Ginny Herzog’s paintings are easily recognizable for their architectural elements. She has built a successful business by using her signature style to reach out to an audience who relates well to it – architects, designers and builders.
In the beginning, Ginny Herzog started out traditionally, painting watercolor landscapes. Wanting to distinguish herself from the crowd, she began to experiment with abstractions, which became more and more geometric. A visit to a Bauhaus exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in 1982 “was a lightbulb moment,” she says. Falling in love with the style, she incorporated it into her body of work.
Initially exhibiting at four or five retail art shows per year, Herzog ramped up her business after becoming a single mother with children to support. At one of them, a fellow artist offered some helpful criticism about her architectural style. “I have never seen work like this before, it’s so different,” he said. “You should focus on it.”
She did, and never looked back. Like many artists who become successful, she put herself into many venues in different cities, persistently sought opportunities, and created her own luck.
A female architect found Herzog at an art show in Atlanta, which turned out to be another turning point in her career. The architect purchased her work, and introduced her to colleagues as well as a gallery, which became customers.
Getting this introduction to the architecture community was an integral step in finding herself steeped in the perfect audience. They related well emotionally to her work, often purchasing her art for themselves, and referring her to others.
A major source of publicity came to Herzog when she was approached to design the cover, and supporting marketing materials, for a CAD architecture software program put out by a company in Budapest which distributed to architects worldwide. The tremendous amount of resulting exposure gave her a huge boost, as her images were regularly seen in almost every architect’s office.
A U.S. company traded the development of her website (in the nineties) for rights to use her images on promotional items. She also provided artwork for trade show booth designs for both the American Institute of Architects and the American Society of Interior Designers.
Today, Herzog continues to show her work at major art fairs. Her contact list is heavy with the names of architects, designers and builders who have been steady clientele for years, and she promotes via email newsletters and postcards to them before she exhibits at each show. Her work can be found in many corporate art collections, which is an additional market she has penetrated through her many connections.
Her medium has changed from watercolor to oil mixed with cold wax, which gives rich texture. Commissions have been an important part of her business, with “site specific” abstracts created for clients all over the country, including the Milwaukee Art Museum, with an addition designed by famous architect Santiago Calatrava. Her work is included in the museum, and was also chosen to represent the Lakefront Festival there.
Ginny Herzog’s long history of success can be attributed to her choice of a style which set her work apart, the drive to persist in her efforts to market, and a keen sense of the perfect target audience, to whom her artwork has become appealing and familiar.