Artists can be music, dance, photography, sculpture or a host of other types of art. Ray Seitz is a multi-talented artist with an incredible story. As one of the contestants on ABC’s “True Beauty” this was brought to a much bigger audience. Portrayed as fun loving and impulsive it sometimes seemed he wasn’t serious about anything, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
Ray says “Since True Beauty ended I’ve been pretty much working hard on getting my painting to where I want it to be. Each day I work for about ten hours, so it’s pretty much a full time commitment.”
Many watched him on television last spring but there’s another side only hinted at on the show. Ray Seitz has traveled the world studying art. Among the experiences was an extended stay with Chinese painter Mau-Kun Yim. He learned to see great art.
Well spoken he says of his favorite subject that “would be women. I just love women.” He’s also done some incredible scenic type art. Seeing and recording this comes easy when seeing what might have been.
A trip with his brother to Costa Rica provided an experience that highlighted many things we take for granted. A horrific vehicle accident resulted in his femur being broken, pinned by the dash of the SUV as the airbags never deployed for protection. It was 45 minutes before getting to a small medical clinic which served as a stopping point to get antibiotics. Moved to another clinic in what sounds a nightmare someone told him to insist on going to CIMA. Nine hours later with a 105F fever and infection setting in he got medical care for his leg. Of his ordeal he says “I believe if God has put it on your heart to pray, then He will also use you in the answer.”
Today Ray is looking forward. As an artist he’s dedicated to his craft. He says “a typical day for me is up around 8. Then I go and paint a plain air landscape until about noon, have lunch, draw until around 5 at which time I get another landscape in. Then I eat, work out and try to fit in another block of drawing.” This focus takes persistence to do consistently. “I try to get 2 blocks of painting and 2 blocks of drawing in each day. A block consists of 3 hours. I paint and draw from life.”
With several artistic creative outlets managing them can be an issue if care isn’t taken. Ray says “I try to layer my creative options so that they cascade and enhance each other. Always in the front of my mind is the art and I approach every experience with those lenses. If it’s a photo shoot, TV show, fashion design, fine art, or whatever I try to imagine what I want to project and then piece together the steps to achieve that end result.” If you see it you can do it!
While certainly an artist of any kind needs to be creative there is also the business side that needs to be kept in mind. After all, if we can’t pay our bills it isn’t enough to be creative and talented! Pricing is also something that is difficult for many to talk about. “I think pricing arises from a truthful view of where you fit into the artistic world. How much time have I invested, how developed is my talent…art contains 3 things, theory, technique, and mood. However masterful you are with these determines the validity of your pricing.”
Many look at artists and think “I want to do that!” How do you take that step? Should you take that step? For those thinking of being a professional artist Ray says “one must first find someone to learn from who is accomplished themselves. Second it takes time to develop. A doctor can’t grab a knife and decide that he can cut anywhere he feels is appropriate… it takes 8-10 years of training. Keep that in consideration when following the path of art. Perhaps it won’t take that long, but it will take some time. Being an artist is a rare and challenging thing.”
Being an artist has its own reward that drives most people who undertake any kind of artistic work. Ray sums it up well with “It’s defining a singular voice and setting it apart from the multitude. An artist is in complete and ultimate control over their voice… a very powerful thing. Where else can that be said?”