We are very happy to showcase the talents of Rachel Parker international artist. Rachel is one of South Carolina's best selling artists.
Artsails 1 asks Rachel; please tell us about your art career and the type of art you do.
I paint mostly watercolors, although I'll occasionally dabble with acrylics and oils. Watercolor is my passion though. I was very excited to see Dean Mitchell, a talented watercolor artist, featured on the front of American Art Collector this month!
We at Artsails1 have noticed you often paint cats; tell us what inspires you about cats?
I just love capturing the living essence of things on paper. I also love to paint people and other animals. I think it's the eyes, or the unique expressions of each subject that intrigues me. When the subject comes alive on the paper, then I know I've met my goal for that work.
Did you major in art in college and if so where did you attend. If not; who have you studied with?
I've never studied formally. I did a two day workshop with Tom Lynch once. Most of my art education has come from lots and lots of reading art books and experimenting.
Charleston White Horse by Rachel Parker
Are there any artists that you would say played a major role either in mentoring you or in inspiring and shaping your career?
The most influential artist for me was probably my mother, Gretchen Parker. Without her example, I don't think I would have ever realized I could paint. I used to watch her paint when I was very young, and tag along to art lessons.
How have you handled the marketing of your art; getting in shows, selling art, creating a web presence?
I haven't done a lot of things outside of the web. I suppose I'm too lazy to frame everything, haul it to a show, only to have one thing sold after all that investment. The internet is an amazing venue for my work. I've met people all over the world through my art. I even met a lady online through an art connection and we ended up going on two trips together to Costa Rica and Italy. She lives in Switzerland. I sell my art mostly on EBay and recently I've discovered Etsy, which is a wonderful community of likeminded creatives who are very passionate about their work. It's been invigorating for me to try new places on the internet and discover the fresh visions of new communities.
What websites do you have your art on, now? Etsy, EBay, Rachels Studio, cafepress.com
It can definitely pay off if you invest time and energy into it and you have something people WANT to buy. That's the trick, having something people want to buy. The other part is doing a lot of social networking, keeping new things on your site, and marketing through your blog. The more energy I put into my work, whether it is painting, social networking on the web, or blogging, the more I sell. Another important tool I've found is to have a Yahoo group for my collectors to join. Every time I create a new painting, have a new painting, or just want to share progress on a painting, I post it to my group. Anyone can join by going to http://www.rachelsstudio.com/ and click on Join my group.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you, your art, your web presence, or your techniques that you would like to share?
I really think the Internet is the wave of the future for artists like me. The potential of the web is unlimited! It's also a great way to meet interesting people. I also met a wonderful artist in China and helped him get on eBay. He was able to buy a car after he doubled his income selling his art online! Rachel that is a great story.
Do you have another career in addition to being an artist?
I work as a school social worker. My art and my social work mutually subsidize each other!
Rachel is there anything else you would like people to know about you?
I also recently got engaged and will get married June 21, 2009. We are going to China for our honeymoon and I can't wait!
Congratulations, I am sure a honeymoon in China will be very inspiring; we can't wait to see the results!
In summary; Rachel Parker is a very talented artist and Internet entrepreneur; we hope that you will enjoy looking at her websites and if you would like any further information on Rachel Parker's artwork you may contact her directly via email at: R1achel@yahoo.com NOTE: That's a one after the r on Rachel's email. All paintings on this page were created by Rachel Parker; please contact her directly if you are interested in purchasing a print or original of her work. Thank you.
Editor: Artsails1 writer: Jean Bourque