Featured Artist:: Rikki Sneddon
Where are you based: Minnesota Minneapolis/Glenwood or central
Company name/Shop title: Rikki Sneddon Art
How did you get your start as an artist?
I would say I have always been artistic but didn't really consider myself an 'artist' until about 3 years ago. Which is when I completed a few paintings that I was really happy with and started realizing that art was what I wanted to do to supplement and eventually make a living.
What medium do you use?
acrylic,watercolor and mixed media
What has been the largest accomplishment of your art career?
To date I think being nominated for Minneapolis RAWards Artist of the Year was the most exciting and outwardly tangible accomplishment of my art career, however seeing my collectors fall in love with their art and talk about it and share it with their friends is the most rewarding.
Where do you look for inspiration/what inspires you?
People and feelings often inspire an idea for me which is then built upon and expanded by colors and music. Music is a huge part of my creative process. I will often be listening to a song in the car and it will make me start thinking about all kinds of things and then all I want to do is go home and paint or create
What is your favorite piece you've ever created?
I will usually favorite certain parts of certain pieces but some of my all time pieces close to my heart are Vientiane, Brave and Ponder
What platform(s) do you sell your work on?
Tell me a bit about these platforms and what you like about them. Right now my main venue for selling my original art and art prints is still Etsy, I use this because it allows me to be connected with my buyers one on one, I handle every piece of art and every print that goes through etsy, they are all hand signed by me and I am in charge of handling any problems or concerns from my buyers. I also have recently partnered with Society6 to offer more apartment style products featuring my art and Vango which is a store that i sell originals on and they have created an app that lets people see the art hanging in their individual space.
What is the most challenging aspect of having an art business/some frustrations you have faced?
For me the biggest challenge is internal. Making a living from my art is so important to me because that is the dream I have for my life, I want to wake up every day and create beautiful things for people. So when I have a slow month or rough show or something like that I get discouraged because I feel like I am still so far away from that becoming a reality. I have to go back to my job, I have to keep cramming everything in and giving up free time, spending money on pursuits that don't pay out and on and on. Basically keep struggling, asking myself why am I doing this? Learning to navigate and ride out the ebb and flow of the commercial world of art is still something I deal with.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I would like to think it's new and different, exciting and maybe a little unexpected.
Are you a full-time artist? -if yes, how did you know it was time to take the leap and become a full-time artist? -if no, what else do you do?
Right now to supplement my art income, I work 3-4 days a week (about 15 hours) at a local restaurant. It has proved to be a good opportunity to meet people from the community and come across opportunities by getting to talk to all kinds of different people
What do you love about being an artist the most?
I love being able to turn my ideas and inspirations into something tangible, everyone appreciates a sunset or a beautiful song, but not everyone can turn that into something new, something else. I like being a part of the creative cycle.
Do you have any tips for people who are trying to turn their art hobby into a business?
Treat it like a business, there will be months you spend more than you make, that doesn't mean you have failed. Don't jump at every opportunity out there choose the ones that are right for what you want from your art business. Set a clear goal for what you want for your art business, do you want it to be your only source of income one day? or would you just like to supplement your part-time job? or just pay your way into shows to get your art out there? depending on your goal, your venues and opportunities will be very different. It sounds strange but don't listen to every suggestion you hear, they are not doing what you are doing, they have no better idea of what will sell, which venues are the best or what people are looking for, than you do, only take advice from artists or people that have what you want for your business. Use good judgement and really weigh out the costs of trying something new, does it cost a lot to start up on this new website that promises to sell more of your art? is it free to sign up? what benefits are they giving you? are they really worth it? believe it or not there are a ton of ways to get your art out there and seen by the world, but there are also companies that are there to make money off of artists. Just weigh the costs before signing up for the next best art sales site and take advantage of free exposure and promotion when you can. Never, never forget your fans and friends and collectors that support you, they make your art career. Treat them well. Have fun, be happy, and if you have to give out, give out, but don't ever give up! XXO
Thanks for reading.