Annamaria Johansson has always been a painter at heart. Today, she is a painter who focuses on painting people and portraits.
We at World Art News have had the pleasure of conducting an exclusive interview with Annamaria Johansson. She has created a loyal client base all around the world. Throughout this two-part series, we discover her ideas, philosophies, concepts, and strategies to run a successful art business as a painter.
What inspired you to start painting?
I have always loved to draw and paint. I was doing that a lot as a child, so it wasn’t new. But growing up, I was taught painting is a hobby, and it was slowly fading away in my life as I grew older. I continued studying and ended up with two bachelor’s degrees: Nursing and Business Administration.
I am a big believer in always learning. You grow as you learn, so I have a broad curiosity for many things. I worked in many different companies and within various disciplines, and it proceeded well. Although, I felt something was missing. I was searching for something more. In hindsight, I can see my creativity was locked inside and hadn’t been flowing. I think it is very common for adults in today’s society. We have forgotten we are creative beings, and we are creating our reality.
My journey as an artist and painter started in late 2019. I was inspired to draw more and more. It was a powerful, intuitive feeling. I couldn’t ignore it. Then I went to buy the painting material to get started, and once I had done the first oil painting, I knew this is it, it is my gift, and it is my passion. I do believe as humans–we are capable of a lot. And to paint is one skill I want to develop as much as I can, even if it’s not the only thing I have the talent to do.
I had ignored my talent of painting for years. Perhaps it might have been hidden for a reason and revealed at a time like this. Sometimes life takes you on a journey, so you will evolve and have different experiences getting you ready for your bigger future.
My life until now was the preparation and training I needed to step into living my purpose to the fullest, even though it wasn’t what I expected. But looking back, I can see it was building me for my future. Everything we go through in life as humans, both good and bad, are the bricks we lay. The foundation of your soul derives from the events that happened in your life. Your response is a choice, a matter of awareness.
When I paint, I always felt there is something I want to communicate to the viewer. I believe there is always more to the story. My goal is to have the viewer understand there is something beneath the visual reality. Art is, as a fact, very much a material object, but what it creates is a movement of emotions, memories, and thoughts in the unseen. Events happening in the unseen, invisible surroundings are more of a reality than we usually confess. Everything materialized always starts from the unseen. I create from the unseen, but not from the non-existing because it has always been there–it has just not taken a material form yet.
What kinds of materials do you use to paint your artworks?
I see myself as a multi-artist, and I can use different materials. For now, I have chosen to paint oil paintings which consist of oil colors, canvases, solvents, and brushes.
From what countries do your clients come from in and what is their age?
I have clients in all different parts of the world, from Costa Rica to Sweden. The age also varies a lot, from 20 years old and up.
What makes your art valuable?
I want to bring value to my buyers. I am always seeking to do my very best to put all my energy and effort into making a piece. The value also varies depending on motive and size.
What makes your art unique?
Every human being is unique. There is only one of me. No one expresses the same things, and I don’t believe in comparison. Artwork is like your fingerprint; it is the only one. I mainly paint people and portraits because people are fascinating and the most interesting. Every single person matters. I believe so many people in today’s day in age have become experts of hiding, manipulating, and molding the truth of themselves to be what it is not. These reasons are why people fear rejection, participate in people-pleasing, and hunt after status and wealth. My art catches and expresses the emotion at the moment. But also layers the story behind the art, which leads up to the moment and the expression. I paint all kinds of people and children as well.
I have had the opportunity to travel to many different places: Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, United States, Zanzibar, and various countries in Europe, to mention some. On my travels, I have collected many impressions and met a lot of people with diverse lives. With my paintings, I want us to start shifting the perspective. There’s you, and there are others in this world. We are all different but created to be united.
Who we are and our experiences can build a better world. There is enough room for every flower to flourish. Every one of us has creative power, and it is up to everyone to manage their powers. We should always seek to understand who we are before looking around in the garden. That might cause us to try to become someone we are not, just because we saw a beautiful flower we liked.
My art is also a reflection of our age, and the transition society is going through.
Where do you find inspiration to create new paintings?
I believe we live in a culture that has been drifting a lot lately. I am not okay with it, to be honest. We see a lot of suffering around us. And so much can be changed by ourselves, and by our lifestyles. How we think about things has been conditioned for too long. How we framed this life and what it is to be human is not always seeking to prosper us. The paradigm we have stated as true is probably not, and to watch people seeking deeper meaning in shallow things is just enough for me to paint for a lifetime.
How do you find new buyers?
I love to network and it is always an ongoing process. As I expose my artworks on different platforms, new people connect with my paintings. As I see it, it’s all about building a relationship with my clients and delivering more than they expect. It all boils down to good relationships.
What are some troubles or risks you faced as an artist?
I have been second-guessing myself way too much. That takes energy and slows down the process of painting new artwork. During my journey, I realized that the biggest risks are not being true to myself and shifting intentions to fit in. It is easy today to lose ourselves. We are exposed to a lot of information that distracts us from our vision and we can easily become someone different.
What is your overall outlook on how the art market is changing and developing?
Creativity is going to be more valued to survive and evolve because of digitalization. We are in a transition time where acceptance of digital art will continue to increase. Today’s technology makes it possible to create new creations, which have changed views on what people perceive as art. The digitalization of art has exploded during 2020, and we will see a lot more since it will be more common. People don’t need to buy a physical piece. The decentralization of money with cryptocurrencies will fast forward the experience of art. The more traditional art, like paintings, will cooperate on the market, and this creative focus will make it grow even more. There will be room for all forms of art and creativity.
What is the average price you ask for your artworks?
As I’ve said, the price varies depending on the size and motive, but generally my midsize paintings go for €5000 while the larger artworks as well as portraits sell for €10,000 or more.
Read Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Annamaria where she shares her views on how to get started as an artist, how to turn your passion into reality, her three favorite artists of all time, and much more.
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