We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Gloria Green a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Gloria, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today. Do you wish you had waited to pursue your creative career or do you wish you had started sooner?
At the core of my career is a deep love for both art and science. I have two “careers” On weekdays, I am a pediatric clinical dietitian, looking after children with cancer at SickKids hospital, Toronto, Canada for 28 years. I devote my weekends and evenings (and just about every moment I can) to my work as an abstract artist — managing both the creative and business side of my art. I create abstract art paintings, I have been doing so for 18 years.
My goal is to exclusively focus my attention on painting and my art career. One of the hardest things that comes with being an artist is the uncertainty and unpredictability, you often don’t know when you will have a sale, which means being creative and resourceful, and always improving your talents and expanding your audience.
Another challenge, though a rewarding one, is the need to constantly diversify – whether that’s finding new ways to make your own original art stand out, or finding new mediums for people to discover and enjoy your work.
I had to learn a lot of new skills to figure out how to get my work in front of the people who would connect with it most. For me, promoting my new work on social media and engaging with followers is such an integral part of my own personal business — as well as updating my website, ordering supplies, keeping abreast of trends, and so on. So much goes on behind the scenes. Marketing, sales, promotion, supplying stock, accounting, and networking are all such huge parts of the professional entrepreneur’s journey, but these elements are hardly ever spoken of. It took a lot of hard work, research, and trial and error. I am still learning and growing. But passion is the biggest motivator, and it’s been incredibly rewarding to watch this business grow.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers?
I consider my art to be a form of story-telling; because I paint abstract pieces, I can be free from translating ideas too literally to the canvas. I can leave room for viewers to see their own emotions and inspirations reflected within the art. I try to engage viewers in my work, bringing them in by freely experimenting with colour, medium, and technique. I prefer to work on large-scale, eye-catching pieces, people that gravitate towards my work tend to be art-lovers, collectors, curators, or decorators who are drawn to bold or unique ideas and complex stories. If the art speaks to you, you’ll be drawn to it. Art completes a room, ignites passion, provokes conversation and emotion, and enhances a room or space. That’s what I love about it, and that’s what I love about this area of work.
I am represented by Petroff Gallery (Toronto, Canada) and Tacit Collective for prints. I am part of the Tacit art collective at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario). My works are collected by private collectors (Toronto, Canada).
Any insights you can share with us about how you built up your social media presence?
I’m somewhat of a technophobe, and these days, social media is such a big part of being a self-started artist. I have concentrated my social media efforts on Instagram. I am continuously learning when it comes to this platform. I follow and engage with fellow artists who I respect and admire, and it is great to have an online community. It can be challenging to gain followers and create a presence. I continue to take the time to engage consistently and will gradually build my audience through perseverance . My advice is to post regularly – at least three times a week – and engage with your followers and who you follow. Always reply to comments and thank them for taking the time view your work.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
Being resilient means facing difficulties head-on, drawing on a reservoir of strength during stress and hardship .The Matters of the Heart series emerged from my personal experience of stress induced cardiomyopathy — also known as Broken Heart Syndrome. Over the course of my recovery, I was forced to reflect on what led me to that event, and to work through it. In order to heal, I had to find peace: to reset, and restore my energy. The series focuses on that stage of restoration: the bold colours, mixed media, and irregular lines evoke tension and release, thought and action — the tiny changes and big ideas that help repair a broken heart. With their richness and complexity, the statement pieces help bring a sense of harmony and purpose to any space.
- Website: www.glogreengallery.com
- Instagram: gloriagreenart