Welcome to Day 2 of our Artists Takeover Event! Today’s artist is the only Canuck in the bunch this week, Vancouver artist M.A. Tateishi. M.A. is an artist whose work I immediately connected with and the artist herself has become a great supporter and friend. Our conversation gives you a little behind-the-scenes peek at Artsy Forager!
M.A. Tateishi | You feature a lot of inspiring and different artists. How do you find the artists, and is there a particular reaction you have to art when you find it…like an immediate fall-in-love feeling, or does some work grow on you? Do you have to sort through a lot of “bad art” to find the good ones?
Artsy Forager | I find the artists I feature through a number of different avenues– some I’ve known through working in the industry, others I’ve found through galleries ( both visited in person & online ), social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, through other artists, through other art blogs, lifestyle blogs, even some DIY, fashion & home decor blogs will occasionally feature interesting artwork. Really just keeping my eyes open at all times. I try to always have a pen & paper handy, as you never know when you may happen upon something amazing! The reaction is a little like falling in love or at the very least having a crush! My heart will skip a beat and many times my mouth will drop open. 😉 I’ve been told I have a “great eye” and my husband used to always ask how I knew really great work from mediocre– it’s hard to describe, it’s more of an artistic intuition, I guess. It’s funny, but many of the sources through which I find work are so full of great stuff that I don’t really have to sift through much “bad art”. I do get emails from artists whose work doesn’t quite make the cut for Artsy Forager, though. I always want to be encouraging to anyone who is willing to reach out and ask to be featured, but I strive very hard to keep the standard of work featured high. If I do need to “reject” an artist, I try to offer other avenues for online exposure.
MAT | How do you organize your writing? Do you have a lot of posts ready to go, or do you work on deadlines? Do you have an editor/friend to bounce things off, or do you work alone? And how to you manage all your social media? Are you typing away on your iPhone while you’re waiting at the post office?
AF | I plan out Artsy Forager posts usually no more than a week or two ahead. I’m a bit of a procrastinator by nature, something I’m trying to work on, so right now, that’s about as far out as I can plan & organize for the posts themselves. Since I post to the blog Monday-Friday and my husband’s schedule can change, I’m sometimes writing & scheduling posts in advance for the days when he is off. For instance, he’s currently working Wed-Sun, so I make sure to have all my posts completed and scheduled for Monday & Tuesday by Sunday night, so that we can enjoy time together without too much distraction. I normally work alone, but will sometimes bounce ideas off fellow bloggers, artists and of course, my hubby is always a ready ear. I’m still learning to smartly manage social media.. I finally signed up for Hoot Suite, which allows me to advance schedule posts to social media and has gone a long way toward helping me maintain an online presence even when I may not be physically near a computer. 😉 You may be surprised to learn that I don’t have an iPhone or even internet access on my cell phone and right now the hubby and I share one MacBook Pro between us. It can make keeping up more difficult, but it also helps to be able to disconnect when spending time with my hubby.
MAT | Finally, what motivates you to do the Artsy Forager? As an artist I can see the benefits for me, and I think it’s important to bring original art to as many people as possible, but I was wondering what inspires you?
AF | This is a really interesting question and one I’m sure many artists are curious about. I began Artsy Forager when I left a long time gallery/ art consultation position and was preparing to leave Florida to begin traveling the Northwest with George. I knew that I would be bored without something to occupy my time while George was working and getting a different job in a new town every 3 months didn’t seem appealing or even possible. I thought about what I’d loved the most about my former position, what really excited and motivated me– it was the artists themselves and their work. I’ve always loved writing, I was almost a Lit major before switching to Art History and I thought blogging would be an interesting way to fuel my passion for art, help artists succeed in whatever way I could and allow me to build and create something of my own. What really inspires me is the relationships I’m building with artists from all over the country. When artists come to me for advice, I am honored, humbled and inspired to do more of whatever I can to help them succeed. Who knows where Artsy Forager may lead in the next few years. I hope it leads to greater success, not just for me, but for every artist featured.
All images are via the artist’s website.