I started out independent but slowly I succumbed to the lure of international art stardom and began to see myself as an undiscovered genius. I patiently exposed myself to the powers that be all the while practicing my exhibition skills in alternative spaces. I dreamt of the day when someone would take care of me. Do my framing, publicity, sales, even push me to advance my craft. In my patience and doggedness I failed to notice the shift of power from me to some nebulous idea of an art parent. I had lost my independence and had become a cog in the wheel of illusion.
I decided this year to find a new market for my art. I had over 100 exhibitions in New York City but as an artist without recognition I had few sales. I overpriced my work swayed by the prices I saw in the galleries. My website was a work of art. Obscure, deep, and lacking any avenue for sales. Like a fancy painting in a fancy gallery my prices were hidden. An elitist club you knew you didn’t belong to. I was making the pieces and I didn’t belong. Talk about conflicted.
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.
In my recent reexamination of the opportunities for artists I have begun to explore todays options for the independent artist. Aided by the extensive and easy to access information on the site The Abundant Artist, I am filled with hope and possibility not just for me but for all of us artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs. The Abundant Artist was started in 2009 by Cory Huff as a way to teach his artist friends about internet marketing. Cory has an easy voice and a generous spirit which is great cause there’s tons of free stuff, videos, podcasts, blog posts, webinars, diagrams and dozens of programs to learn more. Cory says, “I teach artists to dispel the starving artist myth by using the Web to sell art directly to your fans. I don’t teach artists how to get into galleries or museums. “
What a concept!
I have begun the process of revamping my website to reflect my interest in making a living. I have started an address book and am actively seeking people interested in making a living off of their art. I plan on examining various websites and adapted business techniques to make my art more available. I get a real kick out of someone enjoying one of my paintings. I know they continue to grow once planted and to watch others discover that is exciting.
When I built my first website in 1997 I shared my knowledge with others. I met so many people and ended up in places I never imagined as a result of that process. It is time I woke up out of this art world hypnosis and saw past the golden carrot to the host of artists just like me committed to their creative lifestyle and deserving of the title independent artist.