Fine Art Painter

Occasionally someone will stumble upon an art career by accident, which is exactly what happened to Renea Menzie. Menzie was raising two children and she started painting on the side, now she is an accomplished and respected painter who is capable of earning a living off of her art.

It wasn’t easy though, because the money doesn’t just fall into your lap as an artist. Menzie recognized this early on and used dogged determination to hit the streets with her portfolio and find galleries that were willing to show her art.

There was the occasional failure and disappointment along the way, but Menzie never gave up or got discouraged, and now she gets to do something she loves as her career. If only everybody could be so lucky!

How did you become a artist?  

I started painting after my son was born, just as a hobby.  I was a stay-at-home mom raising my two kids and when my divorce hit, I decided to make a career out of my art.

Did you have formal education or were you self-taught?

I have no formal training.

How did you break into the industry?

I took a small painting and a portfolio and hit the streets.

What kind if inspiration helped you develop your artistic style, was it slow to develop or was it a light bulb moment?

I have always liked sculptures and things that made you want to touch them and I was always adding different materials to make the sculpture so yes, it was a lot of trial and error to get to this point. I started out doing completely non-representational and mixed media art with acrylic paint and adding material to give it the texture. I didn’t have the proper space or drying racks for oil paint. It was hard keeping my kids from getting into it.

What have been some of the best ways you have built and marketed your business?  

Personal relationships and integrity goes a long way and a lot of just hitting the streets and not giving up. It was easy for me. I finally knew what I wanted to do, I never really considered any other option.

Where do most of your clientele come from?

The galleries that I show at such as Newbury Fine Art in Boston; Sutton Galleries in New Orleans; and Royal Street Fine Art and Royal Aspen in Aspen.

For someone starting out, what are some hardships that can be
expected?   Do you have any advice to painters at the start of their career?  

If one gallery says no, go on to the next one… your art won’t be a fit for for every gallery or every person, don’t give up!

What are your favorite things about being a painter?

Painting!  The flexibility it gives me as a single mom to be with my kids and go to their events. The best quote ever is, “Find what you love to do and then find a way to make money at it.” I believe this is the only way to true happiness!

If you had it to do all over again, what kind of advice would you have given yourself as an artist?

Are there certain areas that you wish you would of focused on closer to further your career?  Care less what people think, and learn to be a good salesman, be personable. Your AT&T and you are a package.

Do you have any final words of wisdom to artists aspiring to become Painters?  

Find your style and stick with it. Don’t be led to just chasing the dollar and letting everyone else dictate what you should paint.  I’m not talking about adjusting a commission painting if that is your style and the client wants more blue or red.  I’m talking about having someone tell you to paint Horses when that’s not what you do.  Be true to yourself always, and be true to your Galleries and the people you deal with.

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