Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Tatiana Kitchen. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Alright, Tatiana thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Can you take us back in time to the first dollar you earned as a creative – how did it happen? What’s the story?
At 19 years old I sold my first original painting at an outdoor venue called art-walk. Art-walk is an event local to Jacksonville, Florida that takes place on the first Wednesday of each month.
Tons of creatives of every kind set up canopy’s and tables to display their products, there’s usually so many people set up that the event stretches across a couple of blocks.
During that time there was always a large crowd of people that showed up to shop and hang out.
I remember being so excited to set up my artwork at my designated area which at the time consisted of just a table, a canopy, a couple of chairs, and the artwork of a friend who was also sharing that space with me.
We had decided to split the price of a 10′ by 10′ area in what was both of our first time displaying our art at a venue.
I believe I had about 6 paintings displayed at my table and my favorite one being a painting of my sister with fairy wings.
This was before I had developed any sort of unique art style, as I was basically fresh out of high school and had only recently decided to pursue a career in the arts.
I was very confident in my work because it felt like my first time being able to express myself in any way that I wanted without anyone to tell me otherwise.
There was a decent sized crowd that day but I wasn’t anxious or nervous at all because I just knew my work was amazing and that everyone would be eager to buy it all.
Throughout the evening a lot of people stopped by our table and complimented my friend and me on our work which was enough for me.
I decided that it was fine if I didn’t sell anything because I was content just having stepped out of my comfort zone to try something new.
Near the end of the evening a woman inquired about my fairy painting and seemed interested in buying it.
I had been so excited to get out there and set up that I hadn’t even thought of pricing any of my work.
I didn’t even know HOW to price artwork.
So I just told her $25.
I’m not sure how or why I landed on that price but that ended up being my first original painting sold.
Looking back on it I’m glad I have that story to tell as a comparison to how far I have come in my career.
Tatiana, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
My name is Tatiana Kitchen and I am a mother a visual artist and a muralist. So far in my career most of my murals have been collaborative projects with other local artists.
I paint for personal collections as well, a majority of which being portraits.
I like to make time to practice my craft as well in my home studio.
I love to work on murals, but my favorite moments usual involve the personal time that I put aside to express myself freely on canvas,
I create because I believe self expression is at the core of who I am, and I see the world as worthy of being admired and drawing inspiration from.
I believe each person has their own unique way of expressing them self and leaving a metaphorical mark on this world, and my way is through painting.
Is there mission driving your creative journey?
My mission is doing what brings me fulfillment, as well being a positive example of self authenticity for my son. I am a person that is big on values.
I fully believe in doing what you love in spite of the unpredictability of life.
Throughout the short but eventful 4 years of being a mother, I have found that being able to immerse myself in the world of art, and having a method of self expression allows me to be the most authentic version of myself in all other aspects of my life.
Any insights you can share with us about how you built up your social media presence?
Although I have taken a lot of time from social media within the past year or so to focus on my work more, I would encourage any artist to take advantage of its benefits. When I first began posting my art to Instagram and Facebook I wasn’t very consistent.
So I gave up easily because I wasn’t seeing a huge increase in followers and likes.
One of my very good friends who goes by Cooli_Ras_art on social media had began painting and posting every single day, and I noticed his social media presence rising very fast.
I felt inspired and motivated to do the same.
That was my introduction into learning that consistency is truly the key to success.
I figured if my friend could do it, then why couldn’t I?
After I began working and posting daily, my Instagram followers grew from about 100 to about 3,000 within a year which is relatively fast to me.
I would advise any creative wanting to grow their social media presence to just be consistent.
Even you are only posting a progress picture of a project, just post to stay relevant and use appropriate hashtags to really amp up your social media influence.
But also don’t get to caught up in numbers and likes all of the time. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, ‘who’ sees your work is just as important if not more important than ‘how many’ see it.
- Instagram: @ofphoenix