Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Business of Art

Fleeting Moments
Work in Paint, Thread, Wool & Silk

Major storm hit Ontario this morning with unbelievable wind gusts, snow then rain then snow again. Yuck!  Days like this make me so very happy that I work at home.  Made some tea (not the chai latte as that is a ritual that begins precisely at 3:00pm) started a small fire, answered emails...took care of business.  Speaking of business, I think it's only dawned on me in the last year of so that art is a business.  I think my head was somewhere up in the clouds previous to that realization.....  Now don't get me wrong because I am head over heels passionate about what I do and could never for a split second imagine what my day to day existence would be like without creating art BUT, and don't you know there always is one, art is a business like any other.  If money were unlimited then I could just go about my merry way in the studio creating work and not caring if it sells  but unfortunately money is not unlimited and I need to sell work to continue to work.  It is that simple. 

Within the last year I made a decision that the career path I had  chosen was going to be a successful one.  No ifs and or buts.  It was time to pull that head out of the clouds and work to make it happen and to realize only I can do that.   It is my responsibility.......

I was always talking about submitting to a variety of galleries and now I am. Is there rejection?  Of course there is but if you believe in what you do you shrug it off and keep on going.  It's the only way.  Since I took this approach it's amazing how far I've come and how many galleries are interested.  The biggest drawback of my work is the way it photographs.  Capturing two dimensionality in a jpeg is all but impossible so the work needs to be seen in person to appreciate the texture of it. 

I also began realizing that all the work I was creating just wasn't getting seen so I started marketing which I knew absolutely nothing about.  The Cityline segment came about because I sent an email, a few jpegs and my website explaining to them what I did and why I thought their viewers may be interested.  I love the age of technology for that reason alone....ease of communication. Now perhaps I would never have heard back from them but that's not the point, the point is that I took action and put myself out there and you just never know what the possibilities from that effort will be. There is a wonderful self confidence that washes over you when that realization occurs. 

So what am I doing now?  Well there has been a great response from the Cityline segment, I'm in talks with a few different galleries regarding representation and two leading magazines have approached me regarding an artist profile. Won't talk about who until it's a done deal.   I guess what I'm trying to say is that for me, all of this has taken place because I started understanding that there are two parts to what I do....the artistic part that fuels my creativity, makes me feel alive and connected  and the business part that is simply


Ellen said...

Mel, i LOVE this post! I also love that you made Cityline happen, I didn't know you approached them, that's great. Your attitute is wonderful! Glad you're getting the recognition you deserve. I'm in the 'making' side only right now, when I'm ready for the marketing part, I'm coming back and reading this post for the boost I need. You rock!

Melody said...

Give me a call...we'll exchange ideas. and thanks, I happen to think you rock too!

andrea said...

What? Art is a business? No wonder my bank account is so small. :)

Seriously -- I think your nose-to-the-grindstone attitude is exactly what it takes. It's the old 10% inspiration 90% perspiration thing up close and personal. I hope you do a follow-up post in a few months to tell us how many sales you made directly and indirectly from the Cityline segment. Not that it matters to your growth as an artist -- just that reading real world results might get some of us (not naming names... :( ) off our keisters and into some real action. Great post.