a refreshing attitude on the Art World

The other day, local artist Ben Pearce reminded me that our body does 80% of the thinking, and the mind only 20%. When we go about our daily lives the body responds to stimuli before our mind even recognises it. When considering how I may trigger positive emotions for the people that I interacted with, I am comforted to know that even though my work may be personal to me, it is also possible for others to connect to it in a physical way. Ben has trusted his gut instincts when relating to people in his professional life and been very grateful for the connections that he has made with friends and mentors alike. His perception of the Art World is very refreshing to hear as he brings old school ‘art myths’ to the light – explaining truths in his experience of artists:

  • that artists are highly sociable, down to earth people
  • eager to make friends
  • they are networkers by nature
  • obsessive compulsive (in a good way – phew, that’s me!)
  • their pet hate is actually talking about their own work
  • they often fumble along, guessing their way

His view on the business of being an artist has helped to re-ignite my enthusiasm for being an emerging artist. I found great comfort in his desire to make art that nourishes his inner child, reconnecting him back to the magic that was once experienced in childhood. I too, yearn to tap into the imaginings of my childhood when making art. This is the world where my art concepts reside.

‘It’s not actually that hard to make it in the Art World’.

  • Just to be proactive
  • Be engaged
  • Enter competitions/awards
  • Run collaborative or shared art studios
  • Be active on social media sites
  • Organise group shows
  • Approach businesses and cafes
  • Then once you are well established, start approaching galleries (if they haven’t head hunted you already)

It’s who you know

This so called myth is actually true according to Ben! Ben’s shared experience has taught me that I do need to be proactive in researching who is who, so that I can be professional when stumbling into a chance meeting. People are always impressed to hear that someone has done their homework. Connections are contacts in which ever shape or form. Artists love to be around other artists. We all belong to the creative tribe. We all want to surround ourselves with inspiring, courageous, interesting people. It’s only natural that we get to know each other and be open to the possibilities that may be generated within the relationships. One another note: avoid burning bridges, for you will most likely need to cross it again in a few years.

There can never be enough artists in the world. We always need more.

So although, I was asked to research my competitors in this brief, and discover what I can do better of differently to stand out. I say, I don’t need to compete with them at all, as we are all so unique anyway. I’m just joining the tribe of many talented unique creatives. My difference in the tribe will become obvious and appreciated in time and I develop and emerge into the world.

Thanks to Ben Pearce whose words of honesty and wisdom sparked my hope for success as an artist!

behind the scenes in my mind

Don’t worry, I’m not about to divulge all the inner workings of my mind, just a few brainstorms from my workbook. It’s good to see from where I have come in the three weeks that I have been thinking about how to build a professional online presence.

I started here by defining what my interests are. They are broad but they define me and my lifestyle well. I want to somehow incorporate my loves into my art, but I can’t possibly do it all straight away.

my interestsNext, I brainstormed a five year plan of what I would like to be blogging about and how my art practice can support or compliment it.

five year planThis exercise highlighted the fact that my audience have emotions and needs to be met. I would like to present an experience that triggers positive emotions in the reader/viewer. These being:

needsAnd that is what will set me in good stead for developing an audience for my work and what I have to bring to the world!

Jumping far into the future with my dreams and goals was an interesting an exciting exercise, but then I had to bring it back to my initial next steps, trusting that the rest will follow in good time. Ideas have come and gone again just as quickly, but the idea of creating mixed media sculpture based on fantasy character concepts is one that currently sticks the most. I will not shelve my love of photography as I delve onto this direction, but keep it slowly, steadily filling my lens happy needs in my personal life – that may or may not feature here on my blog. I get easily distracted, so will attempt to streamline my creative impulses the best that I can. This way, I can be focussed on becoming really great at one thing, rather than try to do too many things, and never manage to do any of them very well.

 

 

 

behind the scenes of my new website

I am nervous and excited simultaneously as I’ve just publicly published my website portfolio. Have a gander by going straight here www.theimaginare.com. But if you are curious to see behind the scenes of my design decisions, then stick around here for a bit.

Home Page

 

Settling into Home (above):

Within the brief parameters that I was given, I finally settled into home with the WordPress Spun theme for my website portfolio. Why? Because I love circles? Yes of course, but that’s not all. It’s minimal, clean, white and single columned allowing my work to take centre stage without the clutter of side bars. It’s not an ideal theme for me as I wanted a real portfolio appearance, but within my knowledge constraints of WordPress and without purchasing a Premium theme, it’s suitable for now. The reason why I wanted my name header to be subtle using Brandon Grotesque thin as a font, is also so the eyes of the viewer would be drawn to see my work first and foremost. I like the idea that if you are intrigued by my work, then you will want to get to know me more, and head to my about and bio pages next to learn more.

Biography

 

The official Bio (above):

Before meeting me personally, you can first read my fairly informal but official biography. Still, with my back turned, having you curiously watching over my shoulder, you read about my working environment, what I use to create art and a little insight as to where you also may find me and my work.

Meet Vicki

meet vicki continuedMeet Vicki (above):

This is where you are given the opportunity to really get to know me and should you wish to connect with me by email or read my blog – it’s all here. Authentic, personable, and aimed to be intriguing (only to some I know, as I cant be everything to everyone) – I’m trusting that my audience will get a deeper feel for me as a person, a little bit of my story, and why I make art and hopefully want to give my creations a place in their hearts and homes to belong. I believe that my open hearted approach is a huge asset to my brand, and is the essence of the viewer experience. My refreshingly honest voice resounds well to my audience because it’s the way they communicate also – breaking the barriers that can otherwise exist when attempting to relate online. I’m committed to being just me, in my realness, and hope to connect and establish a community of like minded artists and art lovers who appreciate and are inspired by this. I’ve just summed up my ideal niche market!

 

Other Design Elements I’ve considered are:

  • Fonts Brandon Grotesque and Open Sans are simple and non-decorative to make it easy reading, but also not too formal
  • Images are not professionally taken or processed, and need to be updated as my new work is created. These works are not what I want to be known for, but will fill the gaps in my portfolio until I begin producing pieces that I am really proud of, and photograph them well.
  • Mixed media sculpture is only one aspect of my art, however, in order to develop a streamlined practice, my photographic work will not be featured here. Viewers interested in my photographic art will discover it in my blog linked in the menu bar. This design choice was made with the intention of refining my style and practice as an emerging artist.
  • Experience: my brand is all about connection. This has been my number one priority with my website design and becomes the experience of the viewer. I have remained authentic and true to myself, proactive by getting out there globally on the world wide web, trusting in the process and daring to be great. I am courageously stepping out, reaching out to community. Bringing my creations to the homes of those who appreciate them
  • Menu Bar: features only the necessary tabs for now, but later I will add a link to an Etsy shop
  • Profile Pictures: I think it’s important to see the face of the maker, it definitely helps with connection.
  • Social Media: unlike my blog, the social media icons are at the bottom of each page, making them accessible but not in your face. I look upon my blog as being the place where all of that happens.
  • Blog: speaking of which: I have customised it to be more aesthetically in alignment with my website. Circles are a reoccurring theme, as are the grey fonts and icons. Previously they were black and bold – not at all the relaxed and fun vibe that it now embodies.
  • Sentence structure: although my website has a decent amount of written content, I have attempted to keep the sentences short and to the point. Well, as much as a storyteller can.
  • Language: my language is conversational and intimate. Suited for my intentions of creating connections with my audience.
  • URL: http://www.theimaginare.com. I created this before I decided to only use my name as my brand, but intend to hold onto it as a possible product name. My creations could be named The Imaginares? or I could indeed become The Imaginare!
  • In hindsight: I later on discovered how to add Portfolio Projects that are displayed as a page with posting capabilities. Given more time I would transfer all of my Category posts to Project items. For another day though…

Always allowing for evolution and growth to take place, this design is far from being complete, nor will it ever be. It’s a start, and I’m proud that I have come this far with learning WordPress. They say that you will never be ready for anything, you just have to start doing it, and become what you only dream about otherwise.

I’m continuously dreaming….but doing it too!

 

 

Creating life as a work of Art

When considering the creative business and how to succeed, at the end of the day it all comes down to this…Thanks to film maker and futurist Jason Silva for the inspiring insight I needed today!

raw talent without a common sense recipe only goes so far

Sure, it’s great to have raw talent to ensure success, but what really drives success in any arena in life is professionalism. This idea is what profoundly hit me as being of utmost importance, as Annika Bennett presented a talk to our class. When talking about professional practice specifically in the art dealer world, Annika pointed out what the ‘do’s and don’ts are. I’ll summarise, focussing on the positive actions I can take to make it on my own when approaching an art gallery with my work.

clipart_cooking_40sHere’s a common sense recipe:

  1. Grab one reasonable sized sauce pan full of carefully chosen research of who’s who, and keep it topped up during the entire duration of the practice
  2. Before proceeding any further, simply write a succinct email with a PDF of professional images, and deliver into one of the who’s who in the bowl. Avoid adding too many words that may upset the flavour of the dish – putting everyone off before they really get a chance to taste it
  3. Put a link to your website aside for one’s viewing pleasure should they enjoy the way your email ingredients go down
  4. Gently let the pan simmer for four or five days, and follow up with how the ingredients are blending. Maintain a positive attitude, even if they separated and curdled unpleasantly. This may be prevented by ensuring that your preparation was well considered
  5. If the ingredients have blended, and beginning to work together well then attempt to add yourself to the pan promptly and professionally – this will only taste good of your flavour and style of presenting is different to any other that the who’s who has come across before
  6. Be prepared to leave the pan if its not working and graciously start again from step one (it’s always effective to get more than one opinion), otherwise listen carefully to how the who’s who may support your career and guide you into doing whats best
  7. The recipe may fall flat if at any time, you fail to be authentic and true to yourself – it’s important that any aspect of your practice is not compromised by the other
  8. Remember to cook more than you need, and be prepared to give some away if it means that more people get to taste your work
  9. One must continue to cook and simmer frequently, keeping the brew fresh and alive with creativity and imagination
  10. Trust that people will enjoy your efforts and appreciate your authenticity and uniqueness

If you have any other suggestions for what to add to the pan, or any adjustments that you would make to the how to: please feel free to comment. I’ll let you know how it goes when the time comes for me to approach a dealership gallery with my work.

 

my brand connects

One of many ideas for a brand name included IMAGINARIUM, for a place where imagination is at work – but this was very common online for creative companies. I looked at other translations of ‘imagine’ and discovered the latin term IMAGINARE which means ‘form an image of, represent’. which is not so common online and . This name will allow for a broader scope of practice to include anything from my imagination and the imaginings of other artists. A possible tagline could read  ‘VICKI REISIMA’.

However, after researching artists in my field or those that I feel a connection to, use their names as their brand. I believe that this personalises my brand for me, and that being a one-man-band operation is an asset to my practice that I should highlight. For me, it’s all about making connections with my audience, and demonstrating to them that I am a person first and foremost. For sure I create art, but I have a focus on being ‘out there’ amongst the ‘artists and art lovers’ community. The reason for this is simple, it is my hope that by sharing my creative manifestations and the journey along the way, that I can inspire others to connect with their innate creativity. I am a believer that creativity is a powerful tool for transforming the lives of people who tap into it. That’s the reason why I make! Without an outlet for creating, I feel it’s a life only half lived. Making art nourishes and sustains my spirit, it ignites my spark and helps me to shine brighter. Ha, I got it! The tagline that captures the essence of my brand – ‘a creative spark’

Vicki Reisima – a creative spark. DONE!

 

out of confusion comes clarity

Finally I have clarity! It’s taken two weeks of hovering over being a blogger artist, to discover that what I really need to focus on is being an artist who blogs. It may sound like one and the same, but they each have a set of intentions. This confusion has lead to many dead ends and and meandering paths seemingly leading to know where.

My impression of a professional blogger has been one who writes about everything that interests them in life, sharing this with an interested global audience with similar passions. For me, that would have been – homemaking, creativity (my art practice being a part of this), well-being, self-love and the sacred in everyday things. This intention set me off on the meandering path that I mentioned. My initial impression of an artist with a blog seemed limiting to me, when I felt I had so much more to share with my audience. I believed this model would not satisfy the philosopher and the idealist in me. A very obvious dead end.

I have come to realise that I need to strategise my steps in order to become both, but without their weaknesses and limitations. These are 10 simple steps that are required, and trusting in the process they should naturally progress from one stage to the next.

  1. discern the context in which I am situated
  2. pick apart website components of my contemporaries
  3. build a brand using my name (forfeit the money I spent on http://www.imaginare.com and buy a new one)
  4. develop my original blog with new URL, and change the format to look less like a blog, and more of a website
  5. be better than my contemporaries!
  6. spend years refining my practice and selling my art in an ETSY shop, whilst maintaining a blog that shares my creative processes and captivates people
  7. gather a following and know my niche that has developed organically
  8. accept collaborative projects along the way remaining true to myself
  9. have enough credentials to begin teaching what I know to an audience willing to pay for my knowledge and tutorage
  10. keep on shining evermore so!