January was a ghost in my calendar, a window through which I retreated into reverie and remained steeped in meditation for most of the month, reflecting on the clumsiness of 2015, all the improvised steps and leaps of faith that somehow helped me re-establish a foothold, allowing me to see and chart a course through the new year. Most of my journey has been a baptism by fire, because Life never ceases. But neither does the instinct that drives me, even if at times they both seem obscured and unattainable (as if Life and Inspiration were destinations).

There is a natural ebb and flow in everything I suppose, a necessary push/pull that means to teach us that our highs and lows are complimentary movements rather than opposing forces. Last year was filled with those emotional peaks and valleys, a broad spectrum of triumphs and failures that each added substance to what would otherwise seem like an unfounded fantasy. But the most profound of those impressions turned out to be 2 conversations that led to questions that set my mind in motion to find answers.

I was asked by a client, “Where does your work come from?” (its roots, the motivation, and purpose). She explained that the imagery didn’t deal with conventional Hispanic themes, which are infused with tradition, culture, and heritage. But she also expressed that I didn’t quite fit the American model either, and instead seemed more closely aligned with European sensibilities, which honor the tradition of painting.

And if that wasn’t enough to get my gears turning, my dad randomly called one day to share an epiphany that prompted the question, Who am I? He said, “I know why you can’t sell your work (referring to more substantial pieces). It’s because you don’t know your own story.” And after a moment of silence… I realized that he was right. I don’t know my own story. And worse yet, I’m not even certain that I’m the best person to judge what that story is, because I am so closely tied to the event of my own Life, immersed in it, moment to moment.

So, what is my story? Who is Michael Torres? That is the question I must find the answer to. And that is my mission for this year… to discover that narrative and share it with you, because, as the central character in all my work, it is perhaps the most vital piece of the selling puzzle: To Know Your Product

Ironically, I touched on this subject previously without FULLY comprehending what was meant (though I was on the right track of who and what). I just hadn’t dug deep enough for the information to be useful, because Art truly is an abstract concept to adopt as a business. But the principles themselves are sound, remain relevant, and are truly adaptable in any business model, including that of Fine Art. 1. Know the Product 2. Never Bullshit 3. Make it Personal 4. And always Offer the Best Deal Possible. Read: The Crash Course Begins

’til next time…