Claudia True paints in a delightful, whimsical style. She talks about the transition into being a full-time artist and how she has developed products.
ABI: Tell us about your transition from the corporate world to the art world.
CT: My first career was a geologist and manager with a major oil company. It was great in many ways – fascinating work places (many western states and Indonesia) and I learned business and project management skills. The corporate environment became stifling for my creative soul, so I took a painting class as a stress release and rediscovered my passion – the rest is history!
ABI: What is your tagline and how does that relate to your body of work?
CT: I have two tag lines – “Art that Makes you Smile” and “Life’s an Adventure.” My paintings are bright, colorful and happy – that’s my contribution to the art world and my collectors. My life has certainly been an adventure! I’ve lived and worked in many places, had a major midlife career change, and my art style has evolved in ways I couldn’t predict.
My early art was primarily funky landscapes and florals – now I’m doing a lot of “critter” and food art to illustrate recipes. If you allow yourself to embrace change and explore possibilities, you’ll be amazed where life will take you.
ABI: How did you get started designing and printing your own calendars?
CT: When I lived in California, I had art galleries, taught painting and life was busy, busy! We moved to Kansas City 8 years ago – my studio is at home, I knew few people then, and I needed a new project and adventure. I decided to combine my two passions – cooking and painting – to create a food and art calendar. Getting recipes from friends was a fun way to meet new people and to reconnect with “foodie” friends from my past.
ABI: What advice do you have for others who might want to create an art calendar?
Calendars are “time sensitive” and must be printed by early Fall for holiday sales. We like to say our calendars are “timeless” – people collect them just for the recipes and art! Some people have framed the art in the calendars – I now have almost a hundred new recipes that I love!
Work with a professional designer. Holly Bikakis is my graphic design partner. We share the profits and we both have a vested interest in creating and promoting an excellent product.
The calendar is one product. You’ll also have new art to sell as originals and prints. Plan your marketing strategy. We do email blasts and promote on Facebook. We sell these at calendar signing events, through a few local stores (food/wine and art galleries), and on my shopping cart. Pick a subject you love to paint because you’ll be painting it a lot!!