond measure. I have loved the friendships I have cultivated with people who have supported and rooted for both Klee and me during our creative journey.
In working with Luna, I have become friends with two extremely creative and giving people that I am honored to share this milestone with.
The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.
I know that this show is a celebration of my creative career, but I wanted to make sure I celebrated Luna’s efforts and encouragement. My exhibition would not be what it is without their creative ability to see something that may not have been so clear to me. I am beyond excited to share my solo exhibition with you because of this. So a big shout out to the gallery directors, Lisa Puzon and Shaughnessy Johnson for being so absolutely amazing.
If you are reading this, chances are you have followed me throughout my creative journey, some of you have been there since the beginning. I adore you and I want to give you a shout-out as well. The thing that makes this show so special to me is that some of you have had a huge impact on my life and it is reflected in the art that I create. This is our show. An exhibition of the amazing moments I have shared with you in the last decade or so.
The Exhibition is called The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist.
This exhibition is a testament to the human spirit. To the beauty and power, we all possess as humans. It is the culmination of a 10-year creative journey where I challenged myself to stand in my own skin and allow myself to see the beauty in the world. This is the sharing of the calling within each work that I create to explore and understand the human experience.
There will be seating, some words will be spoken by some amazing humans (including Klee, she is nervous and would appreciate your support), and refreshments on opening day. I would love it if you joined us. We will also have a special unveiling and a lot of fun so prepare yourself for an epic time.
WHAT: Art Exhibition – The Stuff of Life: Depictions of the Human Experience of a Rogue Artist. WHEN: Tuesday, June 29 from 6-8pm – Ballroom A WHERE: Luna Fine Art Gallery, Hilton Pensacola Beach,12 Via De Luna Dr, Pensacola Beach FL 32561 WHY: Because this is going to be amazing. You are going to want to bring friends as well so you can show them how cool you are.
Find out more about the show and how awesome it is going to be by watching the video below:
For all of the amazing humans that follow us online and are from all parts of the world, we will be recording the event and sharing it with you next weekend.
This is surreally happening! It is that time again for some amazing art in your inbox from artists all over this blue dot. Below you will find pieces created for the Surreally Complimentary Collab Lab Challenge.
Parameter 1 – Incorporate at least one surrealistic element in your piece (you can go full-on surreal or just have one element).
Parameter 2 – Utilize only red and yellow (and any colors you can make with those, as well as values) as your color palette.
Parameter 3 – Include two contrasting/complementary elements in your piece (these can be imagery, textures, finishes, subjects, materials, etc).
I am excited to share these with you because they really push some boundaries. If you are interested in any of the pieces below that are for sale, please contact the artist. Enjoy this awesome show.
Is It For Sale Yes Price $150.00 Artist Statement: Title: Fried Chicken and Waffles with Maple Syrup
A surrealist study in yellow, red, black and white. In this day of social unrest, sharing a common meal seems to be a good way to bring people together. There are many recipes on the web for this delicious meal. Medium: Digital Drawing with Adobe Fresco. Find me at www.starrynightdiner.com
Chicken and Waffles on Wikipedia: The exact origins of this dish are unknown, although several theories about its origin exist. Waffles entered American cuisine in the 1600s with European colonists. The food’s popularity saw a notable boost after 1789 with Thomas Jefferson’s purchase of four waffle irons in Amsterdam.
In the early 1800s, hotels and resorts outside Philadelphia served waffles with fried catfish. Such establishments also served other dishes like fried chicken, which gradually became the meat of choice due to catfish’s limited, seasonal availability. Waffles served with chicken and gravy were noted as a common Sunday dish among the Pennsylvania Dutch by the 1860s. A 1901 memoir recalled a tavern in East Liberty, Pennsylvania, well known for “suppers of spring chickens and waffles.” By the end of the 19th century, the dish was a symbol of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, brought on in part by its association with tourism.
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement: In the spirit of the “Cadavre exquis.” This piece is devoid of any meaning or raison-d’être. It simply virtually “is.” (digital collage)
Paper Straws Puppets and Studio is the dream project of artist, Everett Stanton. Ev deeply loves making, playing with, and filming puppets for all sorts of media and art projects. He hopes that his work truly brings pleasure to anyone who sees it. It is his main goal in life to build a group of like-minded artists who can live their dream though the creation of new, exciting and thoughtful work in the world. Thanks for taking the time to enjoy the video!
Is It For Sale SOLD Artist Statement They come from miles away, together, unquestioning their purpose. Compelled by anger, shame, and expectation. The visage can be seen for miles but they don’t recognize its form until it’s too late to turn back. Gazes lowered, lest they see the true horror, their last walk to the steps guided by the others who also hear the call. A masked sentinel is the last they see before they enter. None ever leave. christopher-doll.com
Lee Edward Evans
Lee Edward Evans
Is It For Sale Yes Price $70.00 Artist Statement Mirage
(16 X12) mixed Media (acrylic and oil pastels)
This piece was inspired by Egyptian heritage and the optical illusion know as a mirage. I wanted to capture the essence and Embodiment of the desert in the form of a goddess. The surrealism landscape complements this notion adds an over exaggerated form of a mirage. For more information or more artwork please check out the link below.
Is It For Sale Yes Price $150.00 Artist Statement “Revealed” 11″X 14″ Acrylic and Oil Women exude real beauty, but with a stroke of a brush what lies beneath is where her true beauty emerges. www.danaellisart.com
Lee Suzanne Jordan
Lee Suzanne Jordan
Is It For Sale Yes Price $275.00 Artist Statement Youth vs. Wisdom uses a limited color palette and symbolic images to explore the concepts of secrets, growth, imagination and transformation. This is a surreal self-portrait. I included many creatures and objects that have personal meaning for me. Octopuses are one of my favorite creatures. They are smart, curious, caring, and creative. Pythons are dangerous but can also represent knowledge, healing and growth. One of the random elements I chose as part of the challenge was a bark texture, which I used on the face to represent time and contrast with the youthful side. On her left side, the figure is youthful and her hair transforms into flowering branches. On her right, she ages and her hair transforms into bare winter branches. I have mixed feelings about aging, and this Collab gave me different ways to explore the power and fragility of it. Medium: Acrylic on Birchwood, 11x14x1. website: www.lsjart.com
Is It For Sale Yes Price $15.00 Artist Statement This is not a burning forest.
Is It For Sale Yes Price $750.00 Artist Statement Title: To Observe And yet Disregard. Contrasting: “to observe” and “to disregard”. Some realities do not make sense here, so you have to disregard them to observe what is going on in this painting. Using only red and yellow with black and white as values, I created this image with chalk, colored pencil and acrylics on wood 24″ X 24″. This is apart of my dreamscape series that I am developing. The human forms are brought in to help you enter into this unreal world and navigating through various conflicting perspectives. I created the frame to allow the elements freedom to go where ever they please. Prints are available on my site: https://www.kylewoodcreations.com
cRuz kAi Email email@example.com Is It For Sale No Artist Statement Surreally Complementary Collab-lab October 2020 Rogue Artist – cRuz kAi Title “Mellow Day 0.1” Canvas 9” x 12” Fluid & Soft Body Acrylics Perimeter Colors – Yellow & Red / Values – Black & White
Is It For Sale Yes Price $85.00 Artist Statement I called this piece Toxic to me it means sometimes toxicity can go both ways. The mediums I used were ink and colored pencils on 9×12 Vellum Bristol Board. The rest of my art is at www.instagram/azurasmallpaws
Is It For Sale Yes Price $250.00 Artist Statement “The Messenger” 24×30″ Oil over acrylic on museum-wrapped canvas This piece was created to explore the nature of vision- both physical and spiritual. Connect with the artist on Instagram @grayefineart or via email GrayeRN@gmail.com
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement I created this stained glass piece for the Collab Lab but it does double duty for Halloween. It meets the color parameter for yellow and red. And it meets the parameter for two contrasting textures. It’s hard to see in this photo but the yellow glass is textured with tiny lines and the black glass is smooth. I went rogue and didn’t meet the third parameter which was to add a surreal element. This is the first piece I’ve made with decorative solder and I really like the look. The moon is a 9” diameter and the bat wings spread 13” from tip to tip. My website is gabrielleartsnv.com
Arzhela F Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement This art challenge included many firsts for me as a beginning painter. Not only was it my first challenge, but also a lot of time was spent planning the painting, including using thumbnails to test color palette decisions, and test painting different parts. There were some hard lessons learned, specifically about the limits of overworking the paper (which can be seen most clearly on the chameleon). The entire painting was about 60 hours of work, and has shown me possibilities beyond what I thought I was capable of producing.
One parameter of the challenge was the limited palette. A particular shade of yellow on my palette (Da Vinci Hansa Yellow Deep) glows like sunlight. It inspired me to create a painting based around a very bright planet/star/space object.
We are in a stark landscape with only a few trees. A weathered frame outlines a portal where a space traveler is reaching through. We see in the visor of the space traveler that their view is of a bright space object, but on our side of the portal, we see that it’s a ball of light to which a chameleon is calmly clinging.
My hope is to invite the viewer to ponder that both realities exist from different viewpoints. It’s worth considering the perspectives of others, to attempt to “walk in another’s shoes.” The chameleon illustrates the patient mindset needed to observe the other’s intentions. The space traveler is reaching through the portal, illustrating how we are always seeking a deeper understanding of what is in front of us.
Painted with Da Vinci professional watercolors on 9×12” Fluid 100 paper.
D. Mark Email email@example.com
Is It For Sale Yes Price $75.00 Artist Statement This challenge has been great fun! I painted a large old tree that still has some life in it and the egg as major components. The symbolic courageous old tree provides many things including food, fuel, and shelter. The egg stands for new growth, rebirth, and new life. The meaning here implies hope for the future. The surrealist elements include a suspended spatula with a fried egg, egg fruit, and egg flowers hanging on the tree. Why did I create this art? Simple-I love nature and I wanted to participate. In this painting, I applied a very thick matte acrylic medium on the under the painted tree trunk, as I wanted it very textured. The old tree contrasts with the new eggs and egg flowers growing on the tree. The creation of my art includes experimentation with different methods and materials in watercolor, mixed media, and acrylics. My style changes as I enjoy painting landscapes, whimsical art, and abstracts.
Title: Egg Tree Painted with acrylics on 11×14″ stretched canvas.
Is It For Sale Yes Price $400.00 Artist Statement I haven’t yet given it a name but this painting signifies that in a heated situation those with the warmest heart, no matter what they shield themselves with, will always lose against someone who is cold hearted.
Sara Vicky Neville
Sara Vicky Neville Email Saraartist1508@yahoo.com Is It For Sale Yes Price $600.00 Artist Statement Hindu warrior goddess. That she is all women. connected to reality the element of fire. .real and unreal at the same time as all in this universe. ..40″X 34″ acrylic on canvas No website currently. contact. For other available images: Saraartist1508@yahoo.com Peace and Love
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement I have always been a bit of a joker but having served 22 years in the military I have to be able to turn it off at a moment’s notice. The mouth moved to the eye and the eye moved to the mouth represents the shock my sailors would have the first time they saw the change. I think feeling like you can have fun at work is a huge factor in having a good work experience. My key things that would set off the change are being unsafe or disrespecting your shipmates regardless of rank. There is a place and time for everything.
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement The Unwearable Ring. Objects like the one I’ve created here are highly upsetting to me. You know the ones, they’re often referred to as “mock objects”. Things that don’t function as they appear to. Things with which you cannot do the very action that the object beckons you to do. Pockets that are sewn shut, zippers that don’t zip, tables that look like a trunk but don’t open, musical instruments that are decorative and don’t play. Room recreations in museums that you aren’t allowed to enter. The fact that the bizarro opposite world in the mirror is entirely inaccessible… So I created a ring, carefully sized it and made sure it was comfortable to wear, meticulously set the center stone, and then made it completely unwearable. I can’t hold this ring in my hand without feeling that anxiety of wanting to slide it on my finger, and it cannot sit properly on a chain as a pendant. So the contrast for me here, is the pleasure of creating a piece of jewelry using materials and techniques I love, juxtaposed with the end result being something that I find very displeasing.
Is It For Sale No Artist Statement This is actually an art journal page. Rude cats bottle up their prey, on display, where other rude cats can watch and harshly judge from their usual safe and comfortable impunity.
find me on youtube/twitter/instagram: @yellowmelle
Is It For Sale Yes Price $275.00 Artist Statement “Confession” 18×24 mixed media on canvas. I left home (Virginia) when I was 18 and have lived all over the east coast from South Carolina to Vermont. Currently I am 35 and living in Pennsylvania. I don’t necessarily love it and maybe it’s the pandemic, but I am incredibly homesick. Not only do I miss my family and friends, I miss knowing people for real. I have found in my career (Radiologic Technologist) that we are so busy it’s hard to get a good conversation in to really get to know my coworkers. Beyond the “mask” you wear to the public. Further, I am so exhausted after work that I just want to go home to my husband and kids and hopefully get to create something. I am tired of the casual “hi, how are you?” conversations that I have 50 times a day with complete strangers. The contrasting element of my painting is the concept that what you see on the outside is not always what is in the inside. I wish we could so easily peel our layers away and reveal the hard crap/trauma of our lives instead of just “I’m good! How are you?” I’m not good. We are not good. We have pain, and holding it, hiding it makes it hurt so much more.
If you are interested in any of these amazing pieces and you can’t get a hold of the amazing artist who created it, contact us and we will try to get you in touch with them.
I am always astonished by the talented and amazing creatives that we have met. Artists are some of the most eye-opening and unique individuals to color the planet. I am proud to say that I am part of a community of Rogue Artists that support each other. This is a diverse and multi-cultural group of multi-talented individuals who are blazing their own artistic careers in their own way. I am blessed and honored to call them my rogue family, and excited to share their stories and talents with you, because we LURVE them… like… a lot…
This is just a glimpse of some of our rogue family from all around the world.
Every once in awhile, I’ll be introducing them to you throughout the year, but I wanted to let them introduce themselves by answering a series of five questions:
1. What is your name (Name you want to share) and where are you from?
2. What kind of art or arts do you enjoy working on?
3. What else would you like to say about yourself or your art?
4. What is next for you? (this question is optional)
5. What is your website or social media pages where we can find you?
So, hold out your hand and prepare yourself for awesomeness, luckily it is online so we don’t have to worry about social distancing 🙂
My name is Dana Ellis from Crawfordsville, IN I enjoy mostly oils and portrait painting. I did my first painting in 1996 in a little local craft store and I’ve loved creating ever since. Although I have moved through many levels and mediums I found my home in painting faces. You can find me on Facebook: Dana Ellis Art Instagram: Dana_Ellis_Art https://danaellisarts.wixsite.com/website
My name is Tina Colbourne and I’m from Toronto, Ontario Canada but my parents are from Newfoundland, Canada so I say I’m a Newfie.
I enjoy most all art but I mainly paint wildlife, landscapes, and some still life. I like to paint in realism with acrylics.
I am self-taught or rather I learned very young from my father, and my uncle who lived with us for a short while. My father is a landscape artist and he still paints today.
Right now I have to step back from art a little and just paint in my spare time because I am remodeling my house. I am looking to sell in the next two years. I want to move to the country and have either a barn or large workshop/outbuilding to turn into a studio space and a small gallery open to the public. My father will stay with me during the winter and also paint with me.
You can find me on Facebook or Instagram @tinacolbourneart
Melissa Peacock – Surrey, BC, Canada
Big huge watercolour fan, aiming for “magical semi-realism” I guess you could say.
I’m also an anxious bee open for commissions, though plants and animals suit best!
I have an utterly jam-packed website at www.yellowmellearts.com, insta/twitter: @yellowmelle, and surely hundreds of videos on youtube.
My name is Megan McFadden
The art I enjoy creating is sureal, fantasy sci -fi, anime
I like playing around with different mediums. I mostly work in ink and colored pencil. I have been playing around a little bit with digital.
What is next for me. Putting myself out there more. I would like to publish a coloring book. I would like to create art full time.
What is your website or social media pages where we can find you?
My name is Michelle, and I am from Adelaide, South Australia.
I create original artworks in handwoven tapestry, and also make handwoven scarves on my floor loom.
My art is a combination of my dark/goth aesthetic, and phrases used during my growing up years … these are mostly around my parents wanting me to be ‘normal’ and conform to the rest of society. I am also obsessed with x-rays – as well as creating a whole series of tapestries of x-rays, now I am experimenting with drawing on them …
Next for me is my first solo exhibition opening 24 September!
Kelly Sterr from Bedminster Pennsylvania. I have taken a liking to acrylics however I love doing anything creative. Can not wait till I can do this full time. My daughter and I went shopping at IKEA and they had loom for $20 I decided to get it and give it a whirl and see what tapestry I come up with. You can find me on my website at Kellysterrgallery.com – ksterr64 on Instagram- and Kelly Sterr Gallery on etsy and I sell on Amazon under Kelly Sterr Gallery.
1) Charity From Northern Minnesota
2) I enjoy working on many different arts!! I’ve always enjoyed painting, working with wood, working with rocks, wire, and jewelry things, working with glass, working with paper, working with clay… basically almost every kind of medium you can work with, I love it!! I love to create with anything I can get my hands on!! right now I’ve been focusing on painting. couple years ago I focused on wood & few years before that I focused on melting glass
3) My art is for me I guess. I hope others will like it and appreciate it. But it is never bothered me if they don’t. Because my art is an outlet for me. A form of therapy if you will for me. always has been since I was a little kid.
4) what’s next for me?? The picture is of me in my current studio, which is my minivan that I’m converting into a mini camper for myself. My husband and I just became official empty-nesters a week ago. So the studio that I had put together is actually going to be moving to a bigger room in the next couple of weeks. We are rearranging things in our home. it’s gonna take a little bit. I’m also gonna try to get camping a few times before winter sets in. And once my studio in the house is moved and set up. I am just gonna keep creating things that I want to create using mediums that I maybe not have used before. I just enjoy trying new things!
My name is Everett Stanton, I previously created work under the pseudonym J.H. Everett. I currently live with my wife, mother-in-law, and two sons (and our corgi, Lucy) in Mission Viejo, California.
I really enjoy working on puppetry, illustration, and animation
I like to create active art that people can interact with, do crazy things with, and have fun with. I like art that makes people happy. I tend to gravitate to bright colors, interesting lines, and large shapes.
What’s next for me is to get brave, and really believe in my place in the art form that I have chosen to be a part of – without hesitation. I am starting to build puppets once again, and I am jumping back into animating and illustration. The feature film that I designed costumes and puppets for just finished in editing, and is going into post-production. And today, I agreed to work on an online puppet show for Reddit and Tick Toc with some professional puppeteer friends. I have also started working with two other artists to Livestream on Reddit, while we work together to create a couple of new kid’s books.
Jennifer Lindquist in Longwood, FL, I paint in acrylics mostly surf art, surfer girls, curls, beaches. I love the springs, surfing, and I work in I.T. full time. I’m trying to get my online art sales going since festivals have stopped. I have a website, www.artisticsurf.net Facebook: jennclindquist.artist Instagram: @jennclindquist
Name: Jo Clark living in Maryland, USA
Type of art: I paint, crochet, draw and refurbish furniture when I have the time.
Something about yourself: I love escaping in books. With how busy I’ve become with my art career I listen to audiobooks, but in the past, you could count on finding me in a secluded place with my nose in a book.
What is next for you: Growing my family art business. We want to get our children involved as much as possible.
My name is Linda Ursin, Swedish living in Norway. My art is inspired by folklore, mythology, and the Scandinavian landscape and wildlife. I enjoy experimenting with media and texture but for the most part, there’s some form of realism in the end result. I make art because it’s part of who I am. I’m a multi-passionate creative. Next for me is to get back into what I love after about a year of things getting in the way and draining the little energy I have. Living with chronic pain means I have less of it.
You can find me at lindaursin.net and as @lindaursin on most social media. On youtube it’s easier to search my name.
Hi! My name is Marilyn Savage and I’m from Reno, NV. I like working with glass and I do stained glass and etched glass panels. I plan on learning to do fused glass sometime soon (I bought a glass kiln about a year ago but haven’t used it yet). It’s been too hot lately to work in my workshop but I read somewhere that I should do artwork daily so I’ve been designing glass panels on paper every day. I do it everyday at lunchtime while I’m at my day job and I really enjoy that break from all the paper pushing. Retirement is just a couple years away and that’s when I plan to try to have an actual art business. I think having fun with it is the most important thing. I can be found at https://www.gabrielleartsnv.com and I have a Facebook page too….https://www.facebook.com/Gabrielle-Arts-NV
Hi, I’m Kassandra Alfaro from Del Rio, Texas but everyone calls me Kas.
My current go to art is digital art and acrylics on canvas, but I love creating in general.
Although I am super camera and voice shy, I have been creating since I was little (I’m currently 19). My dad has always told me to share my creations with the world, so I do.
As an artist, I enjoy drawing, painting, and gaming. I also do graphic design work for a couple of local businesses and take on commission work when I have a chance. I also have an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist.
Hi all I’m Natalie from Nataliecallwoodart I live and work in BC Canada with my family with 3 almost out of the house kids and my husband.Im originally from Switzerland.My goal is to one day soon to have a studio by the sea be it on Canadas West Coast or somewhere else in the world ! I also would like to travel part of the year as a traveling artist with a base at my studio by the sea !!
I’m working mostly as a painter in abstract using all kinds of mediums like acrylics, watercolors, encaustics, Inks, I do not like oils lol. My roots are in ceramics I went to school for it I hope to have a big enough studio by the sea to incorporate a ceramic area as well !! Short term goal is to make a living from my passion because I can’t think of doing anything else for now /my second part of my life !! My website: https://www.nataliecallwoodart.com/ I also have a YouTube channel that could use some attention lol nataliecallwoodart! FB https://m.facebook.com/nataliecallwoodart/ IG https://www.instagram.com/nataliecallwoodartist/
Hi! My name is Rhonda Young, and I’m from Oklahoma, USA. I started doing pencil portraiture years ago, then I gradually moved into doing sculpture and stone carving. Right now, I’m very interested in, and trying (for the first time), watercolor painting. I don’t really have a business, per se, though I have sold a few sculptures in the past, and I don’t really have a good, designated studio. I just work in a corner of my living room. No website, but you can see some of my art here: https://www.deviantart.com/rhondayoungart
I’m the single mother of two young adults with Autism.
Hello, it’s Kyle at Kyle Wood Creations. I enjoy painting, printmaking, and experimenting. My work is mostly dream time leaning into the surreal. I enjoy expressing my mental projections and discoveries. What is next for me is an increase in creating more art. I can be found at kylewoodcreations.com and on Instagram as kylewoodcreations. Currently, my studio is the space between the living room and kitchen.
What is your name (Name you want to share) and where are you from? Chantal Dupuis, Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)
What kind of art or arts do you enjoy working on? Watercolour and oil paintings mostly wildlife or landscape.
What else would you like to say about yourself or your art? Art is therapy for me, journey started 5 years ago when diagnosed with cornea dystrophy. Was lucky to get a donor transplant in 2018 and now it is just an addiction, can’t go a day without painting!
What is next for you? (this question is optional) Keep painting. I registered (and got accepted) in a gallery and a few associations as I am hoping to be able to sell enough so that I can pay for my supplies but otherwise, it would be cool to try to do a solo show but not sure if I am ready for that… I need to “grow more” in my heart and art!
What is your website or social media pages where we can find you?
Holly Wong lives and works in San Francisco, California. She was educated at the San Francisco Art Institute where she graduated with a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in New Genres. Holly creates installations, assemblages and works on paper, integrating non-traditional approaches with more traditional sewing techniques associated with the history of women. Her approach is both non-conventional but also deeply rooted in her history and culture. She has been awarded visual arts grants from the Integrity: Arts and Culture Association, Barbara Deming Memorial fund, the George Sugarman Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, and a Gerbode Foundation purchase award.
“This is a picture of me working on an installation called “Spiral Dance” which was constructed of multiple layers of drafting film with colored pencil drawings. The pieces are large so I end up working on the floor sometimes.”
1. What is your name (Name you want to share) and where are you from?
My name is Klee Angelie, and I originally hail from Joliet, Illinois. I’ve spent the last decade living and creating in Pensacola, Florida. It’s hot here and we don’t have any lightning bugs (fail!) but it’s a great place full of amazing people.
2. What kind of art or arts do you enjoy working on?
I love creating jewelry. Working with stones and metals is endlessly fascinating and fun. I also love music (my first love, as a kid I could most often be found with my hot pink boombox on full blast, singing into a hairbrush) and my specialty is singing/songwriting. I recently picked up needle-felting, and have a general love for fabrics and fibers.
3. What else would you like to say about yourself or your art?
Oh, geez… nice question “Tell us more about yourself”
Me: “Uh…” (types long paragraph, deletes it, tries again, deletes that… stares at computer screen… closes eyes and screams while typing.)
I often joke with people~ “Nothin but rocks and song lyrics up here in the ol’ noggin.” but it’s kinda true…
I was always “that kid…” You know that kid, the one off in the other room doing their own thing, usually something creative or lost in their imagination. I’m still that kid, but now I have another awesome kid to share my studio space with (my best friend and husband, Rafi), as well as a community of equally unique and weirdly wonderful kids that I’m proud to call my friends. I’m one happy kid. Still mostly into rocks and song lyrics.
4. What is next for you? (this question is optional)
This is always sort of open-ended for me and ever evolving, but lately with one solid criteria: to have fun. Fun is a lot to manage, but luckily I have protocols in place to help manage and organize the fun.
5. What is your website or social media pages where we can find you?
Klee and I get asked a lot of questions by artists from all around the world. Just about every day we get a question in our inbox about the personal struggles that some of these amazing creatives are having. Most times we have some kind of insight or experience on the subject, sometimes we don’t.
Listen, no one is an expert at how to deal with your situation, the best any of us can do is give our two cents. We are all just figuring out our own way to make this thing happen. Recently, someone contacted me about marketing their art and having a website. They had signed up for a mentorship program for artists that cost about $2000. Part of me was like “I’m an idiot for talking about this stuff online for free, and the other part of me was like “What could they possibly be giving for that much?”
As it turns out, it’s the same cookie cutter bullshit marketing program that people have been promoting to artists all over the place. Facebook ads, niche marketing, find your audience, targeted marketing, blah blah blah.
An artist contacted me saying:
I am an artist and someone referred you to me. They said that you encourage artists to create their own way and screw what others might say. I just fired —— as an art mentor because he wants me to only market my wall art and nothing else. I can’t do that. I am having good success with selling my art and crafts. I just want to get more into marketing online because so many of my venues got canceled this year because of COVID19.
I responded with:
A lot of those programs have to do with the way a lot of people market products online, which works if you have a niche that you fall into. That way you can do targeted marketing. I think —- does great as a marketing guy and a writer because you can really target your market with books, especially if you are targeting marketing books to artists who want to learn marketing.
I have an issue with this type of marketing because it niches you, which I seriously doubt an artist can be niched for very long. Yet if you are putting yourself out there consistently as a creative you form a following of people who are interested in you and what YOU create. This takes a lot longer, but slowly you create a loyal following. It took me ten years to get where I am, and honestly, I’m not a big deal at all.
The trick is thinking long term and understanding that it will take time.
I don’t really have a mentorship program because I make my money from my art, the videos I share are simply because I wanted to give my perspective and share things I wish someone would have shared with me.
To be honest with you, I’m just figuring it out as I go and sharing whatever I learn. I have a community of people on Patreon that support the video side and support one another.
Please feel free to contact me when you have any specific questions and if I can I will most definitely answer in a video.
She wrote back and this made me a little pissed.
Rafi: Thank you so much for answering me back! I like the idea of watching your videos. That would work just fine. It is very generous of you to be willing to help other artists without charging money. Thanks!
—- wanted to put me into a very small niche that I didn’t feel I fit into. That may have been ok for me 30 years ago, but I’ve grown as a person and as an artist. I need more than that now. I read his book and it was helpful, but working with him in person is a big NO. He has this attitude that if I don’t do what he wants me to do that I will fail. Then he gets rude and instead of listening to me, he just says, “Suck it up!” Not cool at all. I like people with confidence, but I get the sense that he has TOO much confidence and maybe a bit egotistical.
Should I run more than one website if I want to do more than one thing as he suggests?
Honestly, it doesn’t sound like confidence to me. Truly confident people don’t behave that way, but arrogant people are usually riddled with insecurity underneath a layer of false confidence.
I can’t tell you if it is wrong or right, but I can tell you what I do… again, I don’t officially know what I am doing, but I like making things simple for myself. It would be a pain in the butt to run more than one website. On top of that, I don’t care about marketing a niche. I would much rather have a following that identifies me as a creative. It’s true that if your site is concise, it is easier for people to navigate because they are trained by most websites to just focus on one thing. Most people identify things they experience in the world by labeling someone or something a specific title, for example, “She does nature art.” So a lot of marketing people go in this direction because it is easier to market.
But most people know that if you go to Etsy or Amazon you are going to look for what you want, and most times you look through the various products to find what calls to you.
My website is a behemoth. It has Klee’s jewelry, my art, T-Shirts, Our Music, Stickers, Posters, Made to order artist prints, Short motivational MP3’s for artists, A section for our Patreon following and who knows what else.
We love our website, it is so much more than just a selling platform, it is a maze that contains our story and communicates what we’ve done, who we are, and what we believe in. Some people get lost, but most navigate it just fine.
I’ll be honest, for years I tried to make things as simple as possible on my site, and as it turns out you’ll never be able to make it simple enough for some… and most people know how to navigate a website and don’t get confused if you have more than one item type.
I could follow the status quo of marketing 101 if I wanted to. Honestly, it is super easy to get fast results if you just focus on one thing and that is ALL you are focused on, which is why these marketing courses usually go this route in order to prove themselves to the artist. They get fast but temporary results that are not sustainable for the artist. Artists are dynamic, but promoting yourself as a multifaceted artist takes time; it is for the long road.
I think as artists, it’s all about taking our awesome imagination and just going for it. Getting our work out there and thinking about ways to get it in front of new people and people who already follow you. There isn’t an art collector store, there are just people. You have to give people the opportunity to find you… have fun with it and quit thinking that these idiots that call themselves “marketing experts” because they are good at marketing a “marketing course” to people who desperately think they don’t know anything about marketing are right about anything… they’re just as confused as you are about selling art. That’s why they try to force everyone to fit the niche marketing route.
I, on the other hand, am not a good marketing person. I would rather be called an artist than simply identified as a niche artist. This statement makes a lot of artists who follow the marketing doctrine of “focus on one thing” very upset with me. But art is NOT a product and artists are NOT just salespeople selling a product.
I think artists that are truly successful pave their own way and don’t allow some jerk to pretend that they are better than them at marketing (because they are marketing to artists who are desperately seeking a way to market their art which is an easy target market).
Pave your own way, do your own thing, not the shit that EVERYONE is already doing.
For example, one of our awesome Rogue Artist Family On Patreon is doing a facebook live and showing her art! So Awesome! If you want to join us in supporting her putting herself out there during a pandemic go to:
Recently I got to be part of a Facebook live sale where Tish Johannon Creations Facebook group showed off some beautiful jewelry to internet land. It was fun, and Klee and I were inspired to do our own type of Facebook live sale (coming soon).
Holly Powell contacted me recently to tell me that she had set up her own selling opportunities in a busy restaurant parking lot and was making a killing on art sales.
Esther L Jones is doing a Tea With Esther on YouTube Today at 7 pm Central where she invites you into the conversation to discuss the ancient, divine magic of art, music, and tea in a world starved for light and peace. You can join in here https://youtu.be/feHIDJtRUjg
Dana Ellis did an art hunt to inspire people in her community!
Some of these artists say they were inspired by Klee and me in the videos, book, podcast, and being part of our Patreon community, but I’ll be honest… Artists are all amazing, and we are endlessly inspired by their raw determination to create and push outside of what they know, to explore more about themselves.
These are just four examples of artists pushing outside of their comfort zones and doing something that they have never done before, in order to connect with people. They are blazing their own trail and doing their own thing.
In my opinion, that is what it is all about. As artists we express ourselves during all times, using whatever tools we have available to us, and venture into new potential head on.
So many artists have been innovative in sharing themselves and their creations like never before.
So my question is simple, are you inspired? Are you pushing through your comfort zones? Or are you waiting around to get discovered?
Recently I designed a t-shirt that says “ARTROVERTS UNITE! We’re here! We’re uncomfortable! We want to go home and create something.”
If you had asked me a few years ago when I started selling art, what it takes to be a successful artist… my answer would have been simple: the ability to produce good art.
I imagined that my artistic life would consist solely of me working in my studio, producing strokes of genius.
Art collectors would magically appear (poof) to buy art and leave. I would rarely have to leave my studio, and I would never have to go out into the “real” world. I would never again have to go to any social gathering I didn’t want to go to. This belief was clearly absurd, but I had all kinds of silly ideas in my brain jar of what being an artist was.
Now, almost a decade into it, I realize the subject of what it takes to be successful as an artist is much more intricate. It’s not just about producing art, although that is a BIG part of it. It’s about putting yourself out there again and again. Falling on your face and accepting rejection as part of the process.
Had I known all these years, my fear would have either gotten the better of me, or I would have blazed my own trail long ago. I would have become an ARTROVERT.
I love making art. I love being in my studio. Creativity is what keeps me from losing my shit, makes my life meaningful, and encourages me to jump out of bed in the morning even when the world seems to be amid a crap-storm.
The thing I didn’t understand when I first started was how much being an artist would require me to stretch myself. Or maybe I knew, which is why for most of my life, I didn’t pursue an art career. I stayed comfortably in the shallow end.
I had a friend that used to tell me that even our dream jobs will have roles we don’t like but which we accept so we can do the parts we love.
To be an artist, we have to accept the discomfort of being perpetually vulnerable, having no financial security, and being rejected often.
This involves putting yourself out there in front of the world… Which can be terrifying.
So How did you do it Rafi? How did you get over your fear?
I decided to take it step by step and not try to eat the entire enchilada all at once. I realized it wasn’t all or nothing, I could do it in chunks. I knew those chunks were going to hit on some major comfort zones. I also stopped comparing myself to where other artists were at in their careers.
Being an ARTROVERT is all about accepting the fact that it is OK that you don’t want to be social, and not punishing yourself for it. It means that you trust in communicating with your art and don’t concern yourself so much with how people see you.
You’re an artist, you are weird, and awkward sometimes, and that is OK. Artroverts love their studio, they love creating, and they love their quiet time. An artrovert also understands that if you are not putting yourself out there, you are not communicating your art with the world… so you show up.
To be an artist, it is quite simple. Create art, put it out there, and persist through the bullshit of your own mind or other people. Keep creating, keep showing up, and through that experience, you will let your weird artistic personality shine into the world along with your art.
Be unapologetically awkward, be creative, be an ARTROVERT.
Listen to our podcast below, where Klee and I talk about being ARTROVERTS.
And Here is A Quick Message From Some Random Sponsor (sorry 🙂 not sorry)
I am now turning some age in February where I have been deemed an old fart. I’m not being elusive about my age, I simply can never remember how old I am. However, I do remember that it happens every year on February 5th and for the most part, I like to relax with Klee and do nothing that day. No fanfare, no parties, no big todo, just a relaxed day, doing everything I do on just about every other day. I celebrate “me” a lot whether it is my birthday or not. This has led to the disappointment of some very good friends who love to celebrate birthdays and me.
This year is going to be slightly different. I’m having a party.
Well, February 1st will be my birthday bash… February 5th, I’ll be relaxing and doing nothing, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
I decided that the birthday party would be a fun art-stravaganza thing where Klee and I could show our latest art and jewelry, and have some really cool art reveals. We also picked a location that is eclectic and just plain awesome! Dolce & Gelato is such an amazing place full of unique personality and fun.
Some people look at my life and say that I am lucky. I create art for a living, have a successful studio business, am married to my best friend, and have a large following of fans and art collectors from all around the world. I really love the work that I do, and I spend a lot of time feeling ridiculously fortunate to be in that position.
As much as some people like to say that I’m lucky, luck had nothing to do with it.
I do believe that sometimes timing, circumstance, serendipity, and privilege play into the choices you make, but even then, your deliberate action determines the course of your life.
People don’t get to do what they want for a living, get awards, come out in newspapers, or get the things they want in life simply because they are lucky. I feel like it is insulting to tell someone they are lucky when they achieve something awesome in life. Luck rarely has anything to do with what actually goes on behind the scenes.
I personally get inspired by stories of long rejection runs. For example the story of Haim Saban, who spent 8 years pitching Power Rangers. Whenever Saban presented the Power Rangers pilot, network execs would ask, “Why do you embarrass yourself with this?” Eventually, someone picked it up and the Power Rangers has been a tremendous success for 30 plus years.
J.K. Rowling was rejected by about 12 different publishers.
After just one performance, Elvis Presley was fired by Jimmy Denny, and told, “You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.”
Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times before it was published.
Steven Spielberg was rejected by the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film, and Television, THREE TIMES.
Rejection has everything to do with opinion and nothing to do with fact. Power Rangers was rejected by networks because it looked cheap and there was nothing else like it out there to compare it to. They could not SEE beyond the scope of what they knew and based their rejection on popular opinion. Rejection is simply an opinion based on the limit of that particular person’s imagination, or they just don’t like your particular brand of stuff, either way, rejection is all part of the game.
Most times, the success that you see is just the tip of the iceberg. What you see accomplished is only a tiny proportion of what that “lucky” person TRIED to accomplish.
If by “luck”, you mean putting yourself out there — all the time — into situations where you are probably going to be rejected, fail, or make a fool of yourself, then yes… you are on the right track.
A lot of people ask me how I got to where I am in life. As if there is some secret formula or answer to getting lucky. Usually, I tell them, “The hard way.” I honestly don’t feel like it is supposed to be easy, I think the suck is all part of the journey and what makes it so beautiful.
To illustrate what I mean, here’s a list of just some of the things I have been rejected for over the last 10 years. See if you can find the inspiration behind the rejection or failure.
I was rejected the first time I entered a juried gallery show.
Launching my art career was a failure for 2 years.
I was rejected for at least 143 commission projects.
I was rejected from the first gallery I approached.
I failed at launching a YouTube channel for about 5 years in a row.
I was rejected the first time I applied for a juried art festival.
I failed at traveling the country, still have several states to go.
I was rejected the second time I entered a gallery show.
My first 4 websites were epic failures.
I’ve been rejected for large community art events.
I’ve had at least 19 large art proposals rejected.
I’ve been rejected from art conferences when pitching as a speaker, I would put the number close to 60.
I have been rejected by many award judges. I’ve won 5 out of 500.
I failed epically the first time I showed my art at my own event.
I have been rejected by at least 200 businesses that I have approached with my art.
I was rejected by a museum for a proposal for an art and music event.
I’ve had countless art that has been rejected.
I’ve had countless art failures, just about every day.
I was rejected when I tried to talk to people at a black-tie event (one dude even turned his nose up at me).
I’ve been rejected by art cliques who don’t like that I’m from out of town.
I was rejected when I applied for Twitter verified (I know how ridiculous this makes me sound).
I am rejected most days by commentators on YouTube who don’t like my BRILLIANT videos.
I have been rejected by art associations who think my work is sub-par.
I have been rejected by many collectors when I show new forms of work.
I have been rejected for several large mural proposals.
I have been rejected for large international commissions.
I have had my ideas rejected by people who are in charge of an art event.
Each one of these was a blow, and that’s not even the full list, we’d be here ALL day.
Being rejected or failing is shit. It’s hard not to take it personally, and to keep going when it feels like a consistent barrage of ‘nope’ and ‘EPIC FAILS’.
But the only way to do the awesome stuff is to put yourself out there. To put yourself in a place where you might get rejected, constantly. To be in a place where you might fail big.
Everything doesn’t always come up roses, and I am not told yes every time I want to do something. That is ridiculous. It is also ridiculous to quit just because you failed, or get your feelings hurt because you were rejected. That’s why I keep going — ALL the time. I apply for things, I try things, I put myself out there. I make a huge effort to go for almost everything that piques my interest and pushes at my comfort zones.
I’ve been at this for 10 years and can tell you that it takes time to get to a place where you will have people call you “lucky”. Years upon years of rejection and failures that don’t ever end. Sometimes it will feel overwhelming, and you’ll have to become your biggest cheerleader to get through. But that is how you get there, you just have to do it and quit stalling to avoid failure and rejection.
Success means that you failed and were rejected more than anyone else. Growth means that you will always be facing rejection and failure throughout your career. If you are not, then you are not growing.
I’m not going to tell you to learn to love rejection because it really sucks. I will say, however, if you aren’t getting rejected every now and again, then you’re not putting yourself out there and you are not being as awesome as you can be.
Only awesome people know the sting of rejection and embrace it.
Today Klee and I were talking about the art stock market on our podcast. That’s the name we coined for the big-ticket commodities art market that you see blasted all over the news and in documentaries. Considering the amount of press that gets focused on large art auctions and big-name galleries, it’s easy to think that you are not actually an artist until you’ve somehow made it there.
It got me thinking about the way that people perceive the art world in general. When you think about it, what people call the art market in the media, is only about 1% of the actual art market. There is no mention of the everyday people that make up the art market, the real art market, the real world.
The real art world is made up of one-on-one interactions, and I think we forget that sometimes in this media blasted quick paced world. It’s not about how much money the art sold for, or how wealthy the collector is, or how much prestige the sale brought the artist. Honestly, the corporate companies I worked for would print out prestige in the form of “You did real good.” certificates, and I would put them in cheap frames and hang them on my wall as a symbol of how important I was. I feel like we miss the point when we confuse success with awards and accolades. You can add them to your resume, but I feel like we’ve lost the point of what it is all about.
It’s about the friendships developed, and the relationships we establish as artists, with the people that connect with us through the art we create. It’s about the creative process and the astonishing ability to face rejection every day and share your art with the world. It is about the collector who proudly displays your artwork on their wall, or wears it on their body, or listens to it in their car. It is about that connection that would not have been possible if that individual artist did not break through the barriers of fear and share their creations with the world. It would not have been possible without the vast amount of humans out there who buy art because of the value it has to them, not because it has market value.
As an artist who had to make his own way, I have trained myself to see the world quite differently than I used to. Where I once had hopelessness in an impossible art career system, I now see the opportunities, the misdirections to be avoided, and the hope for everyone to pursue their creative spirit.
I think it is easy to forget in this world that is so focused on money and success, that we artists create because of the love of creation. We create to express ourselves and bring back a childlike sense of imagination, wonder, and feeling into our world. Creations that can remind us all to pause and appreciate.
Along with our creative careers, Klee and I also do YouTube Videos. The videos are mostly geared towards artists, but also have a lot of life advice that we have picked up the hard way, mostly by living life as career artists.
When you are an artist, you live a life full of fun things like constant rejection, people thinking you do drugs, people feeling sorry for your life choices, banks denying you for a home loan (while smirking at how cute it was that you walked into the bank in the first place), people thinking you should get a “real job”, and general disapproval of your status as a contributing member of society.
Don’t get me wrong, being a career artist is amazing, but not everyone looks at us in a healthy light, and if you don’t have your thoughts in the right place, it can destroy your emotional state. I’ve seen people crumble after one rejection and give up.
That’s why I think as artists, we can have an advantage in living a happy life, because we have to face rejection, find our inspiration, manage a business, manage a stream of income that is unpredictable, create product that is considered a luxury to most of the world (even though I will argue that owning art is one of the healthiest things you can do), deal with our own insecurities, and constantly have to push ourselves out of our comfort zones in order to stay relevant… I know, I’m not selling the concept, but bear with me.
As an artist you have to face your fears, if you run away from them, there really is no way to make a career of it.
So, here are the 3 rules that I would say apply to everything in life, but also to having an art career.
Be authentic. Paint or create only that which interests you, in the way you choose to paint or create it. Don’t change your approach to gain sales, popularity or acceptance. You will never do your best work if you do. In life, you will become trapped in a version of you that isn’t real. It is much simpler to be yourself, that way you can surround yourself with people that you don’t have to put on an act for.
Compete only with yourself. Avoid competitions, contests and measuring yourself by how many shows you’ve gotten into or awards you’ve won. Seek validation internally, you will never please everyone. Don’t ever compare yourself to anyone on any level. You are the most perfect version of you that exists in the world. It’s when you try to be someone else that you’ll think you see flaws in something that is inherently perfect.
Remember that it takes a lifetime. You can’t just sign up for a workshop or go to an art class once a week and expect gallery representation and collectors to follow shortly thereafter. It takes time. Be patient in life, but take every opportunity you can to smile, laugh, love, show your art, and have fun. You may get rejected, but that’s all part of this wonderful journey we are on. If rejection doesn’t bother you, then you are halfway there.
The goal should not be to get famous or rich, just to enjoy your precious life as much as possible. If you get rich and famous in the process, that is just bonus.
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