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Old 01-02-2004, 01:13 PM   #1
Julianne Lowman Julianne Lowman is offline
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Happy Anniversary to ME!




I have just completed my first full "official" year as a professional portrait artist. It has been a whirlwind year, full of frustrations, joys, surprises, successes and just a few failures, which then turned into surprise successes as well. I count myself VERY fortunate indeed.

I have learned a great deal! I have a great deal more to learn!

My artistic skills have improved dramatically as have my marketing skills.

I often wonder if other artists look at a very good piece they have just completed and say to themselves, as I do to myself, "How did I do that? It's fabulous!", then, on the very next painting say, "How did I do that? It's awful!"?

I don't charge a great deal for my portraits. That doesn't matter to me as much as the quality of product I am delivering and that I feel good about the work I've completed. I figure, since I have very little formal training, these poor saps are paying me to practice on them! I have raised my prices again (after one year) and will continue to do so at the begining of each year until I am comfortable that the quality is consistently good.

I have successes that I don't understand why they are successes, and failures that I don't understand why they are failures. With the latter, I simply tear up the paper (pastels) and start again. That technique works every time, but I'll still not fully understand why it works. It seems like a magical miracle when it all comes together.

It's that miracle I seek with each new commission.

So, Happy Anniversary to me, and to all of you Have a happy and prosperous 2004!
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Old 01-03-2004, 10:06 AM   #2
Steven Sweeney Steven Sweeney is offline
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Congratulations, Julianne (and nice to see a photo image with the name!),

Having seen much of your work over the past year, I can assure you that your confidence in yourself is well placed and that, with perseverance, you
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Old 01-03-2004, 11:29 AM   #3
Julianne Lowman Julianne Lowman is offline
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Another Surprise!

How wonderful to hear from you Steven. You seem to have been my loyal companion when I post a piece for critique or need answers to questions. You are a gifted artist as well as an articulate instructor, offering explanations that are concise and easy to understand.

After posting my original message, I received a phone call from a local, rather prestigious and long standing art/framing/gift/interiors store. The owner has been looking for a portrait artist to represent and, after seeing my latest piece, wants to rep for me exclusively! She will rep for no other artist, and from what she showed me at her large store, has only represented 4 or 5 artists over the last 25 years. Most left the area because their prices became prohibitive and moved to larger markets. After looking at my "new" price list for 2004, she said, "Oh, now let me take care of THAT! You're selling yourself WAY too short." Words, by the way, that echo something Chris Saper said to me once, "if you don't give yourself a raise, who will."

I'm cautiously optimistic. When a rep says, get ready, because you're going to be making a great deal of money, I say to myself, "well, I have $250 in overhead a month and I like to have lunch every once in a while at Taco Bell". If I can pay for that each month, I'm a happy camper!
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Old 01-03-2004, 12:37 PM   #4
Michele Rushworth Michele Rushworth is offline
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Congratulations, Julianne! And yes, the store owner is absolutely right about your 2004 prices. They are much too low for the quality of your work and especially too low in the pastel and pencil pricing. Looks like you can eat at Taco Bell whenever you want.
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Old 01-03-2004, 07:44 PM   #5
Celeste McCall Celeste McCall is offline
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Dear Julianne,
You paintings are wonderful.

Quote:
I often wonder if other artists look at a very good piece they have just completed and say to themselves, as I do to myself, "How did I do that? It's fabulous!", then, on the very next painting say, "How did I do that? It's awful!"?
I don't know many painters that are ever completely pleased. Pleased with some more than others maybe. I have about 7 pieces in my permanent collection and that is it. All the others are sold. The funny thing is, I will take something to the show and not really liking it very much I will set it over on the side table. It never fails that all the other booth holders that visit will always pick the one that I liked the least and try to buy it.

So, don't worry if it looks NOT so perfect. Maybe to others it might appear to be your best work.
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Old 01-04-2004, 10:35 AM   #6
Leslie Ficcaglia Leslie Ficcaglia is offline
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Let me join in congratulating you, Julianne! What a great feeling, to have your work sought after like that. And it's well justified since your paintings are lovely.

One comment, though, about your webpage; it won't load for me using Safari on a Mac. I've filed a bug report to Safari but wanted to let you know. On Netscape I can get the full view of your home page, but the second image doesn't load on your second page.
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Old 01-04-2004, 03:34 PM   #7
Julianne Lowman Julianne Lowman is offline
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Thank you to you ALL!

What wonderful people you are to be so kind. I am now quite overwhelmed with the new responsibilty and the samples I must now create for a permanent exhibit at the store.

As for my sorry, SORRY web page, I've only used the "freebie" page design offered by Register.com. I would love to let SOG handle it, but just haven't submitted my photos yet. I also don't know yet what my new prices will be for '04. It's a difficult justification for me, spending hundreds of dollars a year on a website that is more billboard recognition than actually acquiring new clients through it. Now, however, I feel I better get a higher quality site to reflect a higher quality work and reputation.

I will keep everyone informed as to the progress of this new venture!

Cheers!
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