Fibonacci fairy tales, moonlight majesties, and astral animal sanctuaries are all worthy descriptions for the magnificent work conjured by Colorado based artist, Aria Fawn.
Her weapon of choice is watercolor, her execution is that of wizardry - flourishing with her medium in ways that allow her the freedom for imaginative discovery. Some may even struggle with the fact that her work is NOT a digital animation; with so much attention to EVERY detail, it’s easy to feel as though, we are catching a glimpse into familiar parallel dimensions, pulsating with magic and divine presence.
Aria owns her vision both figuratively AND literally; she stays true to her unique style and doesn’t compromise it for the sake of business. When Aria opened her art to the business world she uncovered ways to make money without having to cater to the vacuum cleaners. Through trial and error her efforts granted the beauty of experience and opportunity. Now we are fortunate enough to read about her business experiences, what is working for her, AND, what could possibly work for you too.
Aria Fawn: She Paints with Blood means Business
On the topic of art as a career, I feel there is no one “right” way. Things that work for me, may not work for others but what I am writing about here is built not only on my own experimentation, but also from advice by artists far greater than myself.
"The Fish had a Dream"
When I first began selling my work full time, I am not going to lie, I felt extremely unsure, often lost, and full of questions. I constantly felt that I would have to cater my work to a specific audience, even if it meant not doing as much of what I loved, in order to make a living from it. While it was not easy, I eventually found a place I am now extremely happy with in my career, making album art mostly for musicians overseas in the progressive genre. I love and identify with my clients and followers so much and being inspired by the things they create is a huge fuel to my workflow. I also do a lot of independent and gallery work which usually ties directly into my album work. Overall I have discovered that keeping things as personal and independent as possible has been the best thing for me. I still have fears, I still have questions, but I know now that there is always hope and options for doing what we are passionate about.
"Ruination for Renewal"
First, knowing what you love to do helps a lot.
It can take some searching. If you feel lost, do not panic, look to other artists you follow and admire, assess what it is you love in their work and even what you do not love, write it down. Eventually patterns will start to emerge and you can incorporate some of these traits into your own work. Before long, your voice will start to emerge. Chances are it was there all along, just a little quieter than you preferred. If you know what you love, then make what you love. Do not try to please the world by doing what you feel is “popular” it can only end badly, your work may grow stagnant and you will burn out. I promise you, there is a place in the world for whatever you are interested in creating, no matter how strange or obscure. Own it, and put it out there. You will find your audience.
"I recommend putting your art onto a variety of websites, but dedicating yourself more heavily to only one or two depending on where you get the best response"
"Night is the Mother"
On the topic of audience, in this day we are extremely lucky to be blessed with the wonderful and twisted world of social media. I recommend putting your art onto a variety of websites, but dedicating yourself more heavily to only one or two depending on where you get the best response. I happen to be most active on Facebook and Instagram but many artists are active on Youtube, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, DeviantArt and many more. With time, you will see what sites you feel the most drawn to. The important thing with any of these is to be consistent with your posts. I try to post at least once a day and I know what times of day work best for me. It is not impractical to keep notes about what days and hours work best for you and to create a kind of “social media schedule” Learning what works best on these sites from a marketing standpoint is not a bad idea as well. Figuring out the proper hashtags for your work on sites where tags are used, knowing what kind of titles might come up more frequently in searches on video based sites and eventually learning what kind of audience tends to follow your work are also excellent for building a strong following.
"Sister of Worlds"
When it comes to having a local and offline audience, places like independent coffee shops and even some restaurants can be a great way to start displaying your work. Do not be afraid to inquire at these places about hanging your work. Seek out local galleries and, if you feel your work would be a good fit, check out their online submission policies. Local art fairs can also be a good way to start getting your work out there and, depending on the nature of what you create, science fiction, fantasy and comic cons can also be incredible ways to get your work seen and sold.
Finally I want to stress a topic I am very passionate about but which I feel is not spoken about enough. Take care of yourself.
Take the time to get to know yourself psychologically and understand your emotions and working style. It can help you immensely in getting through difficult situations and figuring out solutions to the frequent challenges you may face. Do not ignore your physical health either as it plays a great role in your mental health. You are worthy of being alive and well and your work will flourish as a result.
"Thither from Dark" "The Ancient and Green" "The Ocean met a God"
Do not be afraid to experiment and above all, know that there will be times you are going to get discouraged. You may feel that this is the end or that there is no way you are going to get through it, but you will. Always seek to learn, build a positive mindset, give things a fair chance and be relentless in your passion and love for what you do. There will come times in your career where followers, clients, friends, family and even your own self might make you think otherwise but I promise, you are worthy of this and you can make it happen.
"Recollection of Eternity"