We had the good fortune of connecting with Remy Zimmerman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Remy, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The art of taking a risk, in the hopes for a specific outcome, can be challenging and uncertain, however all the more fulfilling when that leap works in your favor – but also all the more devastating when things do not unravel your way. These extremes are what make risk taking so thrilling and tricky, satisfying and disastrous. However, you never know until you take that leap of faith.

I took a leap of faith with my business, Remy Joy Art. I moved to Denver, Colorado, with my art being my only form of income. I am grateful that this leap of faith is working in my favor, however with this leap comes taking a new risk every day. I enjoy the thrill of being an artist, and from the outside, it seems quite simple – with an inside look, others would see that my day to day is quite precarious in nature.

Making a piece of work for a specific person brings me the utmost joy; commissions drive the satisfaction that I feel every day, and they also drive the skepticism that works parallel with my routine. Clients put their trust in me to bring their vision to life, however art is so abstract, and the way that I perceive an idea might not match what my clients have in mind. This is where the risk comes in – I take a leap of faith, and start creating a piece in the hopes of it matching my client’s wants and needs. I either hit the nail on the head, or misinterpret their vision completely. I have learned that communication is key for my commissions – I must talk in depth with my clients before I pick up that pencil to create. I learned this technique after many trial and errors of guessing their vision, rather than truly understanding it. I now have a commission form that clearly states what I need from my clients before starting their project; additionally, I now schedule phone calls with each person to make sure that expectations, on both ends, are clear and concise. While I have an updated groove that helps lower my risk with commissions, that risk will never fully go away – because at the end of the day, someone is still putting their trust in me to meet their artful assumption. I feel pressure from this fact, but I also feel uplifted by this sense of trust.

I take a leap of faith whenever I sell original drawings, prints, stickers, the list goes on. I have to put myself out there in order to succeed as an artist. There is a sense of vulnerability that works next to this reality, and while I feel exposed selling new products, I know that my business will only sustain itself if I keep a sense of risk in my back pocket. I cannot succeed if I do not try to sell my art. I cannot succeed if I do not try to get more commissions. I will only succeed if I go out of my comfort zone, and take risks, while knowing that I might not sell every artwork I make – while knowing that I might not make the perfect commission for each client. It is a constant battle between uncertainty and safety, but that is the most fulfilling part of turning a passion into my job. I am so grateful for where I am at, and I look forward to the rest of my journey.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My charcoal work sets me apart from others, and I am excited to learn more about this medium – I learn something new with each drawing. I have original series and projects that are currently in the works, and I look forward to growing my exposure and sharing these pieces with all of you.

The evolution of my business has not been easy, however it has been incredibly fulfilling and eye opening. While I have the art part down, the business side of things has been a bit tricky for me to get in a groove with. I overcome the daunting organization through asking questions – I have learned that people, especially in the creative realm, are always willing to help others grow. I have learned that you can never ask too many questions, and it is okay to not be able to do everything on your own. It took me awhile to master the artistry of external help, however I am so grateful to have grown comfortable in the department of inquiry.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would plan a week packed with good food and even better views. The first stop would be Waffle House, naturally; I would also plan to stop by Goldbergs, Wasabi House in Dunwoody, Breadwinner and Souper Jenny’s. I would take my buddies for a hike at Island Ford, and a nice walk by the Chattahoochee river. I’d top the week off with a trip to Ponce City Market, as there are endless amounts of stores to browse, food to eat, beer to drink and art to see along the beltline. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My entire social circle deserves recognition in my story; my friends and family have pushed me to be a better version of myself, a better artist in the world of creatives. My family helps me grasp a sense of the business side of things – what my art is worth financially, and how to better navigate the organization of being my own boss. My friends help me grasp a sense of the importance of social media exposure – what type of posts will reach a bigger audience, how often I should share my work, and the usefulness of sharing my art process behind the scenes, rather than just the finished products.

Three women have been especially inspiring when it comes to the evolution of my business – Robyn Zimmerman, my mom and biggest fan, Julie Rotenstreich, and Sharon Moskowitz. I have learned so much from these ladies, and these lessons, together, have allowed me to grow a sense of confidence in running my own business. Julie has taught me to acknowledge my talent, and own it for what it is. Sharon has taught me to share my work with every rising opportunity, even if an opportunity feels far fetched. My mom, Robyn, has taught me the importance of shaping my art to reach specific audiences, while staying in the realm of my style. These lessons only touch the surface of their inspiring role in my evolution as a freelance artist. I am eternally grateful for these women sharing their knowledge in the world of sales and art – I would not be where I am today if they hadn’t stuck by my side through the ongoing process of learning how to run Remy Joy Art. I would not be where I am today if my friends and family hadn’t stuck by my side through all of the questions and calls regarding the big things, like what to sell, and the little things, like social media posts. My people help me maintain a balance between staying true to myself and appealing to an audience – I feel so lucky to be surrounded by folk who push me to succeed and grow as an Artist. You know if you are one of those people, and if you are reading this, I cannot thank you enough.

Website: remyjoyart.com

Instagram: @remyjoyart

Linkedin: Remy Zimmerman

Facebook: Remy Joy Art

Image Credits
The photo of me on the yoga mats was taken by Arabelle Berman – @designsbyarabelle on instagram.

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