THRIVE TALKS no. 12 with Artist Consultant Pennylane Shen

THRIVE TALKS is a monthly speakers series that invites successful female artists and women in the arts to share their journeys, successes and advice with other women. Each THRIVE TALK features a woman in the arts and this intimate setting allows for a unique opportunity to get to know them. All speakers volunteer their time and knowledge to help other female artists thrive in their art practices and art businesses. THRIVE is so grateful to have such a generous and committed group of mentors. This month THRIVE Studio welcomes back Pennylane Shen!

Join us on Wednesday, October 26th from 7pm until 8:30pm to meet artist consultant, Pennylane Shen. She will cover what it is like to work with artists and offer her insights on the most common fears and concerns artists have and how to get over them. Pennylane will also talk about why making art is important, why marketing yourself is important, why it is so goddamn hard and what you can do about it!

After the talk there will be time to ask questions and mingle until 9pm.


 Pennylane Shen artist consultant

THRIVE Studio asked Pennylane Shen a few questions in preparation for her THRIVE TALK...

What are three things that you are going to share with us at THRIVE TALKS?

1. What is like to work with artists, ie: what consultations have been like over the past 6 years. 
2. What are the most common fears and concerns artists have and how to get over them
3. Why is making art important, why is marketing yourself important and why it is so goddamn hard

What is a weird fact about yourself?

I spend much of my extremely limited free time making tiny foods out of polymer clay. 

My two greatest loves (cats and shellfish) are also my greatest weaknesses (deathly allergic).

What is your favourite quote that keeps you motivated or inspired?

“The painter has only to create one masterpiece: himself [oneself] constantly—and to become a kind of atomic battery, a kind of generator of constant radiation that impregnates the atmosphere with all of his/her pictorial presence, which remains fixed in space after she/he passes through it.” - Yves Klein (gender adjustments mine)

"My favourite body part is the tongue because it never ages." - Carol Rama

What was your first job?

I worked at a video store for nearly 5 years. It helped shape my embarrassingly large VHS collection. 
I also worked the drive through at McDonald's. It helped shape my melted-candle body.

What would you love to see more artists doing?

I'd love to see more artists experimenting with media outside of the conventional. Perhaps integrating sound, video and performance with a element of self-reference that shows they know where their work lies in the history of art-making and the grand scheme of things. I'd also love to see more cat portraits, there can never be enough cat portraits.

Who are three artists that inspire you and why?

Zhang Huan - for his ability to acutely integrate his cultural and ethnic deeply rooted background into his installations and performative artworks. 

Sally Mann - for her keen eye and incredibly moving subject matter

Janine Antoni - for the fantastic way she sees the ordinary world

 Vancouver artist consulant Pennylane Shen

About Pennylane Shen

Since 2008, Pennylane has offered one-on-one artist consultations, group seminars and brand development through her own company, Dazed and Confucius Consulting; assisting and advising emerging and mid-career artists on how to achieve their business and artistic goals in the fine art industry. Dazed and Confucius has been recognized locally through monthly seminars and lectures, as well as internationally with lectures in universities across Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

Pennylane holds a Master’s Degree in Visual Culture Theory from New York University and has lectured at various forums including New York, London, Toronto, Chicago and Seoul. Her publications discuss the politics of representation, gender, identity and fine art. At Langara College, Pennylane is responsible for creating and instructing the courses: Marketing for the Fine Artist and The Photographic Concept. An avid supporter of art and wellness, she sits on the board for the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Foundation.

For the past 5 years, Pennylane has been an associate of Bau-Xi Gallery, the longest standing commercial gallery in Canada. In the past, she has worked for Elliott Louis Gallery, Jacana Gallery and Jennifer Kostuik in Vancouver.

Pennylane manages the figurative artists’ collective Phantoms in the Front Yard, showcasing the work of prominent Vancouver artists at various pop-up locations. Founded by Pennylane and Jay Senetchko in 2009, the group has garnered critical attention with its annual exhibitions an notable guest artists.