This post is by Jill Banks, guest contributing author for FineArtViews. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community. If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 75,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites. This author's views are entirely her own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.
The sky is not falling and the boat hasn't sunk. I'm not even going to add "... yet."
When you-know-what hit the fan, I was in disbelief and panic-stricken. Frozen.
To thaw out, I had to concede that each problem/solution would need to take its turn.
First up was figuring out how to continue teaching in something resembling my in-person classroom style. I love passing on my knowledge and passion for painting, love my students and wanted to help do my part to keep the non-profit school afloat. With close collaboration with other teachers and the School Director, (plus listening to a bunch of webinars) we figured out how to conduct online, fantastic live classes via Zoom. One battle down with many silver linings including reaching new students across the country and keeping a good number of people focused on something other than the news. Laughter and seeing each other has been great medicine.
Second up was continuing to be in touch with collectors and enthusiasts who are the reason I'm able to make 100% of my living as an artist. I've been a huge believer in the power of the newsletter to keep connected. Multiple factors - a personal conversation with Dave Geada from FASO, a FASO Art Marketing Program seminar, and a gut reaction to listening to other artists' stories led me to sending out a different-for-me newsletter on April 4 titled "Paintings and Thoughts." (You can read past issues on my website: www.JillBanks.com)
What followed was amazing. I had asked people to send me a note to let me know how they were doing. To let me "hear" their voices, see photos. I laughed and cried for days from the responses. I hate the idea of social distancing. The closer I am to other people, the better. People realized that I meant them - that they were important to me. I not only heard about what they were doing, but also how much my art meant to them during these times. The outpouring was heartwarming.
Incredibly, too, is that a new collector - one I'd never met but who had subscribed after seeing my work repeatedly in magazines - purchased five paintings and convinced me to have a giclee made of one as well. We became friends over the phone and online. Another new collector from overseas took awhile to purchase, but bought one of the paintings featured and we became wonderfully connected via Zoom. I shared a sunset in Norway with her from my living room in Virginia.
"Colorado Days" 20" x 16" oil on linen-lined panel -
purchased along with four other paintings by one of Jill Banks' newsletter subscribers
Other people making the best of this strange new, hopefully temporary world have spurred me on to do all sorts of out-of-my-comfort zone things. I've been telling my story and giving regular demos via Facebook Live and Zoom despite disliking being in front of the camera and technology challenged.
I'm paying very close attention to all new offerings via FASO for art marketing or site enhancements and watching galleries and arts organizations to figure out the best way to help people really see my work.
Painted lots of 6x6's to offer at a special price as part of the #artistsupportpledge on Instagram that has been a neat way to connect with new purchasers and artists around the world. Each new idea sparks another.
I hope you'll join me in thinking creatively to ensure our art gets out there in this world that needs it - and to share your successes and concerns with other artists finding their way. How are you doing? Let me hear from you.
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