We had the good fortune of connecting with Rebecca Robb and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rebecca, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor to my success as an artist, in very simple terms, is to keep creating art! Of course, that is a much more complex question, especially for artists in particular, because being in the creative business is so multifaceted. Besides having to create our products, we need to do our own advertising and marketing, which requires our own photography and editing, all so that we can then make our own sales. For fine artists it’s not just about making a great product and then focusing on marketing that one product, each painting is a new product, different from the last, and consumes all our emotions and energy. It becomes our whole world from start to finish. Therefore, an artist is almost always in creation mode. Everything else we have to do to exhibit our art (both online and in galleries) and to sell our art is a juggling act, an act which actually requires professional know-how. Educational degrees and entire companies are dedicated to advertising, marketing and sales, because how well one markets a product is more important to a sale than the product itself. More so than ever 2020 has seen to it that for creatives it’s all about e-commerce and social media. I have recently learned that social media isn’t about how talented a creative is or how beautiful their art. A platform rewards a user for how much they utilize the marketing tools provided. Users who attract more attention to a platform are rewarded with more views and followers. I recently had a conversation with someone in art sales who said there are many mediocre artists who are very successful while many incredibly talented artists are completely unknown all because of their ability, or lack of, to successfully market their work. So unless you are especially good at social media and marketing, becoming a known artist is a slow and laborious journey. Fortunately, there is something inexplicably enchanting about art that supersedes marketing mastery. Despite all the bells and whistles of successful social media icons, people truly love to see genuine art, specifically to get an inside peak at an artist’s creative process. When I feel overwhelmed by the demands of marketing my paintings, or when I feel directionless in my efforts to connect with and find my place in the art community, my go to move is to create something new. Every time I paint a new painting and share it with the world, something good happens, usually in the form of reaching a new client, or being featured in a local magazine. After I have exhausted all my social media efforts, networking with galleries, and have explored all known avenues to increase my sales, painting is the one thing I can always count on. The more I paint the more I succeed. I spend hours creating beautiful posts and fun videos for instagram. I invest a necessary amount of time and energy marketing and selling my work. Many times I see results from these efforts. However, as an upcoming artist and a relative newbie to using social media as a marketing platform, growing my audience is slow going. So, as I take two steps forward and one step back in my marketing growth, I try to keep grounded in the reason I am learning to master marketing in the first place -I just love to paint! And that is what has brought me to where I am today, and undoubtedly will boost me forward. When I feel “stuck” I go back to my literal drawing board. I let go of the pressures of everything I “should” to be doing to be a successful artist, and I paint. I do what I know and love over and over again! The more of my work and process I share with everyone the more of a response and return I receive. This year, the famous 2020, when art-walk was canceled for the first time ever, a gut blow to artists all over San Diego, and Stefanie Bales Fine Art, the gallery and amazing artist I collaborate with, had to shut down for a time, I painted more paintings than any other year in my life. I also have sold more paintings this year than any other. I see my sales as a direct result of continuous creating despite my clumsy marketing. Every painting shows the world a little more of my creativity and style, and from that painting, another individual reaches out and is excited to work with me to create an inspired personalized art-piece for themselves or a loved one, and that art-piece goes on to inspire someone else to reach out, and the cycle goes on.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art work takes me through a variety of subjects influenced by my extensive world travels. I was born in Brazil to American expats. During my childhood my family traveled around a lot. Every few years we moved to a new country and I learned about their culture. Throughout my childhood I sampled incredibly extensive and varied sceneries from paradise beaches in Brazil, vast flatlands of Argentina, dry deserts of Lima contrasting with the rural jungles of Tingo Maria, Peru, to the deep blue Andes Mountains visible throughout Chile like walls of a fortress. I always loved being out in nature, usually appreciating it from high up in a tree. I lived on large farms with cows, horses and pigs, in the center of large noisy cities, in artsy quaint beach towns, on high-altitude llama-populated hills, and down in windy red-dirt desert lands. My appreciation for traveling manifested itself as a young adult. In my early twenties I spent three years volunteering in Africa. I fully anticipated but didn’t have an ounce of culture shock when I got there. I felt right at home. I remember feeling soul-free wondering the jungle on the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro listening to captivating calls of monkeys, birds and insects collectively forming a melodious choir. There are no words to describe the hypnotic calm of gazing at rainbows forming in the mist of Victoria Falls while standing drenched on it’s enormous ledges as powerful columns of water roar downward. It’s a precious thing to come face to face with African wildlife, although it happens regularly. I felt humbled and honored to meet each elephant, even when it was my twentieth. I drove through the Serengeti, waded barefoot on the banks of lake Tanganyika, which locals proudly refer to as “the beach” to which I just chuckled inwardly and momentarily longed for the aquamarine waves and warm salty pools of Brazil’s ocean. My travels took me to 13 countries in central, east and south Africa as well as 8 European countries. Each country is like its own continent with its own revered landmarks and unique terrain that makes you want to slow down and appreciate nature’s tempo and simplicity of life. My art is a reflection of my eagerness to depict everything I know and love on this earth. I feel excited to explore and experience something from a new perspective, and equally eager to paint it. I love to observe color dance and harmonize as light moves within its surroundings. A painting rendered is my nostalgia surfacing from within wanting to be captured in it’s most perfect memory. So I paint the moment that brings me back to the time I watched horses running through the Argentine grasslands, or when I swam with exotic fish through Zanzibar’s corals. I even painted the giant willow tree I spent hours playing under when I was 6 years old pretending I was a flying horse and the willow was my home. My desire is to paint images that will stir your nostalgia and awaken your most wonderful memories and imaginations.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I am an absolute beach lover, my priority for all my guests is to show off our beautiful beaches. My favorite beach is Coronado. I go there with my family more than anywhere else. It is one of the best places in San Diego to swim and sunbathe. Coronado is a wide flat beach with calm water so it is great for that “perfect beach day” with the whole family. After a day at the beach we have a family tradition of walking to Moo Time, an excellent creamery in the center of Coronado. Anytime someone visits us from out of town, we share our nostalgic ice-cream experience with them. My go to Moo Time flavors are Stracciatella and Roasted Coconut. When we are in need of a sporty activity, we love to paddle-board at Mission Bay. There are so many great activities for all ages in the area, as well as fantastic places to eat, all right on the water. When we are in the mood for sightseeing and picnicking, La Jolla is our beach of choice. There are wild sea lions sunbathing along the rocks and sand bank, and a large grassy picnic area with amazing views all around. It is a great place to hang out if you don’t have an agenda and just want to chill and be immersed in beautiful scenery.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Stefanie Bales has been a huge support early on in my art career. A few months after I decided to be a full-time artist I met Stefanie at one of her artist receptions at Adelman Fine Art gallery. Stefanie Bales is a fine artist who has developed her own unique process using mixed media. She has more than a decade of experience in the art world, including teaching art at Platt college, San Diego. About three years ago, Stefanie opened her first solo art gallery and we connected again to discuss an artist collaboration. I have been working with her at Stefanie Bales Fine Art gallery since the day of her grand opening. It has been an enlightening experience to say the least. I am exposed to all the challenges and joys involved in running a fine art gallery. Stefanie is an incredibly graceful business owner. She is so creative in everything she does, not only when creating fine art. Working with Stefanie has taught me so much about the business side of being an artist and I am so grateful that she has given me a space to learn and grow in our local community. Collaborating with a seasoned artist has also exposed me to an amazing community of people who are eager to support their local artists. Every time we hold a gallery event, I am always overwhelmed and touched by how many people are eager to come out to show their love and support. It’s always a moving experience for us when someone buys one of our original paintings. Stefanie and I text each other in celebration when either of us sell an original. It’s special to know that something we created with our emotions and intellect, and that is a little piece of our hearts, spoke to someone so much that they need it hanging in their home or commercial space. It’s a magical moment that always requires celebrating.

Website: rebeccarobbfineart.com
Instagram: @rebeccarobbfineart
Linkedin: Rebecca Robb
Twitter: @RebeccaRobbArt
Facebook: @rebeccarobbfineart

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