Monday, December 29, 2014

What's in a name?

(start small)

It's no secret that being a fine artist is hard.  Really hard.  Feelin' like you're runnin huh?  Yuh.

So I got myself on a project.  It's a test tube project;  it's called 'make a name for yourself'.  I have two months. In fine art you have to identify and juggle an incredible amount of balls, and you have to do it all very well  and simultaneously.  If (some financial relief) success is in a good mood it just may knock on your door.

Test tube project experiment 1.  Start small. Rochester, NY. Green light. Go.

Todays post is about the nitty gritty of my situation lest i forget one day.  (doubtful)
I have not left whispers to carry the news that one of the reasons i migrated to upstate New York is because i could no longer financially independent. Currently, i'm still non-profit.  Mom lives in upstate NY so that helps. Thanks mom!

Anyhow. I set myself up in Rochester till i have to be back in L.A. by mid March.  I have laundry list; get together a body of work, get published.  Seem simple?
No man.
Research, action and reaction.   I have to know my galleries, meet the people who run them and if it's a good fit perhaps attain representation, at the very least the more you get out there the better.  I have to find out who the local artists are and meet them, go to the art museums,  hit the art stores and drop off my card/info see if they are interested in hosting a demo, hit the collages (with an art department) and some highschools.  I have to know where my potential clientele is, meet them, (meeting is not a quick introduction, it's connecting), what are the local publications, would they be interested in printing the story i'm composing/art? Who do i speak to in these said publications, do i know anyone who knows someone, who knows someone who knows they guy i need to talk to? Meet them. Write the article, print promotional material, and try to get booked for a show.   Set up a studio.  Get my lineup of paintings set up, get into routine.  Know business, know marketing, know how to invest and what the potential return will be.  I'm planning a couple more trips while i'm here too, where will that fit in? How long? Who will i stay with?
 I have set myself deadlines for sketches, studies and final pieces, which just doubled since i'm now going to be doing a solo show in the first week of March.  I have to make sure to spread the word to make it a successful show.  That's not all that's on my to-do list. Explore more patterns with my sketches is a misc. one which i find pretty exciting.

SO,  i'm starting to get into routine (thank god) and meeting my own deadlines.  I  have this incredible blanket which heats up and getting out of bed is yes... difficult.  I love that blanket... why haven't we made clothing with this stuff? I could use that for the winter... specially socks, and gloves... and clothes. I would love to walk around like a big self heated panda.  I wake at about 5 or 6am.

What i've achieved thus far; my research.  I know what galleries i'll be speaking with, which museums to visit, what schools i'll be stopping by, the art shops, the figure drawing groups and the art clubs.  I have a place to visit where i may meet my potential clients (took an investment), i have a place willing to host a solo show, i have  a location to set up my studio in the next couple days, i have selected the local publications i think will be a good fit, and i have some names of local artists.  I have a rough outline of a portfolio, a framer,  a place which will do high quality printing for me with proofs (yup, important), an idea of how i will design said documents.   By the way, i've been using my 'super savings'... meaning, my life savings that i never touch... just in emergencies. I hope to have earned it back in by the end of the show... fingers crossed, i hope i sell some paintings, i have to make my way back to l.a. after all.

 I've discovered Spotify and dropped Pandora.

Scheduling and organizing is becoming steadily more rigid. (while still maintaining reasonable flexibility because life will take place... i suppose that just means you can more quickly find solutions with desirable outcomes/in alighnment with your goals).

Now, gotta get these wheels turning AND make some artwork.
Woot woot! (what is a 'woot'? I'm almost offended by this)

Meanwhile, i'll show you my current process of coming about a finished painting.

I get an idea, sketch it out or feel it out as i'm painting or shooting.  I'll make sure my ref photos (even if the paintings begin from life) are good enough to work off of,  then i pair up my paintings.
I do academic sketches and play with potential compositions. Somtimes i'll do location or  gouache studies then i hit the oil paints.  I'll do small value studies, then small color paintings which i then put on the market for sale the benefit being that these are more affordable then their larger counterparts which don't always make it successfully to the finale in the first place.  I'm pretty fond of the smaller studies.

The painting we are going to follow is 'Room in Tuscany', it's the one to the left.

 Below is a commission along side my gouache study of 'R in Tuscany'.

Well. That's as far as i got.  This week will come a small paint study (color) of it which will go up for sale, and i have two sizes i'm considering for this pair.  The smaller studies will dictate which one i pick.  Stay tuned for the remainder of the process!

I'll post one more study from this week;  (gouache)

It's been a busy and exciting year. I've had to superglue and tape my agenda and i still have to update it with a couple things from the trip.  Pretty excited to see what next year has in store.

Happy New Year y'all and as the Declaration of Independence will have it; to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness this 2015.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays!

Thank you to everyone who has made this year awesome. Thanks to everyone who has inspired.  Thanks to everyone who has opened and closed doors.  I hope that i can make life a little better for those around me as they do the same for me. Thanks XOXOXOXOXO y'all as we walk into a new year filled with great adventures, beauty, possibilities and happiness. Best wishes. Cheers.

So, post a one month roadtrip i have arrived in Rochester NY.  My new home for a couple months.  It is cold here but... happy to say, i'm still alive, kicking and inspired. The roadtrip was ofcourse, incredible.
I'm looking forward to putting ideas to paint and putting together a sketchbook documenting my travels to the publishers. Some pages;

In other news; 
A painting of mine has been accepted in the CAC 104 Gold Medal Show. This will be my third consecutive year participating in this incredible event. I am flattered, and it gives me another deadline to get back to L.A.

 My painting 'Doorway in Urbino'. 

I currently won't be going into all my goings and doings while i was traveling;  but feel free to check on some updates on my instagram and facebook, i also have some other plans which i'll elaborate upon when they've started unfolding.  Anyhow,  most recently I've gone from L.A. to Tucsan AZ, through the Grand Canyon AZ, Monument Valley AZ, Arches National Park UT, Colorado Springs, Boulder, and Denver CO,  North Platte NE, Omaha NE, Chicago IL, Sagamore Hills OH, Cleveland OH, Brooklyn and New York, NY, and ofcourse, Rochester, NY.  There are many small towns here i didn't get a chance to chat up but they were awesome too. I 'll have to find a better way to mass media update while I travel since it seems to be one of those habits i have no intention kicking. Time will tell.

I have visited many museums, galleries, danced tango, took a pole dancing class, somehow lost my tango shoes (although i'm sure i put them in that bag with my other shoes, maybe they are in a secret super safe place in my car...), got a commission, drew at Palette and Chisel Academy and Art Students League in NY,  drank scotch at Signature room at the top of the Hancock building in Chicago, got a really weird and ill advertised face massage, took a shower in a park with two jugs of water on a very cold day, camped in my car, got gum stuck to my butt, played poker, drank too much, went running, went hiking, saw snow, drove through a snowstorm (or two), stayed at a super ghetto hotel where the heat just screeched and the outlets didn't work,  ate awesome popcorn, cooked, explored abandoned homes and left before i got caught,  really wanted to paint in some places that i would be trespassing in yet and DIDN'T because i always have really bad luck with that s*** and saw some of the most beautiful landscapes, beautiful sunrises, beautiful sunsets, beautiful cloudy and sunny days,  and coolest black cows ever, and ofcourse met up with old friends (so you had how many kids? Oh just one... just trying my best to keep track man, those things are running around everywhere) and made many new ones.

For further updates, sketches, art, etc...
kathiuciadias on Instagram

The museums i stopped by were; The Denver Art Museum, Art Institute of Chicago (museum), Butler Institute of Fine Art (Youngstown, OH), Cleveland Art Museum, Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha).  
The following images are by no means the best of the best but they'll give you a taste of the incredible amount of goodies that are in these locations.

Dixon in Denver.

Rembradt in Omaha.

Oh my F***ing G**, Mancini in Chicago.  I'm so pissed, the museum closed before i was done!!  Do over for sure.

Sargent in Cleveland. Excuse the awful photo... couldn't get around that.

Andrew Wyeth in Youngstown.

I will actually mention that i'm making new business cards again, but this time i'll leave out my phone number because some creepy people keep calling either wanting a date or just being weird.  I can live without that.
In January i'll be taking another trip to two states, north of NY, and in February/March i'll be driving back to CA.  More discoveries to come!