Are You an Art Market Gypsy, too?
Every artist reaches the point where they want to share their work with the world.
But not everyone thinks that they’re good enough, or that they’re ready to take on the wide world of art shows! It takes a certain person, a driven creative heart, to live this life. So read on and find out, are you an Art Market Gypsy, too?
Art shows come with the dreaded 3 C’s — customers, critics, and commitment!
Most of us think that our biggest fear is the Customer. What if they don’t like our work??? How awful would it be to put your time, sweat and tears into expressing your innermost artist only to have NO ONE BUY IT?
I’ll admit, it’s pretty heavy stuff.
The vast majority of customers will NOT buy. They’ll tell you how lovely your work is. Aren’t you clever for that design or the way you pulled that sculpture together? Or they’ll express how much they envy that you’ve embraced your art where they can’t because (insert excuse here). But honestly, about 5 to 10 percent of the people who view your work will part with their cash to buy it.
And often, they’ll covet your masterpiece! But they’ll buy that tiny little thing you did that they can spend just $5.00 on and walk away.
That is one of the harder things to cope with during an event. But that’s ok, because they love your work, and they bought something… you feel validated. Until…
You encounter the Critic.
The Critic can come in many shapes, sizes, and costumes. Sometimes they are a customer with impeccable taste. Other times, they are an artist colleague with suggestions on how to refine your process. And then there are the jury judges. Each critic offers critiques that can make you soar, or tear you down. But we need them all.
The jury judge inspects your work and all of the minute details for flaws.
Well, they’re judging quality, workmanship, and process. But we FEEL as if they’re putting every flaw under a microscope. A lot of times, jury judges will offer great feedback on how to improve. They give us growth tips… and they do this to the most skilled, talented artisans out there! So when they tell us that something can be improved, they’re offering us a wonderful service.
But we feel gutted. All of our worst fears about our art must be true. We Suck with that Capital “S.”
We’re CONVINCED that we’re frauds and that there’s no way we’ll be accepted into this event now. It’s a terrible feeling to endure. And we torment ourselves.
Then we receive that acceptance letter! We’re IN!! We must be good after all!!!! How amazing? But how did that happen?
It’s simple. We forget that no matter what they say about our work, we are our own worst critics. Those judges are there to put on a great event, yes. But even more, these are usually people committed to the growth of quality artists who can keep their events thriving for years to come!
They WANT us to succeed and get BETTER! So now we feel confident! We’re in, we can officially tell people that we are, in fact, artists. We can commit to our art, our vision, our way of life — wait….
Commit? Am I really an artist?
Do I want to live with the ups and downs, the thrills and spills of the artist life?
Can I live with my art on display and subject myself over and over to customers and critics?
That’s the rub. Without customers, we cannot make a living with our art. It doesn’t matter if we’re hobbyists looking just to supplement our play budgets or if we’re pros who want to make this a way of life.
No customers means no pay, no more supplies, and worse.
And we can’t do without critics either. Critics help us to shape our art, develop our vision, and hone our skills. They challenge us to reach for the stars that inspired us. They guide us in what they want so that we can meet more customers and more critics.
Without the critics in their many guises, we cannot grow, we cannot know if our art touches anyone but us.
That can be fine for some.
But for those of us with the heart of the Gypsy, we must commit. As artists and Gypsies, we cannot thrive without the thrill of the dance with the customer.
We must create. We must display. And we must make our commitment.
So, are you an Art Market Gypsy, too?
Then let’s get started!! Read about how to pull together your first display in our next article, The 4 components of your First Successful Display!