January 7, 2021 | Alyson Stanfield

Seeking Balance with Chris Maynard

Balance is the holy grail of every entrepreneurial artist’s quest.

What does a balanced artist’s life look like? And what happens when you actually achieve balance?

2020 Chris Maynard Reflection No. 5 12x15 inches turkey feather artwork
©2020 Chris Maynard, Reflection No. 5. Turkey feathers. 12 x 15 inches. Photographed by the artist.

As much as I love the idea of being whisked away by my latest all-consuming project, I also know what it feels like to be out of balance. I much prefer being in charge of my time and my life, and that’s why I loved this conversation with Chris Maynard.

In this episode I talked with Chris about finding balance in life as well as in making and marketing art. He shares the secret behind his seemingly successful quest for balance, how he approaches requests for commissioned pieces, and the systems that he uses to stay on top of it all.

Balance may seem elusive, and, yet, we all need it in order to be our most creative and successful selves.

Whether you’re currently searching for balance in your work or have already homed in on what the perfect balance means to you, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Music by Wildermiss

Highlights

Artist Chris Maynard at work on carved feather artwork
  • Chris Maynard explains the inspiration behind his carved feather sculptures. (3:39)
  • Details about the seven galleries that represent Chris’s work. (6:55)
  • Chris’s income streams, including commissioned work, prints, and his book. (7:30)
  • Why balance is important to Chris. (11:00)
  • How Chris balances commission requests with his own creative work. (12:45)
  • Maintaining relationships with galleries while accepting commissions. (15:47)
  • Balancing commissioned pieces, for Chris, means working on one at a time. (18:04)
  • Dancing, movement, and leaving work undone are all part of Chris’s typical work week. (23:55)
  • Systems for commissioned pieces and communication. (27:04)
  • Finding the balance between making and marketing art. (29:28)
  • The marketing channels that have brought Chris the most sales. (31:33)
  • The marketing and the making of Chris's art starts with a feeling. (38:11)
  • What Chris is working on now. (41:03)

Mentioned

Colossal online art magazine

Bored Panda a community for creative people

Chris's book, Feathers: Form and Function

Chris Maynard Quotes

  • “I’m always trying to figure out how to get my work to more people.”
  • “I want to be happy and healthy. I want balance.”
  • “Sometimes people love the stuff that I don’t like.”
  • “Being able to move is part of balance for me.”
  • “I try to leave something that I’m excited about undone for the next workday.”
  • “Marketing is just a way of reaching out and being active about what I do.”

About My Guest

Artist Chris Maynard headshot

Oregon artist Chris Maynard combines his strong backgrounds in biology and ecology to pay homage to nature through the plumage of birds — using feathers acquired from legal sources such as zoos and private aviaries all naturally shed by birds.

Working with delicate tools, he carves into feathers to create images of the very creatures that shed them, inventing poetic and playful compositions of birds in flight. His unique feather sculptures are recognizable to art collectors, bird lovers, and a wide and interesting variety of people from around the world.

Follow Chris on Instagram: FeatherFolio

Read his blog.

Music by Wildermiss

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