I have been a professional artist for over 18 years and I love animals, they bring so much into our lives that I firmly believe that I pay tribute to them through my art and illustrations. I especially enjoy making pet portraits, every little one has it’s own personality and it’s wonderful learning about each one of my furry clients personalities and traits. Being able to bring my art into your home is a pleasure and I’m blessed to be able to work combining the 2 things I enjoy the most art and animals.
I’ve exhibited throughout the U.S. and Latin-America and you can find my work in major online stores like Wayfair, Houzz, Target, Overstock etc… Collectors have purchased my work worldwide and I have been published in Contemporary art books, magazines and journals. My pet portraits were also recently featured in the show Property Brothers on HGTV.
Show Notes & Links
Madhav SBSS 0:00
It’s working nice and good. So. Super. I’m thrilled to be speaking with our featured guest, Alexander Ray, an independent artist based in Providence, Rhode Island. Alexandria, are you prepared to create magic? Absolutely. Awesome. Alexandria, I’ve given creator nation a glimpse into your life, please take a moment and tell us your side of the story.
Well, I come from a family of artists, actually, my father is an artist. So since I was very little, I’ve been my top my toy store was the art store. You know, I’ve always been around that kind of world and environment. And I started taking art seriously, I have. I studied fashion design, but I started taking art seriously in 2003. And it was motivated, like politically motivated most mostly. And then after that, I always knew I was going to paint that was just something that that I just knew was going to happen in my life. And that was the moment where I was actually able to, and from then on, I just took it as a career and and in just did was very determined to take it as far as I could for the rest of my life.
Madhav SBSS 1:39
Awesome. So very determined to take it as far as you could for the rest of your life. That’s a powerful line right there. I think that’s, that’s awesome. Share with us. One of your most favorite quotes, we love to start with a quote, and let everyone listening to this podcast get excited to create stuff of their own.
Absolutely, I think that I don’t know who said it, or I don’t remember right now who said it, but it’s something that I always have present and it’s to move confidently in the direction of your dreams. It I think in this type of career, determination, confidence and determination are some things that really will guarantee you that you move forward and you find success,
Madhav SBSS 2:34
perfect confidence and determination. Very powerful, very powerful words. And I couldn’t agree with you more. Without confidence, you couldn’t even stand up and take a step forward. And to to make a lifelong journey with something that you love, and that you believe in. Determination and confidence absolutely must, how do you apply this quote, in your day to day life? As an artist?
Well, every day when I get up, I think, what am I going to do to move my career forward? That is the first question, what do I need to do today to keep going and, and that is what I do. So, you know, unfortunately, when you’re an artist, life is not only painting or sculpting, you have to think of it as a business as well. So I try to keep very informed, I try to keep up with my social media, I try to provide great customer service. And just try to do the best I can do and be very focused on the end goal, which is success.
Madhav SBSS 3:46
Super, keep moving forward with then goal, don’t don’t lose sight of end goal. And wake up every day and ask yourself, How do I take the next step to make myself move forward?
Absolutely. Because if you don’t have if you don’t, I believe that if if you don’t think of it that way, if you are not successful as an artist, then you cannot continue to do art unless you are a millionaire, you know. So, you have to have results from what you do. And I think that sometimes we are not taught that. And and that is a very important part in in, in our freedom to do what we love.
Madhav SBSS 4:28
Absolutely beautiful, very beautifully said, in order to have the freedom to do what you love. You need to be able to have those goals, short term goals as a long term long term goal and keep track of them and and improve on them every day. How one of the things that we love to learn from artists like yourself, who have taken the leap in this in this direction is you know when you face a low point in your career or in your journey as an artist As an independent artist, can you share with us a setback in your artistic journey and how you move past it?
Well, I think the biggest setback that I’ve had was not only in my artistic career, but as a person, I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, early 2014. And with that diagnosis, also, I wasn’t able to work. So I lost everything. And I went into bankruptcy, unfortunately. So that was a very low point in general. And what happened in that moment is that I had to reinvent myself. So the things that I were was doing, I could no longer do. And I just had to figure out how I was going to move forward. So with the help of my family, and my loved ones, I, I reinvented myself, I took my career in a direction where it would be more profitable. Where I could have like, more stable revenue, with lower priced items. Because you know, before if you sell a painting for $4,000 $6,000, you’re not going to sell that every day. Right? You’re lucky if you sell it every month. Yeah. So. So that’s just the reality, you know, people do not need to buy art. They it’s a it’s a it’s a commodity to have. Yes, it’s just nice to have. Exactly. So So I said, Well, I can’t do that. So that’s when I started to do my pet portraits. Because it really, it’s a lower priced item, although I have paintings that are much more expensive in the 1000s. This allows me to have steadier income. And plus, I adore animals, so it was like the perfect thing to do.
Madhav SBSS 6:53
They’re definitely cute, very, they, they, you know, give you a lot of joy. And why not. And I’ve noticed in your profile on Etsy, I believe in I love art, I love animals. That’s the best combination of making art off animals.
It’s a match made in heaven, I love them. I mean, every time I get an order, my heart just bounces of happiness, because I love them, I really do. I enjoy them so much. And I think that love translates in the work. So it makes me very happy
Madhav SBSS 7:31
to unconditional love. Fabulous, fabulous. Can you will flip gears for a second and going from all the way to the low point in your journey to perhaps a magical moment, if you had one, an aha moment in your journey that you’d like to share with our listeners?
Well, you know, the sun shines after the storm. So one of the things that was before I was before I got sick, sometimes I would have a lot of doubts if I was being true to myself in my work was being true this that if I was just trying to please other people and my art dealers, and you know, after that, I was much truer to myself. And and I think the work now is more pure. Everything I do is something that is very pure. And, and also, and I think this is good for artists that that don’t like to just do one thing. I think it’s actually a wonderful thing that you experiment with different types of either media or different types of work, because you can reinvent yourself in so many ways. You know, you can do pet portraits, or, in my case, I do pet portraits, but I also have art dealers that sell my mandalas. And I also sell my abstracts so so I think that you find happiness as an artist when you create what you want.
Madhav SBSS 9:05
True. And that’s such a powerful message true to yourself and what you’re not necessarily trying to please somebody else you have to first please yourself and be true to yourself.
So the magical moment is that I don’t care anymore. Oh
yeah, I do what I love, and then I, I figure out how to market and so what I love,
Madhav SBSS 9:32
very powerful. I don’t care about anything else, as long as I truly believe in what I’m creating. That gives me joy. I think that’s magical and that beautiful moment to capture and perhaps Perhaps listeners take take inspiration from that a lot of the times the world is trying to pull us in million directions. It’s distracting us from our true self. And they’re working very hard to distract us from our true self and I think We have to constantly make an effort to get back to that.
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Because every person is unique. So what makes you unique as an artist is what you can bring to the table. Nobody else can bring to the table what you can.
Madhav SBSS 10:17
Perfect, perfect. Alexandra, this is so amazing and very inspiring message be being true to yourself. And in terms of what’s exciting you right now? And where do you see yourself going in your art journey and taking your love for art? Forward? Can you share with us what’s exciting you right now?
Sure, absolutely. Well, um, I have a lot of projects, I think I have too many projects, and not much time. But right now one of the things is, um, for paw prints, for example, I’m going to start a line of prints, I’m going to do several prints that I’m going to start selling. So I’m working on that. And I’m going to also start a line of apparel, pet apparel. And it’s going to be based on my prints. And it’s going to be some really cute stuff that I’m going to be selling on Etsy. And, you know, independently, I’m going to continue my social artwork, and also the abstracts, as well, I’m going to start a line that is called Alexandria, Alexandria, Rey home and design. And it’s going to be based on my artwork. So there’s, you know, there’s a lot of projects.
Madhav SBSS 11:33
For anyone who wants to check out this cute print, so cute pictures that Alexandra is talking about. Definitely will post all the links on the website. But also check out Alexander’s page on Etsy. And it’s called paw prints, pet art. And you will be amazed with the detail and the emotional touch each animal drawing shows. And you will be very, very surprised and happy to see those I’m sure. Alexander what was holding you back in the journey. When you were, let’s say on day one of the journey. What was your holding? What was holding you back? And how did you overcome that to actually take this independent artists journey?
Well, number 1am I good enough. Question. Good enough for this? Does anybody want to buy my art? That was question number one.
Unknown Speaker 12:36
self doubt for sure. Always the
Madhav SBSS 12:40
least most? Yeah. Popular one where we self sabotage ourselves before the world actually says anything about it.
Absolutely. And then I started. And then it’s funny because I started participating in a lot of juried exhibitions, like sending my slides in that time it was like so I kept sending my slides. And after like 50 rejections, and a very, very low morale. I actually won a prize. And it was for Amsterdam, Whitney Gallery in New York. And it was one of the 10 best painting. So I said, Wow. So maybe I can do this. And that’s what gave me the confidence. But I think that you just have to be very determined. And just don’t take rejection. It’s hard to not take it personally. Because when you’re an artist, you’re doing things that are a representation of yourself many times,
Madhav SBSS 13:47
yes, you’re putting your heart out there. Yes, you’re putting
your heart out there. And when it gets rejected, it kind of feels like someone stabbed you. Like you just, you know, you have to keep going. You just you cannot lose faith in yourself.
Madhav SBSS 14:03
Superb 50 rejections, and then you just went right through that wall. And that small win that you had there was a serendipitous when in the Amsterdam show, and that definitely the small wins matter a lot as much as we think they are not. I recall, you know, my first prize in art competition when I was eight or whatever, very unexpected, but that really triggered my journey as an artist. As an amateur artist, I would continue to draw for the last several decades. Awesome. Thank you so much. We’ll be getting the last section of the session. And we’ll have a few rapid fire questions. And then you just take a moment to answer them. What’s your who’s your favorite artists if you have one
I like many artists. I’m one of my favorite artists is Turner. Because his paintings have so much passion so much force that I, I, I love his work. I absolutely love his work.
Madhav SBSS 15:20
So much passion in his work, you can see it. Oh, yeah,
he was just you can see it. It’s amazing. Very good work.
Madhav SBSS 15:29
Definitely we’ll check it out. What’s your favorite book, or a movie or a song? If you have anything that you want to share, specifically, because a lot of the listeners would love to read up, catch up on new ideas from different creative folks like yourself.
Well, as an artist, I actually I love books. I love collecting art books. There is a book called making a living as an artist that I really liked. I don’t remember the author, I’m horrible at names, but making a living as an artist was a very good book. And it gives you a lot of interesting and good advice.
Madhav SBSS 16:12
So making a living as an artist
making a living as an artist. Yeah, it’s very good book a lot of insights into the art world.
Madhav SBSS 16:21
Perfect. Perfect. And we’re down to the last question Alexandra. If you have one superpower to create anything you want, what would that be? And why?
That’s a wonderful question. That’s me. Well, you know what I would like I would like to create a crystal ball. That would tell me all the answers to our existence in the universe. That’s what I would like. Wow.
Unknown Speaker 17:00
I would love to be the
Madhav SBSS 17:04
magic crystals that will tell you answers to all the mysterious questions of life. Superb. Thank you. Before we say goodbye, could you please share with our listeners at creator nation one parting piece of advice and how we can connect with you online.
My advice is never give up. Ever. on anything, not only are on anything. Keep going. Never give up.
Unknown Speaker 17:40
Keep going never give up. Yes.
And you can find me on at pawprints pet portraits.com Or my Etsy shop paw prints pet art.
Madhav SBSS 17:53
Beautiful. Thank you so much Alexandra, and they say folks, you are this. They say as you know, you are the average of five people that you hang out with. You are hanging out with Alexandra and MODAF today. Thank you everyone. Thanks Alexandra. We will see you on the magical side.
Thank you, Mara.
Madhav SBSS 18:19
Take care. Thank you. Bye bye. Bye Alexandra. I’m stopping the recording for a second but a thank you
Transcribed by https://otter.ai