How has Malinda become a successful artist, who lives the life of her dreams?
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a successful artist? Do you have a drawing talent, but don’t know how to transform it into profit? Do you need an advice on how to impress the public with your art, and become a famous painter?
These days, I have done an interview with an aspiring artist, who can proudly say that she is already living her dream life. Her works of art have caught the attention of many art lovers,which proves that she is doing a great, good quality work, and that she can live of her art.
Malinda Prud’homme will in this interview tell you the story of her life, which is all but boring. Moreover, she will tell you how you can become an artist, and live of it, explaining it to you step by step. Yes, you can live of drawing and painting, and it is a very good life I must say. If you want to know how you can become a famous artist, be sure to read the entire interview.
Malinda Prud’homme is a young Canadian Mixed Media & Portrait Artist, who has enchanted may people with her works of art.
With many followers on social networks, her wallet is getting bigger and bigger, thanks to great works of art she paints every day. Women are in the focus of her work, and through her paintings, she wants to show the female beauty and the profusion they offer.
It is time for you to read some great advice given by Malinda Prud’homme, who will truly help you if you want to become an artist.
First of all, thank you for this interview. It’s a pleasure to interview an artist who is an inspiration to a lot of people around the world. Please, tell me why do you love your job?
It’s my pleasure! Why do I love my job? That’s a really tough question because I love it for a lot of reasons! I guess the most obvious answer is that I get to create artwork every day which is something I find enjoyable, a good challenge, and something that truly speaks to my soul.
I’m one of those people that believes I was born to create beautiful artwork. One of the most rewarding things is painting a cherished memory or portrait for a client, seeing their reaction to the piece, and knowing that it will be cherished for years to come. But I think those are the pretty commonly heard reasons.
I also love my job because I am my own boss. I make my own schedule, I’m responsible for my own research, and I have to keep my own records up to date. As a very organized person with high standards, I absolutely love not having to depend on the organizational skills and motivation of others.
I also love that there are so many different aspects to doing what I do. What I mean is, I have to be so much more than an artist. I have to put on the guise of a social media expert, a marketing strategist, an accountant, a product manufacturer, an event coordinator, and so much more. While it’s a challenge to balance it all (there truly are not enough hours in a day), I do love growing my skill sets and knowledge.
I saw that your artist career started at the age of 4. How did you start working, how much time did you invest at the start?
I definitely wouldn’t say my career started at 4. At that age my teacher told me I’d become an artist when I grew up but that never became my goal until my mid 20s. I always liked drawing and painting and would often excel in art class in school. I won the grade 8 graduation art award as well as the grade 12 graduation art award at my Second School for the Arts.
But I grew up in a small city where the arts were rarely featured and so the idea of becoming a professional full-time artist didn’t see realistic. Instead my dream was to become a caring and compassionate Secondary School Teacher. I’m actually qualified to teach grades 5-12 and have specializations in History, English, Geography, and Visual Arts.
But when I finished all of my courses there were very few jobs available for new teachers. I tried for years but it wasn’t meant to be. It was after University that I had decided to start my art profession on the side of a full time job. Eventually I was working contracts so it made it easier to work towards my art career part-time. With commissions starting to come in more steadily, and a job contract soon ending, I decided to take the leap into a full-time career in 2012. So I suppose I started out working on art pieces sporadically throughout the year, to then working on pieces a bit every week, and then plunging into more than full-time hours to really make the most out of my career.
What was your first work of art?
It’s hard to tell what my first work of art was because I’ve been making “art” since I was a baby. But I do remember my first meaningful series I created at the end of my University minor in Visual Arts. It’s called “One And The Same” and was meant to show that while we are all unique beings, in the end we are all just humans trying to make our way through life. We all deserve respect and kindness. We all deserve to feel beautiful.
While I wasn’t graduating from the program, one of my pieces from the series was actually accepted into the graduating class exhibition and to my extreme delight was awarded the “People’s Choice” award. I’ll remember that with tears in my eyes for the rest of my life.
Who was your biggest inspiration and why?
My biggest and first inspiration is my father, Gilles Prud’homme. He’s a Master Wildfowl Carver and is ranked among the top in the world. His passion for his art and his ability to balance a taxing full-time job along with a successful art career always made me believe that being an artist on the side was possible. Artists should never use their full-time job as an excuse for lack of success. My father did it while raising two children with my mother, maintaining our home, and continued other passions such as kayaking, fitness, bird watching, and more. My parents are both amazing inspirations to me.
When it comes to my artistic style, I’ve been inspired by some “classics” since adolescence. Botticelli will always be my ultimate favourite. He coupled smooth realism with bold outlines which is something I also do in my work. I’m also a big fan of Michelangelo’s work but that inspiration grew exponentially after seeing lots of his work in Italy. And I’ve also always loved Andy Warhol, particularly his portrait pieces. There is so much controversy concerning his work but I simply pay it no mind. I love his pop icons and I love his bold bright colours!
It’s important to have support, especially at the start. What does your family and your friends say about your activities?
That is very true. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive family. My parents have always supported any goal I’ve set out to achieve and being an artist was no exception. They know that when I set my mind to something, I do it. I’ve always been that way. And since my father is also a skilled artist, they understand my need to create and how fulfilling that profession can be.
My fiance Darren Edward is extremely supportive of me and my career. For the most part he supports our little family financially and that is something that has allowed me to delve into my career with far less stress. But on top of that he shows his support, offers advice, gives encouragement, helps set up shows, attends openings, and absolutely anything I could need of him. He is always there for me.
Friends, on the other hand, is a different story. I have some friends who were supportive from the start and still are but for the most part many of them couldn’t be bothered. I remember being so sad and frustrated that my friends didn’t care to see how extremely important it was for them to help spread the word, especially regarding social media. But not everyone empathizes so what can you do? In a way it forced me to research other ways to gain followers and I believe that has led to my success. Some of my friends popped up to support during the journey, and some pop up now that I’m more established; all I can say is I am incredibly grateful for whatever support they were able to give me. Word of moth and online “shares” are ultimately how I make my living.
When you are a grown up, you have even more activities and daily tasks. We all have problems when it comes to combining our daily activities, and a lot of people set their dreams on ‘I will start tomorrow’ mode. Can you describe one day in your life when you were going to school, ie when you had a lot of daily activities?
That’s a great question! When I was in school I was certainly very busy. In my 6th year of University I was doing a two year minor in Visual Arts condensed into one year, along with four Teaching courses, and it was a lot to manage. I loved what I was doing though, so I made it work. I have always loved keeping track of my schedule in an agenda, a hard copy one – not electronic, using colour coding and making to-do lists in corners. I still keep one to this day. I feel like this really helps me during busy times. However, I won’t deny I put in some late nights or even all-nighters in order to get projects done on time. Sometimes I still do!
I suppose, today you invest most of your time in making art. How is your day looking now?
I wish I could say that I spend most of my time making art. Sadly, the truth is that I spend most of my time on my computer doing online marketing, social media, photo editing, and features such as this one. All of those things take up a lot of my time.
Depending on the time of my work cycle I can spend anywhere from a full 12-13 hour day painting to no time spent on painting at all. But I can say that almost all of my time is spent working towards my career. I spend most evenings with my fiance Darren but other than that it’s art. I don’t have children, I don’t have other hobbies (other than reading or watching TV), I don’t go out to eat or shop often, I don’t have a home or yard to take care of, or any other time consuming activities.
I’m sure it’s possible to juggle all these things and still make art, my father certainly did it, but at this stage in the game I haven’t figured it all out! I’m still working on how to juggle all the tasks I currently have but I’m positive with time everything will work itself out.
Your artist CV is a long list of completed education directions. What do you think, how important is the formal education for an artist? Can you be successful without formal education?
I do have a lot of education but when it comes to art I only have a Secondary School Art Major Diploma and a University minor in Visual Arts. It’s really not much compared to most professional artists. So, no, I absolutely do not think formal art education is needed to succeed. I think it’s important to learn (which can be taking a course or educating yourself) the proper ways to use mediums because unfortunately I do see some artists making grave errors.
I also think it’s important to do your own research regarding art marketing and social media strategies. Those were the two most important aspects of my formal and personal education. If you don’t have a natural inclination for composition, colour theory, balance, and common aspects of what makes an artwork successful than you would likely want to gain some experience with those.
Do you need a degree for any of this? Absolutely not. In this day and age where information is so readily available almost anyone can teach themselves how to be an artist. You just have to have ambition, passion, and a unshakable belief that you can achieve your goal.
On your road to becoming a famous artist, did you have someone who ‘pushed you to the stars’, or have you achieved your publicity and popularity alone? Which channel is the best to gain growth in publicity, and how much money did you invest in the promotion?
Oh goodness, I definitely would not consider myself famous. I’ve certainly seen some success and have a lovely following, but fame was never something I wanted to achieve.
How did I gain my following? No, there was no one person who pushed me to the stars. I’m quite thankful to everyone who supported me via commission requests and online sharing but I certainly didn’t “get lucky” with a famous person or wealthy person that introduced my work to others. That’s not my story at all.
My popularity grew slowly over about 7 years and it was due to online social media and marketing. I feel like Facebook and Twitter were integral to that success and this is where I’ve seen the majority of my following grow. I have hardly invested anything on promotion. I’ve done an occasional Facebook advertisement, no more than $25, and I’ve paid a few small amounts for magazine advertisements, but really there was no need to spend money.
Once you get your work out there there are many sites who will post your work for free simply because they like it and you. For years I did spend lots of money on large group outdoor shows but haven’t found them to be helpful in gaining income or a following. The most important thing I’ve done is post regularly on social media, staying true to myself and my message, and when I can I try to give back via advice, contest prizes, and donations.
Maintaining a genuine relationship with your followers is the best thing you can do for your career and for you as an artist. People want to know you and like you before they invest in your work. You can’t please everyone, don’t even try, but the right people will be drawn to your light.
Can you make a normal living from your art? How much money do you invest in your works of art, and how much do you get when you sell you work?
I absolutely do think it’s possible to make a normal living from an art career. I’m just about there! However, it’s difficult to say how much I invest and how much I make because every project is different. I’m not yet at the point where I can properly predict the time a piece will take me and therefore have been struggling to get my prices where they should be. I think pricing issues is something most artists face and eventually overcome. I definitely believe I can achieve this soon.
Many artists today sell their art under regular price. Do you believe that a lot of artists don’t know the actual worth of their art, or are they just in need of some money for a living? How do you suggest to fix that problem?
I would never feel comfortable saying an artist should charge “this” or they shouldn’t charge “that” because it’s none of my business and is really dependent on the individual artist. If someone wanted advice on how to price their work I would say, try to predict (this is where I falter) how long the piece will take you, decide how much you’d be satisfied with per hour, consider the stage of your career and the weight of your name.
I believe it’s perfectly fine to start lower at the beginning of your career when you’re not yet fully confident in your work and raise your prices every year. A part of me wishes I had started my prices a little higher but then I realize if I’d done that I may not have gotten as many commissions and my name may not have spread as quickly. Who knows! Every artist is unique so it is up to them to make the decision that is best for them.
My opinion is that you are living a dream life. Am I right? Why?
Oh yes, I am absolutely living a dream! It’s not everyone’s dream but it is mine!
Getting to be my own boss while creating beautiful artwork that is skillfully done and brings joy to my patrons is all I ever wanted! I’d like to make a more comfortable wage but anything extraordinary that happens after that fact is beyond what my dream entailed. I’ll wholeheartedly admit that this dream of mine is a lot of work and it’s not always rainbows and sunbeams. There is stress, there is tedious tasks to be done, there are clients who are less than cooperative, negativity will be directed at you on the internet, and there will be lots of work that doesn’t fall into your main passion.
It’s a job, it’s work, like everything it has its downsides; but it is all worth it when you’re doing something that truly speaks to your soul. Not very many people get to say their job is also their passion so I never stop thinking about how incredibly grateful I am to be living my dream.
You’ve gained experience in getting from ‘zero to hero’. Please give a 5 steps tutorial to my readers, on how to get closer to becoming a famous artist like you.
I definitely do not think I’m famous! But I have gained a following and have seen some incredible success in this challenging field. I think from my previous answers most readers can tell it takes more than 5 steps to achieve what I’ve done but I’ll do my best to give 5 important steps.
In order to keep up with other artists and gain a proper following you have to be willing to become a life-long learner. When I first started I researched everything I was curious about. How to sell my art. How to gain commissions. How to use social media. How to engage followers. How to set up an outdoor show. How to have a successful solo show. And on, and on, and on. And don’t be afraid to learn techniques, skills, and strategies from other artists further along in their career. Not everything will work for you but take what does and change what doesn’t.
#2 Set Your Goals
Have realistic goals in mind when you start. Some artists start off right from the get go thinking they will be famous instantly. Then when things don’t happen quickly they complain and even give up. Some will keep at is but will be so focused on this big huge unrealistic goal that they miss all the amazing things that are happening to them in the beginning.
Set achievable goals at the beginning and relish every single achievement. When you reach 100 followers on Facebook, celebrate! Celebrate privately and celebrate with your following. They want to take part in your journey. Who cares if another artists has 1,000 or even 10,000? Learn from other artists but don’t compare your style or success with theirs. Focus on your journey and enjoy every moment of it.
#3 Social Media
Using social media to the best of my ability has been integral to my success. We are fortunate as artists to have such easily accessible platforms to reach our followers. We live in a time where the sky is the limit in that regard!
Include your fans in your journey. Tell them what’s going on and more importantly tell them how you feel. Don’t be afraid to get personal and really give them a glance into your mind and your life as well as your art. There will always be people who don’t connect with you, some may even be unkind, but don’t let it get you down. The right people will be drawn to your unique character.
#4 Marketing Strategies
Continuously ponder and research marketing strategies and implement them when you can. One example is social media contests. Have your following spread the word about your work in exchange for a free gift. I’ve done this many times and I find it very fun and very successful. You can also research where to post your work, how to make posts effective, using keywords and phrases, building a brand for your business, and so much more!
#5 Stay True to Yourself
It’s important to stay true to yourself. Don’t put on a different personality online or with your clients. It may work out at the beginning but it will become exhausting after a while. Not to mention your audience wants to connect with you on a personal level so it’s important to be genuine.
Plus, in this day and age we should be encouraging everyone to be themselves regardless of silly standards. When we’re seen to embrace our quirks we’re setting an examples for others to do the same.
At the end, I must ask you for your best works of art. Can you mark off your 3 best works in your whole career?
That is such a difficult thing to be asked! My three best? I’ll admit it changes all of the time but as of right now I’ll list …
1) “True Beauty” ‘Delena Providence’: This piece was very time consuming and the hair in particular is very detailed. I also love the contrasting skin tones and how they blend smoothly together. Not to mention my childhood neighbour is exquisitely beautiful with very striking yet soft eyes.
2) “Golden Indian Bride”: I’m a huge fan of metallic colours, always have been. So I love all of the gold on this piece. I also love the beauty of this culture; it takes my breath away. But what inspires me the most is the striking beauty of the subjects multicoloured eyes.
3) “Mehndi Indian Bride”: I recently completed this commissioned portrait and I’m very proud of the results. The realism in the facial features and hand is both soft and alluring. I’m also drawn to the sheer look of her veil, something that requires quite the technique. Lastly, I absolutely love all of the precise and very fine details of gold, bronze, pearl, mica, and gems.
Last question. Please give my readers some tips on how to live a dream life.
Well, I think I’ve said almost all I can throughout the interview but I will reiterate how important it is to believe, truly believe deep down in your soul, that you can and will achieve your dream. You know you’ll research the steps required and do what needs to be done; so why doubt? That doesn’t serve anyone! Believe in yourself and be true to yourself! I know you can do it! 🙂
I want to thank Malinda Prud’homme on a great interview and amply answers. I wish her all the luck in her future work, and I hope that her works will be a part of the world most famous galleries in a few years. If you like the story of Malinda Prud’homme, I think it is the right time for you to start following her adventures on social networks. Check out her website, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Etsy and Blogspot.
If you are delighted with this story, and want to receive this kind of inspirational stories on your e-mail, subscribe to my free newsletter, and start living the life of your dreams at last.