Thursday, November 3, 2011
Overdue Answers on Art Show Adventures
A while back, Ken asked which pieces of work sold in the recent art shows and here I am finally getting around to the answer. Ken has probably forgotten why he cared to ask, but he is going to get an answer—just not all in one post.
The piece above pre-sold the second show. (I had a couple of prints displayed at the venue as a preview of the show.) Printed on metallic paper, that background was a shimmering gold and made for a piece that was eye-catching. During the first show, I sold two pieces and I could have sworn that I had already posted one of them, "Blue Horse Dreaming"; but, I was dead wrong. The third piece is very new. I will post both of those over the next few days.
About the same time Ken asked his question, PJ asked if I planned to write a bit more about my experience with art shows. Frankly, I hadn't planned to since my experience is extremely limited. But, I have no pride. I will reveal how little I know. I have not pursued juried shows, nor have I submitted to prestigious galleries. Mostly because I am a hard-core realist and recognize that my work doesn't exactly fall in line with what is hot these days. (And maybe because I am chicken.) My work embodies the opposite of edgy and I have visited enough of the galleries in Los Angeles to see that my work does not come close to fitting in any of those venues. Although they might be the logical market for me, the type of outdoor art shows often done in parks would be far too rigorous an undertaking for me. The galleries in the nearest town are really co-ops. The artists pay for their space along with a commission to the gallery owners.
Both my partner and I felt that the gallery/co-ops weren't our cup of tea. My problem is that the bottom line costs pretty much go through the roof with that arrangement. Most of all, I know myself well enough to know that the predictability of First Friday every month would become routine for me and wear thin. Being in the same place month after month would cease to be fun and stimulating for me. Yes, I am undisciplined in some matters; but, at least,I have learned to face my quirks and work with them.
Although we weren't interested in pursuing the other local opportunities, neither did the once-a-year Cultural Arts Spring Art Show satisfy our appetites. Ultimately, we decided to make our own opportunities. I am okay with having sold three pieces in three days of shows. My prices are reasonable (I think), but I definitely don't sell myself short. I figure my costs—minus labor, unfortunately, then multiply for a mark-up. I love sharing my work and want it to be accessible; but I am not going to pay people to take my work home with them.
As I had already mentioned, our operation is unsophisticated and not a high profit venture. Hmm. Sounds like me. I have never been in a high-profit business and unsophisticated certainly fits me, as well as the area we live in. In another location, I might do things differently. Who knows? So far, our venture has turned out well. Our "What's-next situation?" suits me. At least for now.