Thursday, November 26, 2015

What to paint

A blog is a silent, internal conversation; a cogitation, ergo, the blogger must be a cogitator.

For the rare artist who sells their work, what to paint is more or less a simple matter; more of the same with some leeway to deviate slightly and explore, dependent upon the strength, tolerance and complexity of the fan base. In a way the majority of artists are not so constrained since there is no one they need to please ... perhaps. 
For most artists then the unsold works accumulate and gather dust, in which case the storage area might determine the size and substrate of the paintings. If the artist is producing art cards, aceo, of the 2.5 x 3.5 on paper format then the entire body of work could be stored in a shoe box. However if the artist executes pieces more on the scale of "Guernica" or perhaps, "La Danse" then the artist might require a storage space such as an old dirigible hangar.
If the artist produces small quickly painted works to maximize potential profit should something sell then storage and material costs would be kept to a minimum and thus allow the artist to continue to work and develop. The consequences of such an approach would be a size limit as well as an execution in a very specific speedy style and this seems to be a narrowly defined niche, though with obvious potential.
Size, substrate and storage are one issue while subject matter could be another though this is not a constrain for artists who produce abstract work in which case it would be an endeavor of pure design and technique with far more freedom. For representational artists subject matter is of concern. Some very skilled artists can paint ugly very well and with great appeal, but this is a rarity. Artists should feel free to paint those subjects they enjoy though they might also produce works they surmise have a broad appeal as well. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Online Presence, Selling and Promotion:

There is a ubiquity of articles extolling the virtues of the internet in all of its permutations for ultimately selling original art. By the way a copy of original art is not original art, it is no more than a copy and no matter how copious the verbiage it will remain nothing more than a machine made copy in perpetuity. Most artists seem to be asking the question, "How can I increase my sales" when they mean, how can I sell anything at all. The usually responses are comprised of  litanies of mostly know online entities such as ebay and etsy for actual sales or facebook and instagram for exposure and ambiguous advice such as stay the course. There is supposed to be much enthusiasm for the endless online possibilities, yet it always seems to be the ignorant fantasizing  that they are informing the ignorant. No one ever states that they have used ebay for years and they are selling several thousand dollars of art a month, though somewhere someone might. One way or another far more art is published on all of the various venues than is ever sold, so that it is far more likely that an artist will not sell with any regularity if at all.

The advice that an artist should be true to themselves and paint only what they deem to be a pure expression and expect to sell is moronic drivel. If an artist is selling and has a devoted following they can expand their repertoire somewhat and even then the buyers might shy away. Most art will not sell and there are no guaranties, however the artist may very well have a better chance with a cat painting than one of a toilet bowl and I am making no suggestions, but the artist should investigate and make the attempt to develop work which they surmise from observation to be appealing to the potential buyer, just short of copying Thomas Kinkade. Some artists do well enough though they are always a small minority who also produce excellent work. Artists who actually sell well do not teach or prattle or give advice. They quietly work, make art, prepare to make art and sell. If art sells then what follows is simple, make more art, however, for everyone else though does the artist continue to make art whether it sells or not and if so what art should they make if they choose to continue?