Interview Assessment #6
Name of Professional: Barbara Mason
Company: Dragonfly Studio Creations
Date of Interview: 12/2/16
For my sixth interview, I discussed the business of painting with Barbara Mason. I had heard Mrs. Mason was an incredibly successful painter, so I was looking forward to see how she branded herself. I felt learning about branding would be incredibly beneficial for a couple of reasons: branding is incredibly useful in establishing an audience. It allows the painter not just to sell their paintings, but also their brand. I reasoned that if I brand myself well people will look forward to buying not just a painting, but my painting.
Our interview centered heavily on initiative. Mrs. Mason explained the only reason she succeeded in art was because of her initiative. By stepping out of her comfort zone, Mrs. Mason was able to challenge herself and create opportunities. What this means for me is taking initiative to enter shows, contests, local events, and networking, all of which can be astonishingly beneficial to a painter. For example, by going to a local event and meeting up with artists, a painter is able to showcase their artwork and network. Personally, after talking to Mrs. Mason a few weeks after our interview, she offered to allow me to join one of the local art organizations of Frisco. This showed me how important initiative is. If I had not taken the initiative to contact Mrs. Mason and established her as a contact, I would have never been given this opportunity. This event inspired me want to take initiative to maintain the contacts I have made throughout ISM. Admittedly, this is rather difficult. I do not know how I can find the time to do this. With school and ISM, I barely have enough time to contact my mentor, Ms. Vernon. It seems almost impossible, but honestly, that matters little. If I take the initiative, then I will find time to communicate with painters. So I will challenge myself and dedicate my time to maintaining a relationship with those I have interviewed this year alongside all my other commitments.
Something surprising during our interview was that Mrs. Mason stressed that it is important for me to learn digital art. She explained that as technology improves, new methods of creating art will be invented. It is important to learn as many of these as possible because they will give the artist flexibility and an edge against their competition. I found this somewhat worrisome. I have always struggled with digital art, so I will definitely find it hard to learn it. However, I do plan to explore it. Maybe not this year, but the next for sure. Next year I plan to take ISM II; there I will explore Concept Art, which is heavily focused on digital art. I know some friends who could teach me the basics of digital art, and Mr. Howard, my first interviewee, is adept at digital art as well. I hope these contacts will enable me to learn and improve upon my skills as a painter and digital artist.
A recurring aspect of painting from my interview with Mrs. Mason was that of networking. Mrs. Mason explained that an overwhelming amount of sales involve engaging with artists. She stated networking is invaluable in providing opportunities. I found this rather interesting. A large portion of my time in ISM, especially when I was in search of a mentor, was spent on talking to painters. I discussed what it takes to be a painter and asked for some contacts that my interviewees would be willing to share. This was an incredible way to learn about painting and it gave me many different opportunities.
I believe that networking allowed me to thrive in ISM; however in this next semester, I will not be given as many opportunities to do so. Most of my time will be spent on my final product, and that will definitely detract me from networking. So I hope to take the initiative to network throughout this course. I will, as I stated earlier, create time to communicate with different painters. I believe that these connections, advice, and support from fellow artists will undoubtedly be just as, if not more, useful in helping me thrive this semester.