Hi, I’m Heather Miller. I am an artist living just outside Washington, D.C. in Northern Virginia. I received my BFA in Digital Art from George Mason University in 2011. My work is exhibited throughout Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. You can see my artwork at my website WhiteRosesArt.com
In the past, I owned a gift shop, Journeys of the Soul, in Columbus, Ohio. I also co-founded a non-profit education center, Sanctuary, in Medina, Ohio. While it existed, I served as the director of the Arts & Cultural center and was the Editor In Chief of the newsletter, The Human Voice. I created some fun, and profitable, events for the center including the Holistic Fair, a 2-day monthly event featuring performers, vendors, healers, and psychics. We also held art shows, concerts, and offered a wide array of classes covering everything from art to zen.
Non-Traditional Artist? What’s That?
I am a non-traditional artist. That means I don’t obey the rules that traditional gallery artists do. Why? Because I’ve owned businesses before. When I started creating work for exhibition in 2008, the first thing I did was study up on the in’s & out’s of the art world. I was mortified. There was no way I could abide by any of their rules. Every single one was designed to benefit the galleries, dealers, and collectors but not the artist.
As a former small business owner, I know how important price control is. Gallery artists have no real control over their pricing – other than to continually increase one’s prices. The cardinal rule is that an artist can always raise their prices but can never lower them. One misstep and you’ve priced yourself out of a career. That alone was bad enough but combined with sky high commissions, questionable business models, shady sales tactics, and rules designed to benefit everyone but the artist (such as not being able to make prints of your work other than a handful of expensive limited edition prints). I decided there had to be a better way.
And there is.
Thankfully we live in the day and age of the Internet. It provides artists with a never ending amount of tools and resources for selling our art, on our terms. Sales don’t just happen online either. Art shows, festivals, coffee shops, cafes, and casual galleries exist all over. Finding them is easier than ever.
What isn’t as easy is finding your way to success. I’ve decided to write about all the things I’ve done and continue to do – good or bad – to help others who’ve decided to kick the curmudgeonry of the Art World to the curb.