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Bursting Out Of The Creative Bubble And Getting Out There!

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Annette Gaffney Painting Demo at Art Square Gallery Dec 2016

After an exhilarating but exhausting year exhibiting and painting, I am looking forward to a rest with my family this holiday season. I am having loads of fun turning my painting ideas into functional design. But as much fun as that is, there are some days when I feel as if I'm spinning my wheels. On those overwhelming days when I would rather curl-up on the couch and watch Netflix, I ask myself "Why am I doing this?" and then I think "Oh yeah, because I can't NOT do this!".  

Creating the art is the fun part; selling it, well...that presents a bit of a challenge to most artists, who are generally used to working alone in a creative bubble, figuratively speaking. This is wonderful if you are content enough and have no interest in selling your work or ideas. However, if you are the type of artist who wants to make money from your creativity, you have to get familiar with the "M" word; Marketing is definitely a skill that needs to be honed and developed in this era of self-promotion. Unfortunately, this is a skill that we artists often neglect to develop.

In my case, it's not that I don't enjoy getting out there and talking to folks about my art, it's just that the practical, logistical business side of art can be the antithesis of creativity. Most artists would simply rather be creating in their studios blissfully oblivious to anything else, much less the overwhelming details about how to put together a marketing plan for the very things they are making. But the reality is, if artists don't get out out there and tell folks about ourselves, we risk being yet another creative soul with a home full of cool stuff we've made that no one has seen. Otherwise, when we inevitably leave this earthly plain, our beloved creations, (unless cherished by our survivors) may or may not end up in a garage sale having only been seen by a few people.  If we are fortunate enough to do what we love for a living and wish to keep doing it, getting out of our proverbial comfort zone and learning about promoting ourselves is a small price to pay.

In that spirit of entrepreneurship, (after the holiday break, of course) I will be getting ready for my first big show of 2017 and the first large trade show of this type I have ever participated in. The Artist Project celebrates its 10th year from February 23 to 26, 2017 at the Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, 195 Princes’ Boulevard, Toronto. Think "One Of A Kind Show" but for original and fine art only.  I'm excited to be a part of this exciting and dynamic show, which features an amazing and talented variety of artists.  

From collectors and curators, to gallerists and designers, visitors can explore and discover works of art from over 250 top contemporary artists from Canada and abroad. This is a unique opportunity to meet and buy art directly from artists at Toronto’s favourite art fair.  I look forward to saying hello! And those visitors who sign-up for my newsletter are eligible for a free 2017 art calendar or signed print.

For tickets and info visit:


Annette Gaffney

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