AIP: How would you describe your style of work and what is your preferred medium to work in?
PR: I am a painter/illustrator and I would describe my work as realism for the most part with some abstracts thrown into the mix. I have completed a large number of my projects in gouache on illustration board and since 2001 I have completed quite a few drawings in pen and ink as well. I also market my pen and ink illustrations as t-shirt designs. I paint the abstracts much larger and use acrylic paint on canvas for those.
AIP: What were you first steps toward selling your art and what type of setting was this in, a gallery, art & crafts show, market, on-line or elsewhere?
PR:I started out my career in advertising art so right from the beginning I associated all the artwork I did with commerce. When I went freelance in 1989 I was already getting a lot of customers approaching me to do particular paintings or drawings for them. These people were from the business world mostly as well as private art collectors. My first showing of some originals was in The Fran Willis Gallery on Store street in Victoria in 1991. Since 2000 I have been showing and selling my work both in Bastion Square and now down on the Inner Harbor causeway. My online sales continue to grow also.
AIP: Why do you choose Art Ink to print your reproductions, and what products to you order from us?
PR: Since 2012 I have been using Art Ink exclusively to do my printing. They have great customer service and the highest quality work. It doesn’t hurt that they are all fine people as well! I always enjoy my visits there.
AIP: If you could look back in time and meet yourself when you first started making an income as an artist; what would be the most valuable piece of advice you would give yourself?
PR: The advice I would give my 19 year old self would be what applies to every other aspect of life as well and that is to always trust your intuition. Not 99% of the time but 100%. It will never let you down. The other advice took a little longer to completely grasp and implement as a young man but that advice is that when anybody in a more powerful position is purposefully mean or insulting it doesn’t say anything about you but instead it says everything about them.
Imagine by Peter Robertson
AIP: What are your favorite methods for marketing yourself as a self representing artist?
PR: I hugely enjoy point-of-sale because I love the interaction with my buyers. I like win/win scenarios and making a positive impact on as many people as I possibly can. People will remember you just as much as the artwork they bought and when they look at it or wear it the good feelings of that meeting will hopefully surface. I would miss point-of-sale very much if I couldn’t do it.
AIP: Can you tell us an event or occasion which excited you the most, with regards to getting your art ‘out there’ for people to see?
PR: I did the Moss Street Paint in for 3 years running starting in 2003 and that was exciting and fun each year! Fortunately the weather was great every time.
AIP: Where can our followers and your patrons find your work, and keep up to date with your new creations?
PR: I’m in the process of getting a complete re-vamp of my website but it has been the same for a long time: www.westcoastartgroup.com
AIP: Any other comments you would like to share?
PR: To people just getting started in the business of marketing themselves and their artwork I would say these things: Never stop working. I think being creative is a direct link to the cosmos/creator and you are helped along the way many times when you least expect it. The other thing is never get discouraged. Get frustrated, sure, but always out of frustration comes something else.
Thank-you so much Peter for your story and advice, we always enjoy your highly detailed work!