Being an artist is complicated business. First of all, artists are emotional and sensitive. We want you to like what we create. In our beginnings, we create works of art and wonder why we can’t paint exactly like someone else. Take Rembrandt, for instance. He painted pearls, brocade or lace like no other. Degas’ delicate ballerinas seem like they could dance their way off the canvas. Cezanne’s colorful array of fruit makes you want to pick one up and take a juicy bite. The truth is, each one’s creativity is unique.. They were good at what they did.
Great artists of today are ever-striving to find their own niche as well. We spend thousands of dollars finding out what we like to create and are constantly learning new medias and methods. In our exploration we may find we are good at something quite unexpected, such as metal sculpture or casting jewelry.
We want to know if it’s “good enough.” What does that mean? Art is subjective. What I like, you may not like. If you like something, I may like it too, but someone else may not. Taste is always problematic. Some of our clients want art to match their couch. Others want a piece of art to stand out boldly and be a conversation piece or you may buy the art because you simply must have it – it speaks to you. Do you see the problem?
Some artists feel that our creations are like our children and we cannot sell them. Other artists want to make a living by selling. Should we advertise? Advertising can really blow the budget for a starving artist. However, advertising may be seen by thousands of people. Should we work through a gallery? Galleries make commissions of 50 percent or more of the artist’s retail price. But a good gallery does all the leg-work for an artist, like calling clients, advertising for the artist and staging open houses for gallery shows. Major art festivals may be difficult to get in. They will have several thousand applicants for only 150-250 spots. Then there’s the cost of food, lodging and fuel getting to the event. Taking all the necessary equipment for doing business such as a sturdy booth and display systems is an expensive investment. Large events can cost several hundred dollars for only a few days of work, but thousands of people may attend and buy!
How do we price our work? Some of us figure out the cost of materials and time and then price our work accordingly. In other words, does the painting require a mat and frame? Some frames can be several hundred dollars all by themselves. Some artists charge according to a sliding scale – that is, maybe we think a particular piece is more valuable than another. Some of us price by the size of the artwork. Underneath our fragile facades, most of us want to be rich and famous and would love to charge thousands of dollars for an art piece. Some of us are, and some do!
Speaking of art, there are many fine artists in Sun Lakes. If you like our work, tell us, maybe buy a piece. Next time you see us, talk to us; we are friendly. Now you know a little about what makes an artist tick.