Past Posts

May 2013
« Dec   Dec »

2013 and the Economy through the Eyes of an Artist

2013 and the Economy through the Eyes of an Artist
M Theresa Brown

For the totally self employed artist, the past few years have been a huge challenge. If big businesses have failed with all their marketing expertise and service businesses have failed with their consumable products, then what possible chance does an artist have of surviving the lean years? To be frank, no one “needs” your art. No one “has” to have it. Art is a want, not a need.
So just how do you survive financially? And how do you cope emotionally when no one is buying your work? And just how are we, Theresa and Steve, staying in business and paying all of our bills (ie: mortgage, car payment, health insurance, utilities and everything else!)

Above all, we do what successful artists have done all along-we get creative!
Creativity encompasses not just artsy inspiration but creative marketing and the willingness to explore options. The key to our survival during this dry spell has been versatility. Artists have always been told to focus on one aspect of their art. Good advice until it stops selling. But was it all for nothing? No. Nothing is ever “for nothing.” It all joins together to create what it is you identify with as an artist. Picasso is a good example of an artist who used his wits to re-invent himself every time one phase stopped selling. The phrase “growing in my/her art” is so overused. The reality is that you can offer your collectors more of your artistic abilities-not just one thing! If you need “proof” of the many artists who were amazingly versatile and offered clients many options within their abilities to collect more than one form, type, medium of art, spend some serious time studying art history. And if you want to be successful in this challenging economy you need to be able to offer your clients the opportunity to add YOUR art to their collections with more than just the one form you have always offered! Not only does it generate new interest (and sales) but if they have already purchased work from you, they will again!

Encompassing your new found decision to explore other art forms means getting rid of whatever emotional baggage or education has held you back!
Giving yourself permission to step out of the box you or someone else put you in as an artist is serious emotional power! And it is the hardest thing you will do in your journey for versatility. Working on another art form, medium, genre… are experimenting, sharing with your collectors, seeing what is working, what is not. It is art entrepreneurship at its finest. It is creativity at it’s finest. And it is perfectly all right to do so! Shake off any negativism. It takes determination and courage to stand up to or ignore the opinionated “wanna be’s” out there who feel their job in life is to make you doubt yourself. Don’t give them that power!
If your slow sales the past few years have left you discouraged and uninterested in creating your art, the huge positive in your versatility explorations is discovering (or re-discovering) a new excitement in creating your art. You will find new enthusiasm in experimenting, thinking about and researching your ideas. And it will show in your work!
For us, now half way through 2013, our niche of the economy is showing signs of a comeback. People are slowly loosening their purse strings and allowing themselves to feel it is OK to make a “want” purchase. Our collectors enjoy seeing what new things we have created and that adds to our encouragement and explorations of new art forms.
Perhaps the best bit of advice we could share with you is simple: “Nothing works if you don’t try it!”
Until next time!
Theresa and Steve

Comments are closed.