Teresa Saluzzo is a painter and owner of Winding Rose Studio in Fortuna. Once focusing on weaving and ceramics, she now spends the majority of her time with a canvas, painting the things that inspire her; chiefly nature, atmospheric effects, light, and florals. She currently paints out of her house in Fortuna, the walls of which are decorated with beautifully crafted wallpaper reminiscent of Humboldt’s early culture, as well as a number of art pieces she’s completed and several others she’s collected over the years.
The Business of Art
I really wanted to know how Teresa lives with her Art and how she runs the business side of things. Here’s what I learned, and some things I was reminded of:
- To sell art, if selling is your goal, you need to be an aggressive business person. While quality is always our first priority as artists, it’s hard — if not impossible — to succeed without putting time into the business side of things.
- To accomplish larger goals, we need to set short term goals, and we need to work towards them every day.
- Being a successful artist takes a lot of personal motivation, and it takes practicing your art every day. We have to be our own boss, and we have to spend part of every day promoting ourselves by blogging, writing grants, submitting work to exhibitions, etc.
- When writing grants or finding residencies, it’s important to find grants or opportunities that fit you and only apply to those. Not all opportunities are made equal and if your artwork or art making process doesn’t fit with the opportunity, time is better spent elsewhere.
Teresa’s Experience with Open Studios
After a discussion about Teresa’s life as an artist and her inspirations, I asked what her experience with Open Studios has been like.
- She’s been hosting an Open Studio for three consecutive years getting about 30 visitors on average.
- To prep for guests, she does a number of things. The first, of course, is cleaning, but not too much. Visitors like to see our mess.
- She sends postcards out to her email list.
- She leaves a guest book for visitors to sign and join her email list.
- She leaves balloons and signs to lead visitors to her studio, sometimes putting art by the fence, if the weather permits.
- She sends info to other artists and vice versa as a form of cross advertising. Having a nice take-away, leave-behind, or post-card is an excellent way to do this as well.
I asked Teresa what Open Studios brought her and she said it introduced her to the local art community; one where it’s less competitive and artists embrace each other and have interest in their work. Visiting Teresa’s studio was a beautiful experience, and if you can’t make it in person, you can find her work HERE.