It was an evening jam-packed with information. Six artists (Keith AllenCathie BleckHilary GentMike GuyotJess SheeranSalli S. Swindell) sat down with Linda Barberic to discuss selling artwork. This is the last in a three part series of blog posts. Part One discusses the artists’ best advice, Part Two gives tips on how and where to sell art. In this blog post artists share how they stay fresh and inspired.

Salli has a daily routine in the morning – her most creative time of the day. Her routine involves coffee, cats, colors and posting artwork on Instagram. Creating artwork just because Salli wants to, as opposed to what clients want, is where her joy resides. Interestingly this artwork is what people want to buy.

Cathie enjoys experimenting with different art mediums. Fluidity and energy are important to her artwork. She helped form the Northern Ohio Illustrators Society. Cathie feels Cleveland is a great city for creating art in a supportive group atmosphere. Organizations such as Zygote Press, BRICK Ceramic + Design Studio, Morgan Conservatory and Praxis Fiber Workshop are great ways for artists to meet other artists and try new mediums. She is inspired by creating art with friends as well as tending to her garden.

Hilary advises artists to get out of their own headspace and think about what other artists are doing. Let other peoples’ art be an inspiration.

Featured Image: Salli S. Swindell, Cathie Bleck, and Hilary Gent.
Above: Jess Sheeran, Keith Allen and Mike Guyot.   Photos: Laura Dempsey

Jess was inspired by a creative group of friends and colleagues. She would wake up early before work to sew new creations. Jess takes January off as a way to recharge. Including time for herself everyday is important also.

Keith, inspired by colleagues at American Greetings and their art blog posts, started to make small three dimensional paper toys and post them on his blog. This led to a bigger pop-up book passion that he admits is good for his soul. His kids’ tidiness, or lack thereof, was the inspiration for his pop-up book “What a Mess”. The Movable Book Society is full of inspirational and helpful pop-up book artists such as David Carter.

Mike keeps artwork fresh between traveling art shows by finding out what is unique in each city. He gathers these unique “must-sees” by stopping in a bar and asking the bartender where they would take an out of town guest. Mike then illustrates these iconic locations.


Artist and CDPUG member Ralph Bacon created this during the panel discussion.

It was suggested that an artist should take the word “work” out of your art keeps it fresh. Every artist is given a gift of creativity – enjoy that gift and try not to squeeze money out of every piece of art.

What inspires you? How do you keep it fresh?

Become a member of CDPUG now to have exclusive access to informative, innovative and fun programs! Most meetings are held at the Garfield Heights Public Library. They have a great Innovation Center just waiting for YOU!

It’s already been decided to repeat this successful program! Save the date – Thursday, January 28, 2021 for the third edition: “Successfully Selling Art: Completing the Triptych.”