today my 3 day ebay auction (post below) ends.  the bidding is surprisingly good considering i had prepared myself for a total loss.  i thank those of you who bid.  i can see i had blog readers/facebook friends bidding (i didn't expect total strangers to find that listing) and that makes me feel good and a little weird.  i say weird only because i know i have a ways to go when it comes to finesse.  i originally posted that post in such a way that honestly, you'd have to really want that clock based on how i worded everything.  i had HAD IT.  not with my clock as much as my life.  i can remember when i first made that clock ( it is #8 in this 100 piece collection of which i've made 85 or more to date) i thought it was the shits.  keep in mind i was very new at art...the clocks...the whole thing.  the market was good out there and i was selling clocks right and left and had interest in this very one.  many times someone would purchase a clock and this was on the choice list but they went with another instead.  i guess it was just over time, after getting more elaborate baubles together, making the clocks more complicated and mature that i had less oomph for my early pieces.  i'm sure it is an occupational hazard for most artists.  the first works are always so exciting and such a sweet journey until you go deeper and further and see what else is possible.  anyhow.  guess this week i'd reached my limit of lugging things/storing things and working on grunty projects for other people making min. wage and i needed to either move product or make room for more if indeed there would be more.

you see i'm really in a strange place and this recent burst of selling some vases and a clock this week online has fueled me.  i've been seriously wanting to just stop it all.  get rid of it all and forget i ever had a go in the art world.  perhaps to some i seem impatient or reckless.  i've said it before...sometimes i think it ruined me even though i loved it, but it ruined me to get into a gallery so soon and have such 'luck' in the beginning.  i'm thinking it is more rare than i know to have real art collectors buy a newbie's work.  i'm thinking i was lucking out making an almost livable income the first few years.  and then, again, you know...the market crap and me moving and losing momentum and blah blah blah.  i've had this wake up call now that i'm in the 'real world' (if you call huntsville texas the real world) and i'm not so sure what i want or how i want it.  or even IF i can get it. 

in case people wonder what i'm doing with selling my art on an auction starting at .99 cents when most of those clocks have sold and do sell for $150- $200, well, again.  i have 3 or 4 that i just don't believe will sell, or that i am not willing to keep holding onto.  i'm not going to do this with all of them, just this little handful.  most of my online clock buyers have all gotten a discount.  i know when my clocks are in a gallery i lose 40-50% right off the bat and truth be told i am just trying to survive.  literally.  i have to make some money because i'm not making it.  not having money for rent, food or even shoes SUCKS.  i can take a lot but i can't take this seemingly endless pit of poverty.  so if i have inventory and a way to sell something, right now i feel like i kind of have to try.  i can't sit on this stuff and hope that one day once again the market will be great...or that i will once again get into a great gallery that has art buyers who dig what i do.  thats like me being broke and refusing to get my money out of a 401K (which i dont have) or the stock market (which i dont have).  i have no reserves.  my art is it.  so if i look like an idiot so be it.  if i look desperate...well i AM. 

having said all that.  i will be auctioning the other few clocks off the same way in the coming days.  one after another.  i will probably be auctioning off a few larger pieces for what might seem drastically less than i should, but again, a gallery would get 50% and as much as i've always been against an artist dicking around with pricing, i feel right now i have no other choice but to offer my work online for less.  if i lived in a bigger area where more jobs were available, i'd hate it, but i would try to work more.  as it is i'm still not getting much work cleaning for the landlord.  blah blah blah.  not in the mood to play the violin.  just felt like some of you might wonder what i'm doing.  and who knows...it could be a mistake.  it could be a mistake that i've decided to list those wonderful wood assemblages on etsy instead of holding onto them for the next who knows how long in hopes of that 'art installation' that i doubt i'll ever do.  maybe no one will buy them on etsy.  maybe they wont get it.  maybe i'm screwing everything up.  maybe.  maybe if i can sell work and get out of this hole and have a little space and freedom again it wont matter.  i will always be able to make art out of whatever comes my way.  i'm learning that i need to keep trying and nothing is the end all be all.  it either works or it doesn't. 

i can't let my fear or pride or whatever stop me from trying new things.  if it means to save my sanity and credit line i do this, then so be it.  you got a better idea i'm listening.  i might be stubborn but i am open and i do listen.  i keep having people suggest i do jewelry and i always shoot it down.  well i'm not shooting it down right now.  my ego wants to say 'you've made these amazing wall pieces...what the fuck are you doing making vases and little shits? if you make jewelry you will be even further from the art market you seek out.'  well ya do what ya gotta do to survive right?  maybe i can make pendants or something out of scrap.  maybe i dont have to buy tons of chains and paraphernalia.  maybe i can just sell pendants.  $20 here $20 there....it beats looking at a dirty toilet and cleaning someone elses nastiness.  at least in MY book.  and who knows i might like it.  i love my little functional pieces..i love my vases and my trays.  i dont have to do it forever, do it until i'm done.  and move on. 

so...guess i'm saying thank you. i've had a lot of warmth and support this week;  you've made a difference and probably saved me from walking away from everything and giving up.  it's been really tough lately and i guess i just blew a fuse.  (oh no spell check isn't showing my usual 100 errors which means they are probably all here and i'm not privy.  excuse mispellings...)


collage whirl said...

Paula! I can't wait for my vase to get here, and I'm so glad I finally bought something of yours.

Your eBay auction reminded me of a young artist named Natasha Wescoat--if you don't know her, you won't believe her marketing and you can spend hours just reading about her different strategies. She was a (self proclaimed)social media expert 5 or 6 years ago. Her situation was very similar to yours, she needed to make a living with her art--and she made a name for herself through eBay. So don't worry, what you're doing is doable and not at all dishonorable. Well, except the jewelry part--just kidding! Once a "psychic" suggested I switch to stained glass and I had the same reaction. But please, no offense to people out there doing awesome jewelry or stained glass work-- we're just jealous because it seems to sell like hotcakes!!

paula said...

well deborah, aren't you giving me great links lately...(loved the immolate your art site). i've not heard of that woman on ebay. i know that ebay is 'out'...old...etsy is more the way but etsy doesn't have auctions.
and you are right...probably just jealous because jewelry does sell like hot cakes and it pisses me off :) then again, i couldn't handle selling anything like hotcakes. i'll take, pot roast, doesn't that take like 8 hours?
i'm glad you got a little vase coming at you too...thank you!

paula said...

looks like she now auctions on overstock instead of ebay. (well i haven't checked yet if she is on ebay.

paula said...

yep she is still on ebay too. off to see if i can glean anything by osmosis...

Cynthia said...

I relate to what you say about early work, but for me it doesn't have to even be early work, just work that is several years old. When it's new I value it so much, and then as my work evolves and I look at that older stuff, it doesn't seem so valuable. I'm willing to part with older stuff for less. I sold a painting this year for about 1/4 of what I had it priced in about 1990 when I did it, but the person who bought it was wonderful and I was SO glad to her to have it!

I think it's smart to move some stuff, and you know if the market gets great, you can always make more, or most likely something else. It must have beeen the right thing -- you're feeling so good! Really glad to see that. And I know this week's buyers are really happy about their purchases!

There is something affirming about a total stranger buying your (my) work, but when a friend buys art from me I'm always so glad that it's going to a good home.

paula said...

it's always so interesting to me to hear how other artists feel about their work. the selling. the giving. the getting rid and making... i think you are right, mostly likely i will be making something else and yeah, seems like people are anticipating their art arrivals and that makes me warm inside.

watching you sell to so many friends has been a good thing, you have an amazing network of artists/friends cynthia!