How many identities do you have?
I think as a full time artist I have 3 different identities in order to be a complete creative entrepreneur: a painter, I mostly paint in the mornings when my creative juices are flowing so I always start the day creating at the studio; then I have to switch on my business mind, mostly in the afternoons, when I usually complete admin tasks, marketing, deliveries of sold paintings or meeting with clients. Finally I turn into sales mode during exhibitions, I love dealing directly with my clients and really appreciate the time spent explaining my works to potential buyers. It is important to me to have a commercial mindset that runs parallel to my creative side. Let’s not forget of course that I am a mum to my fur-baby Donny and wife to my love Russell.
When did you know you wanted to be an Artist?I first started exhibiting prior to finishing my degree but after a couple of years working as art consultant in an art gallery straight after university, I realised my true passion wasn’t simply in art but in painting. So I set myself a goal to reach in the first year and decided to venture as a full time artist in 2010.
What inspired you go into business you represent yourself rather than use an agent?
I love dealing directly with my clients and to have a personal relationship with them, selecting artworks together, visiting their homes to get a feel for the space and to get to know where my works will be hang, I adore seeing my paintings hanging into their new forever homes!
To me it is really important to have a personal connection with my clients so after starting with gallery representations at the beginning of my artistic career to reach first recognition, it naturally came to me to evolve into this direction and represent my own works, it killed me to have works sitting in a gallery for months without being able to sell them so now I enjoy the full process from creation to delivery – whenever I can I personally hand deliver my paintings to their new homes and establish that relationship with the client, I also find that the customer really enjoys meeting the artist in person and this adds emotional value and a deeper meaning to the artwork.
What has been your greatest achievement as a ‘Modern DayWoman’ thus far?Exhibiting in Hong Kong since 2014 and not being afraid to showcase my works to a totally new audience that had no idea who I was. The success and recognition I received in such a different country and being able to find the strength and commitment to open myself and to expose my works to critiques from 10 000 visitors in a week it’s pretty challenging and it definitely built my faith to go confidently in the direction of my dream and set my mind open to anything I wanted to achieve. I now exhibit in Hong Kong twice a year since then and it’s still one of the most exciting times of the year for me, thrilling but confronting each and every time.
How do you balance all your different businesses and stay successful?
I don’t really think there is a balance – I dedicate myself to my business 110% otherwise I don’t think it would be successful!
But I do try to stop and refuel on creativity after each exhibition, spending time by the sea it’s the most recharging way for me so if I’m not painting at the studio you’ll probably find me at the beach! ☺
What’s next for Francesca Gnagnarella?
A new show in Hong Kong next week. Also alongside the art, a new writing element to my creativity, I have started sharing on my website inspiration boards filled with colour, fashion and beautiful things that inspire my art. I am also currently the Artist in residence for Claremont Quarter and Atlas South Sea Pearls and we have many exciting projects happening through this.
What advice would you give to other women out there say that being an Artist and a Business Woman isn’t possible?
Everyone has two sides of the brain, a creative one and the more logic driven one, we just have to learn how to make them work together. Having set routines has worked for me, that’s why I always create in the mornings and switch my mind to business mode in the afternoons. Being disciplined is the key to make them work together!