Artist Mary Anne Nagy creates delightful animal images. She shares her portfolio and talks about partnering her work with a cause she cares about deeply.
ABI: Tell us about the strong animals themes in your work.
MAN: When I started focusing my attention on animal themes in the late 90’s I was doing another painting series I called Natural Images which was quite unique and popular with many—however, the animals won out.
I carry a strong inner vision of compassion and justice for all of us earth dwellers, which propels me in life. I loved the idea that my animal art could be both bright and fun but also a “voice for the voiceless.” I wanted my website to be informative, with links to animal organizations and resources without being too heavy.
A sentence from my original statement expresses some of my desire for us to grow deeper in our understanding: “Funny. Scary. Like us, not like us. Who are these furry, scaled and feathered ones who also inhabit this fragile planet?”
ABI: How do you sell your art work?
MAN: I have been selling my artwork for a number of years primarily in the form or cards, giclée prints, and paintings. The venues have included: gallery stores, galleries, artsy shops and card shops, festivals, solo and group shows and several online venues including my website, Art.com, Artist Rising, Fine Art America and licensing through Pacifica Tile Art Studio.
It’s been a continuing evolution. When I started getting serious about marketing, I took a class that culminated in the production of a very scant-looking portfolio. I checked out local festivals, paid a consultant to advise me for a few hours and my husband constructed display panels using chicken wire and burlap over a homey looking wooden frame. But step by step everything has upgraded significantly.
ABI: What are your goals?
MAN: I don’t think my animals feel content to just hang around my studio cage. They are eager to get out and about!
I take notes when possible at shows to see what folks are saying about my art and children’s books always come up. I’m not drawn to go in that direction now, but love that children respond especially enthusiastically to my work and many of my buyers are parents.
Since I have a deep place in my heart for children and youth in challenging circumstances, I have donated work to a clinic that serves children from low income families, to a child advocacy center and to a major children’s hospital.
In the case of the hospital, several years later they purchased 21 very large giclée prints, with a comment at one point that “my art provides the type of healing the doctors can’t provide.” Going out more in this sort of direction is a very central feeling goal to me.
I will also be seriously looking into companies that are a good fit for selling and/or licensing my work, since such a variety of people of all ages have told me that my animals are smile-producing and atmosphere changing… a good thing in a world that needs both!
A third goal, of course, is connecting my art more with organizations that benefit animals.