Developing a unique (and marketable) style of art with Veronica Wong
Veronica Wong is a Texas-based artist who’s unique, award winning painting style is striking to the eye.
This week we caught up with her to get to know her story. She shares some valuable tips on how to market your art, staying financially viable when everything isn’t going to plan, and be prolific on social media.
What led you to decide to be an artist? How did your passion develop over time
Being an artist was never something I wanted to do when I was young. I loved to dance and being a ballerina was my dream.
I became interested in art when I was in high school, but after my very first assignment, the teacher suggested I switch to sewing! I was really disappointed… but it never stopped me from loving art.
In my spare time, I would go to museums for hours and hours — just immersing myself in the joy of art. I also dived deep into the world of theatre and expressed my creativity by making props and costumes by hand.
When I got married and had childrenI put my artistic self to one side and focused on my family. But once my son left for college, like many mothers, I wondered what I would do with my life.
I happily stumbled back into art. Starting with abstraction and then developing into other styles, I’ve been exploring my artistic style ever since. As you can see from my galleries in D Emptyspace, my art varies from one form to another. As I began to learn and grow, I developed my own unique style.
You create a lot of ocean-themed artworks. What’s the inspiration behind that?
I lived in Queensland, Australia for 5 years, surrounded by the ocean and the wonders of the great barrier reef. I was fascinated by the intricacies of corals and marine life. There is so much hidden beauty under the ocean with a multitude of shapes, colors, dots, and lines all moving in complex but fascinating rhythms.
Do you have a creative space or a studio? What gets you in the right space to start working on your art?
The sunlight beaming into my studio is something that helps me want to paint. Natural light is very important for me as an artist as it reveals vibrant and natural hues I try to capture in my work. I turned a room in my house into a full-time studio because it has such wonderful natural light throughout the day.
To create, I need silence with absolutely no disturbances. No phone ringing, no people talking or walking around. Just me and my painting. That’s really important to me and it’s a struggle to get.
I really love discovering other methods of art and continue to learn and grow. My favorite style is to combine different techniques and mediums. I love using a mixture of acrylic painting, dot art (pointillism) and repeated lines (or zentangle) to create unique structures.
How did you start to sell your work? Talk us through that experience and journey? What’s it been like?
I started off selling my art in marketplaces. I choose to do markets because I like the interactions I have with people. I love talking about my inspirations and the techniques I used, especially if I use an unusual medium, like eggshells or shoe polish.
It has not been as rewarding as I hoped financially or in exposure, but it’s been a great learning experience nevertheless.
In order to carry on doing what I like best (painting), I’ve diversified into functional art that has a stronger audience at markets. I have started to make lots of trays, ring dishes, cheeseboards, tea boxes, and even tables. These became my best sellers and helped me cover expenses like exhibition fees, curators’ fees, and competition fees.
You’re so busy setting up exhibitions! Can you tell us about some of your most memorable exhibitions (good or bad!)?
We all have to start somewhere, and I started off at some real bad exhibition spaces. They combined art with pancakes, booze, and chocolates — you can imagine the kind of atmosphere that created.
I quickly realized people who come to that kind of exhibition were not the type of customers I wanted.
My best exhibitions are those organized by art centers and galleries. These are experienced venues who have a large clientele of serious art collectors and designers who are out there searching for professional art pieces.
What thought process do you go through when deciding which artwork to put where?
I go to reputable websites like PublicArtist.org, Zapp(R)Management, CaFE Management, Juried exhibition by galleries to submit my art. I also look out for online magazines or galleries like Camelback Gallery and Lightspace & Time, createmagazine.com to submit my art for a feature or competition. That’s how I built my resume and reputation as an artist. It is also a good way to gain exposure with the numerous galleries out there.
Has technology influenced the way you create and share art? In what ways?
Technology has been a great help to me as I have no prior art education. I am a self-taught artist and technology has helped me learn several techniques. I have also learned a lot by watching other artists paint online.
It is through technology with social media that I was invited by newyorkart.com to participate in their group exhibition of their opening of their new gallery at Franklin Place New York.
What advice would you give an aspiring artist who’s just getting started?
It is not easy to get your art out there — there are so many great artists in the world.
Let your art be unique, let it be your unique style so that it defines you. Don’t get discouraged, keep on painting, keep on learning, keep on growing and keep on dreaming.
Diversify so that you can keep painting.
Find a good art mentor who will sharpen your skills and be honest with you. Talk to other artists, build your resume, get yourself in as many social media platforms as you can.
Dream, and dream big.
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