When Glenn and Gregg of Skevik Skis asked me to create a 2nd graphic for their 'handmade in BC' skis I was of course stoked! I love a project and a challenge and of course love seeing my art on their beautiful skis!
This time we worked closer together on the idea and image striving to create something that depicted the 'perfect ski day'. Now I must admit, I dont ski (snowboard is more my thing though I will not say Im great at it ..ha!). I took at lot of direction from the guys at Skevik to let me know what exactly the perfect ski day looked like. Powder and pillows in the backcountry were key plus capturing the mountain to water feel that we are so lucky to have here in beautiful BC! Although I may not be a skier I share a love for the mountains, trees and landscapes of BC much like Glenn and Greg. Its hard not to want to paint them! So inspiring!
I was lucky enough to receive a pair of both sets of skis featuring my art work. (I had painted a maple tree image that became the Lacheur Graphic 1 a few years back). I decided to hang them on my wall as art! (my husband attached a little loop hook on the back) Everyone who comes to my place loves them! They make truly unique art pieces and are an awesome 'handmade in BC' collaboration. I just love how the wood grains show through on the edges of the skis! The Anton version of the skis are nice and wide and show lots of the graphics... great for wall hanging. I think they would be super cool as art in a ski cabin or cafe or pub at a ski resort. Dont you? Check out www.skevikskis.com for more info and ordering.
One of the major reasons I became a Registered Nurse was simply because I wanted to be able to help and heal people. After starting my career as an RN in 2003 my passion for painting became my outlet for dealing with this high stress job. Over time my passion for art became greater then my passion for nursing but my desire to help people has not diminished. I realized that I could use my art to help people just like my Nursing skills.
One of my goals as a Nurse has always been to volunteer in a 3rd world country. A few years back I met Laura Whitney at the Project Aftershock Thrift store in White Rock; A shop she had started in order to raise funds to travel to Haiti twice year to run medical clinics. She too had a passion. She had quit her full time Nursing job to pursue and an overwhelming desire to help people much less fortunate then us in Haiti. I hope you get to meet Laura one day. Her positivity and passion are truly infectious and inspiring.
I have chosen to host an online silent auction selling some of my artwork to raise funds for Laura's Charity 'Project Aftershock' www.projectaftershock.org. 100% of the money raised from selling the art (minus the cost of shipping ) will be donated to Project Aftershock. Some of the money will be used to send a very special 13 year old girl Mikelange to school. Laura sponsors her large family by providing them with housing, food and medical supplies and I wanted to help to send their daughter to school. Without education young girls in Haiti often fall into a life of prostitution and the thoughts of this happening to Mikelange is too much for me to bare. Just $150 sends her to school for a whole year and can change her whole future. I hope to be able to raise more money in my fundraiser that will be used to medically treat people in Haiti as well. A little money goes a long way there. As an example $1 buys a child an parasite medication that can save their life.
Starting Jan 19th and running till Feb 2 will be my online silent auction. You can find the auction here: http://www.32auctions.com/projectaftershock. Sign up to bid on the site. You can either bid or use the 'buy now' option. You can find art cards, matted prints, canvas prints and original paintings in the auction! Items will be shipped via Canada post the following week. Thank you so much for your bids and purchases. It really means a lot. Thank you for helping me to use my art to help and heal. xoxoxo April
It's true what they say, time flies! Another year gone by! I've been running my 'Yapes Paints' business for close to 7 years and in a lot of ways it feels like I just started and a lot of ways like I have been doing it forever!
2014 was a very successful year for my art business having sold 77 original paintings and many more reproductions which I am so very thankful for. Success is not only about sales, its also about having new experiences that allow me to grow as an artist and 2014 was full of new experiences. This past year I had my 1st ever solo gallery show in Vancouver titled 'Deeply Rooted', showed my work for the 1st time in Toronto at the One of a Kind Show and was commissioned by the BIA in Fort Langley to create paintings that will become their street light banners. I was also the featured artist in Home's and Living Magazine in April, worked with Skevik Skis to create a 2nd graphic for their handmade skis and participated in the Filberg Festival in Comox for the 1st time. I painted my 1st series of building, my 1st painting in black and white and my 1st ever pet portrait. 2014 was a year of 1st, all of which allowed me to grow and develop as an artist.
I want to thank everyone who supports me in my art business. Not just those who buy my work (thank you SO much for this), but those who encourage me with lovely comments at shows, who like and comment on my post on facebook and instagram, who retweet my tweets, who share my business card with their friend, who hang my calendar in their office for all to see. It is through sharing that my work gets out in to the world and you are all helping me in many ways to grow my business and live my artist dream. Wishing you all the best in happiness and health in 2015! I look forward to sharing with you more of my art in 2015! - April
Its been a month since the opening night reception of my solo show 'Deeply Rooted' at visual space gallery in Vancouver and I've had lots of time to reflect on it and finally some time to write about it! Being an artist who has mostly concentrated on selling my work at art markets, wholesale and online, hosting a solo showing of my work was a bit of a new concept and kinda scary for me. At the start of each year I sit down and make a list of goals for my business and having a solo gallery showing of my work in 2014 was top of the list so I am proud to have accomplished this big goal!
I soon discovered that planning for a solo show was different then preparing for big market (which I have now done a zillion times it feels) so it was a bit of learning process! Find a space, book a photographer, hire a bartender, get a liquor license, organize the food and party favors, make the playlist... wait a minute.. was I planning a wedding!? ha! Oh and not to mention developing a concept for the show and a bunch of new paintings. While I was planning the show I was also getting ready to go to Toronto for the 1st time so needless to say it was a busy time!
In the weeks leading up to my show my Mom became very ill and was in the hospital in ICU for a week. This of course was super scary and stressful and I had strongly considered cancelling the show but my Mom really wanted me to go on with it so I used her wishes and encouragement to push through it and with the huge help of my husband Ren and some awesome friends (including Jade Pellerin, Jamie Smith and Gertrud Kertesz and Tracey Tomtene) I pulled it off!
Once the paintings were hung, the food made and wine poured, the favors and music ready to rock the only thing missing was guests. I was terrified that no one would come to my opening. This event was 'putting myself out there' much more then doing an art market. After all my stress and hard work.. the question remained.... Would anyone show up!? Much to my great delight people came! They came early, they stayed late! There was a great buzz at the show all night long and I had such a blast. Well over 100 people came to see my work that night. Old friends from high school, new friends and customers and admirers who had seen my work on facebook, my website and in homes and living magazine! The night was part of the ROVE art opening tour organized by myself and fellow artist Jamie Smith (much more credit to Jamie who did so much work for the event! Way to go Jamie!). It was so great to see so many people out supporting local art!!
Once the evening was over, the empty wine glasses collected and the heels off (my feet were killing me lol) I was completely exhausted. Although it was SO much fun and I was so thrilled with the outcome I was also quite relieved it was over. I had done it.. even in difficult and stressful circumstances I had accomplished my goal. Man that .. felt... good! A HUGE thank you to everyone who came out support me. I really couldn't be living my artist dream with out you! Am I planning on another solo show in the future? You bet! xoxoxo - April
PS to check out more photos from the night click HERE. Photos by Tracey Tomtene Photography.
Its a few days before I set up for the One of a Kind Show Toronto. My head is starting to spin. Have I packed everything? What if I forget something? What if I get lost? What if I loose money? What if .. what if.. what if! eeeek! the pre-show jitters have set in! (and with it my loss of ability to sleep).
Now, this is not my 1st rodeo. I have done LOTS of big shows over the past 6 years and started doing 'out of town' shows a few years ago so have learned a thing or two about shipping my work ect. But this show just feels a bit different. I have done the One of a Kind Show when it was in Vancouver for 3 years so know what to expect from a big show put on by a large corporation in a big venue like the city's convention center. But THIS is the One of a Kind Show TORONTO! THIS is Canada's largest arts and crafts show with 450 artisans (800 at the Christmas show!). The Spring show was started in 1979 .. 35 years ago! It has some serious longevity and some seriously dedicated customers along with a very high quality of work and professional artisans.
When I 1st started selling my art at art markets (my 1st being Portobello West in Vancouver in 2008) I would hear other artisans talking about the elusive Toronto One of a Kind show. They talked about how big it was, how many people attended and how great they sales were. I thought to myself 'One day, that will be me. I will go to the Toronto show.' At this time this felt like such a 'pipe dream'. Toronto was too big, too long, too expensive. How could I possibly afford it? How could I get the time off of my 'real job'? How could my husband get time off to help me? How could I do this big show all on my own?
Last year I decided it was my time to 'take the plunge' and apply for the show! I was so thrilled when I received the confirmation that my work had been juried and chosen to be in the show! Having cut down my hours at Nursing work I decided I would have the time to go plus was ready to take the financial risk. In all true honesty this show is the biggest financial risk I have taken so far with my business. Between very high booth costs, flights to Toronto, accommodation and shipping all of my work the costs have piling up! But how can a business grow without taking risk... right?
I've been doing a lot of self talk lately, telling myself 'I CAN do this show on my own", "I CAN work the 5x 11-13 hour days all on my own", "People WILL love my work", "I WILL have a great time". ... and I know all of these things are true.
The Toronto One of a Kind show is one of those big shiny goals on my artist life list and I am SO excited and proud to be ticking it off . I can't wait to see the response to my work from a whole new market and see a bit of Toronto ( I have never been!). I feel very lucky to have the support of my awesome husband Ren who has encouraged me to 'take the Toronto plunge' and support of my fellow artisan friends Nicole and Ron of Mally Bibs (http://www.mallybibs.com) who have been my awesome show mentors!
I have been working hard on lots of new painting for the show! check out my facebook album HERE.
Looking forward to reporting back about my experience at the show! Bring on Toronto! :)
In continuing on with my 'Artist Life' blog series I thought I would write about one of the things that can be very challenging for an artist, especially when 1st starting out. Yes, I mean PRICING (dun dun dunnn). When I first decided to start selling my work back in 2007 I had NO idea how much to charge for my work. I was full of all kinds of self doubts like 'no one would pay that for MY painting', 'people will laugh when they see THAT price'.
As an artist who has been around for a little while now (though really still at the beginning of my journey with a long and exciting road ahead) I thought I would share with you how I have developed the pricing for my work. I want to share this for 2 reasons: 1) Help other artist 2) help my customers understand my pricing.
The 1st time I sold my work for profit was in 2007 at Blighty's Bistro in Victoria. The owner liked my work, which at the time a created as a hobby, and asked me to hang some for sale in her restaurant. She asked me how much I wanted to charge and I replied with a very low price (ridiculous when I look back now). She refused to price them so low and said she would price them for me. I was relieved to have someone do it for me! She priced all the paintings way higher then I was comfortable with and I thought '"no one in their right mind would pay those prices for MY work!" I felt thankful, since I didn't work at the restaurant, that I didnt have to be there to watch customers faces when they looked at the price tags in shock. Much to MY shock my paintings sold very well at these prices (yeah!) and gave me the confidence to going selling my paintings.
I used these prices as a bit of a base line and also did my own research to see what other artists with similar experience , medium and sizes were selling their work for and priced from there. I think this is a great place for artists to start. The trick of course is to find the sweet spot where the price is not to high that customers will not buy and not too low that people wont value your work.
One major mistake I made when starting out was 'pricing from the heart' meaning if I really liked a particular painting I would price it higher then others. I have learned that just because I may like a certain painting more doesn't mean my customers like it more and often times the ones I like a little less are the ones my customers like a little more (funny how that works) so its best to keep my heart out of my pricing.
Some things I consider when pricing are of course materials used. ie: I charge 20-30% more for my paintings that incorporate metal to cover the cost of materials and my husbands time in creating that metal pieces (if you have ever seen his metal leaves each are really a work of art in themselves!)
Some people would say that time should be a factor in pricing. Here is my issue with that. Take for example my signature trees with twisting roots. When I first started painting them they took me a lot longer then then do now. Because I have painted so many of the them I have increased my skill and efficiency in creating them. If I were to price these paintings based on time since my trees now take less time to paint I would actually be charging less instead of more them. Why should I be paid less because I have become more efficient at it. Thats is like saying a surgeon deserves less money the more experienced and efficient he/she becomes at it... silly right?
How I price my work now
So then.. how DO I figure out how to price my work? I adopted a square footage fee a few years ago and it made my life SO much easier! If a customer asks me 'How much would something that size cost' and I can have a quick and easy answer. My square footage fee is a little higher for commissioned work to compensate for the back and forth communication and the custom nature of the work. Sure, some paintings might take me a little longer or be more of a struggle but why should my customers pay more for a painting because I am less efficient at painting say a car then I am a tree?
My theory on getting paid in general is that you work harder for some dollars then others no matter what job you do and in the end it all come out in the wash. Reflecting back to when I was Nursing in the hospital there were some awful days when I would be run off my feet while other days were a bit more cruisey.. in the end I made the same dollars.. some were just harder earned.
On getting a raise
Like any trade I believe artists deserve to get raises. I give myself a raise every February on the anniversary of when I officially started my 'Yapes Paints' business. ( coming up!) This means my square footage fee (currently $160 per sq/ft) will go up. Why should I not be rewarded for my increase in skill, experience and knowledge like in any job? Increasing my prices on a scheduled basis also ensures the value of my work continues to go up which gives piece of mind to my collectors who have purchased my original work.
What about you?
Artist- please comment and let me know how you price your work?
Art fans- What do you think? I would love to hear your comments about this post.
Until next time- Happy Creating!
I thought it would be interesting to use some of my blog posts as a way of sharing insight in to 'The Artist's Life' ie: bits about all the roles that make up being an artist. To be an artist does not only mean being creative and good at making things your hands; though that of course is part of it. When I 1st decided to sell my work professionally I had no idea how many other hats I must wear ie Business person, social media expert, marketing expert, book keeper, accountant, customer service representative, web designer, photographer, booth engineer, car packing extraordinaire ect...
One conversation I often have with customers who come in to my booth at art markets is about the process of 'getting into shows'. Many people are surprised to learn about what a difficult and time consuming process it is and just how much it costs. Its always fun to watch customer's jaws drop when they learn how much I paid to be set up in my booth for the weekend. This is not information I just shout out to everyone who comes by but if someone asks I'm going to be honest about the $1000-$2000 I spent on the booth. (not all shows cost this much but I would say $700-$1400 is average for many of the shows I do). I think its important for shoppers to realize how much time and money artists have invested in being at shows and help them realize it is a real business with financial risk and that their support is greatly appreciated.
January is the time I sit down in front of my calendar and computer and figure out all the dates and deadlines for application for shows. The deadline for Christmas shows (yes Christmas!) is often Feb or March so I've got to be on this ( I have learned the hard way and missed out on shows in the past cause Im too late to apply). Many applications require an application form, artist bio, description of exact process for creating the work, price list, high res photos and sometimes samples. They often want a jury fee (yes you have to pay even if you dont get in) plus a deposit and payment for the show is usually many months before the show starts so I had better hope I have money in my account to cover all the cheques I am writing! This is one of the most stressful parts, knowing when all the show fee payments are due! Once the applications are all sent off (this year I am planning to apply for at least 10 shows) its time to sit and cross my fingers I get in! Many shows are highly competitive so its not uncommon to get a few rejection letters before an acceptance letter. Its always super exciting to get the 'You have been accepted' email! There is also the possibility I will be rejected which if course is heart wrenching and a different blog post all together! To be in the business of being an artist one much be able to accept rejection. Once I know I have been accepted the planning for the show can begin!.. again.. another blog post yet to come!
There you go, a little insight in to one of the many roles of an artist! And now.. if you don't mind.. I must get back to these applications!
May your day be filled with passion and creativity!
2013 an art filled year!
What a year 2013 has been for the growth of my business; my best year to date! Its pretty amazing to look back to 7 years ago when I first started selling my work in coffee shops and see how much both my skills and business have grown. 87 of my original paintings found homes this year and over 60 retail locations across Canada now sell my work including BC Ferries and the Toronto Art Gallery gift shop!
With 18 art markets under my belt this past year it was my busiest show season to date. New for me this year was the 'Ladner Village market', 'Studio Fair' in Prince George and 'Circle Craft' and 'Got Craft' and 'Interior Design Show West' in Vancouver. I returned this year to the 'Make it Show' in both Vancouver and Edmonton as well as the 'Harmony Arts Festival' in West Vancouver. In 2014 Im thrilled to be participating in the 'One of a Kind Show Spring' in Toronto for the 1st time and also hope to participate in a show in Calgary in the Fall.
As you may or may not know I also work as a Registered Nurse. I currently work as a Diabetes Educator in a private Doctors office. Yes, I am busy!.. but that is how I like it! The Nurse/ Artist roles are a good balance but in May of this year things just got so busy with my art business and I cut down from working 3 days a week to 1 day a week which has been wonderful allowing me more time for painting and growing my business while still allowing me to keep up my Nursing skills.
This past year I was stoked to be asked by Vancouver based Stand up Paddle Board co. 'WazSUP' to license my images to use on their 'Railay' house brand SUPs! Its so amazing to be standing on water.. and on my art! You can check out/purchase the boards in their shop at the corner of Richards and Pacific st in Vancouver and online HERE . Also, you can find my maple tree image on 'Skevik' Skis made in Vernon BC. My maple tree image was last years graphic but back this season by popular demand. Check it out HERE. I hope to continue to find avenues for licensing my art in a variety of ways. Its a great way to get my work out the world and a whole other way of being creative! Let me know if you have an ideas or connections for licensing my work.. I would love to hear them!
In 2013 I had my 2nd solo show at Lut Boutique on Main st Vancouver. My work was shown for 3 months on the walls of this gorgeous shop with a well attended opening reception. I just love how this shop supports local artists! I am looking to host a solo show of my work in Spring 2014. If you have any connections of ideas for a great venue please pass them along! Thank you!
I was excited to be asked by Jillian Harris to have my '4 seasons tree' canvas print given away in her '12 days of Christmas Giveaway'. She is an amazing interior designer on 'Love it or List it' Vancouver with great taste in decor so of course this was totally flattering to say in the least!
Of course in 2013 came lots of NEW WORK.! My style and skills continue to develop (One of the beauties of having to paint all the time!) and my work in 2013 became more detailed. I continued with my ongoing theme of trees with twisting roots and trunks and worked on more birch trees and birds. I also painted my 1st elephant, dragon and turtle (commissioned work). Part of the fun of commissioned work is painting things I wouldn't usually or that are bit outside my comfort zone. My husband Ren and I also worked together on a few new pieces which incorporate metal. I have a whole new body of worked planned for 2014 and Im excited to get painting!
I THANK YOU so much for your ongoing support! I couldn't be living my artist dream without it! Also a huge thank you to my husband Ren for without his love and support (and putting up with loading my stuff in and out of the car and the 'overflow' of my home based studio.. lol!) I would not be able to grow my business like I have. Happy New Year and all the best to you in 2014. xo - April
When Gregg and Glenn Anderson - the brothers behind Vernon, BC based, Skevik Skis - asked me if I would complete a painting that would ultimately become one of the graphics featured on their products, the answer was easy…of course I would! What a unique opportunity to have my art on something that would be flying down a mountain. Simply awesome!
After a bit of back and forth and sharing of creative ideas, we decided that a maple tree, printed on the maple wood they use to construct their skis, would be the most fitting for this BC company.
At first I found it a bit tricky to figure out how to create a painting that would fit on the long thin shape of skis, not my usual dimensions. I ended up choosing a 1 x 6 foot canvas and taking a slice of the tree, which made for a unique design. After some important measurements to make sure all the elements of the skis would fit, the logo and bindings, for example, the fun part really started.
This was the first time I had painted a maple tree, which seems a bit funny since I am known as “The Tree Lady”. Trees with detailed bark and twisting roots are my favorite thing to paint.
After completing the painting and getting the okay from the big bosses, Gregg and Glenn, I had to sit back and wait to see the final product. I was really happy with my painting, but what would it look on skis?
When I saw the photos of the artwork on a pair of skis, I was blown away. It looked awesome! How exciting to see my art on skis!
Skevik has developed from passions similar to mine, the desire to create, to work with my hands, to make something unique and something beautiful. It has been a great pleasure to work with this awesome, local, BC company and an honor to have them share my art on their products.
Thanks, Gregg and Glenn! Im so exited my Maple Tree image if back in production for a 2nd season... hope its a stellar one!
If you would like to order a pair of skevik skis featuring my maple tree image please visit the website www.skevikskis.com
The progression of the painting for Skevik Skis. The original painting is currently available for sale!
'Maple Twist' 18x36 acrylic *sold* Prints & cards available
With the madness of holiday shows done and a relaxing 3 week trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua under my belt Jan-March brought more time in the studio and lots of time to create new paintings! *Yeah!*. I focused a little more on creating more with the Evergreen Trees which many of my followers had been asking for. "Forrest Attraction" & "Evergreen Lofts" have arrived!
Forrest Attraction 24x36 acrylic on canvas $960 for sale
'Evergreen Lofts' 8x24 each $225 each or $775 set. For Sale
Its funny when I get on a roll with painting.. the ideas just keep on rolling and I feel there is not enough time in a day to keep up with all the painting my body and mind want to do! My studio is an array of paintings all at different stages.. its exciting when they all start to come together and I can see and share the finished projects!
'Oak Twist' 18x36 acrylic $720. For Sale.
'Lovebird Lust' 16x20 acrylic on wood. $360. For Sale.
"Magnolia View" 24x29 acrylic. Will be framed in reclaimed window!
'The Lofty Barn Owl 2 & Stellars Jay' 6x36 original acrylics $210 each. For Sale.
'Owls wearing..... ' 6x6 originals on wood. $60 each for sale.
Im looking forward to showing you my new works in Person! Come and see them at the Make It Show Edmonton April 12-14 & Make it Show Vancouver April 19-21! www.Makeitproductions.com