Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about all the faces she makes while painting faces and other things.


2013 . 12 . 28 - Comments / Commentaires (10)

In April, I celebrated ten years as a full-time artist.  Something about that number makes things seem more official, like I must really mean to be an artist if I’ve been at it this long.

Art Marketing book

To mark the occasion, I made a video about ten lessons I learned in the last decade and I wrote a book about art marketing.  The video is available above and the book is here.

Gwenn Seemel speaking Gwenn Seemel speaking

I also spoke twice in Washington, opportunities which pushed me to explore what commitment to an artist’s life means.  For example, am I committed enough to speak in front of hundreds of people despite the fact that it terrifies me?  Yes, I am!  And the best part is that I get better at it every time I do it.  To watch my contribution to the Freedom-to-Connect conference, go here and scroll down to my video.  The talk at the American Association for the Advancement of Science is here at the 57 minute mark.

I gave both these talks at the invitation of the conference and institution where I was doing the speaking, and that’s really important to me, since, at this point in my career, being successful is synonymous with being invited.  It’s not that I won’t apply for opportunities: it’s that I prefer to have them come to me.

ad Crime Against Nature in Chinese

And this pair of images represents two more opportunities that did just that. 

The Gap included some of my mail art in an ad campaign this year—my friend Una actually saw the ad when she was in the UK a few months ago and provided this photo.  For more about my decision to sell my work to this company and about some of the responses I got to my decision, go here and here

Also, my book Crime Against Nature was translated into Chinese.  For more about how that came about, go here.

elephants BoingBoing Hyperallergic Apartment Therapy Symbiartic About

The translation wasn’t the only thing that happened with Crime Against Nature either.  The book and the posters—which are now available for purchase—were featured on BoingBoing, Hyperallergic, Apartment Therapy, Scientific American, and About.com.

group portrait painting

Gwenn Seemel
The Miharas and Duggy Dream
acrylic on canvas
30 x 30 inches and 12 x 12 inches

Also this year, I did a good amount of commission work.  Of the many paintings I made, two pieces in particular stand out as me reaching for new things in my work.  On the left is my first full family portrait and on the right is the first non-portrait painting I’ve ever made as a commission!

Gwenn and David Gwenn and David

And, while this kind of commitment to my career is all fine and good, I might not have chosen “committed” as the theme for my 2013 year-in-review blog post, except that last week I also got married to my very favorite person.  Committed indeed!

- Gwenn Seemel facts
- Healing
- Grateful

CATEGORIES: - Philosophy -

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(10) Comments / Commentaires: Committed


Congratulations! I love your wedding dress! I am a bit biased because mine was purple as well. grin

I have to admit, reading your list I thought “Wow, she did so much more than I did” (not that it’s a competition). Then it occurred to me that you probably have the same nagging doubts when you see what other people have done. I’m going to write out my own list to celebrate my own 2013. Thanks for the inspiration.

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I’ve found it to be a really good exercise each year, making me feel like I grew and stretched and all that.  Also, picking a theme to sum things up is hard sometimes, but I like how it focuses me.  I know the new year is just an arbitrary number, but I do love that it invites reflection.

And thank you re: the dress!  I found it at a local store, which made me very happy.  From my vast experience in this matter, I can definitely say that purple weddings are the best! wink

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kate powell...

You are an inspiration to me.  #11, is that you inspire others!

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Sarah Greenman...

Congrats on your marriage! And what a beautiful gift you’ve given us - your 10 lessons are just what I needed to hear today. Thank you!

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YES, what Kate Powell said! Gwenn, you are such an inspiration to those around you - near and far! Not only through your artwork, but also through your blog entries and videos - and in person too, for those of us lucky enough to know you!
Thank you for this post, particularly; your retrospective of 2013 and of the past 10 years are both inspiring grin and the wedding photos really warm my heart, you two are such a great match! Sending lots and lots and lots of love to the happy couple!

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Thank you, each of you!  Kate, you are very kind.  Sarah, I’m glad that video hit the spot.  And Claire, the Lady McFerbs, I miss you and adore you! 

Happy new year to all of you!

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Adriana Willsie...

Congratulations!! And thank you for the 10 lessons.  Those really speak to me at this early point in my career.

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Thank you, Adriana, and also you’re welcome! smile

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Paul Steer...

Fab just fab smile

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Thanks Paul!

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