I’m pleased to introduce you to Laura Loving a New York based Artist who has the most amazing style.
1) Can you tell us a little bit about your art and what inspires you?
I exaggerate color and shape to create art that is humorous, alive and uplifting. Simply put, my art is happy! I want my art to create a positive bond with the viewer. Without question, making a connection with someone through my work is the best part of being an artist. Lady Liberty is my signature image. However, The Wallpaper Paintings
is my latest series. I think just about everything I come in contact with inspires my work. I especially find living in New York a fuel source for my creativity. There is an energy here that just doesn’t exist anywhere else.Manhattan is a never ending epic visual of people, places and things I would like to put in a painting.
2) Congratulations on earning your living through your art fulltime. How long have you been creating for and how long has art been your primary stream of income?
I have been making a living as an artist for 6 years. It took 12 years of shows and slowly growing a following to get there (now 18 total).I think the challenge of making a living as an artist is just as interesting as being an artist.I enjoy it and it is never dull. I feel more like an entrepreneur than an artist and I love the diversity of what I do on a daily basis. Creating art makes up only about 20% of my time.The rest of the activity pie chart is filled with accounting, public relations, marketing, sales and even mundane things like shipping and carrying paintings on the streets of New York City.
3) What were some of the key milestones along the way you’d be happy to share?
The biggest milestone was the day I quit my corporate job in 2004. I had no other source of income and it gave me the hustle I needed to make things happen. Necessity is the mother of invention! The second milestone was having an intern. I think every small business should have at least one. I promise you will learn as much from them as they do from you. It’s a valuable partnership (if you find a good one) and the karmic return is priceless!
4) I see you studied art at University, what do you think is the single most important thing you learnt? Does having an art school experience help you when dealing with galleries or showing your work?
I think having an art degree is an asset, but not a prerequisite. I know so many fantastically successful artists who DO NOT have art degrees. Confidence is the most important thing and that is a skill you have to learn yourself.
5) I’ve heard that artists need to think about lots of multiple streams of income to sustain a fulltime living. Would you be happy to share what has worked for you and why and some of the lets say “art disasters” you are glad you tried but know don’t work for you?
There are a million ways to make a living as an artist. There is no wrong or right way. I have worked in galleries along the way. However, I have found that if I had spent the same amount of energy on my own work as I did working for someone else, I could have made the same amount of money doing my own thing and in most cases more.
6) What do you wish you had known when you first got started?
I don’t think you can ever know everything you need to know to get started and it’s probably better if you don’t.I had no idea how hard this was going to be and I think it made it easier to come up with solutions rather than get stuck along the way. Sometimes naivete is a gift.
7) What is the most scandalous thing you’ve done in your life as an artist? For your art?
#1 most scandalous thing – I quit a well paying job with health insurance and a 401K to pursue my art career. There are days when I still wish I was in Corporate America, but not many. I would like to remind your readers that if you work for yourself, you can’t get fired!
#2 most scandalous – In the height of the recession, I sold my art in Union Square one Saturday as an experiment. I have to say, it was fun. I got photographed for the New York Times that day and I met some great new clients
. I wouldn’t do it again, but it was a great way to get some fantastic feedback from the public and keep me going through this weird economic time.
8) Who that you know personally has affected your life/work as an artist and how?
My patrons affect my success as an artist. If you do not have patrons, you do not have an art career. I have so many loyal patrons that keep my art career going. Repeat business and referrals is the name of the game.
P. S. I include family, friends and my husband in the patron bucket. My family and friends have functioned as my unofficial “Board of Directors” as I grow my business. They were also my first collectors.
9) Whats next for Laura Loving Art
The week of October 18th through 24th, I kick off my Manhattan Magnolia Art Tour through Georgia (my home state).
- October 28th, I launch my first blog on www.StudioLauraLoving.com.
- I will be featured in the November issue of Country Living Magazine.
- I am creating an affordable line of unique home and fashion products that will be available on-line early 2011.
10) Finally, what advice would you give other artists who are just starting out?
- Take yourself seriously and others will too
- Have a business plan and tweak it as you go
- It takes a village! Develop a group of advisors that are experts in areas that you are not (Lawyer, Accountant, or Marketing Guru Etc). Also, know who your loyal supporters are and keep them close.
- Don’t forget to enjoy everything! Every time someone buys a piece of my art, it makes me happy. I never take it for granted and I always appreciate this simple joy.
Thank you Laura! You can connect with Laura on her Website and blog (launching oct 28th)