“It would have been cruel to my soul not to be an artist.” - Jeanne Bessette
Meet Jeanne Bessette. It started with a purple crayon when she was four. Now, Jeanne Bessette is collected in countries worldwide and her work graces the homes of rather famous authors, chefs, and actors. Jeanne’s unique path to success was about stepping into her bigger self. It was about staying true to her desire to express emotions through art. She tried photography. She tried ceramics. But, the important thing is that she kept trying even when she was told “artists can’t make a living.”
The painter uses her hands to create bold colors and abstract forms - many accompanied by inspirational quotes. She invests her time in teaching at retreats and helping other artists uncover their true selves.
Jeanne told us about her creative process and shared her advice on building a business that supports her passion.
Want to see more of Jeanne’s work? Visit her Public Profile Page on Artwork Archive.
“I call myself a bold colorist which means color is my language and I use it to translate my feelings.” - Jeanne Bessette
YOU USE MANY TOOLS TO CREATE YOUR WORK, BUT PRIMARILY USE YOUR HANDS. WHEN DID YOU START DOING THAT AND WHY ARE YOUR HANDS YOUR FAVORITE TOOL?
Giggle. There is something very tactile about the art of creating. I’m deeply connected to my work. In a way, using my hands frees me from rules. Finger painting is one of the first creative endeavors we attempt as children so it also brings me back to the mind and heart of a child. I can create this way without boundaries. It’s a simple matter of getting closer to the heart of what being a creative really is.
WHY DO MANY OF YOUR PIECES FEATURE UPLIFTING QUOTES? HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE QUOTES?
The quotes are all mine. They tend to come to me while I’m painting, but not always. Sometimes the actual thought will enter first and I’ll write it on a big whiteboard in my studio. Titles come from the same process. It’s all magic no matter how you look at it. It comes from somewhere deep inside of all of us and as an artist, I just filter it through my interpretation. Since I paint life, heart, emotions and us as spiritual creatures and everything we bring to the table, I have an endless supply of inspiration.
“Love is easy once you forget to keep your heart all covered up” - Jeanne Bessette
YOU WERE TOLD THAT ARTISTS CAN’T MAKE A LIVING CREATING ART. HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THAT?
Wow. There is not enough room in this interview for the answer in all it’s bits and pieces. But, to keep it short, since reaching the financial success I have achieved as a working artist I now teach other artists to find success also. The first thing I tell them is to stop letting other people steal their dreams. It’s really up to us as to how we filter what we‘re told and we have a responsibility as artists to bring what we have to say to the world. It’s imperative.
Artists are the free thinkers in society. If we remain quiet we are sunk and we are contributing to the very problem that got us stuck in the idea that we cannot create an abundant life for ourselves in the first place.
Making art is like anything else when creating a business. It’s about creating something first that is powerful, then going about the business of learning to run a business, then putting them together. I know it sounds simple and it’s not, but that is the first step.
HOW DID YOU FIRST APPROACH THE GALLERIES THAT DISPLAY YOUR WORK AND HOW DID YOU BUILD SUCH STRONG, POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEM?
I have an entire teaching around how to approach galleries, but for me it was a series of events that culminated in building good representation. Some of my galleries discovered me through Art Business News. I was on the cover for a minute (wink), but there is a real step by step way of approaching galleries and then making sure that you understand that they are your most important asset.
People run galleries. People come in all styles and tendencies. It’s up to the artist to find and develop those relationships. Being professional and prompt. Being honest and trustworthy. Building gallery relationships is no different than building other relationships.
YOUR ARTIST STATEMENT IS VERY COMPELLING, WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR ARTISTS TRYING TO EXPRESS THEIR ART AND THEMSELVES THROUGH WORDS?
Thank you! I’m fortunate that I am a fairly good communicator so I think it trickles down in my words in print. Artists get really hung up on this particular task. It’s hard to speak about something that is so near and dear to our hearts. I’d say that learning who you really are is a good start. People want to know what motivates an artist to move paint or clay. They love knowing more because we do something they feel is special and it is. Expressing what you do in words is also an art form. It’s really another skill. But in the end being yourself will serve you well.
WHAT DO YOU THINK WERE SOME OF THE KEY FACTORS IN ACHIEVING INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION?
I am collected in six countries and I think it is now more than six, but I’ve honestly lost count. As for the key factors, I work hard. I work very very hard. I work at my craft. I work at my business and I work deeply on my personal inner world. It’s all wrapped together in a big package of go get ‘em.
This was my dream and I intended to make it a reality. This also hits on a whole bunch of too much for this space. It is again what I teach artists in my retreats and in my mentoring. Everything we do matters. It’s in the details as well as the broad strokes. It’s not a one-time thing either and the work never ends, it only morphs into a new kind of work as we grow. It all matters.
Want to see Jeanne's art in person? Visit here.