How do you describe yourself as an artist? The first word that comes to my mind is optimism. I am optimistic that my next painting is going to be my very first masterpiece and that there is always a great painting day ahead. I am hopeful that I will get time to paint every day.
Please describe your work, your inspiration and the path you have taken to develop your art. When I started to create art about 3 years ago, it occurred to me that I am simply sharing my own interpretation of elements in nature. We are all part of this universe, from a ladybug on a flower petal to the curious look on a child’s face. I want my artwork to remind the viewer to absorb this gift around us and to make every moment count. So, I chose Wealth of Nature as the theme for my artwork. When I display my artwork on my website or in my book, I organize my Wealth of Nature work in these categories:
- Color of Nature – embracing subjects from flower petals to the color of the river,
- Wings of Color – butterflies of exceptional beauty and birds of all kinds,
- Brilliance of Sun – pieces extoling a sunrise or a sunset,
- Simple Pleasure – representing that moment in time which transforms our emotion,
- The Faces – portraiture focusing on various feelings and emotional engagement
- Color of Wings
I find being an artist is both enjoyable and challenging. The artist forces both sides of the brain to be engaged. It is enjoyable because the freedom is mine to recreate a moment in life. It is challenging because an artist asks herself to attain both the creative work and the business side to sell and exhibit her art. Besides a unique approach and possessing an exceptional ability, an artist must take care of business.
As Rex Brant, a famous California artist said there are 4 types of art. (1) to create for a show popular subject, (2) to create for others, i.e. a commissioned family portrait, (3) to create for the public to own, and (4) to create the type of art you love and never want to part with. With this in mind, an artist must earn recognition in several ways: from exhibition to juried show, from networking with collectors and the business community, and through having sufficient inventory such as archival reproductions. And if you don’t make money in 2-3 years, the IRS will downgrade you from an artist to a hobbyist. All this does not include the ongoing investment of painting materials, framing, and printing. The expense list goes on and on.
Life always seems to find a way to interrupt a perfect painting day, thus the paint brushes get shuffled aside. I never have had a perfect piece of art and every time I look at my work there is always more I could give. I have found that I am not alone in this arena. So, I gather a group of my artist friends twice a month to paint together. It is motivating and a great opportunity to share thoughts regarding each other’s work. I also enjoy organizing workshops among friends. We scout out a great teacher and conduct a private workshop. My intention is to keep the workshops small and personal. If you think finding a great artist is difficult, finding a great artist who can teach is nearly impossible. This group of artists has developed into an organization called the Independent Artists of California. Our mission is to encourage artists at all levels to continue with their skills and ability to create art, to produce art, and to help each other so that opportunities and skills will not be lost. We also facilitate artists for a learning group and assist great teachers in organizing their classes.
Next I hope to pool a group of artists together for artwork production, i.e. Giclee, framing, exhibition, or simply staffing a booth or gallery. This is still in its infancy but I am hoping one day we will bring more benefit to the artist community.
Independent Artists of California will find a way to deliver these beautiful artworks into the hand of collectors without layers and layers of profit. I trust this can be accomplished with the efficiency of the Internet and social media. The development plan is to facilitate artists with a collective community website, workshops, and production. I want to see all artists have a place to display their artworks, and to provide the public access to these beautiful pieces. Further, I’d like to see Independent Artists of California become a shelter to foster and preserve talent.
Deep down in my heart, I would like to see that everyone is able to have a great painting day every day. Worry free artists are able to focus on their creativity without the burden of commercial side of the business and collectors are able to reach each artist directly.
See more of Viola’s art on the web at: http://www.violachang.com/