Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

So how did you ever learn the art that you take to shows? I'm sure your style has evolved over time and that you could write a book on how much your work has changed.

Here is a post I wrote about one of my best (not favorite) teachers. It's not the work I currently take to shows- I am a jewelry artist. However this year I am transitioning back to painting and plan to spend my off show season doing watercolors of the woods.

So, what's your story?

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Comment by Greg Little on September 14, 2015 at 11:32am

I am primarily a self-taught person. My medium is wood and I first got hooked around 1957 when I would watch in amazement as my Dad, Uncle and Grandpa would build Pirogues in the garage. They taught me basic techniques of working with wood and fueled the love of doing what I do to this day.

I spent many years doing custom woodwork and renovations on old wood yachts and sailboats. An added benefit was the fact that there was virtually no competition doing what I did with the exception of two master craftsman woodworkers that were my very good friends

  I have always been fascinated with the flowing compound curves and beautiful woods used in creation. I have also built custom furniture and enjoy the sculpted and flowing look of shaping and carving as opposed to straight and square lines.

I now primarily do sculpted art boxes for shows because I really enjoy creating them and just don't want to carry around large pieces anymore that are difficult to transport or package and ship.

I strive to create my own style of wood sculpting and always experiment while in my shop.

 I've thrown away a lot of pieces I didn't like but through this experimental process I have also come up with new ideas that evolve into  new creations... That's how I learn.

We all know that it is necessary to do what we love to do in life and how fortunate we all are when knowing what our creative passions are..

Comment by Barrie Lynn Bryant on September 13, 2015 at 12:01pm

I'm not surprised that there have been 100 views of this blog and only one response. I'm unsure why others are not inclined to share except that it might take 15 minutes to do so. So many folks are in such a hurry these days! I'll try to be brief, but even with that I could while away the hours on this subject. So here's my 15 minutes worth.

I come from a musical family, so the arts have always been front and center. Despite studying piano and violin, I opted to be a full-time record collector instead of a full-time musician. But I've always visited museums and art galleries, too, not to mention looked at the pictures in books and magazines more than read the text. So when I was 19, during a 30 day leave from active duty with the USMC in fall 1985, I bought a Nikon F2 from my aunt and began photographing everything. I designed and implemented a course in underwater photography using Nikonos V cameras in 1987 for my unit, Alpha Company 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. All of this early work was self-assigned and studied.

Once out of the Marines in 1988, I enrolled in University of Arkansas at Little Rock and began a photography course in the art department with Gary Cawood (SEE HIS WORK HERE). I was possessed with the darkroom work and blew through a thousand sheets of paper in six months. His tutelage included great aesthetic assignments, photography history, and exemplary darkroom techniques. I completed all of the courses offered in the department and two Independent Studies as well as other studio art courses while pursuing a Liberal Arts Degree with emphasis in Studio Art, English, and Business.

While in my first year with Cawood I overheard him tell a senior student that an archtectural photographer was looking for a studio and location assistant and that it was a high viz job. I quickly organized my portfolio and made a telephone call to his office. He agreed to see me right away and was impressed with my portfolio of images, but that I needed some work on my black and white darkroom printing. So I worked an agreement with him and started my job a la apprenticeship for two years with Timothy Hursley at The Arkansas Office in Little Rock, Arkansas. Tim was about 36 years old at the time and was being awarded an AIA Gold Medal for his contributions to the field of architecture. He and his brother Greg (who then lived in Austin, TX and had his own architectural photography biz as well) had apprenticed under Balthazar Korab in Detroit, Michigan before departing with their cameras and portfolios to work together in Little Rock, but soon pursued independent careers.

Tim Hursley is international, working for the finest architects and trade magazines in the world. If you want to see arguably the best architectural photography ever, see his website and look at the Retrospective page HERE!

Those were my beginnings. I'm now a picture frame designer and maker, carver and gilder for my wife's paintings. More about those beginnings some other time.

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on September 13, 2015 at 9:26am
I went into an apprenticeship when I was 15. I had learned what I could from the few leather working books available at the time and felt I had plateaued. I worked in two different high-end custom saddle shops in Phoenix and Scottsdale over the next six years. I studied under four former Porter saddle makers, two who had been shop foremen. Porters was an old 19th century shop that survived into the 1960's. I learned a lot from two shop bankruptcies during that time. I was making good money by the time I started college and paid for all my expenses at Arizona State U. I worked in some profs. labs but they could not compete. I got my BS in '65 in geology. At U. Wyoming I started a kitchen table custom belt business for the high- end western store in Laramie and I also started making field cases for geologists. I went to work in the mining industry with my Ph.D. in '69 but continued to build saddles etc. part time . The rest is history.

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