Painter Jen Ferry presents her delightful portfolio filled with vibrant color. We spoke with her about her work, and making a living as an artist.
ABI: How would you describe your concept?
JF: To be creative is to naturally be curious. I’ve been painting for 12 years and have gone through many evolutions in style, materials, and media. I’ve experimented with different textures in my mixed media work including spackling paste, glue, and raffia. I went through a period of time where I used resin to give my pieces a glossy topcoat that intensified the colors below. But, in general, I always come back to using acrylic paints.
The vibrancy of the colors consistently agrees with my instinctive color preferences. Just as nature shows us color harmony between flowers against their leaves or a morning fog casts an analogous tone, my paintings follow the same laws of nature. Amplified colors, textures, and shapes define my paintings. Others have a monochromatic subtle presentation.
All of them show my interpretation of nature and the variety it represents. I attribute my nature theme to growing up in Connecticut where I spent a lot of time playing in the woods. Those memories provided the foundation that now has become who I am as an artist.
ABI: What do you believe is the best way to connect with buyers?
JF: There is always a story behind a piece of art. If I get a chance to tell a potential buyer about how or why I created a painting, I feel like it gives them the extra incentive to purchase it.
I was explaining to one buyer about what inspires me. I told her that inspiration can happen anywhere. Even walking down the grocery store aisle. I mentioned that a box of Israeli couscous practically jumped out at me and became the inspiration for the texture in a painting of Broccoli. She was so tickled by the fact that I made a food painting with food that she purchased it for her kitchen.
ABI: What strategies do you use to promote your art online?
JF: When I first attempted to sell online I created an Etsy store. I quickly realized that I was a needle in a haystack. I then created my own e-commerce website where buyers can purchase original paintings and/or prints. I researched and implemented techniques for search engine optimization so I would rank higher on Google. Whenever appropriate, I use Facebook and Twitter to drive traffic to my site.
When I won a minted.com Editor’s Choice award, I spent $25 to sponsor a Facebook status update that reached 5,500 people with 70 post clicks to my art. Social media is such an important avenue for artists. I noticed to gain and keep followers there has to be consistency in my online presence. When I do that, my website analytics show the increase in traffic which leads to possible sales.