What part of the world are you in?
Southeastern Pennsylvania in the Brandywine Valley, just west of Philadelphia.
What does customer service mean to you?
Customer service is probably the most important part of the business transaction. I try to give personalized treatment to all my customers. Just as it's importantfor a collector to meet the artist whose work they support, my own 'patrons' deserve to know a little more about me than just my shop name.I want to build relationships with my customers so that they'll return and begin building their own collection of my work.
What is your most memorable experience with a customer?
There is a customer in Switzerland who is an exceptional writer. She always offers feedback that is lyrical and more descriptive of my paintings than I could ever be.I can't think of any experiences that haven't been memorable with my customers. They are all unique and respond to my work in different ways. It allows me to see the paintings through their eyes.
What sets you apart from other sellers who are selling similar items?
My work is diverse and I can offer a range from figurative to abstract to landscape. I see a lot of artists who produce the same thing over and over.I don't think the concept of style applies to fine art and I don't paint to sell, which would be a disaster. Picasso changed his work from year to year. To continually grow and develop is the beauty (and challenge) of being a painter.
How did you learn the skills that make you successful today?
I grew up with a mother who was a painter, and a father who was a film editor. It was a creative family; my parents gave their kids a lot of opportunities and supported my interest in art and music. I also studied color theory and portraiture for almost 10 years with the Chatov studio in Atlanta. I apprenticed with printmakers and have a variety of skills in different mediums.But mostly, painting has been a priority throughout my life. Along with making a lot of mistakes.
You can't be afraid to fail.
What is your goal for the next year?
To produce as much as I have this year, but to sell all of it!
What keeps you motivated when sales are slow?
I've never been motivated by selling my art. I'm inspired to create it.When sales are slow, start making more art!
What do you do to attract new clients and encourage repeat business?
I use all the usual social networking sites, professional links from my corporate world, post on my blog and other artists, critics and writers blogs. It's important to give back, so I'm also posting interviews with painters whose work I admire. It's really more about getting your name out there in terms of attracting potential patrons. I enter shows every year. I'm currently in an exhibit at a local museum and I also note the exhibits that each listed painting has been in.Residencies are important for artists in terms of networking and opportunities for uninterrupted work, and I met some great friends at a residency in Italy a couple of years ago. I applied to another residency for next fall.
If you could share one piece of advice with someone who is considering opening their own store of handmade items, what would it be?
Make sure you have a passion for what you're doing. Persevere and come up with a business plan for promotion.
Admin Comment: We've always been a fan of painting, especially beautiful abstract work. Furious Dreams has no shortage of beautiful pieces to accessorize and add a burst of colour to your home.
Visit Furious Dreams on etsy at http://furiousdreams.etsy.com
*Special Promos* 50% OFF SPRING SALE! All original oil paintings are now being offered at one half the listed price. Please convo me with your selection PRIOR to purchase and I will make the price change reserving it in your name. Also free shipping on most items!