Monday, July 21, 2008

Respect Your Dream and Others Will Too

An excerpt of an interview of Deborah Argyropoulos, oil painter, by Mel. Edwards for Votre Vray Creative Women project

Some of us know from an early age what we want to do for the rest of our lives, but those who love us often work hard at diverting our passions to make sure that we’ll be provided for in all social and economic climes. Deborah’s parents were no different. She knew from age 4, with a drawing of a horse, what her truth was. She was a visual artist but her folks made her go to a four year college. “They were worried for me,” she explains.

When asked if she’s do anything else for a living, she admitted that although art is her passion, she is also interested in health, fitness, yoga and nutrition. Her bottom line is that she has no interest in working for someone else’s business.

At age 39, she’s already thinking about her legacy. Her Big Dream? “Make a bunch of money and have a farm for animal rescue. Then leave something behind that will outlast me.”

To me, Deborah sounds similar to several artists: passion and altruism, first, and money enough to live on but not a life of excess, second. “Money is the hard part. I am kind of a pimp when it comes to selling my work. There is only one piece I’ve ever made that I won’t sell, but everything else is up for grabs.” When asked what the one piece is, she gushed, “A painting of my cat. That’s the one.”

Deborah is also quick to add that the work she sells she refuses to give away. “People don’t value or respect what we do. We should be paid more (than most think) because there is no formula. We need to show them, teach them, to respect the artistic process. Invite them into the studio and hand them a brush and say, ‘Go ahead. Paint,’ and then they’ll know.” She also admits making a living and being a success as an artist is an imbalanced system. “Just because you’re good doesn’t mean you can make money. But I’d kill myself (if I tried) to work for somebody else. There is no point in living if it means nothing to you.”

Although non-artists and people who haven’t found their truth may find Deborah’s statement to be grim, it is one that has come up continually through the Votre Vray project. Many women agree to do “it” (meaning your truth/passion) without concern of others’ opinions, guarantee of income or censorship of your spirit. I asked Deborah if her parents have come around, she said, “Yeah. Dad got a painting I just did called ‘Sisters’ of my nieces for Father’s Day. He was so overcome with emotion that he cried. I was a bit in his face and said, ‘Now? Now can I be an artist?’” Evidently, he considered it a rhetorical question, and so do I. Deborah Argyropoulos IS an artist, through and through.
Deborah Argyropoulos can be reached at:
She would also like you to know that the above image is of "Sisters" and measures 36" x 48" and took about 140 hrs to paint.


Anonymous said...

Deborah is indeed a very talented artist. She has the passion and goals in life to be successful. It is wonderful that she has a dream that she is willing to pursue. Hopefully all her dreams will come true and be as colorful and beautiful as her painting.

dhb said...

Her parent's advice certainly didn't snuff out her talent (and maybe they gave some practical tools to help her market her dreams?).

Her passion is apparent and I wish her well!

crb said...

Deborah, I too have found that being creative is not necessarily
a trait that is relished by the "working world." Like Hermit the Frog has said on Sesame Street, "it isn't easy being green." Well, it isn't easy being an artist either! I applaud your determination to respect your dream.

LynnK said...

It is obvious that you are very talented and that you should continue to pursue your dreams. Success often follows passion. Go for it and enjoy.

illene c said...

I love, love, love the painting. It captures the essence of sisters.
I want to see more of Deborah's work.

dsh said...

Deborah's painting of The Sisters is absolutely stunning in its appeal since it portrays so much feeling as well as amazing colors! Your talent and passion for your art is so apparent in this painting and I look forward to seeing much more of your work!
I hope that your dreams will be fulfilled with many more of your passionate and beautiful artworks as a source of much satisfaction and success for you in the future!!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed viewing Deborah's painting of "sisters". The colors were vibrant and beautiful. The love between the sisters was evident from looking at the painting. She captured the devotion between the two girls. It's wonderful to have a talent and a passion. It's a gift that not everyone has.

grannydi said...

Deborah is very talented, the picture of the "sisters" is a delight to view, hopefully as success comes to her I will see more of her paintings. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

I was absolutely blown away by Deborah's out spoken truths and accomplished painting. She appears to be a woman of strong convictions, determination, persistence and last but certainly not least, artistic talent. The painting of "Sisters" was beautifully done. The girls facial expressions made me feel warm all over. I would love to see and hear more of Deborah's paintings and dreams. You go girl!

Sharon said...

I love Doeborah's work. It is full of color and feelings. I am, also, an artist. I agree with her about her desire to create, pushing on to achieve her dreams. Much of the time the public does not realize the vision, work, and time we put into our work. I think it is great for her to bring people into the studio, hand them a brush, and tell them to crate something--then, maybe, they will realize all that is involved.