As you can see from my galleries, I have two very distinct styles of painting. Type one: elegant vibe, subdued or natural colors and stoic subject matter. Type two: creative vision, bold in color, and intriguing subject matter. And let me tell you straight from the artist’s mouth, art does actually imitate life, or at least the artist, in one way or another.
For those of you who didn’t know, I was actually on track to attend veterinary school before some increasingly severe allergies to animals caused me to change course. Art had always been a huge passion and hobby for me. I had even considered going to art school. However, coming from a family full of medical professionals, a more traditional career was encouraged. My dad, who I am so proud to have inherited so much of my personality and talent from, wanted me to do as he did – go to college, work hard, make a living with a career that would make me happy but keep hobbies, such as art, as a fun past time that you could take a break from work with.
Somehow, the universe and everything in it maintains a healthy balance. When the door to becoming a vet slammed shut, as devastating as it was, it opened another door to another passion that I could pursue without guilt or doubt. Going back to school, incurring massive amounts of debt, and starting from nonpaying internships all over again, and all for a career path that I had no passion for, wasn’t an option for me. Thankfully, my husband – shout out to the love of my life!!- supported me every step of the way as I stumbled and started, not from the bottom, but at least from a place of “Ok I can paint. So now what? How do I make this a business?”
It was at this point that I realized my right brain / left brain balance might actually be more of an advantage than a disadvantage in building a real art business. That creativity and drive to push boundaries can only get you so far. You have to have the discipline to continue to work when your joints hurt and muscles burn from painting through the night. You need the intelligence to take creative ideas and mold them into different revenue streams. If you can take one creative idea and formulate a way to market it or customize it for a wider range of clients, then you’ve completed a huge chunk of the battle to become a well-known and profitable artist. You also have to have the organization to do your research – what sells in your area? How knowledgeable is the public about art and the local artists? Who does something similar to you in the area and is successful at it (and then to go and seek them out for a mentorship)?
The serious, intellectual side helps the creative, free-spirit side focus … and as I have realized, it also opens up my art style and, therefore, my range of potential collectors. Bold, sassy art isn’t your thing? That’s ok! I also do passive, timeless pieces as well. I’ve been told several times, even from gallery owners, that I needed to hone in on one theme for my art. Paint one subject or style and stick to it. First of all, I have discovered the one thing that ties in all of my art – happiness. Everything I paint is something meant to bring people joy, and a relatable sense of celebration or humor. Second, when did people start putting labels and restrictions on artists? It’s just so … ironic. Artists BY NATURE are creative humans – this means they come in all shapes and personalities, so does their art. To immediately put limits on that creativity by saying “pick one subject and stick to it” is so limiting (not to mention B-O-R-I-N-G). You want to know why I paint different subjects/colors/styles? Because I am inspired to, which is the whole point. To me, at least some variety in an artist’s work allows the audience to see deeper into that person’s creative mind and personal interests (and therefore creates more interest in the artist himself/herself). Lastly, my two styles, while they are different, they are still a reflection of me, of the person that I am. I can be as serious as I can be silly. I have polar opposite aspects to my personality, each shining through equally, as reflected in my art. But these qualities live in harmony, just as they do in my collection, because, at the end of the day, my painting medium and overall theme is always the same. Happiness.
I hoped you enjoyed learning a little bit more about my artistic style. Check my Instagram @vchampionart for upcoming “Meet and Greet the Artist” events to discuss my art with me in person!