Monday, August 20, 2007

To be or not to be... The Artist's Dilemma

Painting a day - Thistles Diptych 2 panels each 24" x 9" Oil on Paper

$725.00/ Set

I admit it. I am a mess when it comes to balancing life with work with art with romance.

I have a wonderful partner with whom I enjoy sharing my life and my art business. He is my strength and my back bone and is great at keeping me focused on the next thing on the list. My partner is great at creating brochures and marketing materials. (You have no idea how many other artist have asked to borrow him! Thank goodness I have first dibs!) He is the practical one. He is more conscious of the business world and of politics. He reminds me often that I can be brash and outspoken, and at times step on people's toes and perhaps cut off my nose to spite my face. We rarely disagree on what needs to be done, but we often disagree on how to do it. When it comes to publicity and marketing, press coverage is important. So is having the materials at hand to sell yourself and make it easier for the people in position to make choices and to promote you.

My dilemma is how true to be to myself and my beliefs in the rights of artists and how much to subjugate myself in order to sell more. I take a great deal of pride in the work I do. Not just my painting, but also my professional level framing and matting. I listen to the people around me and I try to incorporate their needs and desires for types of art, while still painting in my style and with my palette. I try hard to maintain a fair market value on my work, but recognize that I am not selling to high end collectors regularly (yet).

I have learned over the last year that in the market for art sales presentation is everything. How works are chosen to hang in unified groupings, subject matter, etc. can have an impact. In out-door art fairs and Farmer's Markets the way your booth looks and how you grab attention can draw a stroller in and make them a client.

I want to present myself as professionally as possible. I also feel the need to clearly present myself as the woman of honor and integrity that I strive to be. I hope that I also seem friendly and easy to work with. I want every contact I have with an agent, corporate art collector, private collector, or simple a stroller-by to be fun, informative, and to provide what they need: a work of art, information, or a referral for another time. By being sure of who I am and what I offer I can do that. By listening to them I can do that.

My dilemma is really not a dilemma. It's simply a fact of life. Balance in all things.

Until next time

Create beauty and fill the world with love!