My guest is Lisa Goren, an artist whose work took a surprise U-turn when the pandemic hit last year, and she went for it.
Lisa Goren works in watercolor to show an unfamiliar landscape in a new light. By using vibrant colors and taking risks with different surfaces, she makes the viewer reevaluate their understanding of both the landscapes and their beliefs in the potential of the medium. Her works create questions about the nature of abstraction and our planet as many of her pieces are representations of unfamiliar, threatened terrains. More recently, Lisa has begun painting animals who had started showing up in unusual places during the pandemic.
In our conversation, Lisa shares the artist residencies and serious work reflecting climate change that she was making before Covid hit. But when she was no longer able to travel to photograph and paint the wildlife and melting ice around Antarctica she turned her attention to the delightful animals that were visiting museums, aquariums and towns. Lisa shares her success dilemman: the new work was taking off and taking over. Her new journey is to regain control over where the work is headed while being open to whatever the future holds.
Lisa Goren details the path — and thick skin — that led to her successful art business. (2:25)
Painting ice, bones, and deep blue colors in Antarctica, Alaska, and Iceland. (6:04)
The importance of creating artist support groups in your art business journey. (9:07)
Lisa reflects on the plans she had for 2020, how the pandemic changed it all, and the pivoting point that led to a new success. (12:17)
Inspiration can come from anywhere, including free roaming penguins in museums. (17:47)
Creating and pricing high-demand art that you didn’t intend to sell. (19:45)
Responding to a call for art during the pandemic created additional interest in Lisa’s work from The Washington Post. (22:16)
Handling the “problem” of success and why you might consider selling low-priced originals instead of prints. (26:45)
Making connections with buyers and offering hope through art. (31:24)
How to adjust your pricing to better control your schedule. (33:33)
Lisa details the assignment that led to her return to painting penguins. (34:41)
Transitioning from the artist you may be known as to the artist that you currently are. (36:54)
Lisa details her marketing channels, how she connects with the photographers that inspire her work, and whether she replaced her lost income in 2020. (40:31)
If the pandemic ended tomorrow, would Lisa continue painting animals? (45:24)
Intro and outro music by Wildermiss
About My Guest
Lisa Goren was born in California and raised in NYC, and yet she has dreamed of Polar landscapes since she was in her teens. Her first trip took her to Antarctica where she was inspired and captivated by the landscape. Her watercolors show an unfamiliar landscape in a new light. By using vibrant colors and taking risks with different surfaces, she makes the viewer reevaluate their understanding of both these landscapes and their beliefs in the potential of the medium.
Dawn Williams Boyd makes figurative textile paintings that reveal stories—not always pretty ones—about the American experience. Dawn’s work has an unapologetic socially activist message that speaks volumes about the Black experience and this country’s politics.
In today’s social and political climate, there aren’t enough hours in the day for Dawn to convey all of the messages she wants to share in her art. She has to carefully plan the body of work she is going to make throughout the year. She takes charge of her production for the entire year.
In our conversation, Dawn and I discuss her process for plotting out which pieces she will make each year. We also talk about why now is not the time to make art that matches the couch, conversations she wants people to have around her work, and how she makes the valuable connections that are helping her reach her most ambitious goals.
Dawn Williams Boyd responds to her daughter’s statement that she is a righteous badass. (3:45)
Art that represents the effect of the history of the United States on the African American community, created by an African American woman. (6:14)
What interested Dawn most in her Art History class is reflected in her own work. (9:30)
Dawn reflects on the big plans that she had for exhibiting her work in 2020. (12:47)
The good things that can happen when you have nowhere to go and no one to see your work. (16:06)
“The List” and how it influences Dawn’s productivity and creativity every year. (18:02)
Now is not the time to make art that matches the couch. Dawn explains the opportunity of artists to use their voice to influence others. (21:32)
A look inside Dawn’s notebook, including the details, fabrics, facts and titles that drive her work. (26:15)
Questions that Dawn asks herself in the planning stage of each new piece. (31:10)
The criteria that guides Dawn’s ability to set goals and plan her work out a year in advance. (34:10)
Dawn reflects on her 2020 goals, the pieces that she actually created and how she is constantly preparing for what is coming next. (36:50)
What kind of conversations does Dawn want people to have around her work? (43:50)
Understanding the worldwide problems that are depicted in the imagery in Dawn’s piece, All Through the Night: America’s Homeless. (48:03)
The overarching business and career goals that guide Dawn’s work every single day. (53:10)
How can an ambitious artist ensure that their art is being viewed by the right people? (57:08)
A peek into all that is in store for Dawn in 2021. (59:00)
Intro and outro music by Wildermiss
About My Guest
Artist Dawn Williams Boyd makes figurative textile paintings that reveal stories—not always pretty ones—about the American experience. Her latest series, The Trump Era, specifically focuses on xenophobia and immigration, but her work has also explored feminine sexuality, the Black American experience, as well as forgotten moments from American history.
2020 was a year of great loss of so many aspects of the art business. Venues were closed, live workshops were canceled, and many businesses suffered major losses. Regardless of these disappointments, so much of these results were never in your control in the first place.
Today I want to focus on what IS in your control. You have control over your art. You get to choose how you will spend the next 24 hours. You can choose how you will invest in your business and you are in control of so much more.
As you enter this new year I want you to consider setting a new kind of goal that may just be smarter than any goal you’ve set before. And it all starts with taking total responsibility for all of the things that are in your control.
New year, new goals. But what is really in your control? (0:01)
The best goals for your art business may not be all that SMART after all. (1:24)
A new approach to setting goals for your art business. (2:48)
You can’t control outcomes, but you can still take charge. (4:21)
Empower yourself by taking total responsibility in these areas. (8:06)
How to connect with others to increase motivation, creativity, and support. (8:24)
The importance of owning your life, your decisions and your career. (9:30)
The value of project-centred planning rather than goal-centred planning. (10:39)
A peek inside all of the offerings of the Art Biz Community. (11:12)
Chris turns feathers into intricate art. Working with delicate tools, he carves into feathers to create images of the very creatures that shed them. His unique feather sculptures are recognized by art collectors, bird lovers, and a variety of people from around the world.
In this episode, I talked with Chris about finding balance in life as well as in making and marketing art. He shares the secret behind his seemingly successful quest for balance, how he approaches requests for commissioned pieces, and the systems that he uses to stay on top of it all.
Balance may seem elusive, and, yet, we all need it in order to be our most creative and successful selves. Whether you’re currently searching for balance in your work or have already homed in on what the perfect balance means to you, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.
About My Guest
Oregon artist Chris Maynard combines his strong backgrounds in biology and ecology to pay homage to nature through the plumage of birds — using feathers acquired from legal sources such as zoos and private aviaries all naturally shed by birds. Working with delicate tools, he carves into feathers to create images of the very creatures that shed them, inventing poetic and playful compositions of birds in flight. His unique feather sculptures are recognized by art collectors, bird lovers, and a wide and interesting variety of people from around the world.