Oct
20

Delivery Driver By Day, Paper Sculpture Entrepreneur by Night

Like most of us, Eric Simmon’s love of art began when he was a kid. Eric would spend hours copying drawings of his favorite superheroes out of comic books. With his love of art growing through childhood, it only seemed natural to pursue an artistic career path; which lead Eric to get a degree in graphic arts, graduating for Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan in 1989.

But Eric found that technology was constantly changing. He found himself frequently going back to college, just trying to keep his skills current, to be able to do his creative work in this medium. It just became too much to do. (Maybe even too much of a financial stretch to do too..)

And so for about fifteen years Eric worked for a major photo lab in the Detroit area where he helped produce large scale displays for trade shows and museums. Currently, Eric is a delivery driver for a Detroit based printing company.

“As much as I would love to make a living from my artwork, I have to say that realistically, that will probably never happen. I do keep trying to get my work out there in the public, and I have had a lot of positive responses, but not enough to quit my day job”, says Eric.

Sound familiar?

But Eric’s past does not predict his future. Eric’s paper sculptures and cards are simply incredible. And Eric’s passion shows through in his commitment to blog.

“My paper sculptures started as just a cheap way to decorate, and have now grown into an obsession. Mythology, legends and the natural world are the inspiration for my work. I originally intended to depict mythical characters from various legends from around the world, but I sometimes find myself exploring my own personifications of nature instead”.

Ancient Chinese and Japanese images have strongly influenced Eric’s style. Also the female figure plays a prominent role in his work.

“I started to actually sell my sculptures about 10 years ago at art fairs and galleries. My work has been exhibited at several galleries in the Detroit area, as well as Georgia, Wyoming, Oklahoma, California, Nebraska, Cooperstown, New York; and Boston, Massachusetts. I am always looking for new opportunities to exhibit my work, whether it’s an art fair, gallery or online. I’ve also taught a couple of classes on paper sculpture”.

But with the economy being what it is right now Eric thought it would be wise to come up with some more affordable alternatives to his paper sculptures which resulted in his creating cards. “Most people who buy the cards have no intention of actually sending them off to anyone, instead most tell me they plan on framing them and decorate a small area in their house with them”.

Maybe Eric should consider framing them himself and selling them as original finished artwork for hundreds of dollars since his customers seem to be showing him how important they are to them? Just completing this step for future clients might increase the value of his work alone. What do you think Eric should do to improve his growing paper artistry business? Can you offer a suggestion to help him?

Check out more of Eric’s artwork at http://www.flickr.com/photos/simmons3d/

Creative Commons License
Resource Center for Arts Entrepreneurs by Entrepreneur The Arts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.EntrepreneurTheArts.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.EntrepreneurTheArts.com.