I was sitting about four feet from Oakland-based artist, Ines Kramer, as she spoke to group of artists preparing to become more visible in the art world. Her short dark hair and features reminded me of a younger Billie Jean King, the tennis pioneer.

Kramer had a calm confidence about her as she expressed her passion for art. She said wants to be like Henri Matisse (1869-1954) who painted to his last days and continued to create though he was bedridden in his final years.

It was more than a decade ago when Kramer had a job that ended and she then found herself able to produce enough income from her art to cover her monthly expenses. So she kept going. Gained more recognition. And kept going.

Among the wisdom she shared are some tips for an emerging artist:

1. If you’re looking for art galleries to sell your work, pick places you like and check them out first. Walk in and see how you are treated when you walk in. Are you treated with courtesy? And be up front with the gallery, don’t act like a customer if you are an artist. Don’t interrupt the art gallery personnel if they are in the middle of a sale.

2. Don’t jump at the first chance to show your work. First produce a few bodies of work to see who you are before you have the pressure to sell.

3. Find or form your own regular critiquing group. Ween yourself off of the automatic support system provided by school’s structure and classroom environment. Kramer has consistently been in critiquing groups since she left school.

Coincidentally, Kramer studied art at one of my favorite places, the Art Students League in New York. You can see her work at www.ineskramer.com. She definitely exudes the Art Spirit!