My experiences with aspects of trying
to get to the point of making my visual artistic efforts a full time self-sufficient occupation have taught me several
concepts thus far:
1) Almost anything an artist purchases in order to create
art these days is expensive - paint, brushes, canvas, board, easels, etc... The corollary being that there is no shortage
of companies willing to supply you these products.
2) Sales of your works are good - one can have a place
to live which is warm, with enough to eat, and be able to buy more art supplies.
3) Exhibits with no customers or sales are bad
- you could become homeless, freeze, starve and run out of art supplies. This is why artists often live tortured lives and
have day jobs (much like performing artists and actors) which interfere with producing quality art works.
to notify people of your upcoming exhibits are expensive to make and send.
5) Some people have terrible handwriting when they sign your guestbooks. This makes it tough to
tell them when your next art exhibit is taking place because you may not be able to decipher their names or addresses.....
Sometimes this is intentional.... It also means that many of your postcards bounce back to you.... which contributes
6) Art slides (which are what an artist sends to enter
artistic competitions, along with sometimes significant entry fees) are expensive to have made. However, doing your own could
be disasterous because your work might never get accepted at an art competition. This could also lead to #3.
7) Renting space or a booth at an art show/exhibition
isn't cheap either and if #3 occurs, you could starve and run out of art supplies.
8) Travelling to art shows and transporting your work there
is equally expensive.
9) Artist's receptions are expensive too. However,
if the artist doesn't have one during an exhibit, please refer to item #3.... Thank goodness my wife loves to cook and
entertain.... Otherwise my receptions would consist of bad cheese logs, saltines and cheap jug wine.
10) Many galleries are loath to exhibit the work of an
artist which they have never heard of. If one decides to take a chance on an unknown, they desire a significant portion
of the purchase price of your work if something sells. So, for the artist to make what they'd normally charge, they
must mark up the prices of their work. This can make #3 happen...
11) You will note in perusing this site that many pieces of the artist's output have
been sold by the artist directly to clients. However, my client list is much smaller than that of a successful gallery and
they are around when interested customers wish to inquire about your work. This might keep #3 from happening...
12) A gallery owner suggested to me that an artist needs 10 pieces of work displayed
in order to sell one - which is why #3 occurs and owners are loathe to exhibit the work of an unknown.
13) Success in the art world is directly related to the level of promotion of the
artist's work and persona - this being facilitated by connections, press coverage and 'the buzz' surrounding the artist, their
work, and any personal antics that are going on caught on film or video.
14) If a piece of art appeals someone such that they wish to make it their own, they
will readily pay a reasonable price to own it. This forestalls the occurrance of #3 and is highly encouraged by the artist...
So, if a piece speaks to you, contact the artist and see if it is still available...