We had the good fortune of connecting with Gene Barron and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Gene, what do you attribute your success to?
My success as an artist has been due to several different things. A big contributor was learning to develop my brand and network. I have realized, as an artist, that this goes hand and hand with the actual creation of my work. I discovered that the same principles of pushing myself and taking creatives risks in the development of my pieces, apply to the expanding of my brand and to sales. This is essentially a matter of breaking out of my comfort zone and doing things that might have, in the past, made me feel vulnerable or fearful, such as initiating conversations about my art with viewers and learning about how to market my brand and ensure that my work is accessible to collectors. Instead of carrying the belief that my art is so good that it will sell itself or embodying the stereotype of the shy and reclusive artist or falling into the starving artist mentality, I have learned to engage with both other artists and potential buyers. I take the initiative to approach people and introduce myself and learn the names of the people that I encounter. I ask viewers if they would be interested in learning more about my artistic statement, This is something that I feel is important in regard to my abstract pieces, helping to decipher the language of each piece and offering the viewer some insight into who I am and what I hope to accomplish as an artist. Having this dialogue really helps to ensure that the message that you are trying to convey through your work is heard and it gives the viewer a complete picture and understanding of each piece. It is also important to stay in touch with collectors. Send them images of new work and updates about what you are doing, where you are showing. Truly work to develop a sincere relationship with them. This is a really unique time right now for artists. With everyone spending more time on social media and many galleries being closed, the playing field has really been leveled. I have seen a lot of artists taking advantage of this by hosting virtual shows, making process videos and focusing on marketing their work as much as they can to online viewers. Getting you pieces out there and finding the people who appreciate and understand your art and those who purchase art is really important. Now is a great time for gaining exposure for your brand via social media. I suppose that if I had to narrow it down to the one thing that is the biggest contributor to my success, I would have to say it is keeping a positive attitude. It is important to not have a mentality of being caught up in a competition with other artists or thinking that there is not enough money to go around in the art world. I have always tried to keep an attitude of abundance and I keep the belief that anyone can be successful. There is room for each of us and we can all help each other and learn from each other. When I first started as a professional artist, there were a couple of highly accomplished artists that were selfless enough to take the time to teach me things that helped me tremendously. They taught me about galleries, representation, and pricing, among other things. It was so beneficial to have their support and their help in navigating the art world. I believe that paying this forward by helping fellow artists as much as I can is very important. I make an effort to give my support to other artists and help them to grow and network as much as I can. Another part of keeping a positive mentality is being among people who share the same attitude, are success oriented, and also believe in community and supporting one another. For instance, I am a resident at Art Machine Gallery at The Silos at Sawyer Yards. We are a group of eight artists, each with our own unique style, and we work collectively to promote the gallery and each other’s work. This is just one example of the ways that the Houston art community works together and why I am so proud to be a part of it. Being an artist is kind of like being on a roller coaster at times., but even when things aren’t going right, say you mess up your painting or if you blow a sale because something didn’t translate the way that you wanted, remember that there is always something to learned from the experience. It is easy to beat yourself up over things or feel depressed or uninspired, especially now with being overwhelmed and bombarded by all of the things happening in the world, but take these experiences and use them as opportunities for growth. Strive to learn from both the highs and the lows. I believe whole-heartedly that if I continue to do all that I can to work with others and keep an attitude of abundance, believing in myself and my work, that my brand will continue to grow even further and I will achieve even more success in my art career.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Houston, Texas based, abstract contemporary artist who works in a variety of styles and medias. Having been an artist all my life, and finding my calling in abstract contemporary work, I’ve never been one to totally commit my work to a signature style. What most call inspiration, I call an episode. Each piece takes on its own life and feel. The style of my pieces can range from traditional abstract to experimental, depending on where the process takes me. In the end, when the piece is finished, the most important questions are… Does it work? Is it me? Is it honest?

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would defintely go to The Silos at Sawyer Yards. There is a lot of great art to check out by some really talented local artists. I would also want to visit the Museum District to stop by the Museum of Fine Arts and also the Natural Science Museum. For a great burger we would visit Stanton’s City Bites and then, in the evening, we would check out some live music. We would try to fit in a trip to Galveston to spend some time on the water and stop at Gaidos for some awesome seafood.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want give a big shout out to all of the artists at Art Machine Gallery at The Silos at Sawyer Yards and to Jay T. Jax for all of his hard work making the gallery a success.

Instagram: Instagram.com/artgaragebygenebarron
Facebook: Facebook.com/gene.barron.50

Image Credits
All images created by Gene Barron

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