Far and wide
A long time ago - I think it was in 2015 - someone asked me why I didn't have a Facebook page. Back in those days, I shared what I was doing on my personal page and relied on people sharing. I remember it distinctly; I had just completed my first portrait of Kurt Cobain.
"Why don't you have a Facebook business page for your art?"
"What a great idea," I replied to the person. "Why the heck didn't I think of that before?"
There was a time when I was considered to be a pretty cutting edge user of social media. The most obvious marketing move had eluded me during the first year of this journey.
A Facebook page allows people to follow me wherever they are from by just clicking the LIKE button. Those likes have grown in number over the last three years. The growth happens more slowly and surely than it does quickly. That said, there have been a number of projects over the years that drew more people in than others.
Because the number of people who watch my work on Facebook has grown to 5,777 (as of this morning), it is incredibly hard for me to appreciate who they all are and where they live. I know that I have great support from my home community of Fort McMurray. I owe a debt of gratitude for all the opportunities that have come my way because I live in this beautiful place full of people who our interested in my particular style. However, there is the odd occasion when I am given a sense as to how far flung the reach has become over the years.
Yesterday I posted that I had a couple of prints available of my Gord Downie portrait, the one where he is wearing a poppy. People reached out to enquire about it from across Canada and several US states. Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip touched so many souls over the many years that they made music. I was particularly touched by Amy's visit, when she swung by to pick up one of the prints that I had in studio.
The Tragically Hip, and particularly Gord Downie, meant a lot to her. This piece of art will be the first on the walls of her rebuilt home. She was one, among thousands, who lost everything when a wildfire devastated our community in 2016. Her positive attitude about the whole thing is really incredible.
I am deeply grateful to everyone who watches my journey and shares their appreciation for what ends up on the easel. You have enabled an unexpected late career shift that is proving to be tremendous fun. Thank you.