Name of Professional: Gail Greenoe
Date of Interview: 10/05/16
My second interview was conducted with Gail Greenoe, a fairly new (Freelance) Painter. From the interview, I was hoping to learn how to get started in the world of painting and the challenges artists face on a daily basis. I have the most experience on traditional art than anything else, so it would be the easiest to begin learning from; however, it is also the toughest field, of those I am interested (concept art and painting), to get into. For that reason I am interested in interviewing artists, to see how they are able to keep a stable income. When it comes to picking what my project will be about, I want to be as knowledgeable as possible about every subject I am considering.
During my interview I learned about the dangers of art. Ms. Greenoe detailed the scale of investment that comes into art. When an artist decides to get started they have to invest a large sum of money on supplies, then proceed to be unpaid until they gain recognition of galleries, which still might not sell their work. Ms. Greenoe herself after almost three years is, as she said, “in the red.” For that reason most artists have rooms converted into studies where they work from. Many of them have different jobs and struggle to get paid. This is demoralizing. It scares me to think that following my passion might leave me in a place where I am forced to work odd jobs to pay rent; without ever getting a chance to do what I enjoy.
This interview mirrored my first interview in that Ms. Greenoe stressed how important it is to promote one's self. To maintain any income an artist needs to advertise themselves well. They need to maintain attention on them to sell their work. It sounds difficult, yet Ms. Greenoe says she still believes this is the best time to be an artist. Creating a website and a brand is easy through the use of social media, which can cast a domino effect. If an artist is noticed by one person, then that person will share the artist's work, which will cascade into the artist becoming fairly well noticed. I find this incredibly encouraging. This interview showed me that I need to create a unique brand. I need to show myself as a different artist, one of a kind. That way I am able to attract others and then try to keep a solid relationship with those that enjoy my art. Even if millions of artists surround me, I still have a chance to to be successful.
It seems in every field of art it is invaluable to advertise one’s self well. Moreover, there also seems to be a need to be prepared to have to work those “odd jobs” that I fear. I am not alone in that fear though. Ms. Greenoe explained many artists face that fear. It seems to be common to have doubt, but Ms. Greenoe emphasized how an artist needs vigor. For me to succeed I need to follow my passion endlessly. Giving up seems to be what kills artists, so I will strive to never stop following my passions.
The most surprising aspect of my interview was Ms. Greenoe’s journey. She graduated with a Commercial art degree (now known as a Graphic Design Degree) because she was afraid to fully committing to art, but soon went back to college and got a Art Education degree. She worked for years, and a few years ago decided she wanted to fully commit to art. She converted a room to a studio and set to work relearning to paint. She spent the last few years honing her skills in preparation to begin painting with other professionals. Her story is motivating, she, despite years of expertise in other fields decided to follow her passion. This only reinvigorates my desire to do the same.