About the Artist-Chris Melton
With a fine arts art degree from LSU buried deep inside my closet somewhere, I’ve been working as a professional illustrator, graphic designer and photographer for over 20 years. However, it wasn’t until recently that I became a detailed oriented and perfectionist driven fine artist with aspirations of selling art and earning a living.
In 2012 I was released from yet another graphic design gig and it was at that moment I decided to make a living creating art. The plan sounded great in my head but the reality of surviving solely from art sales is the opposite of reality. It’s fantasy. Cynical I know, but after two years of grinding and traveling southern Louisiana from craft fair to craft fair, compliments and praise overshadowed sales. Compliments are valued and are great for the ego, but they don't feed your kids. They definitely don’t pay a house note or buy new art supplies either. At the end of any market or craft show zero inventory due to sales is king.
None the less I trudged onward to create more art, submitted applications for this fair here and that festival there, paying booth fees and hoping for the best. Although the financial rewards were small, starving artistry does have its perks. I was able to carpool my kids to school through the early years when they weren’t quite ready for the bus. There was the “reporting for work” in sweat pants and taking care of home life and errands around town while everyone’s at the office. It’s not the most secure and stable existence, especially with two kids and a wife, but it does allow freedoms that a steady 9 to 5 just doesn't offer. The sleepless nights however, do take their toll.
Eventually I screwed around and landed a real good job making videos and shooting photos for the State of Louisiana. It’ll be four years in June that I was able to put the brushes down and not pick them up again out of necessity. As hard as those two brief starving years were they are missed. I was able to meet and interact with a countless number of great people on the road, both fellow artists and potential patrons. But now that I'm settled in this new gig and the kids are getting older, the road is calling again. I’m currently in the middle of building inventory for a fourth quarter finish just in time for the holidays. With any luck I'll have something to pack up besides the canopy and beach chairs and hit a craft fair or two.
Until then, thank you for visiting my site and I hope to meet you all in person someday.