By Carolyn Edlund
Painter Lindy Hanson creates a dream world with her whimsical and magical paintings. In addition, she has formed a community of like-minded artists to present their forms of whimsy on a new website celebrating this delightful style. Lindy spoke with Artsy Shark about her work and her successful career.
AS: Your paintings are colorful, charming and spiritual. What is your source of inspiration?
LH: I love whimsical things, fantasy, playfulness and staying young at heart. Being in nature, watching birds, thumbing through books, looking at ancient petroglyphs, surrounding myself with interesting things to look at in my work space – these things inspire me. I find the inner world of the subconscious fascinating and have studied Carl Jung‘s work. The archetypes, symbolism, synchronicity and metaphor have impacted my life and art. I do believe that when I paint, I get to where it’s almost like meditation, which to me is tapping into my higher source and that inspires my creations.
AS: Tell us about your new website, WhimsicalPaintings.com ? What benefits do you see in forming this type of community?
LH: I believe in artists helping artists. With the huge expanse of the internet, it is easy for an artist to get lost in a sea of other artist’s websites. I love that this website can bring artists with a whimsical painting style together and that art enthusiasts and collectors can find them there. I’m creating a resource page that will have artist interviews on it, which to me is a unique way to get to know the artists on the site.
AS: Your personal website is organized in an interesting way. Do you have any suggestions for artists who would like to create their own websites?
Three images are front and center on my home page, One links directly to my paintings, another to an online painting sale and the third to my contact/newsletter page, where I invite visitors to sign up for my Art e-Newsletter. I want visitors to look at my art, buy art, and I request their email address so I can start building a relationship with them with my e-newsletter.
AS: What types of products do you sell featuring your images? How do you market your work and what do you find really effective?
LH: My art images are on open and limited edition prints, greeting cards and bookmarks. Prints are the most popular, and I sell them at the gallery where I show my work and on Etsy. I print my own giclee prints. Having a background in the graphic arts and advertising industry and knowing about correct color output and marketing has helped me tremendously. The old saying, “One has to spend money to make money” is true. An advertising plan is essential for selling one’s work. Using the social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook Fan page and belonging to networking groups such as LinkedIn is effective. Participating in forum discussions on LinkedIn or on Etsy is helpful in spreading your name and links to a larger audience.
AS: Any words of advice for emerging artists and students who would like to pursue a similar career?
LH: I think having a well thought out marketing plan is key to having an art career. I would recommend taking the SmARTist Telesummit, a 7-day online art career conference which gives tons of information about being successful. I took it last year and will be taking it again this year. I believe that in your marketing plan, you should have money set aside for classes and seminars. Learning and growing as an artist is important, whether it be about marketing or learning new painting techniques. Learn from the experts. Learn from those who have made the mistakes and have words of advice. Do thorough research and learn which books are worth reading, which websites/blogs to follow, the recommended articles to read and videos to watch.
Having a mentor is always a good thing! Befriend an older, successful artist whom you admire and let them help show you the way. And remember to always be grateful and thank the people who help you along your path.