Saturday, October 30, 2010

Speaking in Public is Very Green!

Title: "Share the Journey" Buy online!
Medium: Encaustic (Beeswax and Damar Resin) 24" x 24"

On my journey to help the environment I have thought a lot about how to get my message out. Yes... my paintings using reclaimed materials speaks about our environment, but I needed to take the next step. I realized my paintings alone weren't enough and that I needed to talk about them as well.

I am the type of person that is perfectly happy in the background watching others in the spotlight. So the thought of standing in front of a microphone in front of a crowd was not on my list of fun things to do. However, if I wanted to reach large groups of people I decided I would have to jump in and find a way to make public speaking part of my life.

The more I thought about public speaking the more it made since to me. It doesn't take a lot of resources to speak in public and yes, I could go to a networking meeting and meet about ten different people who may or may not be interested in the environment. However, if I spent the same about of time and spoke at that same event, I would reach all of the people at the meeting plus, after the meeting people who would be interested in my work and the environment most likely would come up to me.

Last month, I joined a local Toastmasters group to learn more skills about speaking in public. I wasn't sure what to expect or what I would learn. To my surprise, every member in my group reached out to me to help! How refreshing to see so many people helping each other and sharing their stories. When Mitch McInnis, my speech mentor who was assigned to me, asked if I would donate some art for their upcoming Toastmaster's conference, I decided to create a piece inspired by all the people who have helped me.

Toastmasters will auction my original encaustic painting by selling raffle tickets to raise funds this weekend. After I finished the painting titled: "Share the Journey," I thought about how I could use the image further. I recently went to a workshop by Debra Cortese about licensing art, so I have been thinking a lot about how to sell my images to different markets. I found a print on demand website to try out the idea of selling prints, mugs, totes and cards to provide items for convention goers who wanted the painting, but didn't win the raffle as well as something they can purchase anytime after the conference.

Check out my new online store and let me know what you think! Thanks...