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Inside The Artists Studio Update

Stone Carving, Andrew Gable, in progress

Today I worked on a new project that I started yesterday. It’s an alabaster sculpture of a sitting polar bear. My first one in this sitting pose. The alabaster is nice because it is a softer stone which allows me to work more with hand tools if I so chose. Sometimes I will spend some time shaping with a small rasp because in these moments, I can just turn the power tools off and slow and quiet things down for a moment. I especially do this while working on the faces of the animals that I carve.

 

stone art andrew gable
I was also finishing up another Custom project this week of a Samoyed dog sculpture where the clients wanted some stone inlays done and so I was busy with that this week which can be quite a tedious process.

Other than that I have been spending some time in the evenings after carving re-designing my website, aligning it in a way that is current and representing WHO I AM at the moment in my life and in my career. I have done this so many times, maybe 6 or 7 times since I first put my website live in 2012. The website is really an ongoing, ever-evolving process.

So this has been an interesting time for me as I continue to explore different directions with my art where lately I am pushing in a few different directions to see which one of these gets some traction. That is honestly what I like about being an Artist. I like the diversity and range of things that goes into doing this professionally where at this stage consists of carving stone during the week, and then doing some drawings on the weekends or in the evenings. Also, I work quite closely with the gallery that sells my sculpture, and I usually spend 1 day a week on the gallery sales floor speaking to customers and packaging any recent sales that I have had. Then in my spare time, I will work on my website, adding content, writing blogs, sharing photos, and doing my social media stuff. There is quite a lot to maintaining an engaging digital profile as an artist which I am still getting the hang of but find it deeply creative. Doing my online work is quite interesting to me because the internet is vast and it is a great place to showcase artwork as well as being able to interact and engage with people who are interested in my Art. Ultimately it is my goal to make sure that anyone that ends up on my website or any of my art pages, knows that there is a Real Human on the other side and not some ‘automated robot marketing machine’ which I think could actually be beneficial to have as a particular personality suit hat one has in ones closet to wear strategically enough to encourage sales of the work. But for me, one who has always been more of a recluse, I see its as important to really share who I am though my media channels so people that like my work can get to know me on a more personal level.
Okay, just thought I’d do a quick update from Inside the Artists Studio.

stone sculpture, contemporary art by andrew gable

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Embracing Selling Your Art – The Final Stage of the Creation Cycle

 

original art for sale

One important part of my creative process as an artist is the part where I actually have to sell the work that I make. To me, in this day and age, selling the work is an important part of the creative cycle that initially begins with the conception of the work, then moves into the actual creation of the art work, and then finally closes upon the sale of the work,  which then fuels the next creative cycle to begin.

Selling my artwork wasn’t something I became interested in until about 5 years ago around which time I realized how selling the work was actually a part of the creative process in itself.

For me, learning to sell my work has been quite an education process.

3 years ago, I started working closely with an Art Gallery which represented my sculptural work. After a few months of working with the gallery, I began spending some time on the gallery sales floor selling the work in the gallery and selling my own work. That is, if I was able to.

I was so nervous in the beginning, and still to this day, I am still very much learning the whole sales process and how to do this effectively and with integrity. But those early days, whenever a customer would walk into the gallery, immediately within myself a surge of anxiety would shoot up into what felt like my entire body, and I would freeze and go into a fear. Now from the outside you might not notice this happening, but it was quite an internal experience to have happen each time someone walked into the gallery. But during this time, I had already made a decision within myself to Learn how to sell my art and so fundamentally I understood that this meant walking through that fear/anxiety experience. In practical terms, this meant, moving myself out from behind my desk, even though there was a ball of anxiety in my chest, and walking over to greet the customer. Often times the words coming out of me initially were a bit shaky, but It was actually a cool process to walk through what seemed like such an extensive amount of anxiety to within minutes be able to be standing there chatting with customers about the work feeling much more relaxed, calm, and stable, within myself. That anxiety and fear would eventually just go away once I pushed through that initial intensity of it and just say ‘Hello’ to the customers that walked in, and then push myself to start talking them about what ever I could find or just make up to get the conversation moving. Ultimately, it was my job now to make conversation, and so I just would dive in and start talking often, having no idea what I was about to say. I remember one instance where my words were so jumbled I couldn’t even understand what I was saying, but I just smiled, and they smiled, and I just moved on, and found some other point to communicate about.

I just knew that, getting over this anxiety was something I had to do and in the moment, the only way I knew how to do that was to just walk through it and face my fear in a way.

I have become much more comfortable over the past 2 years in speaking and interacting to customers but I definitely do see still emotional reactions that I can support myself to overcome.

Ultimately, I really enjoy the whole sales aspect of creating art and would encourage any artist out there to embrace this side of the creative process.

Original Drawing - Tree of Life by Andrew Gable