The biggest news to most of my readers and followers will be that I have moved…again. My 2009 move to Calgary, AB only lasted a year, and I ended up back in Regina, SK briefly. As much as I have said that Saskatchewan isn’t home to me, it seems to keep pulling me back. And so, rather than fighting it, I’m finally relaxing and going with it, and even learning to like it! I’ve always loved Saskatoon; it’s a great location for the art community, and so I made the move from Regina to Saskatoon. It has been the best decision I’ve made in a long time. I found an absolutely perfect rental property, which has been a huge validation of the benefits of posting a want-ad on Kijiji. (Anyone curious about that story can message me…) My new house is in a great neighborhood close to all amenities, has ample parking, a fenced and landscaped yard with huge garden and separate fenced dog run for Duke, hardwood floors, new appliances, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and quite possibly the best landlord in the entire city. I feel like I am “home” and it has been a very long time since I have truly felt that way about anywhere I’ve lived.
One of the greatest things about my new home is the space I have for a home studio. I have converted one of the extra bedrooms into my studio space, which consists of office, workspace, and storage for all of my work-related supplies. Having a proper work-space is crucial for making a successful go of a home-based business.
With the new studio comes space to expand my business, and having moved away from Regina and hence away from my local source for quality prints, I have made the decision to begin printing for myself. This means the investment in a top-of-the-line professional printer, and taking the time to learn the process behind making quality prints, which I am thoroughly enjoying. In the very near future, I will be offering a variety of graphic services to fellow artists – and so, if you are interested in this opportunity, I encourage you to get in touch. I will also be offering incentives and referral programs for new clients. My website will soon advertise this aspect of my business, and I will post a link as soon as it’s completed.
Another addition to my home studio is a “framing station”, where I am now framing my own work. Rather than investing in a mat-cutter, and then needing the obvious space and training (not to mention time) to do that, I have found a fantastic website - the MatShop.ca - that offers quality mats cut-to-spec, as well as all the framing supplies I need to frame my own work at home. The mats, backing materials, and frame pieces arrive custom-cut, complete with hardware, I buy the glass locally, and I then assemble everything in my studio. It has led to a great savings compared to retail framing, and means that I can keep and provide stock of framed prints for sale, which is fantastic. I now offer every one of my prints either framed or un-framed, and all options will soon be available on my website.
I have always been a little different than most artists… I have never pursued a gallery showing, nor have I ever sought out retail space for my work. It may seem counterproductive to becoming a successful artist, but I have my reasons. The main one being that I’ve never felt that a gallery is worth the staggering commission that most charge, along with the fact that my slight tendency to be a control freak would mean giving up control over my work. Additionally, most galleries and retail spaces only hang original art, which is a problem for an artist like me who only produces a few per year, most of which are commissioned, and therefore not available for sale. I have instead settled for marketing my own work through my website and occasional trade shows, and previously have participated in local art guilds. Recently, however, I was offered an absolutely amazing opportunity... Subaru of Saskatoon, they asked what I did for work, leading to my blatantly obvious and somewhat shameless showing off of my artwork on my website. When the owner of the dealership walked into the office and saw my website, he immediately and without hesitation asked if I’d like to display and sell my work in his dealership. “Fill the walls with your work!” Mac said. His offer shocked me to say the least, but I told him I would definitely take him up on it. It took me a couple months to get everything arranged (throughout the move and setting up in a new location of course), including the framing of limited edition prints for the walls, and the creation of a contract for our arrangement. After hanging everything in the showroom, during which I was very warmly received by the entire staff, I offered to set-up in an unused cubicle to do a public demo of my work, and the owner of the dealership loved the idea. So, next weekend, (Friday, March 18th and Saturday, March 19th, 2011) I will be set up in the Subaru of Saskatoon showroom to work on some art and enjoy talking to the public about my work (and subsequently about how much I absolutely love my Subaru WRX!) This is an exciting new direction for my work, and I am so very grateful to Mac at Subaru for the wonderful opportunity. If you’re in or around Saskatoon, I encourage you to stop by and check it out. I hope to be there more often in the future as well. And if you’re looking to buy a car – well I can’t rave enough about how much I love my Subaru. I truly believe that I will never drive anything but a Subaru ever again.
On top of the showing of my work at Subaru, I have agreed (somewhat last minute) to participate in the Collector’s Show here in Saskatoon. Their show consists of guns, antiques, and wildlife art – quite the combination of attractions, and the largest show of its kind in the Prairie Provinces! I will have my booth set up at this well-attended show from Friday March 11th to Sunday March 13th, 2011. For hours and information, visit the Collector’s Show website. This show will be the first time I will be transporting my trade show booth with my new car, which will be an experiment for sure, as my car is small and my display is quite large! At least for a local show, if I have to make multiple trips to set up, it won’t be a problem. I will be doing my best to fit everything in one trip though, as I also intend to do this same thing when I travel to Onoway, Alberta in April!
Speaking of which – the third annual Night of Artists Onoway is just around the corner! The show will be held on April 9th, 2011, and more information can be found at the Night of Artists website (click on the Onoway Show). I’m excited to see everyone again, and visit family, all while participating in a fun day (and night) of art and entertainment.
And so, that’s what I’ve been up to and what I will be up to for the foreseeable future! For those of you who read this far, I appreciate your patience and thanks for bearing with me. I hope to be more diligent with my blog and website from now on, and I look forward to keeping in better touch with my fans and collectors.