I’ve sold 6 artworks in the last 3 weeks, which I am pretty chuffed at. One of the people turned up at my desk at work and said incredulously that she’d grown up NEXT TO Wyperfeld and it was one of her favorite places too and SHE WAS BUYING A PAINTING thank you!
I’m so pleased by that. Fans of that national park are few and far between – it’s 7 freaking hours drive away from Melbourne and therefore NOT well know, but those who have been tend to love it very very much.
With my art, currently I’m passively selling – someone sees something and says ‘hey can I buy that?’ and we go from there. Last year around Christmas time I plugged my art to people I knew and said ‘hey would make great presents!’ and some people did in fact go ‘YEAH!’ and buy (hint hint…only 8 Fridays till Xmas! have you bought something for Aunt Mabel yet?)
I’ve collated my work into the pages, btw, so they are easy to peruse, I try and update them fairly often so that all the art I upload here is on them. It’s not all my art of course, just the stuff I’ve put up here….NO HINTING AT ALL, MIND.
At some point I’m going to have to shift into actively selling and actively promoting. I will need to set up a sales page and stuff. The thought is a bit daunting at the moment. I have a house groaning with stacked canvasses and I’m running out of space. The money is of course nice too but at this point in time art is not my income – would be nice to swing it around so that it is, this is my future plan and I’m on my way to doing that.
The deal with buying art is that it’s the thing that people buy AFTER everything else is bought and so you’re at the whim of expendable income. Someone has to love your work, or have enough money to buy it, and they have to have paid all their bills. It’s a luxury item. I had at least three of the queen portraits totally and utterly earmarked for buyers, but when it was all done, they all had bills and could not afford them. As it turns out that is for the best, as I’m holding them together to show as a collection – i will be doing the ‘find a gallery to exhibit’ thing next year and that is my show’s worth of stuff. Royalty and dinosaur theme. I’m even embroidering a dinosaur beyeux tapestry to go with it…Now, if the queen would hurry up and shuffle off the mortal coil, the royalists will go mental and suddenly she’ll be super popular, right? It happened with Micheal Jackson! Bound to happen with the Queen!
My prices are currently pretty low for watercolours and the landscapes – I’d rather see them gone to good homes at this point than keep them here. I also have a stack of paintings that I don’t think are embarrassingly bad – certainly not bad enough to chuck out – but are not good enough to exhibit and very much experimental – and certainly not worth that much, I’ve been asking $10 bucks a picture, to help cover the canvas and paint costs of those. I should chuck them up here but currently they’re going to people who visit here.
Pricing is a bit of a hard thing for me. I want to sell, and at the moment, I’m selling quite cheap. Which means affordable and which means people who might not consider buying artwork, might end up with an original painting – and that is to me, awesome in itself. Someone might love something, but only $100’s worth, not $200’s worth. Is it worth it to hold on for someone who may never come who will pay 200, or get it to someone who will love it for 100 and have at least made 100? Depends on the painting and the work. Depends frankly on the popularity of the artist, too.
I also collect art work -and I don’t have a lot to spend on it usually. So i know the quandry really, people have, when deciding whether to get something. All the artwork in my house is original artwork, often from foreign countries, but there is a bit of local stuff too from newer artists. I have a lot of thangkas, there are at least 5 here, all from Tibet or Nepal, and I have indian art, chinese art, japanese block paintings, and quite a lot of australian artists’ paintings (no landscapes though).
I’ve also given away paintings before, if I am never going to do anything with something and I don’t think it’s ever going to sell, out it goes. It freaks me out when I go to someone’s house and I’d forgotten they took a painting and then there it is in pride of place on a wall – sometimes I look after a few years and go ‘ok that’s not so bad’. Once or twice, I’ve shuddered and wanted to rip the thing down, of course!
I’m critical of my own work. I don’t feel ready and for all the skills I have I am still unsure about where I am going to stand in the industry. I know I’m a niche market in the non traditional stuff I tend to do, but how to exploit that niche is the question. What the heck will I do with the watercolours? They are very illustrative but also metaphorical and full of injokes, often massively subversive and really hard to describe…They would possibly exhibit well I guess. I don’t know how to pitch them!
I’m not going to ever be an illustrator, I found out I don’t like drawing other people’s things – but I’ve thought often about trying to get a book together of writings based on my paintings – but while I am actually an able writer, I cannot articulate in words any sort of coherent description of my paintings. I’ve said it in the picture that is all i have to say! This leads to a problem I have on this blog when I upload a picture. Also people tend to read text that is next to a picture rather than look at a picture. In art galleries, I’ve seen people spend ages reading the blurb, and then only just glance at the picture. I find that disturbing on many levels. Not sure I want that with my stuff – if you had a poem or statement next to a painting, the importance goes into the words, not the picture….
I should really be describing my paintings better so they get picked up in search engines more often, but I’ve had this to do on a task list for the last x months and every time I sit down to do it, i manage to find something else more interesting and less painful to do (like reading Cracked!). It’s like writing up your resume when you’re looking for a job, one of the most painful effing things you ever have to do, and infinitely put-offable. I WILL DO IT ONE DAY I PROMISE