Friday, June 30, 2006

Maggie Stiefvater - two of everything

Maggie Stiefvater is an up and coming artist who has developed a significant following on e-bay over the last year.

I've come to know Maggie very well and admire her hugely. She has done what a lot of people only dream about doing – handed in her notice at the day job, started a career as a full-time artist and become a collected artist. However, Maggie did all this while producing and raising two babies under the age of two. Maybe they provide the extra incentive to do well? She's certainly off to a flying start with her work now selling before it's even completed. Here’s what Maggie told me.
When I was small, I drew horses all the time but never ever thought that one day I would be an artist. It wasn't until I joined “Wet Canvas” that it occurred to me that people might want to hang my art on their wall.

I’m now am independent, self-taught, self-representing artist. I'm making progress because I'm always willing to learn from the experience and knowledge of others but also enjoy trying things out for myself. In everything I do, I learn by researching what works and how it works and then experiment by doing it my way. Inevitably this means I sometimes fail but I never let that discourage me and I try new things all the time – in terms of both my art and the way I do business. I always get really excited with every new piece of art because of an element of uncertainty as to whether or not I'll be able to pull it off. That excitement is only matched by trying out the latest idea I’ve had for marketing my work!

My artwork is divided into two. It began with realistic colored pencil portraits, mostly of my first love - horses. My aim when creating portraits is always to show character. I prefer a sketchy finish to the very precise realism which is very common in the coloured pencil world. While I enjoy doing larger portraits, I’ve also found a lucrative niche market in tiny art cards.

The other half of my art personality produces bright, bold streetscapes in acrylic which address a major fascination of mine: the juxtaposition of old and new. I love cars and they nearly always represent the modern element in my paintings. These have been doing incredibly well since I introduced them. I now have collectors who really love my work! In order to stay in close touch with them I've begun a new blog where I post my art as I complete it so that people can see and comment on it before it’s listed in my e-bay store. My website also displays my work but in a more traditional format and is now also set-up so that it works closely with my eBay store.

My two toddlers help me to be very organised and focused. Planning my art and my business activities has to be all about planning my time. My husband told me that I needed to take all of my spare moments during the day, clump them together and then put that time to good use. Very wise advice! I mark off blocks of time in the week for art and allot myself "weekends" for ‘time-off. And most importantly, I paint or draw whether or not I feel like it. When art is your living, the freedom of "not feeling like it" is taken away from you. That's my main suggestion for anybody who wants to become a professional artist: start treating it like a job.

Anybody who wants to meet me in person can find me throughout the summer at horse shows and exhibitions in Virginia – they’re all listed on my website.
Maggie is also a budding author with a book which is currently being considered for publication………..but that’s another story!

Artwork: click on either image to see a larger image
"Persephone" 11" x 14" (coloured pencil)
"The Hot Seat" 2.5" x 3.5" (coloured pencil art card )

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  1. you're in London and introducing me to someone just an hour away from me!

  2. This interview is very flattering! It does not mention the raw cookie dough addiction . . . thanks for interviewing me, Katherine!


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