David A. Shepherd is a Canadian realist artist, ARC Salon finalist two years in a row, and an Honors Graduate from the Academy of Realist Art Toronto (ARA). His paintings look too real to believe that they have been painted with oil on canvas. Only when you are very close to his paintings, you can see the skillful manipulation of color tone and drawing for a very real illusion of reality.
David’s works are a reflection of his own experience made into a story, through paint and canvas. He travels the world in search of inspiration and new emotions. Finally he has visited Baku, Azerbaijan and caught up with our team, to give a few tips for the beginners in painting and to share his experience in Baku.
- It’s obvious that your paintings require talent, education and lots of time. When do you think is the right time to start painting and when is it too late? Is there an age limit?
The earlier the better, although I have seen many older students at the ARA finish the program and become good artists in their own right. Honestly I’ve heard stories of people changing careers in their 50’s and being successful. Painting great art is not easy at any age.
- What are some things you should never do in your business?
- Being unprepared when dealing with galleries, especially before meeting them. You should research their artists, their staff, and their history. Maybe not in detail when you’re first contacting them, but if they’re interested in your work then for sure.
- Never turn down opportunities just because they seem below you or too small. If you are too busy with commissions or work for a gallery you agreed to paint for then that’s one thing. But if you’re not currently engaged you should allow yourself to show at the smaller venues. They can still be fruitful events.
- Never forget that this is a business. Don’t spend all your time in front of an easel. You will need to take photos, build a website, facebook page etc. apply to galleries, make business cards, travel to different places, package and ship your work, register your business with the government and it goes on and on. A lot of things are involved that go beyond painting. Don’t take it personally when people dislike your work, or reject you.
- When do you know, that you are ready for galleries?
When you can show a gallery a small body of your work that doesn’t involve cast drawings or paintings (educational work) you’re ready. It’s also important that you choose the right gallery to apply to for your work. Sending an email to a gallery whose website only shows artists that do installations and portraits when you make landscape paintings is probably a waste of time.
- What do you want to advise for those who want to join the art industry?
First of all remember that talent without effort is nothing. So you need more effort than talent. Accept that what you’re doing is a business and as such you should put a lot of time into both. Promoting yourself, applying to galleries, writing emails, looking at grants just going out and meeting people. They are just as important as the art you make. It takes a lot of time at first too. You learn a lot from mistakes and you won’t find many people who can help you, but keep the faith in yourself.
- And finally, what are your impressions of Baku?
I had done some reading on Azerbaijan’s history before coming. I had an expectation of seeing a lot of Soviet Union in Baku, but I was pretty surprised. The amount of rebuilding that’s already gone underway was not only extensive but of a very high quality and very diverse. The whole culture was very diverse, like a mix of Eastern and Western put together.
The seaside was probably the most beautiful place I found, it was literally like out of a story book. They’re doing an amazing job with the remaking of Baku. It’s very reminiscent of Dubai, which is a compliment to both of those cities.
Read More about David Shepherd Art on webpage www.davidshepherdart.com or follow him on Facebook:
David Shepherd Art https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/David-Shepherd-Art/234412929953520