Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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05/23/2006: "Have you hugged an artist today?"

Tonight someone came up behind me in the store…stumbling and leaned against me, pressing me into the fabric softener while continually apologizing...I was 5 seconds away from doing a karate chop to the balls when I realized it was my friend Jeff...he was buying Borax to help tan the hide of a bear he'd just harvested! Anyway, he's a photographer (and Alaskan mountain man) I talk to often about art.

I told him I was disappointed that my show hadn't sold better and he told me that all we really need is a one person to buy a single painting...others will see it and maybe one of them will love your work too and that's how things build. Then he gave me a pile of his beautiful art cards for helping him jump-start his truck. SCORE!

Then tonight there was a message from a naturalist author who does lectures on one of the cruise ships who saw a poster for my show and loved it, wants to know if I'll sign it in exchange for signed copies of a couple of his books, plus he's going to tell people on his ship about my work! How cool is that!??

So, to all you artists out there...remember that things may not always go the way you fantasize about it (the sold out show, being discovered by a big-time gallery, quitting your day job etc.) but the important thing is getting your work out into the world where it will be seen. And even if someone can’t afford to buy it doesn’t mean the work sucks, or that you’re a terrible artist.

And to any art aficionados out there, take a minute or two out of your day to call or email an artist whose work you admire. Tell them why you love their work, what it has meant to you. It will only take a few moments of your time but I guarantee that artist will remember it for a long long time…and who knows, they may be on the verge of quitting and it could be your words that keep them going.

Replies: 7 Comments

on Wednesday, May 24th, marja-leena said

YES, Elise - right you are! I know the feelings you talk about (as another artist of course I would). I do wish that all the positive comments on one's work would translate to more sales.

Hugs to you!

on Wednesday, May 24th, Elise said

Thanks Marja-leena...hugs back!

on Thursday, May 25th, greg said

Oh my ... cruise ships are a huge market. My sister in law decorated 90% of her walls from a Norweigian Cruise Line trip to Alaska a few yrs ago! Originals and prints. Don't loose that contact!!! :)

Oh yeh ... I love your work and it means alot as a partially significant inspirational influence in my life! :D

on Thursday, May 25th, Elise said

Hey Greg, glad that I could be "partially significant"

on Thursday, May 25th, Elise said

Oh, and ditto!

on Thursday, May 25th, greg said

*L* well despite partial significance you also maintain "wholly inspirational!" :)

Now getting back to the cruise ship art market ... if you just painted in a bear or two .... :P

on Thursday, May 25th, Elise said

Har har, you funny greg!