Anne Kelly (00:13):
This is Art and the Raw today’s guest is Gabe Weis. He’s a mixed media artist. I’m your host and PE, where are you today? Gabe?
Gabe Weis (00:23):
I am in Albany, California. Just a block away from Berkeley here in the east bay. How long
Anne Kelly (00:28):
Have you been living there?
Gabe Weis (00:29):
Going on 20, almost 20 years in California, 14 years in the bay area. Spent some time down in San Diego. Originally from Illinois, went to school in university of Wisconsin in Matt, Midwestern mut, but loves California
Anne Kelly (00:45):
Midwestern are on the west coast. Awesome. Yeah. And you’re a artist. And how did you get into that? I
Gabe Weis (00:51):
Took high school art proceeded to study sociology and political science. Just kind of painted for fun every once in a while in college, and then picked up a lot in the last like five years. I would say I was steadily painting, but I’ve been on Instagram for about five years. That’s kind of what I guess, gave me the confidence to make more art, your
Anne Kelly (01:15):
Work. You, you talk about combining stream of consciousness with cubism, is that right?
Gabe Weis (01:21):
That’s a pretty accurate representation. So do
Anne Kelly (01:24):
You think some of the stream of consciousness aspect of the work kind of came from your earlier studies to a certain extent?
Gabe Weis (01:30):
Yes and no. Realistically it’s more like a meditation, I would say. So it’s a way to kind of relax and kind of let some stuff go. I’m not fan of watching TV, so mm-hmm <affirmative> but you need some way to unwind at night. So listening to music or a podcast or something, and kind of just letting, letting whatever happens happens is kind of my favorite way to do art and try not to overthink it. I mean, every once in a while I come in with a, a specific idea, but a lot of the times I’m going with the flow,
Anne Kelly (02:07):
Just break out some paint and see what happens. Yeah.
Gabe Weis (02:11):
It’s been a little bit of a bummer with the pandemic cuz my favorite thing to do is just to go to the art store and buy a few different things and then come and play with play with the new toys. Cuz at this point I have all the ones I know about, but there’s so much of the art store to try out new. And I just, haven’t been to one since March
Anne Kelly (02:32):
Prob probably ordering materials online. Isn’t quite the same exploration, no going into the store and actually seeing what there is.
Gabe Weis (02:41):
Well I’ve, I’ve kind of been doing a lot of stuff on cardboard on the back of cereal boxes and on the inside of books, just trying to get some kind of different look and feel without the new materials, mostly acrylics, a lot of graffiti markers and kind of stuff in the graffiti world generally. Well
Anne Kelly (03:02):
Speaking of cardboard, Edward is the, screen’s actually painted on cardboard. Really? Yeah. Granted that piece has maybe been through some restoration. I, I, I don’t have the details on that, but yeah, it’s still looking pretty good. So, so your Instagram page, so yeah, you were talking about the pieces on cardboard and books and I was, I was checking this out the other day and kind of wondering about the, the inspiration in this. So you’ve, you’ve just answered that,
Gabe Weis (03:34):
The inspiration behind the books, that the stuff on books and I’ve always liked it. I phone books was my first thing. I fell in love with drawing on, especially for the cubism. I do the lines really help just like it’s really easy to make perfect straight lines. And then they look really good. Kind of like in contrast to the background, plus I, I just like the idea of kind of using these redundant things that don’t necessarily matter as much like a dictionary, the ones I’ve been drawing on. It’s like nice, but it has like a hundredth of the words that we Webster dictionary.com has. There’s just not gonna be too many times. And I’m like, I’ve really gotta open up the dictionary to figure out the definition, phone books, same deal, pretty surprised that they’re still made. Those have been some of my favorite things. Then cereal boxes. I’ve got two kids and they just crush Cheerios. Mm-hmm <affirmative> they just eat like two huge bowls every day of their life. So we go through an absurd amount of Cheerios.
Anne Kelly (04:40):
So you got any of materials to work from
Gabe Weis (04:42):
Anne Kelly (04:43):
Materials, even the books in tech.
Gabe Weis (04:45):
So on the dictionary just kept it in the book. I sold a couple of them and then I, it was probably the thing I got the most request for mm-hmm but in my head I really wanna frame it and do a show at a gallery post COVID. We’ll see, I haven’t really done this too much. Usually when people wanna buy stuff, I happily oblige. But uh, in this instance with the dictionary pieces, I really think they came out pretty strong. The one that we’re looking at now is on a book that was out for people giving. So up away on the sidewalks I’d been doing nightly walks and someone had like a biography series that looks like just kind of, they had like 40 of them, but I just took the Aristotle ones and Darwin. Nice. So I’m pretty sure that one’s on Aristotle.
Anne Kelly (05:41):
They get this right. That you you’ve been painting for five years or that’s just when you really got into
Gabe Weis (05:46):
It. That’s when I started showing it to people. I mean, I painted pretty much continuously since I was 15 and I’m almost 40. So a lot of years of painting, but I would say most of it was just painting over things like 20 times, like I had like 10 canvases and some of those canvases had five to 10 different paintings on them. There wasn’t, there weren’t too many where I loved them until about five years ago.
Anne Kelly (06:17):
And then you just decided it was time to, to get it
Gabe Weis (06:19):
Out there. Yeah. I started putting in my office and I started getting really good feedback from strangers, which like, if someone comes into your house and sees a painting, like, and they’re one of your friends, they’re just kind of a jerk. If they’re like, that is a terrible painting. So it wasn’t until I kind like heard some strangers talk about the work, how much they loved it, that it like kind of gave me the confidence to like maybe I should put it out there and then started putting on Instagram to like my friends and family who would get like four to 10 likes for the first year. I think I’m at like almost 52,000 followers now. So it’s kind of went crazy way crazier than I ever would’ve imagined an
Anne Kelly (07:08):
Impressive number. So here’s one of the cardboard pieces right here. Hop over to your website. Are you, are you, are you represented by any galleries?
Gabe Weis (07:18):
Anne Kelly (07:19):
Your website looks really great from what I can tell you’re, you know, you’re selling your ings, it looks like you’re also making prints of them. Is that right?
Gabe Weis (07:29):
I haven’t really done prints yet. It’s okay. The goal is to start in the next two months, run out a few and I’m doing an lithograph with a company in Europe. So I, I will have some prints that are like hand signed coming out here shortly
Anne Kelly (07:47):
On your website. You’ve got t-shirts but this was interesting too. Your tattoo license idea. I don’t think I’ve seen this before.
Gabe Weis (07:56):
I stole this from the woman who has that tattoo right there. Like one of her friends is an artist in New Zealand and I’m blanking on the name, but she did the tattoo ticket thing about once or twice a week. I have someone hit me up cuz they want to get a tattoo of my work. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and I mean, I’m so honored. It’s like probably the biggest honor I can get as an artist that someone will wants to put something that I’ve drawn on their body permanently. So I’ve, I’ve always been hesitant to ever ask for money, but I figured this way keeps it so people can feel fine about it. And maybe I’ll make a little bit of money from it. I’ve done some custom ones. I mean, <affirmative>, it’s not like it’s gonna be far off from my normal style. Right. Someone says like they want a picture of Muhammad Ali. They’re probably not gonna get a very strong rendition.
Anne Kelly (08:53):
Well the keyest ish version. Yeah.
Gabe Weis (08:57):
Anne Kelly (08:58):
I don’t think cause that’s what you’re looking for. It’s perfect. Right? Yeah.
Gabe Weis (09:01):
So, but I I’ve definitely done like this one here was a custom one from, from a big fan of mine in New Zealand. I’ve been pretty, pretty shocked by the fact that Instagram is so worldwide, like and tells you stuff about like where your artwork is popular. I’ve been popular. One of my top five cities for the last several years is in Teron in Iran. It’s pretty rewarding. I guess, to know that I’m popular in a, in a country I can’t visit. Yeah. I
Anne Kelly (09:32):
Think too, it’s just the CRA crazy. The, the reach. So my buddy, Michael Roner that I mentioned earlier, who’s also a painter living in Berkeley. He’s got kind of an illustrative style as well. And he said, it’s pretty common where people will get his paintings tattooed on them, but they’ll just end up posting a picture and tagging him.
Gabe Weis (09:51):
Yeah. And I mean, most of the time the Ted two artists are amazing every once. So I get one will send me one and I’ll be like, oh man, that’s on your body forever. That was a 10 minute sketch. The ones I’ve posted, like some of these tattoo artists are like mind blowingly,
Anne Kelly (10:09):
Good one from your website, right?
Gabe Weis (10:11):
Anne Kelly (10:13):
You’re doing a, a pretty awesome job of <affirmative> even just through Instagram, selling your work that way.
Gabe Weis (10:20):
Thank you. I mean, you know, I would definitely love gallery representation, but I work full time and I have a five and a seven year old. This is the way to kind of make it a, a side hustle where I don’t need the middle man. Although I’d be very happy be if a middle man who knew a lot of rich clients wanted to come my way like that, wouldn’t, wouldn’t be something I’d be offended by or anything, but I just really just don’t have the kinda bandwidth to do more. I mean, I’ve hired someone, who’s kind of helping me out. Who’s my art manager. So she’s the one who put this website, like my website together. And it’s kind of been helping me with the sales and referrals when people kind of DM me, I kind of send it to her to work out the sale. Cause it, it gets pretty tiring going back and forth. Sometimes. Not that there’s worse things than having people wanna buy your art, but I just only have so many hours in the day. You’ve
Anne Kelly (11:24):
Seen, there’s a lot of work that goes into that galleries deal with all of those connections. I feel like some artists are, have more business sense than others. I
Gabe Weis (11:35):
Bet you, it looks good. As someone who works in a gallery makes me feel good. Been pretty lucky over the course of my lifetime. Growing up, I gotta live in Rio DEI for a while as a youngster. And then again in high school, after college, I packed year up for almost a year. And then my wife and I for, for our honeymoon did like a four month trip in central and south America, but pre pandemic and any opportunity to get out of the country. I’m really a big fan of been, I would say, helpful to see a, all this stuff in my work. I think it’s kind of influenced it without me saying like, this is a Brazilian, this is carnival in Rio. It’s more like the exposure to the bright colors and the festiveness and trying to capture maybe emotions all happening at once mm-hmm <affirmative>
Anne Kelly (12:38):
And you mentioned urban art and graffiti as an influence.
Gabe Weis (12:41):
Yeah, so like I, I studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico. Nice. And it was when you’re from the Midwest. It’s funny. I was just back for two months and I noticed like, there’s almost no graffiti, like literally almost just none in the town I grew up in until I went to Mexico that I finally saw all of this street art and just became obsessed. Then it kind of has been a huge kind of influence from that point on and will say my career was shortlived I did did one piece and then my wife’s like, you’re not gonna go get arrested. <laugh> that was it. So now I have to, after that dream was killed, I figured I’ll try to make graffiti on canvas
Anne Kelly (13:33):
Cubism, as in your work, Picasso is kind of the obvious artist everybody thinks of, right. There are different types of work or other artists or other mediums that you feel like play
Gabe Weis (13:46):
A role. Yeah. I mean, I, I feel like I get more from people on Instagram than I have from any kind of like historic re I haven’t done a ton of like my art history knowledge is pretty mediocre at best. I’ve tried to watch every like movie on YouTube and <laugh> things like that where I can pick up information, but it just hasn’t been this thing where I, I’m not steeped in a lot of art history for me, it’s more of like kind of letting my subconscious go and kind of creating these it’s like in some parts of me feels like the art looks like ancient and then some of it feels like the fut, like almost like futurism to me. So I kind of like playing with this idea of this could be like a Relic or that this is like very hot, hyper modern,
Anne Kelly (14:42):
Well, futurism grew out of cubism. Cause I mean, that’s one of the interesting things about kind of the, the, the history of art just styles in, in, in this day and age, we’re all connected through Instagram and YouTube and kinda educate yourself. Cause of that, I think today are working in all of these different styles, whereas historically thing and Weber style was popular at
Gabe Weis (15:07):
That time. I mean, it’s been a huge plus for me all the time and the comments people will say that I, my art reminds me, it reminds them of this or that. So that’s kind of been a huge part of my knowledge base, I guess, comes from some really friendly commenters. Yeah. Well, we,
Anne Kelly (15:27):
We got our knowledge from where we get it. It’s it is 2020. Do you even know what zoom was in 2019? I didn’t. And
Gabe Weis (15:35):
Uh, no, it’s a part of my every day.
Anne Kelly (15:37):
There’s so many interesting things that can be, can be done this way.
Gabe Weis (15:40):
I just, like you were saying, I think it can be real beneficial for artists to, to hear from other artists. There’s a podcast called like savvy painter and I’ve been listening to it for, I don’t know about a year. And I will say I also get a lot of kind of art information from that. Or artists interrupted is another one. If I need
Anne Kelly (16:01):
To look more of that, there’s, there’s so much out there right now. It’s, it’s kind of amazing. So right in all of the places you’ve traveled, you, you have a favorite food.
Gabe Weis (16:15):
Ooh. I mean the steak in Buiss with like wine is just the best thing to me, I guess, that you can eat. I mean, I, I love food generally. The food in Oaxaca was amazing. Yeah. I’m pretty equal when it comes to food, but like the steakhouse, like all you can eat steakhouse in Brazil or the steakhouse in Buenas are pretty incredibly good. What about you in Santa Fe? What’s the cuisine. Oh, have you been never been to Santa Fe? Oh,
Anne Kelly (16:54):
Come visit. So New Mexican food. That, that is our thing with a lot of people confuse new Mexican and, and Mexican food and, and Tex, and they’re all kind of similar, a little bit different component or green chili to be confused with Texas chili, but you’ve got your, your enchiladas burrito, JIS Chi Chagas,
Gabe Weis (17:18):
All that like a green chili salsa or is it just all around ubiquitous green chili
Anne Kelly (17:24):
Chili that’s roasted and shopped and maybe has some garlic in there that you really can’t compare it to. You’re just gonna have to come visit and check it out because
Gabe Weis (17:34):
Yeah, done and done, put that on, on the list of places to visit. It’s been, I’ve been wanting to for a while and I’m not too far away here in California.
Anne Kelly (17:43):
We’ve also got what we call our magic light. So at about five o’clock every night, depending on the time of year, there’s a reason there’s so many artists and photographers have come here. There’s um, it’s just kind of an inspiring place. Lot of different cultures.
Gabe Weis (17:58):
I will, I will make sure to go there relatively soon,
Anne Kelly (18:02):
Work by your artists.
Gabe Weis (18:05):
I do. I get a lot of requests for trading and I have a tiny little house. I mean, everything is so expensive here in the bay. So I do not have a house to showcase a lot of artwork. And my wife like is a minimalist though. She likes like I have two paintings up and then like, you know, 400 paintings like tucked every other place that I can hide a painting pretty much between the garage and my art studio. My, my running rule is just like, can it be a small one? Did an art trade early on with, uh, a Mexican artist named Simon Cruz who makes just incredible work. But it’s just, he gave me a very large piece. And so it is in my small little house. It like, doesn’t get a hang up right now. And I’m so sad someday. I would get to showcase my art more than I do right
Anne Kelly (19:03):
Now. So if there was an artist living or dead that you could trade a piece of artwork with, who would that be?
Gabe Weis (19:12):
Anne Kelly (19:15):
That would be awesome.
Gabe Weis (19:16):
<laugh> right. Just the interviews I’ve seen of, of him. I think he kind of speaks the most to my, to my like both aesthetic and just the way he kind of thought about the world. And I’m not, I’m not in the, in his, both all park obviously, but I, I really like that kind of motif and the writing, the words and scribbling stuff out and kind of letting, letting yourself maybe come to a message through maybe, maybe listening to music or something like that. Um, some of my work on top of photographs, I’ve really tried to like get in a mindset, I guess mm-hmm <affirmative> so it’s like putting on like Nina, Simone, and then like just getting in a mindset of defiance.
Anne Kelly (20:05):
I personally cannot imagine working on anything creative without me music.
Gabe Weis (20:12):
Do you have any type of favorite music?
Anne Kelly (20:14):
Oh, I, I love all different types of music. I really do. I I’m a big fan of reggae, nineties, hip hop. I also love David Bowie. I mean, it, it goes on if you, if you listen to my playlist, like the one on my phone, it, it it’s a little bit of everything.
Gabe Weis (20:34):
Nice. What about my dad did like rock and roll history. And I had like thousands of CDs and albums in my house growing up. So music always was a pretty big influence on my life, even though I cannot sing or play any instrument whatsoever. I’ve always loved listening to music. I’m very much with you. I really love everything when I’m by myself. A lot of times it’s hip hop, cause there’s too much cursing for the little kids. So it’s like my, my chance to have some, some like dad, dad, alone time with his hip hop. But like with them, they really love indie music. My kids are so hip for five and seven year old. I really love good, good kid, mad city by Kendrick Lamar. That’s, that’s up there as, as one of my favorites. The, even though I know you’re not supposed to like him now or whatever, but Kanye west, the dark twisted my dark twisted fantasy or whatever is just, I think one of the better albums of all time, those two would be probably my two red hip hop albums.
Anne Kelly (21:49):
Is there, is there anything else you collect other than artwork?
Gabe Weis (21:53):
I’m a simple man. I mean, it’s hard enough to, to work and try to be a good parent and I do all the cooking here, so I, uh, try to try to keep it basic. I watch every once in a while, but yeah, not a big collector. I mean, art supplies, like great. I mean, yeah, art supplies is the thing that I collect for sure. And very recently I’ve really gotten into Frisbee golf. So I’m slowly building up quite the Frisbee collection. So you’re right.
Anne Kelly (22:29):
It happens. Well, I have this, um, Picasso book here, collection myself. I’ve had this one for a long time. I actually got it from my, from my grandmother. Who’s still around. She had a, a, a book collection and I I’d mentioned that I wanted to start collecting books. And she had given me of this
Gabe Weis (22:50):
Picasso books myself. I mean, it’s hard not to when you do cubism. I mean, I definitely get the Picasso times a day. <laugh>, I mean, there’s worse things than being described as seeming like the most famous painter probably ever. I mean, right. Kinda, he’s kind of a, do you know the, do you know the modern lover song? Like no one ever called Pablo Picasso an? Not like,
Anne Kelly (23:18):
I don’t think so, but tell me about it.
Gabe Weis (23:21):
It’s just a really good modern lover song that like one of the main line is no one called Pablo Picasso, an. Not like you I’ve always wanted to call Pablo Picasso an. <laugh> I’ve met a couple times on the comments. Like people like you’re like Pablo Picasso, like no that guy’s an. Or do you like Pablo Picasso? Like, no, that guy’s an. <laugh>
Anne Kelly (23:43):
I’m sure you get some interesting responses to
Gabe Weis (23:45):
That. Yeah. Reason for no references from obscure rock bands from the like late seventies.
Anne Kelly (23:52):
<laugh> do you have a favorite movie? Favorite movie of all times favorite
Gabe Weis (23:56):
Movie for sure is Shahan redemption think, I don’t know. Just the very handing of, of that movie. Pump me up more than any movie of all time. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so it’s been a long time as the list is number one, but I just can’t think of a movie that gets you that excited.
Anne Kelly (24:14):
I’m I’m unofficially creating a list. Favorite movies by creative people. Gotta
Gabe Weis (24:20):
Anne Kelly (24:21):
My first favorite movie ever lab with David Bowie.
Gabe Weis (24:27):
Ooh that’s that’s so good.
Anne Kelly (24:30):
And did you know David Bowie was also a painter? I did. Have you, have you ever done any art for album covers? I’ve
Gabe Weis (24:38):
Done. I’ve done a, several and been asked quite a bit. And I usually say yes, like, I, I feel like my art’s really good if you’re stoned. So I get a lot of people who are sitting there, I think like real high and they’re like, that is so great. And then they hit me up and then forget about it. That that’s my take, but I definitely get up, get hit up for it quite a bit. And I’m usually happy to bludge. I’m not out trying to mean, I feel pretty darn lucky to have a full-time job and then selling as much art as I have been the last couple years where I’m just, if it was a full-time full-time gig, there’d be more things where I’d be a lot more protective about how much money I’m making for it. Think
Anne Kelly (25:28):
About all the musicians that can’t go out and play concerts, which is their livelihood.
Gabe Weis (25:35):
Yeah. The pandemics like perfectly suited for artists like for painters. Like, I mean, I, I have no problem. Staying locked in my studio for is listening to music and painting and I can then show it on Instagram and get seen by thousands of people. But if you make music, I mean, I guess you can put it up on Spotify or something, but just not the same, this going to a good concert.
Anne Kelly (26:05):
Are you familiar far? Sounds no, they’re all over the country. Hosted, going to say a bar or a big venue to go see a show. I, for example, could sign up to host a concert at my house. Oh cool. And so it’s kind of, I mean, obviously this is not happening right now, but the reason I bring it up is so far sounds recording musicians, playing from their home homes and then, um, showing that online. So that, that is a way to get out and play now. But prior to that, the idea was, yeah, it was, it was all house concerts. A lot of musicians I talked to just really loved that because a lot of time I see music at a bar. Maybe some people are there specifically for the music, but a lot of people are there just to talk to their friends. And then it also had kind of almost a kind of a Rav aspect where you would buy a ticket it for a concert on a certain day and you wouldn’t know where it was or what music it was gonna be. So there always prize who who’s gonna be
Gabe Weis (27:10):
Performing I’m into all of this. And I like having random fun. It’s like the most fun. So when you, you’re not expecting it, there there’s an artist or a musician by the name of Dave Baan <affirmative> and he does a lot of those house concerts mm-hmm <affirmative>. And then he also does like really long Q and a sessions. They’re like almost as long as the concert. Um, and I don’t know, I found it to be really interesting to just get that intimate of a setting with an artist. I gotta ask them anything. I have experienced it a little bit, but I’m pretty big fan of that.
Anne Kelly (27:50):
Another way we, we are adapting Intel things.
Gabe Weis (27:54):
Yeah. I’m cur I’m gonna be curious to see, I mean, what’s your sense of where galleries are gonna go in the time of, in a pandemic world?
Anne Kelly (28:03):
I honestly no idea, but the moment we’re just own by appointment and we’ve kind of suspended our normal exhibition schedule. We’ve always had a really strong online program to begin with. So that’s definitely super helpful. Lot of galleries are doing zoom interviews do kind of a different conversation program through the gallery. So for, for me in anyways, it’s just kind of about shifting, but we can still reach our audience. If you ever check ’em out there’s platforms like artsy and first DS and art net, where multiple gallery, all stuff in that website. And that’s something where pandemic amount of, um, work being sold online had just been increased a lot. That was really shifting, even say 10 years ago. That was something people didn’t quite trust to do as much.
Gabe Weis (28:53):
Yeah. I mean, I’m shocked sometimes when people send me over like thousands of dollars over online, and like, you haven’t seen this piece, like physically it, and they’re gonna send thousands of dollars to me. Like the amount of trust is there, but I also have, I mean, enough followers, like I’m not really a scam. Obviously it takes like almost getting to a certain point where people don’t think you’re gonna scam them.
Anne Kelly (29:24):
Right. Like maybe there were some just random guy on eBay or something like that, or like, Hmm. Yeah. Don’t know about him.
Gabe Weis (29:32):
I’ve been trying new ways out. So this weekend I have my second art auction that I’m doing to Graham live with the Frida art show. You should, you should join it. See what you think. But last time I sold everything out in 30 minutes. Wow. 12 pieces. And it was super, I mean, that was one of the bigger rushes I’ve had as an artist, just because just to see that many people bidding and getting pumped and, um, to sell it all, sell it all out. So trying again, this, this Sunday, see if I have the same sort of look, but I think sometimes there’s something about like needing to make a quick decision about a piece you like versus I think it’s easy to talk yourself out of a piece, especially if it costs a couple thousand dollars. It’s like, you might love it in the moment, but the next day you can be like, I’d really also like to repair my brakes ever the new expenses. Right. So I think, at least for me the first time is great. And if it keeps working, I think it might just be something where once a month I auction off like four or five pieces
Anne Kelly (30:45):
And who puts that on? I, I, I was checking out the Instagram page earlier, just cause I was going through your page and, and
Gabe Weis (30:52):
Saw you had, so her name’s Lee Lucas and she’s the one who came to me and then she’s actually become my art manager cuz we got along so well. So, so she’s the one who actually put together my website and has kind of helped me with sales. Um, the last several months kind of just randomly met on Instagram and she asked me to be a part of a show. And then we just got along very well. So seemed like a strong partnership. And the
Anne Kelly (31:21):
Show that she put on, was it a, a physical show or was it an online
Gabe Weis (31:25):
Show? So she, I mean, when it first started her first season, she was like going to the, it was like bay area artist and she was going to their studio and doing the show when we did ours, it was just like this only on Instagram live mm-hmm <affirmative>. Um, and then she has her B friend sits there and like counts the, the bids as they come in. Cuz you kind of need a couple people for the operation.
Anne Kelly (31:51):
Right. I imagine, I mean it’s still a pretty small operation given <laugh>, you know?
Gabe Weis (31:58):
Yeah. Technology’s pretty, pretty great. And in this instance, I think, you know, people gonna really see it and they see me as a real person and not just like just random Instagram post. Um,
Anne Kelly (32:12):
So the average, what is the average price point of the work that’s being sold through these options? Is it pretty
Gabe Weis (32:20):
Wide? The biggest one was just like a few thousand dollars I would say, but my sweet spot seems to be like 800 to 1500 I’m in a place when my career we’re just trying to figure out what’s next. Cause I think I can kind of consistently sell stuff at, in that range. Mm-hmm <affirmative> but the next level of going quite a bit more expensive, I don’t really just, I don’t know enough people who are spending $10,000 for paintings. Well, and
Anne Kelly (32:55):
Then at, at that your market changes,
Gabe Weis (32:58):
I get lots of requests for different different things like galleries or online platforms or whatever, but just almost impossible to navigate, like what is a smart decision as an artist, at least I’ve found that to be the case. So it’s easier to just do my own own thing. Particular
Anne Kelly (33:20):
Option on Sunday is just gonna be your work. My
Gabe Weis (33:22):
Work it’d be cool to deal with other people right now. It’s just my work. And, and
Anne Kelly (33:26):
How does somebody
Gabe Weis (33:27):
Attend? Get on Instagram at six o’clock on Sunday and then just click when I go live, they just click on it. I’m I’m gonna check that out. I don’t know if it’s the future or if I just had beginners’ but sold every piece. So I can’t, I can’t complain. And none went under what I was kind of expecting them to.
Anne Kelly (33:46):
I mean, I, it happens, but I don’t think it’s a super common thing to have a gallery opening. And, and so every painting on opening night, it happens for some artists, but I don’t think that’s something you can really
Gabe Weis (33:59):
Expect a few times. I’ve had gallery shows even when you do really well, still like a hundred people mini night versus getting a couple hundred people on Instagram, live
Anne Kelly (34:11):
A lot of success on Instagram. You said you started the page and then the page grew and then it grew and then it grew, you think it’s the hashtags you’re using. Do you have any idea how you, how you did that? <laugh> for lack of a
Gabe Weis (34:26):
Better question. Yeah. I’d like to think I’m pretty good at it at the, like, I really take a lot of photo. Like when I switched to taking photos outside with natural light, I think that was a really big boost for me. Kind of like interacting more in the kind section started boosting me quite a bit like asking questions. I really try to keep it as genuine as possible. I feel like there’s a lot of kind of Instagram art pages where everyone’s just the happiest person in the world and everything’s about triumph thing. And like, all I did was kick all day, every day, isn’t life amazing. But I think I like to keep it a little bit more real with folks. And some of the people that have been around are like super excited for my success, which like, I don’t feel like that many artists get kind of fans that are this invested. Cause they’ve seen me go from, you know, 50 followers to 50,000 feels good. But I think, I mean, I think the hashtags help art is just a little bit more relatable, I think, than some people’s art. Like I think it photographs pretty well, but because of you were saying about Picasso, like there’s a reference point between like most people will at least have, can kind of see what it is. And
Anne Kelly (35:49):
Gabe Weis (35:50):
Like, like I, I write a lot of weird stuff in there and it’s complicated for me, but I don’t think that’s necessarily everyone that’s seen it like is getting into all the weird esoteric stuff that I’m doing when I’m making the pieces. They’re like those lines are really cool or that collage looks great. So yeah, I think some of it is just how it translates on an actual image I think has helped by, by no means. I think I’m the world’s greatest artist. Like I think there’s so many artists who are a lot better than me, but that do Instagram probably way worse than me.
Anne Kelly (36:30):
I also appreciate artists that are humble. They having met you. It makes me like the work. I’d say if, if we jumped on here in kind of a pump, this jerk, I’d be like, eh, I don’t think I like that work anymore. So your work, they maybe engaged with you and they go, he’s a really
Gabe Weis (36:47):
Nice guy. The other part I’ve been talking to my wife about, I think like I get so many young artists that like my work and I think so much of it is cuz they could actually do it. I get so much fan art where people will do something like that looks just like mine or they’re copying it or whatever. But like, I mean I, none of this really bothers me. I’m not doing lawsuits out there or anything like that for copyright infringement. I mean, I’m pretty honored when, when high school students, uh, are drawing my pictures, which happens quite a bit. And just this month, uh, high school student from teacher in El Paso did a big assignment about my work and doing it on books and stuff. So other than tattooing, I felt like when teachers are teaching their kids how to make art like me, it feels pretty good. I given that my humble beginnings and still feel pretty humble about all of this. Like I said, the 50,000 followers blows my mind backing any of this when I just humbly put them up in my office as a union organizer in Oakland,
Anne Kelly (38:04):
See what happens? No Bravo, are you ever gonna ladies cut t-shirts crank tops, something
Gabe Weis (38:11):
Like that probably in the next, um, month or so the person I did the t-shirts with <affirmative> does all of that. I just, just like baby steps. And some of this is just reward versus like it takes selling like a hundred t-shirts to make as much as one painting the t-shirts are more about, it’s not like it hurts to make a little bit of money, but it’s more about just the fun, my friends, I like that they can all wear one of my paintings.
Anne Kelly (38:43):
So, so my boyfriend it’s, it’s a very common conversation where I’ll show him an image. I really like, and he’ll say that should be a t-shirt and went on for years really? And now go no, no, I think no, I can say so.
Gabe Weis (38:55):
Yeah. I try to make it accessible if possible. I, I have a painting up in Nordstrom mm-hmm <affirmative> so people can buy like a under a hundred dollars for one that I think actually looks pretty great when it’s like a canvas that’s you can buy a Nordstrom. So I’ve tried to do some lower cost options for folks, but I think that’s kinda, I think that’s where I’m headed is to do a lot more prints and, and kind of that in that world now that I have someone who’s a little more tech savvy helping me out, I’m not tech savvy, you
Anne Kelly (39:35):
Per providing a wider range of price points. Right. So anybody who wants something can find something
Gabe Weis (39:43):
That hopefully it’s like a gateway drug and they buy the t-shirt and then they have to get a painting in the ear or two.
Anne Kelly (39:49):
Yeah. Or they need shirts and then they need the print and then all the paintings, there we go. Get there. Any other specific advice you would give to, to young artists or just get their work out there?
Gabe Weis (40:02):
I mean, I think the 10,000 hours rule or whatever, the Malcolm Gladwell thing of just like when I look at some of my paintings from 20 years ago, I just think they’re awful. I mean, there’s very few or I’m like, that’s a really good painting. And like, I mean, I was a good painter practice showing every day. I think being humble, trying to be influenced by the world a little bit more. I think, I mean, for me I do politics and I’ve been in the forefront of bay area kind of lefty politics for a, you know, that kind of infuses into the work. I think when you actually have stuff that you wanna convey that helps just not being afraid to put it out. I mean,
Anne Kelly (40:48):
So basically just work hard doing it and put it out
Gabe Weis (40:51):
There, keeping your eye on the prize. I, I feel bad saying it, but the other one for me really is just to have some kind of day job. I, I think the second you start making art to sell it, I feel like your art kind of suffers or you end up getting stuck doing the exact kind of same piece over and over again. Cuz that’s the one that sells. So for me it’s all gravy. So I like whatever I make is fun, fun money that make, you know, I get to go buy art supplies with versus I’ve just seen some full time. Artists seem like really beat down. Cause it just highs and lows. And a lot of it’s based on things you have no control over. It’s like when the stock market’s doing really well, people buy more paintings cuz they’re feeling more wealthy or whatever.
Gabe Weis (41:45):
I mean, whatever it is, the more you just have to kind of live off your art. I think it more power to you if you could do it. I mean, I think I could do it if I was in like where I grew up in Illinois mm-hmm <affirmative> bay area. It’s so pricey. So I mean, it’s just a different kind of ball game, but it’s not something where I personally get stressed about my art ever. Any, any shoutouts shoutouts. Hmm. I’m gonna be doing a lot more shoutouts on my stories just because I do feel like I have a pretty good platform at this point, but I really love kinda bringing other artists up and trying to get exposed them to more fans. Cause there’s just some, so many great artists out there. Well, I love that. Thanks Gabe. A really good time. Really appreciate it. Thank you. Yeah, me too. Thank you. I followed you on, on YouTube. So I am going to see all of,
Speaker 3 (43:02):
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