The past couple of months are been filled with professional frustrations for me. These are the sort of things that take the fun out of the creative process.
First, for the past couple of months, I have spent a great deal of time trying to make coconut fish. I don’t like to admit defeat, but I truly got myself frustrated with these bad boys and girls. The coconuts and wooden pieces all had to be primed first, then required two or three coats of acrylic paint. The fine detail was painted on the tails and fins. Then, it became time to attempt to insert the fins into the coconut fish husks. I cut into the husks. The fins scraped off more of the delicate paint which required more touch up.
This all sounds so simple, and that’s what I thought, too, before I tried. Too much frustration for too long of a period of time resulted in me deciding to abandon that project, at least for a while.
Second, website woes are ongoing. I can’t say I wasn’t warned, but it’s another frustration. Anytime there is a new plugin update, theme update, or WordPress update, there are kinks in the system that have to be worked out. Sometimes they work themselves out with the next updates and sometimes they linger a while. At any rate, such things make me feel like the site appears unprofessional, so that’s another frustration.
Finally, I have had people offer $30-$40 for canvas originals worth at least $400.00 posted on the website and I simply refuse to set prices that low. I have more than that vested in the smallest canvases in supplies, paints, canvas, and brush wear & tear. Never mind the artist’s time and creativity that deserve compensation. Not going to do that.
I didn’t really want to do prints for my artwork and I’ll tell you why.
- I like to think about how something as detailed and time-consuming as my art belongs only to one person in the world and no one else, (not even me). When you put that much love into something, I think it becomes infused with luck and good fortune. Making prints waters that down. Everything original sold gets a letter of authenticity.
- People make prints to either make more money off the same design or to please the masses. Money and pleasing the masses is not more important to me than art itself or the making of it.
That being said, I have to make my art available to an all-inclusive price range and I can do that in these two ways: A) Making prints, and B) selling functional art made from originals. So, there you have it.
Now there is a “Prints” page on the website and it includes some fantastic medium and frame selections. A few functional items are mentioned and there is so much more. I’m going to purchase some functional items to sell at shows next season locally so I have them on hand for such. We, my husband and I, are hoping to do more shows once the tourist season starts and I have more original artwork to sell. He sells his pens and I sell more prints than originals from the website, but it is what it is, and I’m good with that.
I’ve just got to see if I can find more ways to store canvas in my tiny studio. OR, reprice originals to move them, like it or not.
I also need to get back to filing the art process and getting videos up on YouTube and Instagram. Ah, no matter what we do, marketing raises its ugly head to interfere.
BTW, I am considering getting my art blog onto my self-hosted website for SEO reasons. If and when I do that, I will let you know here. Likewise, I would get my writer blog onto my self-hosted author website. This WordPress blog would be archived and you could follow me in either of those two places or both.
You see that I don’t spam people with daily material. I get to do that with Instagram…lol
Please do check out both sites and get subscribed if you haven’t already. And if there is something wonky on my website, just know it will likely get sorted out soon. 😊
4 thoughts on “Things Don’t Always go as Planned in the Art World.”
Sorry you’re struggling. I’d like to say I’m surprised at how much people want to pay for your artwork, but I’m not. People simply don’t think they should pay for anything. And knowing the amount of work you put into each painting, I know your prices are very reasonable.
I feel the same way as you about this. Which is why I hate giving my books away for free or only charging .99. I mean, come on, everything I’ve published has taken months and years to write and publish. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for somebody to pay 3.99 or 4.99 for something I put my heart and soul into and will take them at least a few hours to read.
Agreed. I felt the ceiling was too low for writers (set by writers) a long time ago. Around the islands, it’s customary for artists to drop their prices after tourist season. Summertime prices are what everyone waits for from housing to crafts. I don’t currently have a venue. I’m seeking representation at one though, before next season. Maybe that will help me get noticed…Hahaha.
Whenever we artists move the creative process into the business realm (i.e. making money), we’re suddenly stunned by the rigors involved.
Not every artistic endeavor comes to fruition as intended. Perhaps you can give those incomplete coconut pieces to people you don’t really know (or like) and say they’re signs of your burgeoning soul. Hopefully, they won’t complain. Remember, it’s the thought that counts!
I can understand why you don’t want to make prints of your paintings to sell, Susan, but I also don’t see why that’s a bad thing. Unless you’re working on an exclusive contract for someone, making prints isn’t selling out on your vision. I think you’re a great artist and I’d love to see you share that beauty with the masses.
Thanks, George. I have prints available now. Selling art is like selling books unless you get representation. I would like to just make art and find someone else to do the business side of things…lol