From The Sketch Book

August 8, 2012

Portfolio Overhaul

Filed under: Uncategorized — scottnelson @ 3:06 pm

Hey, Sorry.  I know it’s been a few months since I posted anything here on my blog.  Partly because I was teaching my summer youth art classes which kept me busy and partly because I didn’t have much to say.  Actually– I have a lot to say but wasn’t sure how to put it.

The life of an artist has to be one of the most frustrating and daunting careers there is. Not because you life is ever placed in peril or what we do is rocket science.  Rather it’s a world filled with High Highs followed by Low Lows.  And that swing of emotions can be in the first few minutes of your studio day. I live and die by the reaction of my customers and due to that issue I tend to stress out a bit.  Fearing every person has to be blown away by what they commissioned me to do.  Truth is– that’s an impossible standard to keep and a customers initial reaction might not be immediately noticeable anyway.  Case in point… I had a customer hug me last week after she looked at the portrait I did. Another customer hardly looked up when I showed a caricature award to them.  Assuming they didn’t like what I drew, my day  was ruined. A few days later I received a phone call from a new client who had been refered to me by who????  Happy hugging lady or indifferent person?    Indifferent person it was.  So go figure.  People don’t always show you what they’re feeling at the moment you want it.  Me expecting that to be is wrong and it’ a lesson I have to learn no matter the reaction.

The reason I’m talking about this issue now is I know I need to please my paying customers in order to keep my doors open.  Yet some words of wisdom I kept hearing lately is,  “I need to please myself.”  At first that statement didn’t even compute in my thick scull.  Drawings are not about me or at least not the caricatures and portraits I do. It’s about generating a likeness and a look that is pleasing to the person buying it.  Yet the more I think about that statement as it applies  to the other silly juvenile illustrations, greeting cards and humorous images I do I’m realizing that it really is true. Have fun painting and it will come out in the finished product.  People will see that and the end result will be a better image. Simple enough!  So recently I had an “AH -HA” moment regarding my endeavor to acquire artist representation.  Love what I’m painting in a technique I enjoy and I will please myself.  Well as I’ve talked about here I love painting land and seascapes and I also love cartoons.  Knowing that I was starting a new portfolio overhaul for my children’s book style what better time than the present to really try something different?  I  will be fusing my love for loose watercolors and acrylic paints with my love for cute critters and characters.  (See attached sample..)   My thinking is eventually an artist agent will see my passion for the two art forms and I’ll be pleasing myself during the process.  A strategy I’m hopeful will work out as I continue to move forward with my art. 🙂  Wish me luck.


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