Wow, what a year!
In April of last year, I was out of work, disorganized, and frustrated with the trajectory of my (non-existent) art career. I decided to take the plunge and dedicate myself to my art fully, which was the best and scariest decision I could have made!
Without any knowledge of what I was in for, or how to go about it, I haphazardly started throwing together photographs of my work (bad ones, I might add), and cold-emailing galleries. I think I emailed every gallery in Kansas City!
Well, my tenacity paid off, and I landed several shows, including my first solo show, which was scheduled a year out. The gallery owner asked me if I had large pieces that could fill an entire gallery, and like every artist ever, I LIED. "Of course!" I said confidently. Never mind that up to this point, I had only created work that was 11x14 inches or smaller. I'd make it work!
In a total frenzy, I began painting large pieces that quickly took over my dining room table and my small apartment. I used what little money I had to buy beautiful frames off of Amazon, and googled how to frame art myself! Painting large was a (pardon the pun) HUGE challenge, and stretched me in amazing ways! Having the goal of a solo show also forced me to narrow my focus, and to hone in on the subject matter I was truly drawn to: florals.
I'd always resisted pigeonholing myself as a floral artist, and had previously experimented with painting everything from still lives, to architectural pieces. I'm glad for this long period of exploration, as it gave me my footing in what I do now. I think every artist goes through this when they are trying to find their style.
Fast forward to nearly a year later: I had nearly 20 floral pieces ready to show, a growing instagram and facebook following, and several group shows under my belt! In a sudden panic, I pulled out my old paintings from last April, and realized to my horror, that I hated them! They looked washed out and amateurish, and I realized in that moment how far I'd come artistically. I pulled off the frames of these pieces and started reworking them, with a lot of fear I might add! What if I completely messed them up? Thankfully, they came together and now are some of my most special works.
As of today, I have been in eight group shows, and had three solow shows! Wow! I can hardly believe it! I've also won two awards for my art, and booked shows for 2019! I've also begun to teach private art lessons, do commission work, and sell on social media. I don't say this to toot my own horn...not at all. I say this because I want to encourage and inspire others to manifest their OWN dreams and see their artistic career blossom! If I, business and tech-challenged Kelly, can do it, SO CAN YOU!
Go out their and make your dreams come true!