We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Wiseman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brian, what do you attribute your success to?
When I was getting my business started and getting my art work / products out there, the most challenging thing was finding buyers and outlets that I could successfully sell my work through. I first took the approach of selling my art via a facebook page I made for my art. However realizing that I was only reaching friends and family who truly weren’t interested in my work, I switched to selling publicly through local craft markets or art festivals. I was selling things but since my artwork was rather “different” I was still having a hard time to finding the right kind of people to buy my products. It wasn’t until I really pursued promoting my work through social media that my business really took off. I was able to find several public facebook groups that fit my nitch market that I was able to share my work and social media page. Through those groups I was able to find public markets and conventions that better fit the type of products I was selling. Likewise I met other artists and likeminded individuals that helped me promote my social media pages through their own pages, that helped me obtain followers that were specifically interested in my products. Through those different social media groups, other artists and certain keywords and hashtags, that my business page obtains followers daily on its own. The most important factor that has helped me become successful was the use of social media, networking and finding nitch markets to publicly sell my work through.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been making art for almost my entire life. Ever since I started going to school at Vaughan Elementary, art was always my strongest subject. When I was in 6th grade, I was the only student to receive the “Best Artist Award” when after 6 years of elementary, I had never before won any award for anything. From there, every art teacher I had inspired me to become better and explore more. I knew that I what ever career I had, it would have to be involved with art. However, even though I had a talent in art, the subject matter of my work and my interests were always very different and unusual which turned away a lot of interest from people. I began to almost resent my talents because even though I had great skill, I couldn’t do anything “normal” like a beautiful landscape or portrait that I could sell to people to make a living. So as I explored career opportunities when I was in college, I chose to become an art teacher because of the many that strongly influenced my life. While attended college and started a family, I began putting my art business together to help pay the bills. It was a struggle to get my business going and find my nitch market but I eventually did. Luckily I had so much support and help from my family that it was never a HUGE risk to get things going. There were plenty of leaps of faith for sure but I always had my wife and extended family backing me up. Odd is definitely the word to describe my artwork, I would consider it in the category of Oddities and curiosities. My art is different because I use real things as my media, such as taxidermy, butterflies and bones. With the oddity style starting to become more well known and popular, you tend to see a lot of the same things pop up with skulls, butterflies and bones but I think what truly separates me is how it is all presented and displayed. I try to make things authentic and believable. I want people to understand that even though your different or a reject, you still have an important place in this world. You have talents and skills that although they maybe unusual and appear pointless, can serve a purpose. Many told me along the way that I wouldn’t be able to have a career in the art world that would be able to support my family and now I have two jobs involving art, being a teacher and owning my own business!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Truthfully, I dont have very many favorite spots. Id take my friends to check out all the cool antique stories in dallas like Benny Jack Antiques and Benny Jack antiques on riverfront, Lots of Furniture, Uncommon Market and Curiosities / Curiosity Gardens.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I owe a lot of Benny Hinkle who owns Benny Jack Antiques in Dallas. He was the first shop owner who took a risk and let me put some of my work in his shop. He also helped me in giving me suggestions of what to sell and where to sell it. Eventually I did well enough that I know rent a booth space out in his store.

Instagram: www.instangram.com/skinnyboyarts
Facebook: www.facebook.com/skinnyboyarts

Image Credits
Ellen Wishart (black and white photograph) ellenwishart.com

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