Ken Bailey – Art Goes to the Dogs… and Cats
Ken Bailey is a success story in the competitive art world. Painting in an art Deco style, primarily Dogs and Cats in a vintage advertising style, he has found a niche in the market that has proved to be fruitful. We are proud to offer many of his art prints & posters.
Originally from Utah, Ken Bailey’s family relocated to Seattle, Washington when he was a child. The family eventually returned to Utah, but young Ken was in love with the Emerald City and returned and took up residence after college where he started a marketing and advertising business; he has been a Seattleite for over 30 years.
He knew art was going to be his vocation from a young age. “I found I liked art in the 7th grade and have enjoyed and been doing it since then it since then,” said Bailey. After high school, he had a year of design through an architecture program, but nothing through an art department.
As an artist, Bailey went through several transitions, “I guess I went through several phases and tried different techniques and styles while developing art skills, abstract, still life, landscapes primarily.” While he now paints in a Deco style, that ironically was not his influence, “While it doesn’t influence my work nor, I’ve always liked contemporary art. Leonetto Cappiello has been a big influence. I appreciate his straight forward simplicity. His work his fun, the movement is great and I like his contrast of colors.” What did influence his work was his interest in advertising, “One aspect to my background that led me to enjoy advertising art was that prior to focusing on art I was in the advertising industry and did a lot of copy writing. I enjoy coming up with the tag lines on my art and great tag lines are important parts of the final artwork.”
He began painting his, now trademark, dog and cat works while dating his wife. She had a Giant Schnauzer named Genny who he painted for his wife-to-be as a Christmas present. “It was a stylized painting and the first dog I had ever painted. Friends started seeing the painting and wanted their dogs and cats painted and I decided to focus on dogs and cats,” said Bailey. During this time, he owned a gallery in Seattle (by The Market) and a neighboring gallery was planning a coffee themed show and asked if he could do a coffee oriented painting with a dog. That day he received a catalogue from a publisher featuring vintage advertising art. Some of the posters included dogs and other coffee. “I decided the painting I would do for the show would combine the two in a vintage style painting. It sold the day I finished it, I enjoyed the vintage advertising concept and I was off.”
Bailey is now a full-time artist and had been for the past 12 years. While he is an artist first, he also spends a lot of time marketing, “Actually it includes a lot of overtime. In today’s world it takes a lot of work. Marketing can be a full time job,” said Bailey. Ken sells his work in many ways, “One, Directly through my website, two, Wholesale through pet boutiques, gift stores and through online retailers (such as Imagekind.com), three, Licensing and four, I do a major regional art fair, The Bellevue Art Museum Fair,” said Bailey. For the past ten years, Bailey has licensed some of his images for posters and wall art and recently, he started licensing images for consumer products, shoes, bags, mats, ceramic items and more to come.
In fact, Bailey has several businesses going on simultaneously at kenbailey.com. He will paint your pet for as little as $50.00. He also offers Limit Edition Prints which start at $32.50 and go up to $975.00 while his commissioned work ranges from $2,750.00 to $4,250.00.
Ken Bailey is proof positive that an artist can be financially successful if he or she is willing to put the work in. As for the future, Bailey wants to survive and grow as an artist, “I’m proud that I am doing well. What I feel is my most important accomplishment is when I can emotionally touch someone and a painting or print connects someone to a loved little friend,” says Bailey.
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