This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is simply an amazing woman and artist. She’s taken her passion and turned it into a thriving business. I’m so thrilled she could take the time to share some of her magic with our readers.
Who and where are you?
Now that’s a loaded question. Just kidding. My name is Lori Levin and I’m a full-time artist living and working in Salem County, New Jersey. I’m blessed with a beautiful, supportive family, I have a gorgeous studio in which to work and I love what I do. Painting since I was nine, art has always been a big part of my life. Little did I know that when I was making car money in high school by painting pet portraits on sweatshirts that I would be doing something similar as my main means of income as an adult. As a graduate of Moore College of Art and Design, I always thought children’s books would be my calling because illustration was my major. However, throughout my career in art, I’ve done everything from designing for retail spaces, print design for textiles and flooring, as well as fine art and commission work. Though I’ve been painting for 30 year, I feel I’m just getting started in the world of art. I don’t think the really good stuff will be created for at least another 10 years. Only now at age 40 am I beginning to trust myself and my work shows this. Perhaps it might take me 40 years of painting to become an overnight success.
How did you get started art blogging?
Blogging for me started as a business move in December of 2005. I left my corporate design job to do pet portraits and small paintings full-time. During that time I was an active member on another artists’ message board and saw that everyone there was a member of EBSQ and most of them blogged. Joining the crowd seemed to be the right thing to do as I wanted to promote my business. Back then selling my work via the auction sites was part of my business plan and to keep public interest, blogging was a great help. As the years went on, my life and plans changed, blogging became more of a public journal, though I have less time for it now. Still, I like sharing my motivations and thoughts as it makes me feel connected to others. This is important when you spend most of your time alone in a studio. Actually, I’m never truly alone because “Brady” the studio dog is always by my side. He gives good critics too.
Write from the heart and the rest will follow. When you have something interesting floating in your head jot it down, later you can tweak and post it. Don’t feel it is something you must do: blogging is not about pressure but rather sharing. People love to feel like they’ve been let in on your personal secrets. Just don’t give it all away, always maintain some element of mystery. From a business standpoint, always make sure you mention your main website if you have one and include the link in each post. Do the same for other artist friends and EBSQ as well. EBSQ really helps with search engine recognition. Spread the word about good things. It all comes back to you in the end.
What’s your musical inspiration of choice when you’re working in your studio?
Music and rituals are what I’m all about. Much like everything else I enjoy, my music tastes are a mixed bag. You could come in and hear classical, especially Tchaikovsky, or The Cranberries, Red Hot Chili Peppers, India Arie, Dio and a varied list of other artists. Usually for my pet portraits I play something upbeat to help me keep them cheerful but for my landscapes I push the lonely feeling with sadder melodies. Some days I cannot tolerate any sound so I will sit in silence and just listen to the variety of birds singing outside my studio. Part of my creative ritual is to feed the birds, then sit down to a cup of green tea and stare at the images to be worked on for the day. During that time I do deep breathing exercise to try and help my mind open to the creative energy. Seriously…I do.
What’s coming next from your easel?
This could better be answered by telling you what won’t be on my easel. My art business has two parts, pet portraits as seen on www.soulfulstudios.com and landscape paintings for galleries. Generally I work on 3 to 4 pieces at once. I always have one or two pet portraits on my large antique drawing table and a couple of landscape paintings in the works on the easels as well. This keeps me from getting too bogged down in any one piece. Even though I love detail, too much can kill. At the moment I’m working on a huge portrait in oil of 3 dogs, an acrylic painting of birds in the marsh and a drawing for a commission of an eagle painting. Currently, I’m booked with pet portraits for 2 years and am constantly adding to the waiting list, so there is never a moment where the easel is empty. Again, I’m very blessed. Thank you for the honor of an interview.
Thank you Lori for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!
If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?