Creatives live creatively. Artist Elaine Weiner-Reed draws parallels between her art and other facets of her life. She notes that the lives of creative people tend to reflect their style and originality in many ways – from how they entertain or cook a meal, to how they teach their children, put together a work outfit, manage a project, or decorate their homes. In this article, Elaine connects her painting to her writing – specifically now that she has begun her latest adventure – novel-writing. Read more to discover what Elaine means when she says that her characters sometimes take control to tell their own stories in their own unique way – whether on paper or on canvas!
I once heard an interview with living legend slide guitarist Derek Trucks (seriously, he’s relatively young, but this cat’s guitar work will ripple out for years to come) where he spoke about how careful he is with what he listens to. He wanted to take in particular music through his ear canals, music that would have a beneficial effect on him. He has a vision for the music he makes, and wants to contribute to, and not subtract from or taint, that vision via the art he absorbs.
In my previous three articles emphasis has been on the basic principles of becoming a professional artist through focused development of artistic vision, organizational business practices, creating an online presence, and choosing appropriate sales platforms to meet your goals. All of these critical aspects of being a professional artist are ongoing and will evolve with you as you navigate the ever-changing art world. One of the best ways I’ve found to stay up on current trends and to avoid the potential of becoming isolated in my practice is to participate in artist communities; from the local grass-roots organizations to long-established national associations, as well as art shows, exhibits, and competitions.
Art is at an interesting stage these days.
While creative expression continues to flourish, we have unparalleled, on-demand access to nearly any work we want. Watch on Netflix a timeless film at 2 PM on a Thursday. Browse the revered paintings of the 19th century through a few clicks of a mousepad. Stream pioneering jazz followed by today’s pop hits followed by 70s disco all on a device that fits in your pocket.
As independent professional artists, we often have to wear many hats that might or might not suit our personalities or backgrounds. Marketing, sales, public speaking, website maintenance, etc. In this article, Artist Elaine Weiner-Reed discusses some hazards she has experienced and observed in the domain of marketing on social media platforms. She confides that she is still learning and trying to determine the right balance of marketing online as it suits her own philosophy and goals. She cautions us to stay alert to the pitfalls so as not to lose our way or our artistic voice. She questions: How much is too much of a potentially good thing? How real is this virtual world? Keep reading to learn more…
For the overly civilized, things get a tad desolate at the midpoint of the hour-long drive between Winchester and Leesburg. Don’t get me wrong. The drive includes some of Virginia’s most gorgeous and history-imbued scenery. Near Berryville, giant sycamores zigzag in a vale, tracing the path of a narrow creek.
In the previous two articles on establishing yourself as a professional artist, I’ve covered some of the initial basics you’ll need to take care of and now it’s time to shift the focus to the nitty-gritty. You’ve got a stock of art, your business name, tax id, and are working on a regular schedule, and of course, you’ve got good quality photos of your art.
I recently had a conversation with a young fellow who became particularly intrigued when I told him I’m a Singer/Songwriter. He is relatively recently removed from college, and in a job he tolerates that pays the bills, but ultimately, his joy would be to write for a living.
Leaving his life-long Cleveland roots was just too much to ask. Facing a job-mandated move, Mark Langan abandoned his two-decades-long career in transportation.
In my previous article, “Wanted: Serious Artist With a Serious Mindset” (please read if you haven’t already) I discussed some important things to consider when moving from a hobbyist (for this series hobbyist refers to someone who creates art and sells occasionally-not referring to skill level) to full-on professional artist (note I said full-on, not full-time because there’s quite a difference).
Qualifications: great multi-tasker; organized, dedicated, creative, skilled, average to above-average accounting abilities, able to maintain inventory, packing and shipping aficionado, with ongoing ability to meet multiple deadlines. Willing to be rejected, criticized, endure money droughts, and paint-stained clothing. Sense of humor a must. Qualifications changes; ongoing…
Artist Elaine Weiner-Reed wants her art to be a starting point for dialogue, community-building, and creative collaboration. Elaine believes that through dialogue and interdisciplinary collaboration, the arts come alive and people connect - often in inspiring ways. In that vein, she invites others to imagine more and tap their own muse, asking what they see or feel in her work. How would someone write the stories she painted?
I’m grateful to have lived thus far what many might characterize as an uncouth life. This different life is marked by two components.
First, the life of an independent singer/songwriter; I define my career, my routing, my time, and my structure in the context of one of my passions. It suits me well, but I sacrifice the stability and safety of a traditional place in the working world.
Dusk had fallen in Leesburg. Virginia. Night air, neither too hot nor too cold, wafted through the propped door of the Clay and Metal Loft. Bill van Gilder was kicking off his weekend pottery workshop with a warm-up PowerPoint. Lifetime learners sipped wine and nibbled cheese, listening raptly. Now, van Gilder can PowerPoint and social media as well as any Millennial, even though he's been making pots since before there was an internet.
Imagine strolling through your local bookstore (if you’re fortunate enough to live in an area where those still exist) and stumbling upon the self-help section. You quickly peruse what’s before you, and you see titles like “The Power of Negative Thinking”, “How a Little Bit of Cynicism Goes a Long a Way”, and “Ease Up on the Self-Esteem”.
As creatives, it is absolutely critical that we stay true to ourselves and not hop from trend to trend. That being said, it is also critical that we lift our heads up from our work and take a look at the art world around us and see what is trending in order to stay relevant.
“Within the span of a few months, I was demoted from a leader – to a follower – by a tiny baby boy with large lungs.” With these words, writer Patty Apostolides describes her transformation from a scientist and musician to a stay-at-home mother. Her son ignored her work at the Cleveland Clinic experimenting on cancer cells.
Founder, Editor, Writer, Artist, Photographer.
Learn more about Tom throughout this website.
Founder, Associate Editor, Artist, Graphic Design
Born in Denver, Colorado, educated in IT management, Linda Neel actually grew up with two absolute loves - textiles and horses. Early on, her passion for textiles was a passionate hobby and horses a way of life. So much so, that her love of breeding and dressage would bring her to Virginia in 1984. Ready for the new spin on life, she also opened Leesburg Virginia's first art gallery, Leesburg Gallery of Art. The gallery became well known for its fine art, fine art reproductions, and distinctive museum quality framing.
In 1990, Linda and artist husband, Tom Neel, accepted a unique opportunity to join the management team of fine art publisher, The Greenwich Workshop, in Connecticut. For four years they represented some of the nation's top artists, before returning to Virginia. In that time, Linda had also chosen to leave her life of horses behind. Another new beginning.
Her unquenchable thirst for textiles became an unstoppable creative journey of workshops and experimentation, but finding her love of dye and silk, as a true medium, was the game changer. First, her colorful contemporary silk scarves became a hit with clients, while also exhibiting and acquiring awards at textile shows around the country. Linda's knowledge of textiles as an artistic medium is vast, which allowed her to achieve her ultimate goal of creating fine art. Linda's art and scarves can be viewed at her website, LindaNeel.com.
Leaving the last years of her IT career behind in 2008, another new beginning was opening Live An Artful Life Gallery in 2009 with her husband - artist Tom Neel. It was located about an hour west of Washington, D.C. ironically in Virginia's horse country, the gallery's specialty was fine art and fine artisan pieces made in American. Live An Artful Life has created friendships with both artists and customers that have deepened Linda's understanding and enjoyment for those seeking an artful lifestyle.
Artist, Art Teacher,
and Wildlife Lover
Linda Hendrickson's degrees, a BFA from the University of Arizona and a ME from Idaho State University, have helped open the doors to many opportunities such as teaching art to Junior High students. She says, "Art has always been a way for me to express the joy I have in my surroundings. Always curious and ever exploring, I remember drawing or crafting in answer to "what to do" during Minnesota winters while growing up". For more than 20 years she was able to design projects in paper, wood, textiles--cross stitch, quilts, toys for craft book publishers. However, since taking a workshop more than a dozen years ago, her passion has been acrylic painting. She describes her style as "whimsical impressionism". Linda loves to paint pet portraits, animals of all sorts and "Topsy Turvy" landscapes. Often experimenting with mixed media, her works are colorful, full of texture and "happy accidents". See Linda's artwork at Studio4Linda, Instagram: @studio4linda FB: LindaHendricksonartist, Pinterest: Studio4Lind
Amy Hutto is a working artist, freelance writer, and former art educator of 23 years. Originally from Texas, she has lived in Colorado and now resides in New York. Amy enjoys spending long days in her studio, a family and friends-filled kitchen, and exploring the countryside with her newly retired husband. Of her art and writing, she says, “It is exciting to create something that never existed before, from a blank canvas and tubes of paint; to convey ideas, emotions, and feelings without having to speak; it makes me happy, and I want to share that with others. With writing, I’m painting a picture with words, words that I hope will inspire, educate, commiserate and like my art communicates the significance of "Living an Artful Life.” See Amy’s art at West End Gallery-Corning, NY; The Leigh Gallery-Chicago, IL; and Aspen and Evergreen Gallery-Estes Park, CO. She can also be found on her website at www.ahuttoartworks.com, On Instagram @ajhutto66, and on Facebook www.facebook.com/acrylicgirl
Elaine Weiner-Reed (EWR) is an award-winning, internationally known Artist. Bilingual in French, Weiner-Reed currently resides in Maryland, where she has lived and worked for over 38 years as a professional artist and writer. Recently retired from a tandem 37-year career with the Government, she engages as a creative mentor and research associate with professionals at Johns Hopkins University Human Language Technology Center of Excellence, among others. Her mind and heart are always fully engaged, and her art and life has been and always will be steeped in meaning and filled with purpose, creativity, hope, gratitude, insight, intuition, and sincerity. Known for her Uncommon Vision and often referred to as an Abstract Expressionist Artist and painter of people, Weiner-Reed finds inspiration in life, nature, and everyday encounters and experiences. In addition to painting, sculpting, and mounting solo exhibitions, she is currently working on revising several children's books she drafted over 20 years ago.
Diane Helentjaris is a freelance writer and photographer. Her love of the written word and visual image began early – she was the little girl with her nose constantly in a book as well as the one with the plastic Girl Scout camera. But she also loved science. Off to Michigan State for college from rural Ohio, she began her studies in Studio Art. Untrained, she grew frustrated with her lack of drawing technique, switched to Humanities and went on to become a clinical and public health physician. During her years as a physician, she continued with her photography, exhibiting both regionally and nationally. Observation skills, a genuine interest in people’s stories, and clear communication are critical to the practice of clinical medicine; good writing is the coin of the realm for public health administrators. Since leaving medicine, Diane has combined these in her freelance writing and photography. She is (of course) working on a book. Diane lives with her family in Leesburg, Virginia. To view Diane's artwork please go to her website DianeHelentjaris.zenfolio.com, FB DianeHelentjaris, Twitter @Helentjaris
Art Teacher, Artist, Writer
Steve Loya is a true believer in the power of art and creativity and makes every effort to explore this in his own life. His work is motivated by a strong desire to communicate and express visually something beyond words or spoken language, however serious or playful his approach and subject matter may be. His work has been exhibited in solo exhibits, juried and group shows, galleries, and small businesses throughout the Northern Virginia region, DC, NV, PA, MD, NY as well as in Japan, Greece, and the UK. His work has also been featured and published in a handful of physical and online artist publications and books during the past decade. You can find more of Steve's work on his web page, at SteveLoya.com.
Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Writer
Singer/Songwriter Matt Bednarsky’s music blends pop/rock, folk, jazz, and blues and is characterized by poignant, thoughtful lyrics and soothing yet powerful vocals. The CT-born, NYC-carved, and Nashville-based musician has an expansive internet presence, with over 2.8 million cumulative views on YouTube, and has three full-length studio albums, “A Bigger Picture” (2014), “Two” (2015), and “Luminescence” (2017). He’s opened for British legend Joan Armatrading on multiple occasions, was named a 2015 Artist of the Year by Concerts In Your Home, and has played for audiences in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia.
Associate Director/Life Coach, ACC, CPCC
With over 20 years as a teacher, director, choreographer, life coach, and mentor, Kim Tapper is credentialed as an ACC through the International Coach Federation, CPCC (Coach Training Institute), as a Life Strategies Coach (Spencer Institute), and holds a BA in Dance Movement Therapy from Goucher College.
As the co-Artistic Director of the Crossroads Dance Project, Kim choreographed over 20 musical theater productions which received multiple nominations from the Metro DC Dance awards.
Today, as Associate Director of "A Place To Be" in Middleburg, VA., Kim coaches individuals to reach their personal goals. She believes in the power of the arts as a strong coaching tool and specializes in working with people with medical challenges, family counseling, and women from ages 13-adult focusing on self-esteem issues and building confidence. At INOVA Loudoun Hospital's Oncology Department, Kim leads "Life Beyond Diagnosis" coaching workshops and has been a guest speaker and teacher for Life With Cancer.
In 2013 she published "A Place to Be: Behind the Label", a book of poetry inspired by the clients at APTB and illustrated by one of her teenage clients. Her book can be purchased on Amazon.
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