We had the good fortune of connecting with Joyce LaBaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joyce, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Given that being an artist is high risk from a paycheck standpoint, most artists end up pursuing multiple income streams: A full or part-time job, weekend festivals, online sales, commissioned items at local shops/galleries, etc. The path that I took as many others have, was to work for 30-plus years in a more conventional job, retire, and pursue art as a second career. So admittedly, I am not much of a risk taker and this resulted in a delayed start to my artist journey, but I did eventually find my way and I’m hoping for 30-plus years in my second career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Starting out as a fledgling artist was not easy. I knew nothing about exhibiting art but was fortunate to hear of the Creative Arts Society in Austin, a local nonprofit that works with businesses to offer artists a chance to display their art. I started participating in exhibits and eventually got some sales. This was tremendously encouraging and helped give me confidence that my work, my vision, resonated with others. Talking with other artists, I was encouraged to try out a couple art festivals. These are a lot of work, and you need to make sure you have a range of price points, but they are a good way to make contacts, receive feedback and develop the necessary thick skin. Getting your art out where it can be seen is the toughest challenge for artists.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I apologize in advance for my disappointing answer. I’m an introvert and don’t get out much, especially now. We are fortunate to have many great trails here in Austin, so I would take my friend to various greenbelts, preferably those that run along a creek after we’ve had some rain and that aren’t too crowded. We just got a firepit for the backyard and to be honest, I am happy to hang out at home with the family and our dogs, play board games and make s’mores.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My friends, family and fellow artists have been incredibly supportive and I appreciate them ever so much. However, my number one shoutout is to my husband, Jeff. He gives me honest feedback, both positive and negative (although it’s not a good sign when he looks at a new piece and doesn’t say anything at all). He builds my stretcher bars and custom frames, gives me art supplies for my birthday/ Christmas/Valentine’s Day, helps hang exhibits, helps with booth set up at art festivals, built an art closet, constructed an art cart and was the one who first encouraged me to take art classes. He has supported me always, in many ways.
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