Just finished reading this piece of poo from Phil Desind via Steve Doherty’s blog about 8 ways to sell art. Okay, I do agree with 6 – 8, but come on now, if people want your work they will buy it. Just because one person doesn’t like it, won’t mean another won’t dig it. If they don’t like what you do, then they aren’t the right person for your work and you shouldn’t feel bad about that at all. If you need to follow any of the steps in 1- 5 then you obviously don’t know who your audience is and you are sticking in shiny objects for the mere fact that you are a whore with technical skill. Seriously, the shiny objects bit in number 2 kills me. Oh and number 3 kills me all over again. Heck, 1 – 5 all kill me, go read it, seriously you’ll die laughing! Or if you are an artist, you’ll wonder if it is a joke like an article from The Onion, which most of my friends thought it was at first.
You shouldn’t make work a certain way just for the intention of trying to sell it to some idiot who wants it to match their couch! If you do, you aren’t an artist, you are making a product. A product for someone who doesn’t like to think too hard or is buying art because it makes them feel cultured; these are the people who buy a Thomas Kinkade painting in hopes of being able to sell it on Ebay in 15 years for a profit. Making a piece of art while following a guideline like this is so wrong to me on so many levels. Why constrict yourself like that? That is no different than following a fad or a genre of art that happens to be doing well at the moment, “gee I sure think Tiki themed art is lame, but it is what’s hot right now, so maybe I’ll go paint some tiki themed crap and hope it sells”. Yeah, have fun with that.
I should also point out that number 4 is a big lie as well. I grew up with some really fun heavy subject matter in the art collection of my parents. Angels and devils and surrealist craziness, I used to stare at them and marvel. “People don’t want to hang those kinds of paintings in their homes or offices. The pictures would depress them all day long,” says the article. Um, more like those pictures would freak people out and be full of awesome all day long! You know what depresses me? Pictures of fruit in a shiny bowl!
Again, just because one person doesn’t like it, doesn’t mean all people on the planet will hate it too. I hate Julian Schnabel, I also hate Keith Haring, and I’m pretty sure my dislike of those two artists hasn’t effected their sales. By the way, do you know how many people ask me if I have any work laying around with skulls in the subject matter? A LOT. Here is a painting I made of my fabulous Sabertooth Tiger skull….
Artists make what they make; people like what they like. They find each other in an honest way, not by the artist impressing what they think people will like upon them.
And yes, skulls do sell, just like chicks dig scars.