Artist Profile: Jill DeFelice

Painter Jill DeFelice brings a decidedly international flavor into her work. We spoke with her about becoming an artist and finding her story.

 

Artwork by Jill DeFelice. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  You have a fascinating background. How did that lead to being an artist?

JD:  I always loved to draw. As a child, I had notebooks full of sketches of horses, dogs, squirrels, and other animals. I did a few paintings in college, but never actually studied art. A marriage and two children later, my husband’s job took us overseas, where we hopped from country to country on assignment for the next twenty years. It was during our second assignment in Russia that I truly embraced my artistic side.

 

Artwork by Jill DeFelice. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

I attended an International Women’s Group meeting. They helped folks get settled and offered a wide variety of activities for the families posted there. When I entered the meeting, a beautiful painting beckoned from across the room. I intended to buy it, but discovered the artist was offering lessons, not paintings. I signed up on the spot and painted with him for two years. He did not speak English; I did not speak Russian. We shared a smattering of French, but made it work. I have been painting ever since, and I did buy the painting that first inspired me.

 

Artwork by Jill DeFelice. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  How has your portfolio evolved over time?

JD:  The places, cultures and people of my travels have directly influenced my work. Our adventures instilled the desire to take a little piece of each country with me when we inevitably moved on to a new locale. My art allowed me to preserve my most precious memories.

 

Artwork by Jill DeFelice. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

ABI:  How have you found “the story” to be an important part of selling art?

JD:  I think “the story” is not only part of selling the art, but also creating it. Sometimes, the story is the journey I take as an artist while producing a given series. It connects me to the work on an emotional and intellectual level. Each painting or subject has its own tale, but a series of works takes on a larger significance in the context of the story being told.

 

Artwork by Jill DeFelice. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

On the selling side, the story behind a painting/artist/series allows the artist to connect with clients on a deeper level than just aesthetics. Buyers sometimes relate to a painting because their lives connect with the work. My coastal paintings reflect the creatures and sights of the wetlands and ocean. These subjects are near to the hearts of many beach dwellers, so a connection is present even before any words are spoken. Many of my sales in Asia were made because I literally shared their story–they loved many of the same things about the culture that I did. That made for an instant connection.

 

Artwork by Jill DeFelice. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

It isn’t the just the artist’s story, either. Clients love to share their stories with you regarding how they connect to your work. A painting may conjure a remembered moment in their lives that creates a very personal connection to the artwork.

 

Artwork by Jill DeFelice. See her artist profile at www.ArtsBusinessInstitute.org

 

Finally, some buyers live vicariously through the artist’s eyes and work. They may never visit China, or dive with a green turtle, but having the painting allows them to experience this story in some way. So, for me, “the story” is a huge part of my art on many levels.

 

 

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