Editor’s Note: Earlier this month, I caught up with Erica Nazzaro – our featured artist this month – to talk about her art and the business of being an artist. For those of you following along with our blogs and on social media, you’ll notice a theme this month. We are highlighting the challenges and triumphs of the modern day creative person. Not only must they be exceptional at their trade, but they must also be a savvy business person.
When Jack and I met Erica Nazzaro at an art show earlier this year, we were instantly struck by her personality. She was excited to talk with us, forthcoming with information when we asked her questions and followed up with us after taking our business cards. She also asked us to join her mailing list, which we did. In short, her artwork drew us to her, her personality kept us there and her networking skills kept us coming back. I greatly appreciated the enthusiasm she’s shown toward establishing a sincere connection. As an editor this attitude makes a world of difference when considering which artists to pursue and which artists to pass on.
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The Fictional Café: Your paintings are realistic and imaginative at the same time. Do you paint from your imagination or do you paint from scenes?
Erica Nazzaro: I do plein air painting most of the time. Lately, I’ve been using Instagram for inspiration. I find black and white photos that I like and reimagine them – painting them in my own way and adding color. So far, all of the artists I’ve contacted for permission to do this have said yes, which has been great.
FC: When did you realize that being and artist was what you wanted to do?
EN: In August 2012 I was offered a residency at the Dunes of Provincetown. That’s when I started to put myself out there to the world. Then I started working with a group of women artists who were very supportive of me. They ranged from beginners to 20-year career artists and they really jump-started me to get out there.
FC: Over the past three years, your art has been shown at over 40 different exhibitions. Do you have any tips for young artists to help them get their work shown?
EN: The advice that I got was “just say yes,” to exhibitions, interviews, whatever. Saying yes and not letting fears block me. I would also say to be really friendly, welcome people when they arrive at your shows and thank them for coming. Marketing is so important. You should have a good, updated website and always stay humble.
FC: Do you use social media? If so, which platform?
EN: I do use social media. I’m on Instagram.
FC: If time and money were not factors, what places would you like to paint?
EN: I would like to go back to the hills of Italy. Back to Gubbio. Or to tropical forests to paint waterfalls like in Belize or Hawaii.
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You can find Erica’s art on her website and in exhibitions throughout Boston.