Sunday, 21 October 2012 02:30
By D Francis
Antigua St. John's - A local artist is appealing to her fellow artists to focus more on lucrative markets in order to realize their full potential for economic gains in the field.
The call comes from Dunelyn Parker, who has been involved in art nearly all her life.
“I started to draw when I was very young ... it’s something I love to do personally, although there is some interest in art within the family ... like my mother she does a bit, but any help she needs being a seamstress I would do it.”
In an interview with Caribarena, Parker said she believes that in these economically challenging times artists must do research, examine the market and see what appeals to the eyes of the customer.
“It doesn’t make much sense for an artist to be doing lots of work that will not sell. Find out what type of art people like and focus more on that. If you keep drawing or painting work that people may not like, you will be stuck with the pieces, then you will become frustrated and may eventually give up.”
She was asked to give her views on why most artists in Antigua cannot use their discipline as a regular ‘job’, as they complain that it is just not feasible.
Parker replied: “You know what ... we can, depending on what type of art we specialize in. The graphic designers, magazine artists, billboard artists etc, these artists would make more money as opposed to other artists who draw or paint a piece and try to sell it.
When we paint or draw a piece of art, we can’t afford to sell it for little or nothing after we’ve put in our skills and time to create that particular piece and finances for the materials.
“Most times, people say they love the piece yes, but they just can’t pay what we are asking for. A lot of the times it’s the foreigners/visitors who would look, choose and buy on the spot. I think it’s easier if artists take their art to a store who sells artwork rather than trying to sell it on their own.”
Parker said she loves art in general, and doesn’t have an area that she specializes in or particular scenery that she enjoys doing.
“I draw whatever I feel like drawing. Sometimes I start out with this particular focus and end up with something else. I mostly work with acrylic but I also use various techniques such as pencil, crayon, oil pastels, charcoal and graphite.
“I also use different types of materials to get various effects. I also do a bit of photography. When I started first, I use to take my work to studios to get prints but I wasn’t too happy with the results, so I started to do my own printing as well.”
Parker said she participated in a number of exhibitions at the former Woods Gallery, State College and Art at the Ridge to promote her work and the reviews have been encouraging.
“I’ve been drawing like forever and I’ve gotten better and better at it over the years.”
She also spoke of certain areas that she will like to promote in order to excel in the art world.
“I want to market my art more and develop my skills. I do a lot of research on the web to see the latest trends in art. I love glass art ... I don’t really do that type of art but I love it and have an interest in its latest creations and how it is done. Also I want to sell more of my work and if there are young people who have an interest in the field and would like my help, I am willing to work something out.”
To parents who may have budding artists in the household she advised: “Don’t discourage them ... a lot of students use art as a ‘make-up’ subject maybe because of the limited understanding and negative feedback they’ve been getting about art. Whether or not they have art as a main focus, they must ensure that they develop their skills in other areas as well in order to be multifaceted and not become ‘starving’ artists.”
Parker also pushes the importance of exposure and practice to become ‘masters’ at what they do.
“Always scope out the market and try to enter exhibitions as much as possible … draw more and paint more … I know some artists today who were ‘green’ so to speak when they started out and if you see their work today it’s just amazing. So that’s why practice and more practice is very important. Art is one of those things you just have to practice.”
Parker reminds everyone that art is reflected all around us in our everyday lives, and if the public is more sensitized on its impact she believes appreciation for the discipline will definitely increase on the local level.