We recently connected with Redin Winter and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Redin, thanks for joining us today. The first dollar you earn is always exciting – it’s like the start of a new chapter and so we’d love to hear about the first time you sold or generated revenue from your creative work?
I am so thankful that the first revenue I earned from painting taught me an important lesson about value. It was the end of 2018. After twenty years of sporadic private painting sessions, I had recently decided to call myself a professional visual artist and release my art to the world. I honestly had no idea what I was doing in terms of the business side of the art world. I had done some research on pricing and that was about it. I put a painting on eBay as I had read somewhere that some artists find an audience in these types of online platforms. I wanted to test the waters with an audience that did not know me. I put a small 12in x 12in abstract painting framed in a small floater frame online for $50.00. The painting sold by the next day. The buyer was an interior designer from the Midwest and a complete stranger to me. I was ecstatic. I hollered to my family that the painting had sold. I even did a little dancing in the living room. There was an energy glowing from my face. In that moment I felt reassured. I had taken this bold step to put my work out there and, in that moment, it felt as though I was on top of the world. Just two weeks later, the painting I sold came up in my search engine. It had been placed in an online auction house out of Ohio and the painting had sold for over $200.00. This is when I began to delve into the art industry in a more specific way and learn the value of creating original art pieces. I also immediately raised my prices to reflect the value of original fine art.
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 had just completed an intensive six-year PhD program in Theatre when I decided to change directions and focus on painting. Painting was my personal reset button after long months of seminars, research, and writing. I needed to get away from the analysis, the writing and get back to expressing myself in a non-academic way. I slowly focused my painting practice on abstraction after taking abstract art classes at Art on 30th in North Park. Non-representational painting was harder and that intrigued me to explore the form on a deeper level, as well as my desires to paint. It allowed me to find my voice as a painter. I paint original, one-of a kind paintings. My main mediums of choice are acrylic paint, acrylic inks, and texturing paste. I will sometimes use charcoal, especially in early layers. I enjoy spending months on paintings, using thin layers of paints and mediums to build up history on the canvas. Due to the process, I usually work on an entire series of paintings at once moving back and forth between canvases. Many describe my work as atmospheric, ethereal, multi-dimensional, and sensual. For me the paintings capture an essence, an emotional value inspired by nature and natural elements through a lens of abstraction.
What can society do to ensure an environment that’s helpful to artists and creatives?
Value it and make room for it! There is no way that artists and creatives can compete with these large, big box chain companies that can turn a profit selling something below market value. We have to price and value our work differently because it is different. Perhaps it is handmade or one-of-a kind which is going to have a different wholesale cost than something reproduced thousands of times. We need to refocus our energy on valuing the artist and artisan, get to know them and their story, value their labor, and create spaces wherein artists and creatives can share their work with others. Imagine if everything in our homes had that kind of special value to it. On a larger social level, a creative ecosystem thrives when artists and creatives are funded. I believe every state should have grants and scholarship funding. Every city should have an affordable space center where artists and creatives can work. Some cities in the US have a percentage of workspaces especially for artists and entrepreneurs that can be rented for below market rate. The thing about an ecosystem is every level must demonstrate that creativity is an important value we hold as a society.
Can you share your view on NFTs? (Note: this is for education/entertainment purposes only, readers should not construe this as advice)
I have done a lot of research into NFT’s and after months of learning about them and talking with other artists, I decided they were not something I was interested in at this time. There are three reasons I have decided to stay away from them. First of all, I don’t make prints or reproductions of my work now, so if I was going to move into the NFT market, I would want to create something specific for that audience and I currently am not excited about that prospect. Secondly, while there is great success to be found in the market, there have also been quite a few horror stories. At this point in time, I do not find the decentralized market to be something I am willing to take a risk on. Third, the environmental impact and cost of gas to mint NFT’s is an important factor to consider when deciding on NFT’s. There are groups working on environmentally friendly options, but as of right now, I am not convinced it is a direction I wish to take with my creative practice. For anyone interested in NFT’s, I just suggest to do research, make a plan, and move forward cautiously.