2/16/09

75% of your time

I was watching an art documentary last night. Bits and blips of curators or whatever else those important art people are called.....the only thing that I retained and paid attention to was this:

' if you are willing to spend 75% of your time marketing yourself and only 25% of your time making art you might make it.'

I'm not going to make it if that is true.

Right now I'm having this little struggle with wanting to just do my own stupid stuff. No photo pieces, no clocks. Just this strange 'thing' I'm working on for me and Tod to live with, even then we might not want it when it is done. I know it is strange, not pretty and maybe even a real mess. The constant battle is to allow myself to spend hours and hours a day doing this when the brain says make something that will sell. Make something that a gallery will show. Make something that counts. My heart says shut up. Leave me alone. This is how I want to spend my time here on earth, today, now. It's okay to experiment and make a mess and waste time and materials if you don't judge it. Hard to justify though when you want to push that invisible boulder out of your way and see or feel some progress. It would be easy to keep making the same thing over and over, take what I think is the easy way out and keep making things I know will sell just for the sake of having something in a gallery. Easy doesn't = satisfying though does it.

6 comments:

Margaret said...

Perhaps this is what you are meant to do at this point, Paula. Create something that makes you happy and forget about the buying public-at least for a little while. It's so hard to make these decisions when reality (the need for money to live) is breathing down your back.

Tracy said...

I wouldn't worry about the percentage of time that you need to spend on marketing Paula. As with any kind of start up business, there is a lot of time and effort necessary at the beginning. But set all of that up properly and it will run smoothly with minimal effort and eventually little marketing is needed. Especially if your work comes from the heart and if you are an artist that galleries enjoy working with. One should never underestimate word of mouth in the art world.

Anyway, nothing wrong with spending time on personal art and then doing a "day job" of more sale-able art to get some income. I think we all do that at some time or another.

Ellen said...

You know I'm always a bit a skeptical when I hear, "making things I will know will sell" because figuring out the art buying public is damn near impossible. Maybe something sold great a few times, then suddenly it stops and who knows why.

Today I bought a second little art piece from an artist who I've been following for a while. It was such an impulse buy because I knew if I didn't snap it up quick, it would be sold because his reputation has grown so much. He has hype around him now and pieces just sell themselves. I love his stuff, not sure if I even love the second piece I bought so much, but I just wanted it and it was in my budget. I probably was unconsciously caught up in the hype too. And that from someone who should know better. But I think that's how art collectors are made.

deb said...

we all struggle with this, take it from a woman who makes HUGE things that rarely sell... I think you only have one life, and I intend to make as much room for passion in mine, but I am resigned to not "making it". I am not sure how I or my work functions (if at all) in the greater scheme of things and I try not to think about it. I guess that's why I keep my day job, so I can go on indulging my art voice without having to sell anything!

self taught artist said...

you guys are all right...

Kim Hambric said...

I do think we have to make both types of things -- art that will sell and art that feeds our soul. Perhaps, eventually, the two will mesh. However, if that art that sells does nothing positive for your soul, well, then, something must change.

If something is demanding to be created, I guess you will have to do something about it.

Good luck with that 75%. I think I might be up to 7.5%. I've got a long way to go.