Connie Sutera knows all about the struggle of turning your passion into profit. This talented artist who has made a reputation for herself through her paintings isn’t afraid of a challenge. Struggling artist? More like struggling to find time in between her paintings! She’s passionate, talented and is ready for anything that it thrown her way! This week, she sat down to answer some of our questions about her hopes, her dreams and where she gets her inspiration from! #BossBabeI
BWR: Have you always had a passion for art?
Connie: Always. From when I was a little girl. It was and still is a safe place for me to express what I am feeling or experiencing in any given moment. I look forward to my alone time so that I can hide away in my studio and just go wild!
BWR: What would you say is your favorite part of painting?
Connie: The entire process makes me feel alive. From mixing my colors with my palette knife (which others seem to also enjoy watching on my Instagram feed!) to applying the paint freely and discovering how the colors blend together and creating something beautiful that didn’t exist before, to watching how others react to my work and finally seeing the finished product in a collector’s home, I love all of it!
BWR: Do you have any marketing strategies that help you promote your art?
Connie: The best way to promote art, in my opinion, is to show it. Whether its via social media platforms, in a gallery or at a pop up art show, potential buyers need to see it or hear about you or your work in order to gain interest. I’ve been lucky enough to be featured on television as well: Global News, Omni News (in Italian!) and BT Montreal. All of these tools, in addition to word of mouth have worked well for me so far in terms of exposure and sales.
BWR: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Connie: For my abstract work, I turn inwards and tune into my own feelings as inspiration. A conversation I had with someone that day, how someone made me feel, a thought that crossed my mind, or something beautiful that I noticed. Those can all trigger inspiration and my need to express it via art. For my portraits and illustrations, client’s will send me a reference photo or tell me exactly what they are looking for and I’ll create custom work made specifically for them.
BWR: Would you say that turning your art into profit is difficult?
Connie: Considering the fact that I’m an independent artist at the moment, I’ve been quite successful when it comes to selling my work locally and internationally. However, it’s definitely not easy. Like in any creative industry, there are very busy periods where I’ll deliver many paintings to various collectors, yet other periods where I won’t sell anything at all. As tempting as it may be during the slow periods, giving up is never an option.
BWR: What would you say is the biggest challenge that you face as an artist and how do you overcome it?
Connie: A little piece of me goes into every single painting or drawing. My artwork is an extension of me and there is a certain vulnerability that comes with exposing it. Art can be very subjective and personal. There’s always a possibility for rejection. It’s important to remember why you do what you do in the first place. In my case, I make art that I love for myself first. If it touches someone along the way, then that’s a bonus!
BWR: What’s are you most proud of? What’s your best accomplishment professionally?
Connie: The fact that I have been able to support so many great causes via my artwork is incredibly rewarding. I have donated numerous paintings to help raise funds for various causes that are close to my heart: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, The PK Subban Foundation benefiting the Montreal Children’s hospital, Chron’s & Colitis Canada’s Gutsy Walk, Ace Cancer Gala, and breast cancer research at the Jewish General Hospital.
BWR: If you could give an advice to an artist who is just starting out, what would it be?
Connie: Believe in your authentic self and don’t create art that you think will please others. Remember who you truly are, and stay true to it because that’s what sets you apart. Don’t limit yourself for fear of being judged. Use the difficult experiences in life to fuel you and push you to make a change leading closer to true happiness. Let what you are passionate about guide you and always chase what makes you “FEEL”.
BWR: Do you have any regrets? Is there anything you wish you would have done differently?
Connie: No regrets. Every experience lived has led me to where I am today and I’m grateful for it.
BWR: On a final note, where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Connie: I’d like to eventually present my work in local and international galleries and someday be part of a major international art fair.