or studying or something. But after I started getting published, I would bring the magazines and stuff to work and show them. They were so surprised that that’s what I had been working on. They had no idea!” “I guess it’s something kind of out of the norm for an accountant,” he quipped.
HOW IT ALL STARTED So how exactly did this local artist find such a following in the art and publication world? He’ll tell you it all started on the popular website Etsy.com, a site that allows artists to sell their works online, almost like a virtual shopping mall for handmade items. “I started getting a lot of interest from there,” he said. “Actually, it got too big, and I had to stop selling on Etsy and just go through my personal website.” After Etsy, he went on to post his books on another website called Flickr, which further boosted his popularity.
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | FALL 2013
“It’s been an interesting ride to say the least,” he admits. When asked if he has any plans to quit the numbers game and focus on his art full-time, Salazar is quick with his response. “No way,” he says. “It’s a hobby. It’s recognized worldwide, I guess, but it’s still a hobby. I could never do it full-time because then it wouldn’t be a hobby anymore; it would become a job. In fact, I only work on my books at night and on the weekends, and I still have to walk away sometimes and take a break.” “He has a lot of patience, a lot,” his wife interjected. “I think that’s the key to his success. It takes a lot of patience – and of course talent!” That perfect mix of patience and talent, in fact, is what prompted her to nominate her husband for the Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed annually upon a New Mexico resident by the governor. “Isaac has accomplished as much in a few years as a lot of people accomplish in a lifetime,” she explained.
And while the accolades would be appreciated, Salazar isn’t in the bookcreating business for the fame or even the money. “The most rewarding part of it for me is the emotional connection or the reaction I get from other people when they see it,” he shared. “The monetary part of it doesn’t make a difference. I just like to create things that are positive and inspiring and something for people to look forward to.” Salazar has donated the proceeds from his art auctions and fundraisers to organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen foundation. He has also donated pieces to assist local families in Artesia raise funds for medical expenses and most recently donated a book that Friends of the Library auctioned off for fundraising purposes. In addition, once the new Artesia Public Library is complete, a book he donated will be on permanent display. To view some of Salazar’s creations, visit his website: isaacgsalazar.com.