Bronze sculptor Yenny Cocq has created a vibrant business that connects with her customers. She shares her story and her portfolio.
ABI: What is your background and how has your art business changed?
YC: My interests and experience are diverse and range from business startups in technology to landscaping. Fifteen years ago I made the decision to be a full-time professional artist. I have a background in printmaking and acrylic painting and ran a working studio gallery with a beautiful storefront in downtown Copenhagen in Denmark for almost a decade.
The changing economy and life has its ways of altering plans and after working with Golden Artist Colors in their working artist program I arrived back in Santa Fe. My paintings, prints and bronze sculpture had been in numerous galleries and I participated in many art shows. Then the market changed and I saw sales decline and galleries closing. In the same proportion as their decline, my online sales increased. I especially saw an increase online for my small sculptures. This shifted my focus and I created a new business model and artist identity.
ABI: What niche markets have you developed?
YC: The quick adjustment to a changing art market and my love for metals got me to create my collection of small bronze couples and families. These “little people” have become the core of my art business. I realized that the anniversary and wedding gift niche was an ideal fit for my creations. The eighth wedding anniversary is traditionally the bronze anniversary. I developed this market by narrowing my online marketing approach. Also destination hotel galleries and high end gift shops started to show my work. This made the wholesale side become more interesting and I have been pursuing this more lately.
ABI: Tell us about your materials and techniques.
YC: Bronze is a wonderful metal. I love the weight and luster after polishing. My original designs are created in clay and wax. They have gone through many evolutions since the first rough pair about 6 years ago. After a mold is taken from my clay original and the wax is reworked, my larger works are shell cast. The small sculptures are small enough to be investment cast, the same way silver jewelry is made.
I receive the raw bronze figures in various sizes from the caster, finish the metal work, and apply the patina in my studio. Thereafter I assemble a variety of couples and families to mount them on a base of natural travertine /onyx that I source locally in New Mexico. The stone bases are cut and polished; some are very rustic with crystal and beautiful textures. They work great in combination with the smooth bronze and enhance one another.