36-year old Flora Bowley is a model for the kind of life I’m working on creating: she spends most of her time making art that she feels like making, with no preconceived notions or expectations when she walks into her studio.
Unlike most of the artists interviewed for tTAP, Flora makes the bulk of her income – about 70% – from selling through galleries. But she still maintains other income streams, including licensing (she had recently come to a licensing agreement with Papaya at the time of our interview), teaching and selling small paintings and prints off of her website.
How did she get to this place? A large part of Flora’s success comes from persistence, and a willingness to put her work and herself out in the world. Before she got representation at her current suite of 7 galleries, she would show her work wherever she could – restaurants, hair salons, anyplace with a wall that was willing to let her hang her paintings!
I’m always saying that marketing comes down to relationships, and when you listen to this interview, you’ll hear a number of ways that this has played out for Flora.
In her own words, “I feel like my career has been very much based on my own self-discipline and motivation, and just kind of believing in myself and believing in what I do.”
Flora’s advice to creatives:
- spend time around people who are doing what you want to be doing
- don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
- just do the art “You can’t be an artist if you’re not making art. Often.”
- get good images of your work!
- get involved in the blog world
The one thing Flora would do differently? Technophobes, take note: she’d be more tech-savvy. (I’ll agree that learning some basics really does give you a leg-up.)
Recommended resource: Artist Trust, dedicated to supporting Washington State artists working in all creative disciplines. (Sorry, just Washington State artists…)
Click the link to play, or right-click to download.