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Just got back from a studio tour...
beachin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 180
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-04-12 9:36 pm   Permalink

I've been behind in my correspondence. Sorry about that. I'll try to answer your questions, comments. Most of the stuff I post in these forums caters (I think) to all forms of artists. I post them because a) I like a good discussion/debate and b) I value other artists opinions and c) you all have a varying degree of experience/years under the belt to add to the topic.

In answer to the question. Yes I am a professional artist. I have been selling art as a living for two years (read: broke) I list it as my occupation. I don't have any other job. It's what I do. I have been attending college for three years to study ceramics and fine arts. I had to take a bunch of other crap to get a well-rounded education, so I'm not just smarter, but poorer. (!!)

I have also been studying marketing art based on another discussion in the marketing tiki forum (which I think almost all of you contributed to).

Paying the dues is a term that's thrown around a lot in my backyard. They talk about it in college, at shows, and at the art museum where I volunteer. They tell budding artists not to expect to make a living as an artist because they have to pay their dues. They tell you in a show when you set your prices too high for their taste that you still need to pay your dues. They insist that pricing be set low low low and that only sage old artists with masters degrees have paid their dues.

I guess what I was surprised to see what that the kids in question were encouraged to set their prices above the market value for this area and their medium. Watercolor artists on the streets of New Orleans are a dime a dozen. The kids who had the show didn't show any outrageous/remakable talent that I saw or took my breadth away. I think I like the theory that it was grandma/pa buying the art for $750. It helps me sleep better. Don't get me wrong. I encourage every artist I meet to go for it. I do it and I love my job. I just think their art education needs to include realistic pricing structure for their future in this career. I think encouraging a kid to sell a piece for $750 at their first show is setting them up for a huge let-down if they decide to join the pros.

In southern Louisiana, competition if feirce for a small group of art collectors. They do not teach art in the schools here to any serious degree, except for the private schools. They cut out the arts from the public school curriculum a while back. One semester of art class is available to the high school students but it's a very watered-down course. It is NOT taught in the elementary schools at all any more. This means we are raising a generation of citizens who are not knowledgable about art and don't know what to buy. They prefer to decorate their homes with walm-ART rather than take the time to learn about real artists right here at home.

It saddened me to see these VERY talented, respectable artists have an open-house and not sell anything, and to have to complete with the high-schoolers who were selling. I think it was a conflict of interest and a lack of support for the professional artists who the guild was sponsoring. I would have liked to see the $750 go to at least one of the pros who are trying to do this for a living.

This is getting too long. I'll leave that out there and post more in a bit.
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beachin
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 11, 2004
Posts: 180
From: Louisiana (right now)
Posted: 2005-04-12 10:50 pm   Permalink

Quote:

Beachin: Here is an informative article for you... be sure to also read the licensing 101 link.

Click here



Good read. I kept it in my marketing file for future reference. My mind swarms with new business info every day. On top of 15 college hours, running a family, marketing 30 hours a week, and making art, I've been learning everything I can about the art business. I blame BigBroTiki...he got me started thinking about where I want to go with my business, and now I have to do something about it!

I love my job, though. My studio is 120 feet away from my bedroom. The phone doesn't ring in there. I don't punch a time-clock. I design my own work. I get to think for myself. I can play the music as loud as I want it. I set my own hours (which are longer than I ever worked before incidentally) and I can take a nap when I want to.

I'm thinking about talking to some local flower shops to see if they would be interested in any of those mugs that are not moving from my shelves.
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