I am excited to share with you today’s Featured Artist interview. Sabrina shares with us how she got started creating seed bead mosaic art and the message she is trying to share with her creations. Sabrina also tells us how she got started selling her artwork and what she has learned over the years.
Be sure to visit Sabrina on her social media sites and check out her artist website.
Featured Artist Sabrina Frey
Dave – Hello Sabrina, thank you for joining me today. You specialize in Seed Bead Mosaic, could you tell us more about seed bead mosaic art and how you got started?
Sabrina – About 6 years ago I had several piles of seed beads left over from my jewelry making phase that I needed to do something with that wasn’t jewelry but still beautiful. I thought about making stained glass but had no money or experience and wondered if I could make something that looked like stained glass but was made of beads and wire. After my initial try and fail I knew the concept was a good one but had many bugs to work out. I have spent the last six years exploring the concept and expanding on the possibilities of beads being used as basically a paint medium in art. It has been a lonely road as there is only a handful of artist who uses beads for art that is not embroidery related. My techniques have developed out of my ingenuity and exploration.
Dave – I admire you for having a dream and sticking with it until you have accomplished what you wanted to achieve. This is a powerful story that every artist can learn from. The road traveled is long but if you continue to move forward you will eventually reach your destination.
What message do you hope your audience receives from your mosaic artwork?
Sabrina – I love the idea that seed beads are so much like DNA, each piece looks like a whole unit but is actually made up of tiny parts that each work together to create what we see as cohesive. If we only look closely can we appreciate the intricate details. It works that way in life too, if we just look closely at each other there would be much more appreciation going around.
Dave – I think that we are living in a fast-paced world that we do not take the time to sit back and enjoy what we already have.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Sabrina – Most of my inspiration comes from nature, plants, animals, landscape and the elements. We have been blessed by an incredible world that changes every day with the seasons. I embrace all the seasons and know that having one without the others leaves us feeling out of balance. The natural world is so filled with diversity and beauty that it feels like I could never run out of inspiration.
Dave – I have always said the best artist is Mother Nature. What makes your artwork unique and separates you from other artists?
Sabrina – In my search for other bead artists I have found a few that are non-traditional which is wonderful but most of these artists are using beads with 3D objects. This fun and uber creative type of work present its own challenges and incredible outcomes but very few works on a 2D canvas. Not sure why I am drawn to a flat surface but it calls me to make it come alive in a way very different from other types of mosaics. I feel like I’m bridging the gap between the two worlds.
Dave – Sabrina I have to tell you that you have mastered your craft. What supplies do you use for your mosaic artwork?
Sabrina – Of course, various types of beads from primarily seed beads and bugle beads to some specialty beads for accents. Craft foam is one of my favorites which I have found is one of the most versatile and underexplored products out there. Most of my work is created on up-cycled cabinet doors, which are very affordable and super durable. I love the challenge of finding just the right piece for the cabinet, but my husband thinks I have a bit of a hoarding issue with these.
Dave – What other mediums do you like to work with?
Sabrina – I have tried pretty much everything out there but am always drawn to the textural. I love working with cut paper and wood veneer and sometimes mixing them in with my beads. Wood has to be my next favorite which ties back into that love for nature.
Dave – When did you start selling your artwork and how did you get started?
Sabrina – I sold my first piece to a fellow artist for his grandmother and was awed that he wouldn’t just make it himself. It really struck me that people would actually buy my work and how different it really was. I have actively only been selling my work for about three years now because it is such a learning curve on the how to’s. Research and speaking with other artists has taught me a lot. Luckily, I’m not in a huge hurry so I have had time to absorb the process and really try to understand this fairly new world I have stepped into.
Dave – What platforms do you use to showcase and sell your artwork?
Sabrina – My website and online presence have grown considerably since my research points me in this direction regularly, but I also have a small gallery at my local Art League where I find fellow artist and art lovers to interact with. I show my work at gallery exhibits nationwide and a few times a year I will participate in select art fairs.
Dave – How do you promote your art online?
Sabrina – Instagram and Facebook primarily with a bit on Pinterest. My website acts as my sales tool and had made life easier for both my clients and myself. I also use Artwork Achieve to track my work and sales, this has been a lifesaver in figuring out where my pieces are and where they need to go.
Dave – What was the biggest lesson you learned about starting your art business?
Sabrina – It’s not as easy as it looks. It takes dedication and guts to put your work out the and get it in front of people. Then it takes lots of work to research the right places to show your work, get accepted then deliver. At the same time, you need to be creating more work and expanding your abilities. It’s not for the faint of heart.
Dave – I could not have said it better myself. Selling art is hard work and to succeed you have to be willing to put in the time. What tips could you give to new artists who are interested in selling their artwork?
Sabrina – Get organized early and talk to other artists. You can’t do this alone and the art world is full of competition but also people who are generous and willing to help out a fellow artist. It comes down to getting your work in front of people and using the resources available to you. There are apps out there designed to help us spend more time working on our art rather than on the computer so go find the ones that work for you and invest in good ones to save yourself more work later.
Dave – Those are some valuable tips, thank you.
Would you mind sharing a few of your favorite creations and share the story behind them?
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Mr. Handsome was the first in a new series of birds and now animals. He has such personality and I was able to incorporate so many different techniques and types of beads together that I got super excited and because of the fun, I was having watching him come alive. His feathers are made using long bugle beads that really shine and have incredible depth mixed in with small seed beads as well.
Tree of Life 03 is part of a Tree of life series that I have been working on since the beginning. It is 3’x4’ and made of 4 separate panels. This was based on an acrylic painting I did many years ago and It was such a pleasure expanding it and seeing what I could do with the beads. Here I also did a lot of experimenting with new techniques and bead styles.
Winter’s Glow was inspired by one of my favorite things, waking up on a cold winters morning to just feel the crisp chill in the air and watch the glow of the sun trying it’s best to break through it. New challenges that worked out well and new discoveries of bead types and reactions to each other.
Dave – What social media sites can people follow you on?
Sabrina – Sabrina Frey Art is always where to look, it’s the same for Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Dave – Where can people purchase your art?
Sabrina – www.sabrinafreyart.com
Dave – I would like to thank you one more time for sharing your artistic journey with us and I look forward to seeing all of your new creations.
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