January 27, 2017 · 6:18 am
I did my first fine art metal print live video today on Facebook with my girlfriend. It turned out pretty good considering that we have never done a video before showcase the fine art. I wanted to post the video on this blog, but I need to upgrade my service in order to do so. Instead, all I can post is a link: https://www.facebook.com/VincentLowryPhotography/.
I hope you enjoy it! My girlfriend did a wonderful job with the water and ketchup on the print!
(Vincent Lowry – Author of American Vineyard and #LucysLetter)
January 25, 2017 · 3:23 am
Two of my customers received 24×36″ metal prints today, and both customers praised the quality and look of the prints. They were very pleased about their purchase, which will serve well when friends and family ask about the new art in their house. I try my best to produce quality work when it comes to my prints and books. If my art ever falls short of that desired goal (even in blog posts that contain typos), I will always try to do better next time to fix my mistakes.
It’s time for dinner now. I’m making myself salmon with veggie soup. It’s still very cold outside because of the rain (I saw frost this morning!), so eating something warm sounds amazing right now. 🙂
-Vincent Lowry (Author of American Vineyard and #LucysLetter)
January 20, 2017 · 6:17 am
Today I closed on three fine art sales. It provided a much needed boost to my confidence on my dream job’s long-term viability, as I was beginning to wonder if there was a market for my product. As I suspected, a market exists. The trick, of course, is to find the customer who is looking for what I’m providing at the exact moment they need it, and to do it better than everyone else who supplying an alternative. The masters have this nailed down. I think all photographers (and writers) have a list of their favorite successful mentors, dead or alive, who have exceled at their craft to the point of financial independence. These mentors are the ones who keep the fire bright within our creative hearts during the difficult days, the moments when it seems impossible to pursue the vision because of internal or extra barriers. These masters show us that it can be done. They prove that the barriers were largely self-imposed, and that confidence is always forged from within whether you are paid or not for your innate talent.
Who is on your mentor list?
And are you on someone’s list, too?
Filed under Uncategorized
Tagged as American Vineyard, art prints, dream career, dream job, East Coast, fine art photography, mentor, photography, Vincent Lowry, Washington DC, writing
January 19, 2017 · 6:39 am
I thought my art show today at Redondo Beach would be about meeting many strangers to discuss all things photography, but I found it was to talk to a few important connections about opportunities for future events. I won’t get into details about it, because it’s not very interesting as a blog subject. I will mention, however, that I was most surprised by my girlfriend. She looked absolutely beautiful in her pink dress, and I was lucky to have her by my side supporting me at the show. She hasn’t been feeling well for the past few days, and yet she got fixed up so she could help me as best as she could. What an amazing woman! It is because of her that I find today a success; how lovely it is to have that feeling no matter what happens with sales/connections/results.
(Vincent Lowry – Author of American Vineyard and #LucysLetter)
January 15, 2017 · 4:09 am
I created an ad today on Facebook to draw people to an art exhibit/seminar that I’m hosting at the Coffee Cartel in Redondo Beach, CA. I haven’t had much success with Facebook advertising (or any online advertising for that matter), but I’m more optimistic this time around because of some marketing tips I discovered thanks to my girlfriend. I plan on doing a second ad tomorrow for a separate teaching course I’ll be putting on sometime late next week or the week after. If these marketing tips work, I’ll share them on my blog. If not, there’s no need to mention them and force other readers down the same rabbit hole. While one could make the argument that mentioning ineffective advertising will at least put the reader on notice so they can avoid it, I disagree. As I said, I’m not a pro at marketing. I could just be following the advice wrong, or using the wrong strategy or product, so telling others not try what I’ve attempted isn’t a wise course of action.
I’m crossing my fingers I get to tell you something about it.
January 6, 2017 · 4:14 am
Have you ever played the card game Rook? I played it with my grandparents when I was a kid, and I remember having such joy when I got to use the Rook card and get the five-card nest in the middle of the table–the spoils, so to speak.
Today I played that game again for the first time in 25 years. This time another kid was introduced to the game: my ten-year-old son. It was just the two of us, and I have to admit that a quarter of century left my mind a bit foggy as to rules of the game. Conner, my son, waited patiently as I read the instructions aloud while I slowly dealt the cards. Conner was a bit confused as to the bids in the game, as well as the color trump cards, but he caught on after a few tries (and so did my hazy memory). My son got the Rook card twice; I got it once. The games went 2 to 1, with my son whipping me.
What does any of this have to do with following a photography and writing dream in 2017? What does this have to do with the photos I purchased today and the businesses I approached hoping for an art sale? Let me explain. Today was a Thursday. Conner, for some reason still not clear to me, had this final week off at his school for winter break. At my old job, I would have been at work on a Thursday morning, opening up Excel files and sending countless accounting-related emails to managers, directors, and vice presidents. But not this Thursday. I played the Rook card against the 9-5 job. I stayed home with my son and enjoyed a game I hadn’t experienced in decades. It made me smile. It made him smile. That moment cannot be bought with a paycheck, and if I don’t make a single dime during this 100-day stretch of surviving on my own, I can say with absolute assurance that it was time well spent just for the few hours I was given with Conner.
And I think my son will remember it.
Just as I did.
January 5, 2017 · 7:04 am
It’s day number two, and fear shadows the pursuit of my dream. I knew I had this nervousness before entering the 100-day stretch of chosen joblessness, but I really felt it strongly today while walking the sidewalks of Santa Monica with a thin carrycase in hand like a modern-day helpless door-to-door salesman. I tried every attempt to contain the fear. Positive phrases whispered under my breath like “I’m selling high quality fine art photographs” or “I’ll be as successful as my friends and family have told me” only served as band-aids for my anxiety. The truth kept bleeding out: I have no clue how to survive on my own. I’m frequently reminded throughout the day why companies are created, and why people seek the safe and established route of working for someone else. I once did it. I know damn well why I did it. The job was available, the money was guaranteed, the benefits were a welcome bonus.
It goes without saying that employment of any kind is better than unemployment. A job pays the bills, creates a person’s identity, and adds to the general well-being of the worker and his family. Just look at how labor statistics make or break a President. If the data is positive and unemployment is low, the legacy of the leader in power will largely remain intact no matter what else gets stripped away by adverse parties. But if the data is negative and unemployment is through the ceiling…well, that President can take a seat next to James Buchanan and the other “not-so-stellar” leaders of the past.
So why do people leave their jobs? Why did I leave mine? Are we insane? Selfish? Unappreciative?
I shall delve more into this tomorrow. After redepositing my final paychecks from my former employer (the checks bounced on my first attempt), and picking up a 11×14″ art portfolio, and driving half the city for a Square credit card reader, and approaching two spas for my metal prints, I’m a bit beat.
January 4, 2017 · 6:10 am
It’s now the 3rd of January 2017, and that means it’s the 1st day of my 100 day test to follow a creative dream of professional writing and photography. I woke up at 7:00 AM. I then packed all my metal photography prints to showcase to the two wineries I selected in Santa Ynez and made the 2.5 hour-long drive to visit said businesses. I ate some pea soup along the way (Anderson’s), picked up a pamphlet on God and business (something I didn’t expect to do, but glad I did), and took some pictures of ranches and vineyards. Kaylra Winery was my first stop. Because I didn’t set an appointment with them, the manager at Kaylra seemed a bit nervous I was there to sell them a service rather than buy a product. Her fears were eased when I decided to purchase two dessert wine bottles. I cannot say the same about my state of mind after spending money rather than making it, but I was glad to make progress with her and get vital information that could lead to a future business deal with the winery.
Sunstone was next on my list. The time was around 4:00 in the afternoon when I finally got pictures of this winery and talked to the General Manager. I was pleased to immediately pique the GM’s interest in a metal print. He asked me to send some sample photos of what I’m envisioning, to which I replied that I would as soon as I captured the shots I needed of the winery. I took more pictures after our conversation, and then chatted with a family who showed interest in my photography.
7:00 PM marked the hour of my drive home. My one comment for today is that driving for half the day severely restricts my ability to talk to business owners.