As a trained painter and figure artist, Jill Galloway focuses on depicting what she calls “the beauty of the commonplace”. She gives her paintings of everyday objects a delightful pop art twist and has turned some of her colourful work into calendars. Here, she tells us more about her work and why she thinks creating calendars can be very valuable for artists.
Jill, your website comes with the tag line “art in broad strokes”. Can you explain what you mean by that and talk a bit about your work and inspiration?
My art moves between several different styles depending on the subject I’m painting. Often my more iconic art end up in oils, my landscapes are usually in watercolour and my figure work is usually in charcoals and pastels. I’m not sure why this happens, but I really like it. It seems to keep everything fresh.
It made sense to go with a slogan like “art in broad strokes” because of the range of mediums I work with. Lately, I’ve been playing with combining the mediums and even working in graphic designs and pattern work.
I’m inspired by really common objects (especially sweet ones) like cupcakes, ice cream bars, and cookies! I sometimes think of my art as a little vintage with a sweet modern twist!
For anyone into chocolate, ice-cream, cakes and the like, your ‘Edibles’ collection is hard to look at without wanting to reach out and grab what they’re seeing … How do you approach painting these particularly ‘tasty’ objects?
I can almost literally taste chocolate when I’m painting chocolate and shortbread when I’m painting shortbread and on and on. I love this part of painting edibles. I would honestly be the happiest person alive if I could paint sweets all day everyday. I really wrap my head around the textures and how the subject would taste and smell. Or even how it might have been made.
I especially love painting sweet subjects that come from old family recipes. There’s something about passing down baking traditions that makes the results worth preserving in oils! I also love painting wedding cakes. The artistry that goes into those creations is definitely worth capturing.
You trained as a painter and figure artist and are selling your prints and painting on your own website and other outlets. What prompted you to give Calvendo and self-publishing calendars a go?
I’ve been working toward licensing and developing a brand for myself for several years. I think my work is vibrant and iconic and lends well to products like calendars.
I love the set up Calvendo has put together. It gives the artist a lot of freedom in developing the look of the finished product. As I inserted the images I could immediately see which art would work better than others. I have a marketing background and realize when someone buys a calendar with my images and hangs it on their wall, I’m basically creating an advertising opportunity for anyone who passes by that calendar every single day for the next year. That’s valuable!
I also sell my original paintings and prints on Artfinder, Amazon (in the U.S.), and Ugallery.com.
Can you talk a bit about your experience when creating your calendars? Any tips or tricks for first timers, things to avoid and consider?
I thought the Calvendo program was extremely easy to use. I think it’s worth taking the time to understand the size requirements and adjust your images accordingly before you upload them. If you have to crop the image too much just to get it to work, you should probably think about using another image. Also, take seriously the marketing segment, meaning target audiences, tags, etc. You can make the most beautiful calendar in the world and if no one can find it, it’s worth nothing. Also take advantage of your social media links to push people to the calendar. You can be anywhere in the world and promote your calendar by linking it back to Calvendo or one of its partners.
You’ve so far published three calendars with Calvendo ‘Absolutely Edible’, ‘By the Sea’ and ‘Pop Culture’, and have worked on English as well as German language products. Any further plans and ideas for more?
I have tons of ideas for more calendars including one with nursery related art. I’m also working on calendars in French. Learning the other languages and seeing my art titles interpreted in French and German has been so great. What beautiful languages.
Last but not least, what are your general comments on Calvendo as a calendar self-publishing platform: Anything you particularly like? And most importantly, things that need improving?
I love being given the opportunity to work with Calvendo. It’s been a great experience. The people helping me with my edits have been wonderful. The Calvendo platform is very user friendly. You just need some high quality images and away you go! I hope to continue working with the company as it grows and expands. I’ll just have to work on interpreting my art in more languages!
We’re looking forward to that! Thanks, Jill, and good luck with your future projects!
Calvendo product gallery: www.calvendo.co.uk/gallery/JJ Galloway