Thursday, September 1, 2011

Frankie Garcia and FGIII Art

Frankie Garcia and Ekaterina Konovalova

Frankie Garcia III is a Dallas-based artist, creative advisor, arts advocate, and founder of FGIIIArt. He founded FGIIIArt to be an umbrella organization that instills unity within the Dallas art community and provides opportunities that strengthen and empower the individual artists in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In addition, Frankie organizes and curates art exhibitions at RISING Gallery as their creative advisor.

RISING Gallery Crew
Frankie shared with me, “I’ve worked with so many different artists for so long now, that my eye for talent has been refined… I started to use the term “creative adviser” because I do a number of things... First and foremost, I’m a painter. Second, I curate art shows and exhibitions. Third, from a project/design perspective, I’m excellent at creating color palettes for various projects, I can visualize the project and build on a budget, I’m able to distribute the work, I’m able to round up the artists, I relate to the artists and get them excited and enthused and I create incentives for both the artists and the client. From a marketing perspective, I utilize my resources to the full and collaborate when needed but, more importantly, I continually stay in the art mix. I personally participate in art related fundraisers by sitting on committees and donating artwork. I also, support our arts by attending art shows and exhibitions and assist with spreading the word to my clients and art enthusiasts in my circle. This is kind of my niche but it all stems from being an artist.”
Frankie's Art "Lavender Rose"

Frankie has always been interested in visual arts. He loved drawing as a kid. He drew on everything and when he ran out of paper in the house, his mom cut up paper shopping bags to supply him with something to release his artistic expression. Frankie says, “I’ve always had a builders mind. I collected piles of wood and I would go to a neighbor (he was a carpenter) and would ask for a box of nails. I didn’t use a measure tape – I would just build it... I made my mom shelves, tables, chairs, etc... Then I started making art: frames, canvases, utilizing various materials.” In his younger years, Frankie was enrolled in the TAG program, TAG stands for Talented and Gifted, where he learned many practical skills that he now uses in his art career.

Frankie's Art
Talking about his art career. As a self-taught artist, he didn’t believe that his art would sell early on. He worked a handful of odd jobs before he dove into art full-time. He was involved in carpentry, roofing, building, landscaping, and worked at a car body shop among other things. In 1996, he was married at age of twenty and took a job as a printer, at Millet The Printer, working sometimes triple shifts to provide for his family. He would create art after work into the late hours of the night. At that time, he had a friend who was working at a small retail furniture store and she insisted on exhibiting Frankie’s art in the showroom. Two of his paintings were soon sold for $200 a piece. Frankie was really excited over his first art sale, “I was 20 years old when I started creating art to sell.”

Two years later, he met Gary Jackson who curated Frankie’s first solo exhibition. The show was called “One Red Dot,” and they sold 23 pieces out of 32. Frankie reflected on that experience, “It was kind of a weird thing. That’s when I realized I want to do this full time. I quit my day job.”

He was doing well selling art for a couple years, but then things slowed down, and Frankie sought out employment at Rutherford's Designs, an interior design firm. Frankie learned a lot about design, balance, placement and perspective from the very talented group of designers at Rutherford’s. On occasion, Frankie had the privilege to work with Robert Rutherford directly and Mr. Rutherford taught him how to relate to high net-worth clients. “Our playground was Highland Park/Park Cities... most of the times our clients didn’t have a budget,” recalled Frankie.

Frankie's Art at the Marriott Hotel Dallas
Frankie’s ability to understand color, acquired at the printing shop, played a pivotal role in his future success in the interior design and art business. Frankie told me, “I’m GREAT with color and I know color. You can show me one shade of color and tell me ‘I love this shade,’ I’ll look at tons of other shades and review lots of variations from that shade… But, when I get to painting your space or canvas I’ll always hit it on the head and give you what you need for your space or project. Your color or color palette has been embedded in my brain and I’ll remember those shades forever.”

While working for the interior design firm, he began to create paintings for his clients’ homes and spaces. “Sometimes clients didn’t like what I personally painted but they liked my design style and my presentation, so I would continue to assist with other aspects of the project and began to collaborate, hire and commission friends and other artists. And that’s how all of this “artist unification/collaboration” thing started… I’d work with other artists and they’d ask me to work with them…” Since then, Frankie has been responsible for organizing numerous projects, events, exhibitions, fund-raisers and group shows including OFF THE GRID, ART+Advocacy, an art auction benefiting Dallas Children's Advocacy Center, and Artists Against AIDS art auction among others.
Frankie believes that “We creatively find a way to make a white canvas pretty. I’ve always said this, ‘If you are an artist, you should creatively be able to tackle anything in any aspect of life, if you want to.’ Cause, it is all white canvas, and it is just what we make out of it. From an artist perspective, it is all out there for our taking. We are fortunate to be in this country and have a freedom to choose to be artists. There are a lot of countries where you can’t make this choice.” 

Frankie's Art "Well Versed"
His biggest advice to young artists who ‘want to make it to the art world’ is be friends with technology. Create your website, blogsite and Facebook page; update them regularly. Reach out to people. Frankie says “Create your own path, just like you create your own art piece.” To illustrate the power of networking and social media, Frankie told me a quick story: “I just met with someone who said “Frankie, I tried to meet you for a year.” I asked him “What took you so long?” And he said, “I don’t know.” I said, “Just send me a message on Facebook, and I’ll respond to it.” But people don’t do it! If you want to meet somebody, Google that person, and send a Facebook friend request with a message “My name is so and so, and I am a local artist. I would like to meet for coffee, I’d like to sit and talk. I enjoy your work, I enjoy what you do, I enjoy the gallery – whatever it is. And when you sit in front of this person, who knows what they could bring to the table.”