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Local Artist Creates ‘Arts Incubator’ At The Studio Door

Patric Stillman brings art and commerce together for artists

Ten years ago Patric Stillman decided to make a serious commitment to his art.

"I’m basically an acrylic painter and for me it’s all about the movement of the physical body and so I do dancers, surfers, skateboarders. I find that that movement, there’s a sensuality and energy that’s created that I try to capture in my work," he said.

As he was developing his craft, Stillman was also trying to figure out how to create a business that would look to the intersection of art and commerce.

"There are a lot of difficult questions that arise when you want to become a professional artist," Stillman said. "How do you relate to galleries? How do you get in? How do you price your work? How do you pick what shows you do? And I learned quickly that by meeting and discussing things with other artists and building community, it started breaking down barriers of understanding mechanics of art and in the sense of business."

Stillman looked to his own personal experiences, saw what was most needed to help his fellow artists, and then created what he called an arts incubator.

"So we are at the Studio Door, which is in the heart of North Park and I think it’s an ideal place for us to build a community both for the artists and for San Diego," Stillman said.

Artist Linda Litteral’s painting is showcased at the Studio Door, which she said acknowledges the commercial aspects of being an artist.

"A lot of artists like myself really don’t like that part of the art world, so Patric is helping artists to discover that path of showing your work and selling it at the same time," she said.

"It’s real clear that artists have wonderful creative sides but they struggle with the business side and so that’s where the Studio Door focuses, how can we help the creative marketplace grow both for the artist and for art lovers," Stillman said.

The Studio Door benefits from being run by an artist who understands how daunting it can be to create a work that they feel has intrinsic value and then have to learn how to place a dollar value on that in order to make a living.

The Studio Door focuses on two things: assisting artists with art-to-market knowledge and creating opportunities that will help artists grow by providing working studio space, an online presence and curating exhibits like the current "50 to Watch."

"Fifty artists have been selected to represent San Diego’s visual arts and they're being seen in two shows and online gallery and going out to 2,000 galleries across the country in the form of a publication that we’ve created," Stillman said.

Artist Chris Smith is one of the "50 to Watch."

"It feels really good, it’s a good opportunity and we’re getting out there in a lot of places," Smith said.

"The visual arts scene today in San Diego covers a lot of ground and it was important that we were kind of highlighting all the different styles that were available in San Diego," Stillman said.

"Yeah I think that was one of the biggest things about his shows is that there’s a little something for everybody," Smith added.

And maybe a few things that will surprise you as well. But maybe the biggest surprise is the practical approach Stillman is taking to something fueled by such intangible things as creativity, imagination, and inspiration.

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