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Conversations with Dalton Warden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dalton Warden.  

Hi Dalton, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
My mother and grandmother were both very talented hobby artists but would create maybe once a year. By the time I was 6, they had completely stopped. At that time, I started drawing and copying cartoons I had without tracing, and my mom saw lots of potential at a young age and put me in private classes. Those lasted until about 13 years old. In high school, I felt way more advanced than anybody around me in art class and actually assisted the teacher in helping students around me. Time for college came, and my parents and I took a massive leap of faith and chose art school for my degree. Northern Michigan University was a dream come true, and I felt I was doing better than some of my classmates as far as selling art in the real world to people and restaurants. By this time, I had dreams of becoming the greatest artist in the world with no real idea on how to do it. When my junior year of college came, I met and began working for Lawrence Carroll, and he showed me how possible it is to be successful in the art world. After college, I moved to Detroit to sell paintings and illustrations. After 3 years, I felt like I needed more opportunity and Miami was my choice for low-ish cost of living, paradise views, and an opportunity-filled city in the overall art world. Now most of my business is between Miami and Detroit. 

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Not smooth! Along the way, my biggest struggle was pricing my work. When a stranger asks, “how much are your paintings?” you almost need an elevator pitch ready with exact prices. It was so difficult for me. 

As I progressed, my challenge has become marketing. I am so thankful for all the word-of-mouth business that comes my way, but I am always looking for new places to strategically get my art viewed by new eyes. New eyes that will help me grow as an artist. 

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
Aside from my art career, I have been a professional framing expert for 11 years. I am currently the quality control manager for the largest framing shop in Miami. Framing was an excellent way for me to remain in my field out of college and still work a normal 9-5 income. Every day I am surrounded by paintings, and photographs, and artwork. Though as my art grows, it’s becoming my full-time job. I am currently part-time framing full-time artist. 

Framing was also a massive help for me selling art. I have seen so many people buy art without a frame and deal with the hassle of going to an expensive frame shop or attempting to frame it themselves. I remove that headache for my customers. I also have 11 years experience and help choose the perfect frame before the painting even begins. During construction of the paintings, I can use colors from the frame to accentuate the artwork. When someone buys an artwork from me, it is hang ready and looks great. 

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
-If someone asks, “how much for your art?” respond with “what is your budget?” When you have a budget to work with, you can decide how much work to put into the artwork. It also takes the pressure off of you, potentially over or underpricing yourself. If they say 50$, give them a 50$ painting. If they say 5,000$, give them a 5,000$ painting. That simple. 

-Rejection is normal 

-Thousands of artists wake up every day and live successfully off of their creations. I think there’s room for one more! 

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1 Comment

  1. Nancy Whitmill

    September 14, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    You are a fabulous painter. Enjoy seeing your art work on Facebook. I know your awardee Family.

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