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Hi, Everyone! I am the guinea pig, er, Featured Artist this week. :o) I want to thank everyone in advance for their input and support. I tend to be long winded but will try my best to keep it brief!
Here's the format I'm going to try. 1. A little about me, my art, what I've done, goals,etc. 2. Ideas I have for furthering my career. 3. Specific questions. Let's see how it works!

1. About Me
Lifelong artist, began showing publicly in 1996. Stopped showing for about 5 years (99-03)
Website: www.angeliasart.com - site is 3 yrs old/just updated this spring (still working on it)
Other networking - All since January
Twitter - (AngeliasArt = 97 followers)
facebook (Angelia Thompson/Angelia's Art Page -89 fans)
OvationTV Community (resulting in 2 group books published through blogspot)
1st Angel Network (resulting in web published interview)
Ning Groups: MiPo (resulting in interview to be published in O&S Magazine)
W.A.R.M. - Womens Art Recognition Movement (men welcome!)
Blogspot (http://angeliasart-angelia.blogspot.com
Fine Art America (I've made my artwork available as giclee prints directly from my website)
Commissions (2008)
Lg Mural for Dept of Labor, Job Corps (can be seen on my website under "Projects"
"Creative Journaling" through the Womens' Center @ Lakeland Comm. College
Upcoming Events:
Shows: Tremont Arts & Cultural Festival- Sept. (I've done it the last 2 years. Sales suck)
Hugely popular annual art show @ Unitarian Church. (sold there in the past)Nov
Day of the Dead Show / local college Oct/Nov
Commissions: Scheduled to meet June 15 @ Women's Center to do an art project for
the center
So that's what I've done to get more exposure. I've also traded links with other artists' websites.


GOALS - I want to make a steady income through my art.

2. IDEAS
These are some of the ideas I've been tossing around. If you have experience with any of these, I would really love to hear some feedback on your success/failure!

Hand Painted Tee Shirts for Tremont along with wood painted items such as trays/birdhouses
Fliers for "House Portraits" - I've done in the past (watercolor starting at $150 11 x 14/unframed)
"Creative Journaling" - I've thought of doing this similar to other home parties. Host gets class for
free, flat-rate for each guest.
Residential murals - this scares me a little. People are just so whacked out!

3. Questions
Have you ever used fliers to generate business? How did you distribute?
"House Portraits" - Do you think it's worthwhile to do a small sample painting mailed to the
residence of a perspective client? Include rates in initial contact?
I was thinking of offering the Creative Journaling course through my website as a downloadable
booklet. Pay by PayPal or check. Have you ever done anything like that? Pros/Cons?
Do you have a successful blog? How often do you post? What do you write about? Strictly art
related?
Do you have a page on facebook? Are you on facebook? Send a friend request! (Angelia
Thompson)
Are you on Twitter? You can follow me @ AngeliasArt. (Do you only Twitter art related items?
What changes would you make to my website? (I am going to simplify the look of my gallery
page as previously suggested)
I get plenty of compliments and positive feedback on my work. Why have I not sold ONE print?
Does it REALLY have to match the sofa?
How do you find/determine your target group of collectors?
What's your opinion on my pricing?
What's your best tip for me?

Ok........that should be enough to get us started. We'll see how this works out! By the way, my name is spelled incorrectly. (you know we artists are sensitive about such things! :o) No "n"
Correct spelling is An'Angelia. Pronounced An Angela. Mom's way of saying her first born was "An angel" We're all friends here - call me "Ang" :o)

Feel free to critique my work. I will put some here and there are more on my profile page.

Thanks for partipating in this discussion!

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Okay I am not usually a fan of abstract art. I do find some of abstract art really appealing. Unfortunatly, Yes as someone who has been through so many interior designed homes this past year (none of them were self designed) the art has to match the couch! or at least the room! Thats why I thought getting in touch with interior designers to show them your work would be a good idea. Aletta had the web site address to find the interior designers in your local area. I don't know if anyone has had success with this idea?
Pricing-I have no idea about...I know it takes a lot to =money but with such colorful art they would make great cards. These days you can go into any small store and spend $4 for 1 card and it's not Hallmark. The people I know love orginal cards (not home-made) but something that you doubt they have recieved so far. If someone is having a birthday or something there is only so many different types of Hallmark cards aviliable. I know one year I got three of the same card and one of them was the same one the person had given me the year before (they were horrified).
Well thats my 2 cents for the moment!
Hi Ang:

You have some very interesting and successful paintings. I agree with Sloane--they could make some very nice cards. They make a strong initial impact. Some of your work doesn't hold my interest very long though. The more complex compositions, I think, are more successful. Remember that titles of work are important and help sell the work and tell the story, if there is a story to tell. However, the story behind your paintings are personal and pretty much irrelevant to most others. While I might find your personal stories interesting, I don't need to know your intent in order to appreciate and understand your work. In fact, it isn't really possible to know an artist's intent. I'd prefer to look at your work and bring my own experiences into play as I relate to your work. Negative, sad, depressing, etc stuff won't sell many paintings. It's not that we shouldn't comment on those ideas in our work, just don't expect to sell much.

I think you have too many galleries on your web site. Only show your best work. (You have to judge your own work. . . decide what is really good and what isn't. Until you can self-criticize, you haven't matured as an artist.) It take too long to see your work. I don't think most people will spend more than a few minutes on a web site. A slide show might be helpful. Keep changing your work out. If something isn't selling, getting into shows,or winning awards, move it out. people are telling you something. Everything we do isn't great or, sometimes, even good. I think this especially true if we work fast. I think when I work that way, if I get one excellent work out of ten, that's pretty good. I destroy my mediocre to poor work. I want only my very best work to survive me. This is a business. Our work isn't precious. Pretty much the first 100 paintings an artist creates shows a pretty strong learning curve--it's student work. I think we must be able to slash our canvases and burn our drawings.

I don't think being self-taught is praise worthy. We are no different than any other profession. Do you want your doctor, dentist, or airline pilot to be self-taught. I don't think so. It's good to work in series, but I think its time for you to be moved in a different direction. You're focus is too narrow. Classwork would help.

You've pretty much exhausted the duel face image idea. Move on. It's been done before.

Ang. I really don't want to be insensitive or harsh. You're busting your butt to make a career in a lonely field. I praise you for that. It isn't easy. From you're interview on your web site, I think you are really not very open to criticism. You have to get over that if you are to learn and grow as an artist.
Hi Ang,

I see Tom's points on complexity in your works and and that moving to new things is good. I also appreciate you're putting it all out there for us. For artists, I think it's like standing naked for all to see, unnerving to say the least . I too visited your site and saw so many of the duel faces that I became uninterested in seeing any more of them. His comments really made me look at my own work and wonder if I too was getting bogged down and limited. Worse yet, wondering if I could get rid of what is not working. I can only imagine what true feedback I would get, but then isn't that what we really need in order to grow? It'll take a real reality check and guts but don't despair we all have to do it, I'm learning.

Now don't go throwing out the baby with the bath water. You've got a great 'baby'. Your colors are wonderful and have such life and I was drawn to 'Search For Truth'. I was also particularly impressed with the works in your Nautical gallery. Not that I'm partial to realism or landscapes, I felt more emotion in them and also it showed versatility. Something, I fear, may be lacking in mine. So that part is good, right?

I wish I could say something on the marketing part of it but I'm in the same soup. I've just got something started with a one man company doing the scanning of my work in a small but highly visited town with 7 galleries. I'm hoping the location will be more conducive to the tastes of the people visiting there than where I've had my work shown for 2 years without a sale (the owner is a good friend of mine). We have to find a good fit to get interest started. At least, that's how I see it.
Barb
I like your work....distinct style that you should continue. I think your style and work of color would be great as a mural.

keep it up,
tom
Hi, Everyone!

I just wanted to write a quick note to let you all know that I'm reading each reply carefully as they're posted. It means a great deal to me that you've taken so much of your precious time to help me by participating in this discussion. I plan on responding to you each individually when my week is over.

I want you to know that I respect your honest opinions - and that seems to be exactly what I'm getting! LOL :o)
Don't worry, I'm thick skinned and wearing a suit of armor! :o)

Once again, a heartfelt "Thank You"!

Angelia
Hi Ang! Good to meet you. You know what? the first time i looked at your work, it reminded me of Frida Kalo. that's good. She is a very expressive soul. Full of feeling. (I hope you like her). I am sorry to say i have not seen the pricing of your work yet and i am probably more in the dark as to how to market artwork. I began thinking of selling my work rather than give it away around 2001. I just got home and have to feed my cats and check the mail etc.
I will SLOWLY try to give you some feedback, but as i say. You may know more than me. Plus, I have a website and i don't know how to even upload pictures. i need to get the money to get the web lady to teach me!! I do agree, people are whacked out and i have held back with a few ideas of my own because of it. Also, I was not selling in the galleries, other than small pieces, so i took it out thinking the website would fare better, and i would not have to share the money. --- with the commissions. I'll be back. Keep up the good work. Thanks to Sloan for getting this going!!! D'Ann
An'Angelia, you and I have known each other for a while and have done two(or three) books together. I have thoroughly enjoyed your work. I can immediately recognize your paintings. Your earlier works probably sell better than the paintings you love. FINE. Sometimes we have to work so we can afford to do what we want.

Oh, and thanks for going first, better you than me. Haha. No, you were a great choice. Best of luck with everything.
Hi Ang,

First, I would like to acknowledge what you did: being the guinea pig, being open about your Art, and share with us your concerns… Bravo!
I also would like to thank Sloane for encouraging us to respond to you.
For me, it always takes a little time to respond because English is not my native language (Ah, the French people and their “language complexes”). I often have to think twice before I talk (which can be helpful sometimes). So this is my first attempt.

1. About you:
You are very active and productive. Congratulations.
As Aletta de Wal always telsl me/us: put yourself out there, get exposure… I just have to tell you: keep doing it.

2. About your Art and your website:
I love your colors. There is a real presence in your work.
Because it’s also very personal, I would add pictures of your artworks hung on the walls of a living room for instance,
As a buyer, I would like to see what it looks like in a “real” home. I have to sense, as many of my friends, that the artwork will bring personality to my place and will “get along” with my other artworks.
I’ve been on your website that I find inviting, lively, and dynamic. It makes me want to look more.
The gallery page could be lightened up. You could find a link with your introduction saying:
Paintings for the heart, mind and spirit
The projects page is a great idea.

3. Ideas:
I haven’t experienced any of these but now I am going to think about it.

4. Questions
I sold a few prints and I did it because I met the buyers personally. Some of them wanted to see how it looks like framed. I am sure it’s different for each of us.

For most of your questions, because I am not as advanced as you are, I invite you to contact Aletta de Wal. She is
a great resource for me.

I hope this will help.
Have a great night, An’Angelia

Karine Parker-Lemoyne
Hi Ang,
First of all you are a very interesting artist and I liked reading about your mural projects and creative journals on your website. I am particularly drawn to your paintings due to the use of bold colors and shapes. I read that you like Fauve artists and can see that influence in your use of color. Your work reminds me of Gauguin, Klee and VanGogh in its expressionistic use of colors and composition. As far as your website you may want to consolidate some of the galleries so that it is easier to scroll through the works. When I went to the landscape section I assumed this was early work since it was so different from your other bolder more personal pieces. I would love to see you merge your traditional landscape observations into your more personal painting style.
As far as marketing you may want to try postcards featuring some of your favorite pieces rather than fliers and keep the information simple. You could use this through traditional mail and also email as e-cards. I have not tried it myself, but have seen one artist use this method to advertise open studio sales at holiday time using email.
As a side bar since you are interested in murals you should check out the City of Philadelphia Mural Projects web site to see how this program has grown in Philadelphia over the years. It has become a medium for art education and beautification in the city. The web address is www.muralarts.org. Keep up the great work!
Mary
Hello An'Angelia,
A couple things I have learned over the years, that might help you at this point. Some may have been said already but repetition can be good sometimes.
1. Great artists are great editors. Cut back the size of your portfolio so that a singular vision, stylistic trend and progression is seen. Collectors, dealers, curators and others want and need that to help them have confidence that they know who you are and what you do. Think of it like a first date. You are putting your best self forward, you aren't exposing every nook and cranny of yourself.
2. Don't say everything, for then it is just propaganda. Your work tends to try to spell out everything. I don't mean just because you use words (I use words in mine too) but because the words are directing people to believe and think one particular thing. Your work in that area would make sense as a graphic poster for a specific cause, but not necessarily as a piece of fine art all by itself. Allow for people to have some mystery, don't try to explain it all for them.
3. Don't try to match any sofa unless you want to be a derivative artist of no originality. Then you will get interior decorators up the wazoo coming to you. They want elevator art. If you want to make elevator art then go for it.

Those are my tips for now.
Marty
3.
Okay first I have to defend my sentence from my 1st posting and then I will recant. (lol) First Off, none of the homes I went into had inexpensive pieces of art. The interior designer they like to use charges an arm, leg and your first born for one square foot of floor, wall, or breathing space. In the homes I was in all the artwork was amazing because that is what you are paying for: orginal exspensive art hand picked by a super-exspensive interior decorator to put on space you are paying her to cover! Now I recant-I myself picked my artwork out (before I started painting) and then decorated the room to match. I myself (which drives one of my realtors crazy) refuse to let someone else design or decorate one of my homes. I do can always walk in and pretty much say interior designer right away. I would love a home to look like that but I want to do myself. Sorry point is.........get people to want to design around your artwok!
Hi. I like "Crushed" the best, followed by "Never Alone". "Crushed" is real well-composed, and an excellent combination of colors. That can be harder to arrive at with abstract work, but you definitely do it there. I don't gey a crushing feeling from it, but what's in a name; it's still well-done.
"Never Alone" has a great sense of gesture to it, and it feels like the hindmost figure is clutching the one in front, almost violently. The Manifest isn't badly composed, but I'm not a fan of that kind of thing.

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