I am excited to share with you today’s interview with artist Wendy from Wet Paint By Wendy. In this interview, you will discover how Wendy became inspired to create original artwork, including coasters, fridge magnets, serving trays, jewelry dishes, wall clocks, and even side tables and wine stands.
Featured Artist Wet Paint By Wendy
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Dave – Hello Wendy and thank you for joining me today. I first discovered you on Twitter and have recently visited your Etsy Shop, Wet Paint By Wendy and I have learned that you started with a “traditional” style and during your journey, you discovered your true passion which is abstract art.
How did you discover abstract art?
Wendy – While I’ve always admired art in its various forms, abstract art was always a bit of a mystery to me. One day by accident, I came across someone’s ‘fluid’ artworks, which not only caught my attention, it totally intrigued me! So naturally, I delved right into looking and learning more about it. While I tried out the various fluid art mediums (alcohol inks, acrylic pouring, and resin), I found acrylic pour painting was my favorite to work with.
Dave – I have always found it exciting to try different mediums and techniques, do you still create traditional art or are you only focusing on abstract art now?
Wendy – I occasionally paint a ‘traditional’ piece of art. I still enjoy it, however, my hand is less fond of it as it becomes numb when I do the fine detailing. My main focus is ‘pour painting’, as it allows me to still create with paint, without the burden to my hand. And in fact, I find it a really great creative outlet!
Dave – I am happy to hear that you were able to find a way to express yourself with a different technique, was it difficult to change or did it come naturally?
Wendy – Switching from traditional to abstract painting was actually very easy, mentally! The challenging part was learning about all the variables that go into it. It is so much more than just ‘pouring’ paint onto a canvas!!! Many people try this style out and quickly say ‘it’s so much harder than I thought it would be’.
Early on, there was very little information, and most of it was from people just experimenting. Now, with social media, the information has grown tremendously, with some artists even publishing books or offering e-books for sale.
Dave – How would you describe your art?
Wendy – I describe my art as ‘abstract art that anyone can enjoy’. It’s a great stepping stone for those people who are a bit unsure of abstract art, as it can be enjoyed for the shear beauty of the colours and patterns, without having to ‘understand’ any deep meaning. Also, since much of it is ‘functional’, a person can introduce abstract art into their home or office simply with a set of coasters, for instance.
Dave – Yes, I see that you are selling your art on coasters, fridge magnet sets, serving trays and more. I think this is a great way for artists to generate extra income while they are waiting for their originals to sell. What made you decide to offer these products and what company are you using for the merchandise?
Wendy – All my art pieces are original works, including coasters, fridge magnets, serving trays, jewelry dishes, wall clocks, and even side tables and wine stands!! Time and care is spent on each piece, and I prefer to paint each and every piece by hand, even each fridge magnet. Many of my pieces are coated with a food grade resin too, which provides an extra bonus feature for people. For instance, a jewelry dish can also be used to serve appetizers or small desserts. I feel art should be enjoyed in more places than just on a wall. Painting original art on functional items is like offering people a two-for-one deal, and they love this!
As this style of painting requires A LOT of paint, I usually reserve painting very large canvases for commission work. Pour painting is a great metaphor for life. As despite our best preparations, at the day’s end what will happen, will happen. We just can’t control everything, so let’s enjoy the ride with all the beauty life has to offer.
Dave – That is a beautiful outlook and I believe that many people forget to take the time to appreciate the little things in life that make the world so beautiful.
I also noticed that you create art with vinyl records, and I think it’s a brilliant idea and it separates you from many artists selling art online. How did you get started doing this?
Wendy – I’m sure I must have seen someone’s art painted on a record, and thought that was a fun substrate. I have certainly sold a few painted vinyl records, especially with custom silhouettes painted on top (e.g. the actual silhouette of a musician, with the background in his favourite colours). From here, I’ve expanded into painting wall clocks, as well as very unique wine bottle covers. For the covers, I paint the vinyl records and then hand mould them into funky wine bottle holders!!! These wine sleeves boast original art, as well as shape and form, from a vintage vinyl record, that functionally showcases a favourite bottle of vino!!! They truly become a 3 dimensional piece of art all on their own!!
Dave – What message do you hope your audience receives from your art?
Wendy – I would love to show people that beautiful and original art can be celebrated and enjoyed in less predictable spots in their home or office, other than a wall. Why not have your beverage of choice placed lovingly on a gorgeous coaster that has art that is completely original, or check the time from a wall clock with original art?
Dave – How long have you been creating art and what inspires you to continue creating?
Wendy – I remember asking to stay late after school to work on art projects for fun, as early as Grade 3. I just wanted to keep creating! However, as a young adult, I pursued post-secondary schooling and a career in the sciences. Science in general intrigues me! Art intrigues me! Now I get to combine the two, as ‘pour painting’ has a lot of science and experimentation involved with it. So really, it is a win-win for me!! Colour, movement, and striving to learn and have some control over this art style (that is known to be one that tends to have little controllability), are what inspires me to keep creating!
Dave – What art supplies are you using and what you would recommend for new artists to start with.
Wendy – I use a variety of acrylic brands, at varying price points. The important part is to find a pouring medium recipe, and final paint consistency, you like to work with. This can even be as basic as using Elmer’s Glue All and water to add to the paint. It’s an inexpensive way to start and get some practice. Each ingredient used in the recipe gives a different outcome, and pour painters are always fine tuning their ‘recipe’. Currently I use six ingredients to make up my pouring medium. Silicone tends to be an ingredient that can be added to the paint to help achieve ‘cells’, although it is not necessary, or always desired. As well, a butane torch is used after pouring to help pop bubbles and help with cell formation. So with these few basics supplies, one can get started.
Dave – When did you start selling your art and how did you get started?
Wendy – I’ve never sold any of my art until my sister encouraged me to try a couple of years ago. I started by selling some through Craigslist and similar online market places. Then, as I’ve always wanted a shop on Etsy, I thought I’d give it a try. I’m also starting to try out various local markets too.
Dave – Thank your sister for me because now people around the world can enjoy your art and your message. When did you start selling your art on Etsy and what made you decide to use Etsy as your selling platform?
Wendy – I opened my Etsy shop only 1 ½ years ago. It was something I always wanted to do, and so finally I took the plunge. It was a dream come true. There was a lot to learn, and I’m still learning and perfecting my shop.
Dave – In my opinion, the learning process is exciting and rewarding I think you have done a great job in a short amount of time with your branding. How do you promote your Etsy store?
Wendy – That is the challenge! There are ways to promote your individual listings through Etsy, however, it is a difficult gig, as there is an ever-increasing list of new shops trying to do the same thing. I also have a Wet Paint By Wendy Facebook page, Instagram, and I recently started using Twitter. I have a direct link to my Etsy store on each, in case someone sees something of interest or chooses to take a look.
Dave – What tips could you give to new artists who are interested in selling their artwork?
Wendy – I would recommend any form of ‘marketing’ they can muster, especially by utilizing the various social media venues that are available. I think the younger generation certainly has the advantage here, as it seems second nature to them. Also, it’s so important to do quality work and take great photos. And finally, I would tell them to make the art because they truly love it, and try not to get too caught up in the ‘selling’ without enjoyment!
Dave – Would you mind sharing two of your favorite creations and share the story behind them?
With this painting, I wanted to use some of my favourite colours. I like it when the colours create movement, depth and intrigue. When the details are as interesting as the whole, I am happy!
This is a custom serving tray and matching coaster set. The client wanted certain colours, with a slight beachy feel. As trays are much more difficult to successfully ‘pour’ on, it took me several attempts to get it ‘just right’. Then each piece was coated in food-grade resin to add shine, durability and the flexibility to use the tray to serve food on. I like the challenge and I like a happy customer.
Dave – What social media sites can people follow you on?
Instagram – Wet Paint By Wendy
Facebook – Wet Paint By Wendy
Twitter – Wet Paint By Wendy
Dave – Where can people purchase your art?
Wendy – I sell most of my art through my Etsy shop – WetPaintByWendy. People can also message me through any of my social media sites.
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.
Wendy – Thanks Dave! I’m happy to share my art journey!
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