Starting a business can be a challenge but there is a lot of help in Carroll County. Local artist-painter Alice Faber recently started her own art business.
When she was young, Faber could not read. She even failed third grade. But when her parents took her to the library to interest her in reading, Faber found art books with lots of pictures for her to enjoy. As a result, Faber became curious about what the book said about the artwork and artist. So she taught herself to read.
Faber also taught herself to paint by reading about how to do it. By the time she got to high school she could read.
She took an art class in high school, but none in college. After college, she painted for a while until she got a job. Then, Faber went through the rest of her life, never painting.
When she retired two years ago, Faber was able to take art classes at long last at Carroll Community College. She has taken the following classes in the Continuing Education Department: Stan Gilmore - Drawing for the Timid and Basic Drawing; Shirley Lippy Drawing and Painting (Beginning), Drawing and Painting (Continuing); Studio Art: Drawing and Painting; Ken Ecker, Figure Drawing from the Live Model.
All through her life, one item on Faber's bucket list was to sell a painting.
When she and her husband got married, they both had so much art that they decided to sell her artwork. There was just no room for all of it. They decided to invest as much in her business as they would on a cruise. They decided to have fun with it and enjoy the challenge.
Faber took "Marketing and Self Promotion of Art" at Carroll Community College to learn about starting a business. Also, as a result of the class she took, Faber put her art for sale on Fine Art America. The class she took is part of a series of classes offered to help artists sell their artwork including copyright laws, selling on the internet and more.
She also spoke with Roger Voter, a business consultant, in the Small Business and Technology Development Center to help her prepare a business plan. His office is also at Carroll Community College.
"If it weren't for contacts at CCC, I would have never be able to begin. It is a gift," she said.
To get started, Faber spoke with another local artist, Deborah Butts, and learned where to buy a tent. Butts also mentored her on how to set up a booth. She and her husband spent days putting the tent up and down for practice. Her neighbors eventually came over to see what they were doing.
In preparation for selling art, she also had gicleé prints made, a must for artists who want to make a living selling art.
Their first show Faber participated in was this past June at "Art in the Park" held by the Carroll County Arts Council in Westminster. She sold her first original and some prints.
"We had fun and talked with people around us," she said.
The next show she and her husband attended as vendors was the Taneytown Jazz and Art Festival. She received a lot of positive feedback from the show and some good experience.
Faber joined the Carroll County Artists Guild where many of the artists also gave her valuable advice. She also became a member of the Carroll County Arts Council where she recently participated in the "Wild Imaginings" art exhibition. Each artist did their representation of the bronze lion sculpture that resides in front of the Westminster library .
As a member of the Hanover Area Arts Guild, Faber has recently painted an image of a lion statue titled "The Guardian of the Warehime-Myers Mansion."
The guild artists are painting panels of local sites to be displayed on the front of the old Hanover Theater on Frederick Street in Hanover, Pa. The exhibit will run through December 2014.
Faber also attends "Lunch About Nothing" and "Breakfast About Everything" to network with other business people. "I want to pursue making it the best business I can," she said. At the networking events, local entrepreneurs, business people and representatives from non-profits trade cards, business tips and local happenings.
Faber's art can current be seen at the Carroll County Arts Council Members show, which is on display through Oct. 8 at the restored Carroll Arts Center.
She is continuing to apply for other shows and is making progress.
"The entire purpose of my business is not necessarily to make money but also to have fun. It would be nice to make some money but I am very grateful for what we have done so far," she said.
"Once I learned to read my future was automatically expanded and I eventually went on to earn a doctorate in education, but art was the key," she said. "I had to learn to read in order to do art, and therefore, I was able to do so many other things as well. My love of art is not only confined to how I feel when I paint but how I feel as I live."