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The first money you made as an artist?

My local MacDonald's hired me to paint a man picking up trash on the sides of all their trash cans. I had to make a stencil and use spray paint. I was seventeen. I forget how much I was paid. But I remember the prestige.
JunebugrgrGERARD61EstherHRonnaCastillo[Deleted User]saugeangel[Deleted User]
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Comments

  • I would never have guessed because your work is sooooooooo good! :)
    EstherHRon
  • I sold my first painting about 10m yrs ago. The Watercolor group I belong to have an annual exhibition in the local Library. I popped in one day to hear someone say "here is the Artist, this gentleman has just bought your painting". The Man in question was a sort of colleague of my husband, both musicians he amateur with delusions of grandeur and my husband professional and very down to earth.My Married name is Berrill, he was pronouncing it with an Italian accent,probably couldnt read my signature, thought he was getting a painting by someone with an exotic sounding name...you want to see his jaw drop when he saw it was me ! He paid up, about &70.00. Never bought another one off me but thankfully others have :)
    RonSummerEstherHsaugeangel
  • @marieb, well forget the story behind the sale! Still a sale is a sale and he didn't know what a find he had! You made me laugh!
    Summer
  • @Ron, the painting was quite good too..boosted my morale no end ;)
    Summersaugeangel
  • July 2014. A guy I played golf with asked me to paint one for him and he paid me for it. If only I could sell enough to quit my day job, maybe someday.
    SummerCastillosaugeangel
  • I sold a painting I did of my uncle when he was 20 (circa late 1930's) to my aunt for $200.00. This was in 1973 when $200 was real money. It was really a cool painting if I do say so myself. Thanks for the topic and the memories.
    SummerCastillosaugeangel
  • Outstanding, Castillo. The story, as well. :)
    EstherH
  • 1st place prize for a library Art contest was a $25 savings bond when I was 10. I drew a picture of the early presidents going in and out of the Library of Congress reading books. Markers on posterboard.
    mariebsaugeangel
  • SummerSummer -
    edited September 2015
    @Anwario I'm so in awe of your accomplishment at the age of ten. You must be very proud. Thank you for sharing this wonderful achievement with us. Summer
  • Some

    So did lightning strike twice?

    Nice story. So how come it went from $5 to $100 in a few days?

    Denis
  • @ dencal Sorry, i was just thinking he would give me 5.
  • @some I'm still laughing as I write this. My guess is that this kind of luck has been with you all your life. Great story. Summer
  • This is a very very good story! Thanks!
  • About 52 yrs ago I painted an oil about 18"x 24" and gave it to my cousin. It was an old Adobe jail with a dirt floor with a prisoner sitting on the floor leaning against the wall with a stripped uniform feeding a rat some of his bread.
    A news reporter was in his home for a story The reporter offered to buy the painting for $300 ,so my cousin sold him my gift.
    Does that count. :/
    saugeangelRon
  • SummerSummer -
    edited October 2015
    @billj Yes. It certainly does count. I don't know of any of my works re-selling--which is what the art world is all about, the money part of it anyway. Who knows what your painting sells for today. In that respect, you are a winner. On the other hand, selling a gift has a tinge of sadness to it. Thanks for sharing this story with us. I've never read anything like it. It's unique. I'm including an image that sort of says it all for me. A picture is worth a thousand words--or a thousand dollars!

    Castillosaugeangel
  • @billj I know what that's like.

    @Summer I too agree with you



    Summer
  • @saugeangel What an amazing story you have to tell. The portrait in pastels is breathtaking to me. First money at seventeen, then. I had to wait two more years before I earned any. I'm delighted to know your story and that you shared it with us. Thank you. Summer :)
    saugeangelmarieb
  • Excellent , what are you doing now?
    saugeangel
  • edited October 2015
    @billj I continued being a street portrait artist for 20 years. I absolutely adored doing it and it was a special time in my life. I then went full into IT and became a web designer, programmer and general computer geek, which I also loved, although I still did the odd painting commission here and there. But now that I have a renewed passion for painting, I have now put the computer stuff on the back burner and returned to painting. I still do my computer stuff, but I am getting commissions for my art now, so I am over the moon

    @Summer Thank you for your kind comments. I saw your beautiful studio setup yesterday, and I hope one day to have one like that. :-)
  • I look forward to the day I can add a story to this thread! Currently my wife says I'd need to pay people myself to take away my works.
    somemariebSummerEstherH
  • edited October 2015
    I used to do freelance political and issue cartoons. This is the only one I could find. It was used in a local newspaper ad here in DC, captioned "Kick the Recession in the Inaugural ...."
    SummerCastilloAlberto
  • @Martin_J_Crane Irish Politicians and Bankers could do with a kick in the same part of the anatomy
    Summer[Deleted User]
  • SummerSummer -
    edited December 2015
    Thanks @Martin_J_Crane for adding your story to this thread. I used to draw cartoons and started a series called IQ inspired by just living with my husband (He's smarter than me.) Before I could get it published someone else came up with a series using the same name and it never came to anything. I'm sure I've seen "CRANE" cartoons in the newspapers over the years. That was YOU? How exciting, maybe we can add a Category for original cartoons to this forum. After all the CONTENT is realism--haha. I can't thank you enough for adding to this thread. You are so interesting! Summer
    Martin_J_Crane
  • Thanks, Summer! The only paper I was carried in was a California paper called "State Capital Today" or something like that. I did the AFL-CIO's issue cartoons for the Bush v. Kerry election and drew for a couple of other organizations. It was fun.
    Summer
  • my first career was playing the violin in my teens. Then I was an acrobat - I sold my first painting to random friend of friend on internet about a year ago . He collects paintings. 

    Sold a few more after that - one another friend of friend and another to an acquaintance who needed painting for a theatre show. 

    trying to figure out business stuff now as I am doing a scholarship year. 

    wrote proposals for few galleries and art fair stuff - as well as thinking of online options via facebook, instagram, vlog. 

    donno - but I really want to make painting my career as I dont want to do anything else in my life. 
  • @nada ; You're showing a good start by being able to actually sell your paintings.  And, you are getting a lot of feet-on-the-ground experience in the real art world.  It's all about friendships and connections, don't loose that.  Build on them.  Being a part of DMP is also a good thing that you are doing.  Looking forward to watching your art life unfold.  Keep us posted.  I admire your drive, passion and enthusiasm.  Summer  :)
    nada
  • Summer said:
    @nada ; You're showing a good start by being able to actually sell your paintings.  And, you are getting a lot of feet-on-the-ground experience in the real art world.  It's all about friendships and connections, don't loose that.  Build on them.  Being a part of DMP is also a good thing that you are doing.  Looking forward to watching your art life unfold.  Keep us posted.  I admire your drive, passion and enthusiasm.  Summer  :)
    Thanks - soooo difficult mew!!!!! LOL
    Summer
  • SummerSummer -
    edited December 2015
    Ron said:
    I wish the web existed when I was in school!

    Yeah!  So do I.  For me, because of the web, it's like going to school all over again and starting at square one!  Only this time it's better with all the new authors, YouTube, technology and DMP!  :)
  • @davidwwilson ; Thank you for your contribution to this thread. What a delightful story about an uncanny set of circumstances.  I can just imagine your youthful exuberance.  You tell the story well.  Summer
  • I did a painting when i was in High School for a guy that was starting a truckbed lining company, he wanted a Kimoto dragon, I worked so hard on that painting, then he took the painting and never paid me. sigh... 
    dencalMartin_J_Crane[Deleted User]Castillo
  • David

    A sad tale. But an early lesson that made you stronger as an artist.

    BTW I've been meaning to ask about your palette. Why do you use three lead whites?

    Denis

  • I did a painting when i was in High School for a guy that was starting a truckbed lining company, he wanted a Kimoto dragon, I worked so hard on that painting, then he took the painting and never paid me. sigh... 
    David,  Thank you for your story.  Sobering!  You are not going to believe this, but I did a dragon painting for a man and I worked really hard on that painting as well.  He loved it!  His family loved it!  I loved it!  And, he never got around to paying me either.  He's dead now.  Summer
    dencaldavidkassan
  • @MeganS ;  Megan.  Thanks for today's post. It's nice to meet you, have a face to match the name MeganS, and to read about your list of accomplishments. You are one of the artists on DMP whom I have admired from the beginning--last May (2015). Thank you so much for letting us know about the recent $500 commission (curious to see unless it's private), the high school painting contest, and other recollections. You're such a delight! I love reading your posts and seeing your first-rate art works. Summer


    EstherH
  • I wish I still looked like that! That pic was taken 20 years ago! 

    On on my website, www.megstineman.com the commission portrait is called Niall. It was the painting that taught me that I dislike linen. 


  • @MeganS ; Love the painting Niall.  Couldn't be better.  I've bookmarked your website and will be sure to check in every once in a while.  I'm still experimenting with various surfaces too.   
  • SummerSummer -
    edited February 2016
    shypoet said:
    My first payments came from selling actual rocks I had painted,  from the top of my driveway - age 9. 
    What a sweet money-making activity and story about a nine-year-old.  I tried to imagine it and found a feast of painted rocks here: https://www.google.com/search?q=painted+rocks&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls={moz:distributionID}:{moz:locale}:{moz:official}&tbm=isch&gws_rd=ssl. I think that I may even give it a try with some leftover paint this summer.  :)

    [Deleted User]
  • dencal said:
    David

    A sad tale. But an early lesson that made you stronger as an artist.

    BTW I've been meaning to ask about your palette. Why do you use three lead whites?

    Denis

    Three? I like Vasari's Flake white best, but have been playing with Hardings stack lead white. 
  • SummerSummer -
    edited February 2016
    I know leaded whites require special handling but over the years I've discovered that only the leaded whites give me the subtleties that satisfies my color vision.  Just saying. 
  • SummerSummer -
    edited February 2016

    @davidwwilson ;  From what I've been reading, artist's paints were exempted in the original lead paint ban in the 70s. But the word spread about the dangers and it's becoming increasingly hard to find and much more expensive to buy as a result. Some people are making their own these days. You can order Williamsburg Handmade oil paint, flake white, lead-based from Jerry's Artarama, $47.66, 150 ml tube.  And as mentioned earlier in this thread, David Kassan is using Vasari's Flake white and experimenting with Hardings stack lead white.  I've used leaded paints for decades and especially when I did portraits because they had better transparency--although, I learned from Mark, that if you thin titanium white it will be less opaque.  I haven't tried that yet.  I've read and heard that the paint film of leaded paint is stronger and it's more resistant to cracking and I found that to be true in my own experience. I'm not using leaded paints right now because I'm taking Mark's two-year course and giving Geneva paints a try. But I will begin using leaded paints again in the future. I also haven't tried leaded white paints with Mark's SDM but since leaded paints dry quickly, I think that I might like to try to extend the drying time with Mark's SDM and whatever else I may have to add to it.  My own experience from using it years ago, and the main thing, was that it was warmer in color and I seemed to get more subtle color gradations and less chalkiness with the leaded paints.  I've read and experienced that lead white has a lower tinting strength too, which means that you use fewer pigments in the tints which will offset the higher cost of the lead-based whites today.  We just have to use more caution when using leaded whites, that's all.



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