In this post I will tell you the story of how I found my art style. I will also tell you how and why I price my art the way I do and why I love custom work the most.
In 2013 I moved from a tiny apartment into a 3 bedroom house with lots of empty walls. My art style at the time was all over the place. I had a lot of mixed media pieces with portraits and text and small prints with movie characters. Most everything was from college, and nothing was much bigger than 18" x 24". Everything looked dinky on my walls, and what little art collection I had was also small because I couldn't afford anything bigger. I wanted to fill my bare walls, but I found that large scale paintings were out of reach. I also found that it was simply easier to design a space around abstract art. I had never done much abstract work. Being trained as a printmaker made me very detail oriented and precise. I had taken painting classes in college, but never tried anything abstract.
It took a themed art show to get me out of my comfort zone. The theme for the show was REVERIE which means a dream state. My concept that I started with dealt with the idea that in dreams we (usually) aren't in control. My work up to that point was very controlled and precise, so I knew that I had to relinquish control for this project. I also knew I wanted to try to start working large scale (to fill my walls in my own house). I didn't go in with much of a plan which I guess is kind of the point. I let my husband add to the painting while I left the room, so this ended up being a collaboration of sorts. I still craved that detail and some amount of straight lines and distinct shapes, but it was a start, and this is where everything changed for me.
Art school was great for teaching me how to think deeply about art, and themed art shows were good for concept driven work, but they also made me forget that art is therapeutic. After 5 years of school and 3 years of these themed shows I had lost sight of why I wanted to be an artist in the first place. Creating art for the sake of art is fun. I needed a big ass painting with lots of color for my entryway in my house, and that is exactly what I got. AND it has more meaning than any of my past work because I did it my way.
This piece made me look back to the fundamentals of art, specifically color and light. I started to look into color theory and how human moods and emotions are affected by color. Creating art became a therapy session for me. The concept for a piece would come later after I let the colors tell me how to feel. I'm still working this way, but I think I've moved away from concept more and more. Creating art for the sake of art or for the sake of designing a space is such a freeing feeling. Which brings me to my current passion, creating custom art.
People are hesitant to ask about commissions. I get it. Most fine art is unaffordable to the general public, so the thought of custom art is scary. It doesn't have to be scary, and I think art should be affordable to anyone. I take heat for this. I've been criticized for under-pricing my work. The point is, I've been there. I know what it's like to stare at a big blank wall, and not everyone can create a big ass painting to fill it. Most people have a budget and an idea of what they want. Those things don't always match up, but I'm always willing to work out a plan. I like to remind people that curating a home takes time too. In the coming months I'll post my progress with the commissions I'm currently working on here in the blog page. If you're interested in a custom piece for your space shoot me a message and we'll talk.
Thanks for reading!