Talented sculpter, Ken Newman has taken his sculpting on the road in his fifth wheel trailer! Since then, Ken is fast becoming a favorite artist at art exhibitions, shows, and art museums. A few years ago, I met Ken on Twitter and then had the opportunity to meet him in person at one of his annual art shows in my hometown.

Ken has made an impact in the art community with his online presence which includes a great blog and dedication to social media. After reading his interview, I am sure you will see why Ken has been named a #PowerArist. ~Lori

Power Artists are the social media ‘rockstars’ of the art world! Not only are they talented creatives, but they understand how to harness the power of social media and use it to promote their art careers. #PowerArtists are inspiring and freely share their knowledge with others.”

a man sculpter artistKen Newman: Born in Ft Bragg CA, and raised in the redwoods, my love for sculpture started with raw forms of wood. Now thirty years later, with my techniques and use of materials continuing to evolve, it is now about creating something emotional. Leaving the comfort and isolation of working in a studio, “Sculpting on the Road” has changed me. Working in front of people and engaging them as I work is energizing.  From north to south and east to west, exploring the land and meeting a cross-section of people in the United States has been incredibly rewarding and it is these experiences and conversations, which inspire me today. I am on this journey with my partner of 16 years Debbie and our lab Emma.

Describe a typical day in the life of a #PowerArtist

When you have been on the road for over 10 years – an average of 160 days a year – there is no typical day in our lives. We are either driving, sculpting, playing with Emma our lab, setting up for a show-taking, taking down a show, driving, sculpting, finishing bases, packing, preparing applications, writing, following up on sales, sculpting, working at the foundry or at a gallery, enjoying a gallery walk or museum, completing paperwork and crating work for museum exhibitions, attending museum exhibition openings, taking Emma for another walk in the forest or beach – and somewhere in between we enjoy meals and some sleep. The work day varies from 5 to 15 hour days, seven days a week. It doesn’t feel like work, it’s an adventure – Sculpting on the Road.

travel truck and trailer fifth wheel

Deb tries to be online daily, restricting her Internet access is crucial to our relationship, the more access she has the more time she says she spends on business… She is much more goal oriented and although skeptical at first, she envisions many new opportunities using Social Media to promote my work to a larger audience. She also enjoys researching and sharing exciting new opportunities to other artists.  We haven’t jumped on the bandwagon with a mobile device yet, we are not automated yet either… we still believe in personal connections.

Of course, all I do is “create sculptures” and that is the reason to create the dialog. Debbie tweets to promote upcoming shows, gallery and museum events, art opportunities, new works, works in progress and all about our journey.

Our Twitter accounts reads; Sculpting on the Road -Traveling in a 5th Wheel or 13ft trailer and sculpting in wood and in clay for bronze. A never ending journey. Join us- Ken & Debbie

  • Twitter lists include; artists, travel, museums, labs, Tahoe, wine, coffee and food, Idaho, and the Outdoors.
  • She maintains the blogs, created and updates the website, Facebook and other sites, works with other artists on collaborations and keeps all the paperwork legitimate.
  • Tweets are generated by her weekly reading of her favorite Google searches received via email, wildlife art, art market, art shows, art museums, Idaho art, figurative art, western art and RTs by her favorite Tweeps!

Recently, we joined some Art groups on LinkedIn – Art Collectors, Contemporary Art and Sculptor forums. It is amazing the information given freely by others and with candor about opportunities, galleries and insights into the art market.

If you could meet any artist; past or present, or future, who would it be and why?

Being self-taught and not much of a reader, I know very little about art history, it might be fun to have listened to Michelangelo as he worked. Artists of the future might be interesting to meet – I think technology will change the process of art – but not the process of an artist. The struggle is an important part of the process and only limited by an artist’s vision, emotion and imagination. Debbie loves to pick up art history books and little by little, while not on the road, I look at pictures!

sculpter in a foundryIf your art could be displayed anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

Would love to place a monumental (1-1/2) life size of my male figurative sculpture “Well Worn” in Washington DC in front of the Department of Labor building… “Well Worn” is a tribute to those who contributed to the growth of the country – built on the backs of the laborers. Maybe someday!

What sage advice would you give an artist who is just starting out in his/her career?

  • If you are passionate about your work, focus on your improving your craftsmanship.
  • Technique – be unique, create a body of work, identify price points and potential client base and put yourself in front of them.
  • Think outside the box and stay the course
  • Consider developing 2-5-10-20 year plans, identify specific goals
  • Seek out a mentor in the same genre and ask them to suggest shows and opportunities
  • Ask for critiques, etc.
  • Join a couple art groups (virtual and local) that offer FREE support and information.
  • The most important thing is to find someone like Debbie who focuses on the business and paperwork, so you can focus on your art.
  • If you are going to go it alone, know that the business side will impact the creative side.

As a #PowerArtist what do you “give back” or “pay it forward” to your community?

I belong to a number of national, international and regional art organizations (National Sculpture Society, Allied Artists of America, Audubon Artists, Artist’s for Conservation and the Society of Animal Artists) and a small group called MAC (McCall Artist Connection) in Idaho.  In July, a group of artists are joining together to create a weeklong event for artists and art lovers in McCall at the new McCall Art + Commerce Center. The “Creative Sparx” event includes artist workshops in a variety of mediums, lectures, open studios, gallery show and two special events.  I will be teaching a class – Sculpting your Unique Vision and Debbie will teach a class on Social Media for Artists.  Scholarships will be given to Idaho college students – giving them the opportunity to learn what it is really like to be a working artist, not a typical academic experience.
The world of ART is yours, if you want to chase it… The road we have chosen is not typical, but one that has changed our lives forever. There is no retirement in our plans.
Lori, thank you for asking us to share our journey with your followers.  We appreciate all you do for the artists who are seeking real information about forging forward as artists in these new and exciting times.


BIG thanks to Ken and his lovely wife, Debbie for taking time out of their busy schedule to share their valuable insights and tips! We all really appreciate it. I look forward to seeing you this summer. ~Lori

Please visit Ken’s links below:

www.twitter.com/newmansculpture Twitter
www.kennewman.blogspot.com Blog Sculpting on the Road
Ken on Facebook
Creative Sparx Information www.nwsalon.com
Here are some more great articles:
Creating Art in Small Studios (this show’s Ken’s trailer studio!)

Sculpting in Clay for Bronze – The Process (Ken explains how he creates a sculpture)
Boost Productivity with Short Studio Sessions
How to Overcome 3 Common Barriers to Success as an Artist
7 Creative Ways to Approach an Art Gallery for Representation
The #PowerArtist Series of informative interviews


You might enjoy these North Light Books on sculpture…please click on the book image for more information!

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