Friday, December 11, 2009

love it... live it

panoramic photo by Elaine A. Russell (click on photo to see it enlarged)

It is interesting being a relative newbie to the art scene. You get such a wide variety of opinions on everything from how to market your art, to where to market your art, to pricing.. and more. In the past couple of years it has been the topic of many conversations amongst artists that I have met, books that I have read, seminars and such that I have been too.

I have always done art... but never really pursued it as a "business" until this past few months/year. I have had a store on Ebay since 98, but it was mostly used for selling items out of my house that I was getting rid of. I did mix in art and craft items here and there... but have never made enough to sustain a living off of.
I have had a freelance photography business since 1986, but here again... not enough to survive on if I had too. Part of the advantage is; that I have never had to rely on selling my art to make a living... and this is an important distinction. I'm not sure what I would have done all these years if I had been in a position where I had to earn enough to survive -- with my art.

This past year, I have been researching more into the business of selling your own art.... Different things you can do to increase your productivity, increase your visibility to the public, and maximize your earning potential. It is a complex, yet interesting thing.

There are soooo many different schools of thought on what a person should do to be successful. What seems to be left out of alot of the information out there though... is the importance of discovering for yourself.. .what exactly "success" means to you as an individual. Is it selling in galleries... is it make X amount of money a month... is it being published ?
Conversely, it is also interesting to me how people can get so wrapped up in the "making money" end of things... that they lose sight of why they are doing art in the first place. Then there is the whole school of thought on the power of intention (Dream it .. believe it.. it will come to pass.)... as well as any number other "how to" business models.
Do I have any answers? No.....Wish I did. Or do I?

I think that ultimately, you have to do what makes you happiest. Yes, it is awesome to be able to pay your bills and live in a manner that is comfortable for you. However... and maybe I am too naive... but I think it is much more important to be living a life that is fulfilling and nurturing to your spirit. The kind of life that makes you excited to wake up each and every day.

((And ultimately; ideally; hopefully; you will find yourself in a position where you can pay your bills and enjoy your life))

And so --- I am reflecting these days on what truly is my passion (or passions). Not what other people/ books/ seminars......think I should do... or perhaps even... what would be the most financially advantageous for me to do... but what do I really love....