Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Truths and Others Vagaries

I subscribe to Seth Godin's blog. Seth just published an impressive 5000th blog post. He's also written twelve marketing best-sellers in a thoughtful, philosophical voice that I personally resonate with, especially when he intentionally includes us arty types who tend to be a bit remiss regarding our business savvy (or woeful lack of). Here's a link if you'd like to subscribe: Seth's Blog.

I hope I don't get into trouble but I'm re-posting a particularly apropos piece from a few days ago on Seth's blog:

"The tried and true is beyond reproach. It's been tried, and of course, it's true. True because it worked.
In times of change, though, most of the tried is in fact, false. False because what used to work, doesn't, at least not any longer.
Sure, it might be what you've always done. But that doesn't make it true, or right, or best. It just means that you already tried it.
The nature of revolutions is that they destroy the perfect and enable the impossible. Seeking out the tried and true is the wrong direction for crazy times." - Seth Godin, June 2, 2013

I am not just an artist. I'm not just a painter struggling to recoup from a disastrous economy that harshly impacted all of the arts and then some. I'm in the art business and I've made it one of my priorities to educate my clients and potential clients about what that means.

As a business person, I've become a bit aggressive. Okay, very aggressive. I have something to sell that I believe is a desirable, quality product and I'm not shy about getting the word out. Art is a tough sell during good times, never mind the "crazy times." Some admire my determination and others are repelled by it. Most fall somewhere in between.

No, this is not a hobby. Yes, I deserve to get paid well for my time, my ability and my now vast experience. It's been said that to create art is a gift from the heavens. No, it isn't. It's more like a lifetime of perseverance and never-ending study and a burning desire to achieve excellence. The pro shows up in the studio every day and gets to work. There's no time to wait for heavenly inspiration to strike.

So, if I've come on like a used car salesman and you've been offended, I'm no longer offering apologies. My tried and true is also false, spurring a search for new truths.

Hey you! There's no better time to buy a painting!


Kpeters said...

Sharon, Great blog post...and this one hits the nail on the head, how ever painful it might be.
With the social media community of today everyone and their aunt claims that they are an artist.....but the actual professional artists are actually "doing it". The uneducated public can't see the forest for the trees. Great blog! Paint on!!!!! kp

Sharon Crute said...

Thanks KP. My initial knee-jerk reaction of frustration and anger toward those who MUST challenge the price of my paintings (especially those who drive up in brand new Mercedes) was counter-productive. It's better to stay calm and teach them that this is a business like any other. As for that "my aunt is an artist" remark, I ask them where she shows her work, hopefully offering a bit of perspective.

Kimberly Kelly Santini said...

Amen, Sharon!! I bow to you - as compassionate humans, I do understand that not everyone can afford to purchase original art right now, but that doesn't mean that my prices are negotiable. I am sorry that many people can't afford to purchase an original but I do offer reproductions to accommodate lower price points. Art is a valuable commodity just like that Mercedes. We have to respect our product and collector base by maintaining a price point and improving our skills/offerings. Our studios are businesses, our galleries are valuable partners, and artists deserve the same respect as other professionals. So you go, girl!! You go!!

Sharon Crute said...

Kim: I also offer affordable prints and gift items emblazoned with my images. Don't apologize. As business owners we know (or should) who are our clients and their accompanying wants/needs. It's a business, not just a profession. Artists who refute that statement are enjoying another stream of income.