Last week Seth Godin wrote:
Most organizations need a good reason to do something new.
All they need is a flimsy excuse to not do something for the first time.
I know this is true for me as an individual also. It’s scary doing something new so I often come up with flimsy excuses not to do them.
The idea of trying to sell my artwork, to make a living at something I love, is new and scary for me. I have a lot of ideas about selling artwork that I formulated based on discussions with someone I respect very much. I didn’t spend much time talking to other artists about these issues and for the past 10+ years I’ve just worked to become the best artist I can and felt looking to the marketplace would in some way hurt my work. The freedom to create whatever I want without regards to any marketplace has big advantages.
It is also has some big disadvantages, namely the 9-5 job that takes up so much of my time and energy.
Over the last 2-3 years I began talking with many other artists, mostly through my blog but in person also, and reading biographies of famous artists. And my opinion about art and selling has slowly been shifting. It’s been a rather difficult journey and I think my post last week about selling art, titled "what am I doing", was my last attempt of throwing up a flimsy excuse to not go down this new path.
While I’m not sure exactly how this will workout for me I do think it’s time to stop worrying about what others think and embrace my own opinion and just get on with it. I’m not sure how I will approach this, I’ll be working that out over the next few months and years, but I do know I don’t want to spend the next 20 years in a cube if I can instead create another option in my studio. No more excuses.
As usual, thank you to everyone that took time to comment on my previous 2 posts on this topic.
In a related note, Edward Winkleman had a very interesting post this week about the the 50/50 split between artist and gallery. As I mentioned in my post about selling last week, I would have no problem giving a gallery their share if they are promoting and selling my work and I highly recommend reading Edward’s post here as to why they earn this. As usual for his posts, don’t skip the comments. Buried in there is a list of what he believes the gallery should be delivering for their 50% cut and a discussion about why the 50/50 cut might need to be reevaluated for established selling artists.
The piece shown above is a much older piece that I have never exhibited or shown on my website. It was just another piece in my development as an artist. I do think taking the last 10+ to concentrate on developing my voice and creating a large body of work was extremely beneficial. I am very confident about my artwork as a result and now it’s time to take it to a new place.