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

Hi Frank, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The decision to become a full time artist was a decision at the end of a journey. This occupation (compelling obsession) found me. In fact I had not previously considered a career as an artist, even though I have been creating art since I was a kid. After 35 years as an Information Technology professional, I left a job of 14 years to care for a family member across country with a broken leg. Before deciding my next opportunity, I decided to take a sight seeing tour of the west. Of course I took my camera. One place I visited was Seattle and while there I visited the large ferris wheel and took some pictures.

Soon after leaving Seattle I had to return to Denver cutting my adventures short. Once back in Denver I reviewed my pictures and I was floored by the images I took in Seattle of the ferris wheel. Forget the beautiful waterfalls and canyons, I was enamored with the colored LED lights of the Big Wheel.

I have had a long passion for taking photographs of lights at night. I had been taking long exposure photographs at night since I bought my first digital camera in I have developed techniques over the years that I use whenever I see lights at night. However, I had never before tried my techniques on reflections of the lights on water.

I had to go back and see if I could refine my techniques and get other images I liked. With practice, I was able to get fantastic results and incredible images. Then I had to find other locations to develop techniques for different environmental conditions like rain or waves or wind.

I produced some of my images to show friends and family and a friend saw them and offered to curate my first solo art show. That was the first moment I thought anything about the business of art. The decision to sell my art and pursue this as a career and lifestyle happened in that moment.

Since then I have learned quickly what it takes to sell art in addition to figuring out how to make art. What I learned would take a long time to express, needless to say I am still learning everyday.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I describe my art as abstract expressionism. I use my camera to capture incredible long exposure images of colored light and light reflected on water. I print them on aluminum and often cut the images into panels. I mount the panels on my eye catching brushed metal and clear or florescent acrylic, and back light the images with LED lights. The LED lights reflect the brushed metal causing the designs change as you move. My newest pieces are voice activated.

My creations continually evolve and what I display changes regularly. One concept leads to another and that keeps me energized and excited. I show my art all over the country and indoor shows and galleries, and outdoor fine art festivals. When the weather turns colder in Colorado, I look for shows in warmer states like Florida, Texas, Arizona, or California.

The transition from IT professional to artist was not easy. I thought making art and selling was going to be the challenge, but maintaining the business side is a full time job. When I started, I had no idea how to apply to be in a juried show or even how to display my art. I rely heavily on information I receive from other artists who I find to be gracious and forthcoming about the intricacies of art shows. Five years later, I am participating in some of the best shows in the country.

I am always trying to learn and improve and I solicit advice and feedback. Although is can be hard to hear criticism, it can be valuable and provides a path to improvement. The best advice I have received came from a show director who encouraged me to make my art larger. Once I started showing larger, I started selling more and larger pieces.

The hardest and most valuable lesson, which I learned quickly, is that not everyone is as enamored with my style of art as I am. I am passionate about my creations and they are bold and colorful and contemporary. Since I stopped worrying about that, I have been able to stay true to myself and spend more time engaging with those who find something compelling in my art and story. My style is unique and I have not found anyone else across the country that is producing art like mine.

I am incredibly grateful that I am able to pursue my creative passions and that they are being accepted into shows and purchased by collectors worldwide.

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?
There are incredible adventures here in Colorado. That is one of the reasons I live here. I love biking and hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. That being said, I would probably create a summer itenerary as the variety in the summer cannot be beat by any other state.

I would start with some urban adventures. I would spend a morning at the Denver art museum followed by a picnic at the Denver Botanic Gardens. For the more adventurous, I would tour the outdoor art installations and murals downtown via electric scooter or bike. I would finish with dinner at one of the many outstanding restaurants downtown. I have so many favorites from Highlands to Cherry Creek and all over town, there are great restaurants. I really appreciate restaurants that are well established and have become a tradition like Tommy’s Thai restaurant and Bastiens steak house to name just two. And not to forget the late night dives like the Breakfast King.

Next a tour of the mountains. Crested Butte for wild flowers and mountain biking and Pagosa Springs for a relaxing hot springs experience. Closer to home is a trip to the top of Mt Evans and white water rafting on clear creek near Idaho Spring. And nothing says Colorado like the vistas in Rocky Mountain National park. I like starting in Estes Park going over Trailridge road and through Grand Lake before heading back to Denver via Winter Park and Berthoud pass. I have not even discussed mountain biking or fly fishing or hiking. I would somehow include them all in an action packed adventure week. I love this state.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Credit for any success goes to the team that make up my life starting with my wife Cindy for complete unwavering support in an ever changing world I have chosen. Also huge credit to family and friends who have supported me on this new path.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shoutout to the staff at Reed art and imaging who have helped me achieve my creations from a sketch to final product. I continue to challenge them and they continue to provide incredible support and impecible work. They are one of many businesses on which I rely. They are my local team.

That is just a sampling of the people who lift me up and assist me on my way every day. For names and numbers of the numerous, you will have to contact me directly.

Website: www.FrankBaerPhotos.com

Instagram: www.instagram/frankbaerphotos

Linkedin: Frank Baer – Fine Art Photographer

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FrankBaerPhotos

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