My favorite art as a child was Paper Mache, finger painting and anything that had to do with using my hands to get messy. I was sort of a mixed media artist before we knew what that meant.
When I was a child growing up I thought that “artists” had to be able to draw and sketch.
Since I couldn’t do that I became a professional portrait photographer. But I really wanted to paint! Finding Corel Painter allowed me to develop painting skills and paint portraits for my clients that would sell for much more than a photograph. With their encouragement, I began to pursue excellence in painting both digitally and with acrylic paint and mixed media.
My art projects all eventually end up in my galleries in three states. I love my subject right now and have developed a following of collectors that wait for my new pieces to be ready to be shown. My unique paintings of wine, cocktails, beer, breweries, distilleries, coffee and brand commissions are a never ending inspiration for me.
I am really enjoying working with brand commissions to create a painting that they can use in their tasting rooms, for prints, labels, advertising and also art for display in restaurants. It’s great to collaborate on commissions that the client is excited to see what I come up with. Right now I’m working on ideas for a private label small batch vodka distillery coming to market.
My personal prime time is in the morning. I get up early and am in the studio by 9am. Depending on my priorities I may be digital painting or painting on canvas or creating content and tutorials for my www.patreon.com/msholin group where I have patrons that learn from me in an online learning experience. I try to answer all my email and usually take a break and finish up by checking in with my galleries to see what has sold so we can restock them as quickly as possible.
Using Corel Painter always allows me to experiment in media I may have never tried before. I like how I can mix the media together for distinct textures and brush strokes. My art thrives on always being unique and mixing brush strokes and textures gives my art a contemporary look that my collectors love.
Bringing textures and patterns into my paintings is very important to my artwork. Painter allows me multiple ways to use both those features to their fullest. I also love the Auto-Painting feature which is much more flexible and creative than most people realize. There are many ways to use it for unique looks and to get an idea of what a brush will do and look like on a finished painting. It is also great for creating quick backgrounds for paintings.
Yes, I work as a full-time artist. Between speaking at conventions, teaching at professional schools, conducting my own private workshops around the world and creating my art, it is always busy around me.
The challenge is that there are never enough hours in a day to get everything done. I am luckier than most because all the printing, bagging and tagging are done by my husband Michael. He runs that part of the business and helps me hang shows and ships all the orders for purchases at my website. Time management is always crucial; you must decide what your priorities are.
If you are going to pursue art as your only business you need to understand that you must have multiple sources of income to survive. Be sure to network so you can teach and do workshops and get yourself above the crowds in any way possible. Also, always have your work on your phone and business cards. I can sell more art sitting and talking in a hotel lounge or restaurant just by being open to sharing what I do with strangers. Many of my shows in restaurants and bars and breweries have happened because we struck up conversations with people.
I love LOVE my newest laptop. It’s an Alienware 17” with 32 gigs of installed ram and 64 bit. It’s a “gamer” laptop and that’s what makes it so fast for me. I do not use dual monitors as it gives me a headache. I can hook up this laptop to a larger screen and use that when I want. I use a Wacom Professional tablet with both the regular stylus and Art Pen.
Photoshop goes with Corel Painter for me. I may change the colors in my painting when I’m finished and I might use filters or ParticleShop in Photoshop to fine tune the painting.
Learn with Marilyn: www.patreon.com/msholin
Marilyn’s Art: www.marilynsholin.com