Today I had a chat with the shark loving Adriana Artmeier, an aptly named artist who paints surrealist and realistic ocean themed pieces.
Elle-May Michael: I am here with the wonderful Adriana Artmeier what thank you so much for joining me! Can you let our lovely people know a little bit about you and what you create?
Adriana Artmeier: Yes. So I’m Adriana Artmeier and I paint surrealism, realistic, weird things, mostly into the ocean direction and some scary stuff involved as well.
Elle-May Michael: I always noticed there is a lot of sea related things, like sharks or different under the sea things in there, and I understand you donate to Sea Shepherd?
Adriana Artmeier: Yes, I love Sea Shepherd and for some of my artworks a part goes to Sea Shepherd. I also have small canvases where everything goes to them as well an auction plan. So I totally support and love Sea Shepherd and what they do, and they also inspire me when it comes to creating my artwork and a big part of why I create the work that I create.
Elle-May Michael: Awesome! And you do diving too, right? When you can?
Adriana Artmeier: When I can. When its not lockdown. That’s sort of how it all started with the ocean things because just before the first lockdown last year, I just finished my diving course to become like a certified diver and it was locked down and everything in my head was just like diving, ocean, stingrays, sharks, everything related to that. So I just needed to get it out.
Elle-May Michael: You work full time on your art, don’t you? You’re a full time professional artist, you could say?
Adriana Artmeier: yes, I mean, I work once a fortnight at the moment until Christmas, umm I work and personalize Christmas ornaments. Which is usually what I do for two months around the Christmas time, full time. But this year, I’m gonna do both full time. So 80 hours there. And then 30 plus hours I tried to do in my business and then the two hours sleep.
Elle-May Michael: Will you be taking a holiday after this?
Adriana Artmeier: Yep. But I’m already quite excited because I love that job. And it’s just sitting there painting all day and Christmas joy. And I mean, I don’t celebrate Christmas, but that’s basically my Christmas just seeing other people get happy from Christmas. But yeah, it’s great.
Elle-May Michael: Yeah, absolutely. And just being able to be around people will be nice.
Adriana Artmeier: Yeah, definitely.
Elle-May Michael: I love that you do a really great job on your Instagram of like talking about what you’re working on. And you have it seems lots of dedicated followers on there. And I think a real that went viral recently.
Adriana Artmeier: Yeah!
Elle-May Michael: So I feel like you’re pretty on top of Instagram. But is there anything when it comes to marketing your brand that you find really difficult, complicated or out of reach? At the moment?
Adriana Artmeier: I’m definitely on my website in regards to like all of the SEO things ranking on Google.
Elle-May Michael: Yeah, it’s… I find it so difficult with art, because art so kind of abstract in itself, right? People don’t know that what they want until they see it. But I guess you do have I guess a niche in that you do tend to work with sea life or kind of surrealism. So the surrealism would be harder to do keywords for I imagine.
Adriana Artmeier: Yeah a little bit.
Elle-May Michael: But at least if you’ve got a specific type of shark, you can put words in, I could talk about SEO for hours, you know, it’s my one of my favorite topics. About one of the things that people often forget about is like off site SEO. So that’s kind of having your website or links to your different pages on other websites. So back-links for example, between the in.cube8r website and your website or being featured on a blog of an arts organization or being featured on a galleries website, or doing an exhibition with the local council who might put up a little bio on you. finding opportunities where you can be featured on other people’s websites, bumps up your rank in your search results. For anyone that’s kind of finding it okay with the setting up keywords, maybe you know, you’ve got a banana shark or banana shark painting, for example. But finding that you’re not getting up towards the top, then thinking about who can I work with in my industry to enhance my search ranking. And that can be as simple as offering to write a guest post on a website or… I think people underestimate, exhibiting or selling with different stores, for example, who know how to do the online side of things because not all, not all do. Do you work with other galleries is an organization’s to promote your work?
Adriana Artmeier: Well, yes, well, of course, the in.cube8r.
Elle-May Michael: Naturally!
Adriana Artmeier: Well, I’m in charge of the blogs at MAVA.
Elle-May Michael: And what is MAVA for anyone that doesn’t know?
Adriana Artmeier: Oh, so basically MAVA supports many Victoria and Melbourne artists creators, and they’re awesome. So definitely check them out.
Elle-May Michael: Yeah. There’s the free Facebook group and the cheap as chips membership online. It’s silly cheap.
Adriana Artmeier: Yeah. And theres like all sorts of like, like, if you’re looking for exhibitions to take part in or like our prices, it’s like on the website, so you don’t have to, like bother like looking for hours on the internet, which helps me a lot.
Elle-May Michael: So you do exhibitions with MAVA when they come up for you?
Adriana Artmeier: Yeah!
Elle-May Michael: As someone that has had a little bit of experience in the art world Is there like a tip or trick that you could give to an artist who’s maybe moving from doing art as a hobby to thinking about starting to exhibit or sell their work?
Adriana Artmeier: Well, definitely, like if you, for example, if you want to take part in an exhibition, you apply for it, just make sure that you when you apply it actually committed to it. And don’t just pull out last second, because that’s not a very good impression, especially when you first start out. Also just never give up. Like even if it doesn’t sell or just yeah, it’s always good for something, even if you don’t realize it at that point in time. Like, even if you don’t sell anything in an exhibition. Still Make sure to like, you know, you still interact with people have a good time, and then people will remember you.
Elle-May Michael: Yeah, I think I mean, exhibitions, especially are networking, more than anything else I think these days, I mean, people do gotta go to art exhibitions to buy art. But as all of us know, art is really personal. You might not have that side space on your wall. But note down the artists Instagram and commission them four years down the track. It’s a bit of a long game exhibiting but I think people do really underestimate. And what I’ve experienced in in.cube8r is a lot of artists do underestimate the power that comes from coming to that opening and talking to all of the people there and collaborating with the other artists in the show to make sure that you’re promoting each other’s works. Imagine if 12 artists all featured every single artwork on their own Instagram, throughout a show that so many more eyeballs seeing the works. I think that’s a really good tip, every opportunity that you get, like an exhibition, or a pop up or whatever, to sit down and really think how can I get the most out of this? And actually following up on those things? Because sometimes we’re very good at writing lists, but not on the follow up… What are you working on at the moment?
Adriana Artmeier: So many things! So while I’m working on new paintings, of course, but I’m also working on a little book, which is very exciting, but it’s just going to be tiny sketches of sharks and their information underneath just so that it’s an easier way to like learn about sharks in like a fun way. Because I researched about the sharks to make those pages and it’s so hard to find up to date information and also so hard to just stay interested during like hours of reading just to find one simple fact. I thought it might just be like a fun way for people to learn, especially for younger kids. Like I was always interested in marine life when I was younger and I remember having those books that were it was quite a lot of writing. So I just looked at the pictures.
Elle-May Michael: Yeah, so you’ve taken like your favorite fact about each one and put it on there?
Adriana Artmeier: Just fun facts, I would say they have quite normal facts. They’re still very special theres nothing weird about them. Having just the size there
Elle-May Michael: That’s so cool! What’s your favorite shark?
Adriana Artmeier: I love the goblin shark just because so it looks very weird. The Great White Shark obviously. I liked the Green Man shock too.
Elle-May Michael: Have you done the whole like swimming with sharks thing?
Adriana Artmeier: I was supposed to do that earlier this year. And but I have to I had to keep rescheduling it because of COVID. So now I rescheduled it just to January. So yeah, it was enough time for it to cool down.
Elle-May Michael: That should be all alright? Surely you can social distance with a shark?
Adriana Artmeier: Oh 100% but I need to go to South Australia for that.
Elle-May Michael: Ah, right. Well, something to look forward to right?
Adriana Artmeier: Yes. It’s going to be my little Holiday after Christmas madness.
Elle-May Michael: That’s so nice. So I know that you are collecting donations for your shark book, How can people get involved in that?
Adriana Artmeier: So the donation thing is just on the bottom of my website. So it’s through a website called ‘buy me a coffee‘. You could just donate however much you want, if you want to help out, because it’s just for all the samples, just make sure the layout is right, just to make it easier. I’m still going to publish it either way, in October, but it would just would be a big help.
Elle-May Michael: You said that’s coming out for Christmas?
Adriana Artmeier: Yeah. So October, I don’t know if it’s an October mid October or early October, but it’s hopefully going to be October
Elle-May Michael: We’ll have some in your cube of course. And is there anywhere else that you would like people to find you? I know they can find you an in.cube8r but how about Social media?
Elle-May Michael: Great. I will it was really nice talking to and I am always inspired by your work how talented you are for someone that only started painting a few years ago. Always very inspired by your work. So go give Adriana a follow and we’ll keep you in the loop about her book when it comes out. Thanks, Adriana!
Adriana Artmeier: Thank you. Bye!
Adriana Artmeier can be found at
Facebook as @adrianaartmeier
Donate to support Adriana’s shark book at Buy Me a Coffee
If you’re a maker/artist you can join our free community for makers here!
*Words of interview are edited for brevity and to make more sense in a written format without changing intentions of words*