I started painting in 2014, my style being whimsical and illustrative. (You can still see that work here.) I haven’t been at this for very long, but it’s been long enough to observe the art scene and listen to feedback. Here are a couple things I learned:

First, the fine art scene can be extremely pretentious. My understanding is that to “make it” as a fine artist, you need to know people who collect art.

Second, most people don’t collect art. Go figure.

The people I met at art shows who admired my work always made comments related to their homes. “We need to see if we have wall space.” “This would go with the green in my living room!” I realized when non-collecting people (i.e., most people) buy art, they buy it to spruce up their office or home.

Around the same time I had this revelation, I was trying out expressionist work, and really loving the process. It brings out deeper feelings and ideas out of my subconscious. I observed a few friends’ homes and saw that people buy abstract work. One person said it’s much easier to style a room around abstract pieces.

So then, I decided to transition my fine art brand from whimsical surrealism to expressionism. Not only did I discover a new and deeper way to express myself, but I found that it is a blessing to more people. Now, my self-expression can also be someone else’s when it enhances their living room or office. It wasn’t long before I got more personal reactions like, “This work really speaks to me!”

The re-brand also includes:
A slightly lower price point. This is to make the art accessible to more people. My target demographic is professional millennials who are designing their first homes/apartments and offices.

Options for interior designers. This is new territory for me, but I’m taking steps to working with interior designers to supply art to their clients. Designing a space is a form of self-expression, and I want to contribute to that for more people.

Illustration. The illustration-style work I did for 3 years is now my illustration portfolio. Outside of fine art, I’m taking commissions for books, games, greeting cards, or anything that can be illustrated!

I’ve been learning a lot about branding overall throughout this process, and it’s almost as fun as painting. I’ll be talking about what I’ve learned so far, and explaining the intention in my visual brand assets (logo, colors, photos, etc.), in a later post.

[Photo Credit: Emily Avila Photography]