Don't Call Me an Artist

10Jun/101

Compromising Artistic Vision for Money?

Image courtesy of Tony.L.Wong

I ran my $100 Experiment past a fashion designer friend of mine in London to get an 'art as business' perspective. He responded with some food for thought. My favorite part: "It is about finding the right audience it always is – I think the glass of wine and a bit of cheese we love art but not anything too scary – and we’d love something for our second home” that crowd."

Here's what he had to say:

Well with Art it is about the grind. You have to factor what you want out of this. If you want to make money then I would say you are looking at the more commercial end – which to be frank is deadly and filled with a lot of crap as you know. You are putting a creative effort in – will your coffee shop customer appreciate that at whatever price point you will have to drop to.


I think these days Galleryist’s are tough and they will want background, history and fluff PR. I think you should put your best work online and create a website with the varied works. In my mind the best art is always well presented and well framed. You should look into the best hand farmer in San Fran a traditional company, start making links – do not blow all your money on framing, but maybe you could have a couple down for the site.

I think you should look at what other artists are doing. I do think selling smaller works online is the way to go and market the site to start.

Then build a following and start approaching serious galleries or galleries who SELL. San Fran has a lot of rich folks – you need to find galleries where the ladies who lunch, first time art hounds and corporate buyers go. That said corporate commissions and murals pay shit loads – but in this age of conspicuous consumption I do not know how corporations feel about spending – but you could try highlighting business and companies in your area who you like or organisations and approaching them about large works.

I think it is about creating an appeal for the work. I have a few finer artists colleagues and they never compromise on price – so factor that in. It is about finding the right audience it always is – I think the glass of wine and a bit of cheese  “we love art but not anything too scary – and we’d love something for our second home” that crowd. And there are galleries that deal with them – have big databases and can sell. Also with Galleries you may need 2 LARGE works they go at higher prices so the wait would pay off.

Hope that helps!

I thought the $100 experiment would be a good way to light a fire under my ass and make a bit of money in the meantime. But now I'm not so sure. My friend's email has a lot of good advice, I feel, but it has also made me think about the repercussions. Am I sacrificing my artistic vision/integrity by setting my sites on a dollar sign? Will I end up like Pam on The Office - with the Oscars of the world remarking that my work is nothing more than 'motel art'?

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  1. I think this is interesting, because it is all about integrity as an artist, in my opinion, so to take the purity & natural creative out of your work to make someone else happy is kind of personal, & I guess it’s up to you as the artist how personal you want to make it…just another reason why I hate money! :) This info is good to know, because I’ve been working on (what seems like forever) a theme to hopefully one day be put in a gallery, so thanks for this post! It’s bookmarked!


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