Audrey's Question of the Week
How do you stand out in a crowd?
What makes you and your art special? How do you market and brand your work to the point where it glows?
Everyone has an art story, it's just all about trying to find it. Our goal with Hope + Easel is to not only promote one another, come up with new project ideas, and share each others success, but to find our voice.
Taylor Lee had much to say on this topic as she is now a pro at finding her why.
She suggests throwing away the clichés such as, "I really admire..." and "I paint because it makes me happy!" Of course painting makes us happy. That's why we do it. Part of our creative process is digging deeper into ourselves, like we are writing a book.
For many of us, we are still searching for our why. For me, I believe artists are needed everywhere, and that there are endless opportunities, you just need to know where to look and how to utilize your talent. I've gotten the typical, "What are you going to do with that degree?" bit, and I feel as though I paint to prove them and myself wrong. That it is possible. I paint to quiet the voices in my head telling me I can't do it.
Stephanie Kirkland explains, "I'm naturally inclined to make abstract landscapes. Why? Because I enjoy being outside. Why? Because being outside relaxes me and feels good for mental health. Why? Probably some combination of growing up spending almost all of my waking minutes outside, and the fact that research shows fresh air and green spaces improves people's moods in general. Why does that matter? Because there are a bunch of stressed out people in this world who don't live near green spaces and/or who spend the majority of their time inside in their homes and offices, and green spaces are becoming more sacred and scarce by the minute. So, why do I paint? To bring the outside in and breathe fresh air into people's homes, offices, and lives through my artwork. To help ease people's stressed minds, while also raising awareness of damage being inflicted on our planet (and hopefully helping to conserve green spaces in the process). That immediately gives people something concrete and believable and unique to connect to vs. me being just another abstract landscape painter focused on capturing the planet's beauty."
As Bri Custer puts it beautifully, "The triumphs and the struggles are so important for people to see."
Those who may have personally struggled with mental illness and addiction may not be completely comfortable sharing their story and branding it as such because they know they are more than that. This is true. You are more than your struggles, which it is proven through your art. I believe these personal struggles will help connect the viewer to the painting. Having that story allows you to look at the painting differently, and have a deeper appreciation for the work put into it.
Taylor recommends reading Simon Sinek's book Find Your Why, which you can find on Amazon!
I will continue searching for my why, and I hope you do too!