Conceptualized as a casual, yet informative space for artist development, The Northfield Arts
Guild and Paradise Center for the Arts are collaborating to offer a quarterly series on the
practical side of being an artist. Topics, such as promoting one’s work, making a living as an
artist, and grant writing will be included, among other things! The Artist Development Series will
also be a launchpad for sharing creative works, learning from experienced artists, and
networking with one another as we share in the vibrancy of our talents and experiences as
artists in this highly arts-centered community!

Conceptualizado como un espacio informal pero informativo para el desarrollo de artistas, The Northfield Arts
Guild y Paradise Center for the Arts están colaborando para ofrecer una serie trimestral sobre el
lado práctico de ser un artista. Temas como la promoción del propio trabajo, ganarse la vida como
artista, y se incluirá la redacción de subvenciones, entre otras cosas. La Serie de Desarrollo de Artistas
también ser una plataforma de lanzamiento para compartir trabajos creativos, aprender de artistas experimentados y
trabajar en red unos con otros mientras compartimos la vitalidad de nuestros talentos y experiencias como
artistas en esta comunidad altamente centrada en las artes!

Session 3: Making A Living As An Artist

Feb 16, 2023 | 6pm | Red Wing Arts – Clay & Creative Center, 1920 Old West Main, Red Wing

What does it take to make a living as a full-time artist? How do you start the process, and navigate the risks involved? Is there a magic formula, concrete non-negotiable steps to take, or are you writing the script as you go? You can learn more about how to make a living as an artist from our four panelists that are professional artists. Our panelists include: Sue Pariseau, Gabby Maravelas, Layl McDill and Joan (Joni) Finnegan

About the panelists:

Sue Pariseau – Sue is a studio potter who loves making pottery people use in their everyday lives. Whether savoring that first cup of coffee in the morning, serving the kid’s favorite meal, or sneaking a bowl of ice cream before bed, each is made more joyful when experienced in handmade pottery. Sue has been making and selling pottery for over 20 years and has prior work experience and education in business management.


Gabby Maravelas –  Gabby is a tattoo artist and small business owner. She has been tattooing for 13+ years and specializes in full color tattoos with magical glitter and sparkle! She’s a real life Rainbow Bright just trying to bring bright colors and happiness to our world with her tattoos.


Layl McDill grew up in Gillette, Wyoming where she began creating at a very young age. Her early works were dollhouses, marionettes and even an entire “Smurf Village”.  Layl received her BFA in Illustration from the Columbus College of Art Design but she found it more exciting to make sculptural work and sell it through galleries and art fairs.  She has exhibited her work around the country since 1994. Polymer clay has been her medium of choice using the millefiori technique and some mixed media materials added.  The theme of wonderment permeates her sculptures that are covered with endless details.  Her work can also be found in numerous books and publications. Recent awards include Award of Excellence, Artistry Member Show, 2022, 2nd Place Overall, Arts North International 2021, First Place, Athletics, Art Garage 2021, Best in Sculpture, Edwardsville Arts Fair, IL, 2018 and 2019, Award of Excellence Art Splash, IA 2022 and 2019.


Joan ( Joni) Finnegan – “I am a native Minnesotan with a lifelong passion for art and a love of nature. I journeyed through the years of raising my family and owning a Galley/frame shop expanding my creativity and using my art in serendipitous ways. Though my artistic path has included multiple mediums and techniques, I feel that my art is best revealed with brush and paints.

I am now a full-time artist spending most of my hours in the comfort of my lovely home studio located in the countryside of Southeast Minnesota. I enjoy working en plein air, although I am admittedly a fair-weather participant. I work from my own reference photos, sketches and my plein air paintings.  I have actively traveled and painted on location throughout the United States and abroad. 

My art is inspired by the natural world and my love of family.  The medium may be oils, watercolors, sketching, or even cooking -which all celebrate the colors and harmony of nature. My paintings reveal the softer side of our world. I am interested in capturing the wonder of that fleeting moment and the quality of light as it defines the subject, whether it be a landscape, still life, or portrait.

I make a practice of nurturing my creativity daily. I continue to expand my art through studies and workshops with painting masters as well as teaching private lessons. Decidedly a colorist, I see and feel the energy of life and music in color. I would characterize my style as borrowing from the best of impressionism and realism.

My art has appeared in juried group and solo art exhibitions throughout the Midwest and in online international competitions. I have been fortunate to receive numerous awards as well as having my work published in magazines and books.

I am a member of the Oil Painters of America. My work is represented in juried sales galleries.”

Future Workshop Dates and Locations:

Promoting and Marketing Your Artwork – November 10 at Lanesboro Arts – St. Mane Theater

Making a Living as an Artist – February 16 at Red Wing Arts – Clay and Creative Center

Grant Writing for Artists – May 18 at Paradise Center for the Arts