INTERVIEW WITH VINCENT MESSELIER
Can you live from your art? Do you consider yourself already a professional artist?
Yes. It takes a long way to make your puzzle and the art world is very large. You have to make choices to market yourself as good as possible and make your art visible by using social media.
What steps did you take to generate income with your art? And what was the most important one, your breakthrough?
Producing nice art is the most important thing. Making your own kind of style, joining competitions, working with professional galleries and organizations is very important. Look for what you like most and make it your passion by never giving up.
What steps do you plan to take to become a professional artist able to live from art? And how do you plan to grow and achieve new goals?
I’m very productive and won more than 60 awards worldwide. I’m mentioned in more than 40 art books and magazines for museums and collectors. Every year I’m exhibiting worldwide, as much as I can and I’m working on large hotel projects.
What are the biggest dangers/threats/challenges on the way to become a professional artist, able to live from art? What can others learn from your experience?
It is not easy to make the step by quitting your regular job. I had a cash collecting office that I sold and I’m a professional artist since 6 years now. You have to work hard to get a name in the art world and you have to make a lot of sacrifices by working hard with the risk of no income. If you copy art from other artists and have no own message in your art, it is very difficult I think. There are a lot of strategy’s and you have to work according your own budget. My first exhibitions were in Dubai, New York, Paris, Las Vegas, Rome, Venice, Firenze, Bari, Amsterdam, Barcelona… so I immediately had a big visibility by procurators. You have to make yourself as visible as possible and taking group exhibitions, working together with other artists…
What are the most effective tools and/or services, to promote/market yourself? Which ones helped you and which ones were a waste of time?
Facebook, linked in, instagram, you pic, are very effective and you have direct reply if you post an artwork. Look for as much as possible followers.
How important do you think is the traditional art-market (galleries, shows, fairs, museums, critics, curators) in becoming a professional artist being able to live from art?
So you see the traditional art-market as ” Very important”, interesting! Is there something more you would like to tell us about your opinion?
For selling your art you have to work hard on the marketing. Your logo is very important as a brand, so people recognize you from all over the world. Your own style is also very important so art critics got you in the pictures and follow your career.
How important is online/social-media, e-commerce etc. in becoming a career artist, and why do you think that?
Very important. In these modern times social media is the easiest way to make your name worldwide known, but it is also very important to be in person present at exhibitions, award ceremonies, art fairs, and always look for a cooperation with professionals, colleagues choosing the best.
Is it possible to live from art only through online art-sales nowadays?
No. Online is very difficult, people want to see your art in real life, collectors do not buy art on line. This is good for prints and other related articles like clothes, scarfs…
What advise do you have for artists that aim to make a full-time living from art?
Follow your heart, work hard, believe in yourself and never give up. I’m working on a course for artists to help them by sharing my experience.
Where/ How should artists start when they aim to become professionals and build their career? What are/were your first steps?
Like I already said before, your art has to be good, start with competitions, there are a lot you can find on the internet, when you start winning prices, galleries and art federations will contact you to exhibit with them. Talk about your art, use video’s, blogs, all social media daily, post your art every day on several media, also twitter is very strong.
What initial steps should artists definitely avoid, in your experience and opinion?
There are a lot of scams in the art world, promising you gold, telling that you are good and ask money for doing nothing. Most gallery’s ask money to for solo exhibitions or group exhibitions. Have a look at the quality of your colleagues because there are a lot of amateurs, taking down your art. Be proud of your art and look for quality. Google is a good tool for checking out how visible certain exhibitions are. Look for the one who promote you a lot, ask what they gone do for you and try to let them work only on commission when sold.
Do you have any ideas/tips on how artist can effectively sell their art? (Both online and offline.)
Go for a combined strategy.
What do you think the people expect from art nowadays? What would they like to see? Do you care?
We are living in new changing times worldwide and also the art world is changing. I started my own style called ‘Meridianism’ because I work with pallet knives. You will always recognize my style by using horizontal and vertical stripes and lines referring to the meridians of the world. This style is officially recognized in several art books. I have a second line with digital art where I take pictures, mix, blend and projecting them on existing art. Also digital art and 3D movie is in the art world a new item.
What is your view on today’s art-world and/or art-market? What would you like to see different? Do you think it’s more easy for artists nowadays?
There are a lot of good artists worldwide, and a lot of organizations taking care of the artists. You really have to stick with the organizations who are professional and have good reputations. The top 100 artists are always on the same exhibitions, art books, fairs, everybody wants to be the next Picasso or Da Vinci, it is certainly not easy to stand out of the mass. First, like I said, your art has to be exceptional, otherwise, you are not going to make it.
Anything else you would like to say to our community of artists and art-lovers worldwide, any final advice?
My vision statement on art : ‘A relation between the creator and the admirer is the most complex and unexplainable that ever existed. Without words, there is an incredible magnificent communication that reflects the inner passion between them.
The art you buy from an artist is not simply an object but is an investment, An investment in a piece of a heart and soul…
And even a piece of the creator’s life, because this piece of art is not only created as result of hours of errors and experimentation, but also years of frustrations and moments of pure joy. Art is the most valuable way of communication, with knowing that the admirer and creator can live or understand it in a different way, knowing there is no right or wrong, only a strong powerful connection.
This is art, touching people in their heart without wanting to hurt, doing big efforts to make people happy with the beauty of the passion and the power of imagination.
This is my vision of art, the way I make it, right from my heart and soul.
Art is my second skin!’
Article: (c) Source Picture Vocation for Art Article: Follow your heart, work hard, believe in yourself and never give up At NOENGA™ Vocation for Art they interview art-professionals/businesses worldwide and when they find great value and inspiration in these interviews, they publish them.