July 31, 2007

Wish Lists...

2007 - The Heights 2 - 60x20

A comment from yesterday's post, Daphne asked: "Do you find it helpful to get a wish-list from the galleries? I would think that for me it would be helpful to have further direction as well as occasionally annoying to have to go in directions that I'm not interested in at the moment."

Good question! Guess a good answer is: It depends. No... a better answer is that any communication between gallery and artist is better than no communication. What does it matter that we've created the most unique and creative work of art since Warhol's Coke bottle if there is no market for it. Let's face it, few that follow this blog are on the fast track to that kind of fame and fortune, we're hoping to meet our financial goals, pay bills or just be able to buy more paint. One goal is to get in a gallery... then two or three (the more baskets for our eggs the better, right? Right!) So we're not going to welcome comments as to what the clients are looking for?

Well... that depends. You've heard me say I planned to work on more landscapes... I've been saying the same thing to my reps. They're just reminding me of that. If I get the urge to do more Bokusho's, I'm not going to be happy to hear 'landscapes'... but I understand. I understand the market and know that it's easier to sell a realistic work than an abstract work. My landscapes are sorta abstract... and they're big! And a lot of them are RED! Big, red, abstract landscapes... OO-RAH! (That's what the Marines yell for emphasis, donchaknow.)

Okay... not to get carried away... they aren't all red and some aren't all that abstract. Remember, I came from a high detailed, realistic background... sometimes it wants to resurface. Thereby hangs the challenge. Viva la bravade! What would we do without challenges?


self taught artist said...

I know I'm probably going to irritate or annoy you and show everyone how naive and stupid I am...but I have to ask: what if?
what if artists stopped catering to galleries and just made what they wanted?

KJ said...

I understand the question and it doesn't annoy. The answer is simple. There would be a lot more starving artists... artists who can't create freely because they have to either spend time and energy working elsewhere or marketing like crazy. Both of which I don't do well. And... I AM making what I want. Maybe I didn't get my point across (likely) but good gallery relations have brought out the best I can give by cutting out so many options. I could have gone in any number of directions, most being dead ends, but I had guidance.

You get 'guidance' and 'critique' every time someone glances at your work. They pay attention or they don't. They pause appreciatively or not, maybe they comment on something they like or don't like about it. Do I care? Yes. Granted, not every rep handles their artists with respect... a number of mine didn't and I moved on.

Lisa said...

Serendipity. I just posted the question on my blog pondering if there was a market for my artwork:
Is there a market for art quilts? I even linked to one of your previous posts.

I suspect there isn't much of market for my art, which leaves me with the short term options you identified - work else where for cash or promote like crazy and create a new market.

You are lucky in that what you want to do has a built in market. Do you think the built in market has anything to do with the desirability of the activity? Certainly the ability to make a living painting makes it an attractive option to me at this point even though the process of quilt making is my passion.

What do you think would happen if you turned around tomorrow and told your galleries you were making art quilts?

KJ said...

Just guessing at numbers, I'd bet I have a lot more competition than you. But there are also more outlets and more buyers for paintings than quilts. Your market, however, includes many who understand your work and don't get mine at all. As I mentioned in my comment on your blog, check out Santa Fe galleries who focus on fiber art, I recall seeing several on previous trips. Get to know them and their artists... go to those in the know. I'm betting your work would be gang busters out there.

Your question: If I announced to my galleries that I would be doing art quilts from now on... most would give them a try. They would also expect that I continue to provide the usual stuff. I think they all are waiting from me to get over my Bokusho fling. But I can see them in quilted format. Named one "Nine" (Kokonotsu) after the nine square quilt pattern. And it sold ;-)

Joe said...

Mom didn't raise an artist but she did put some music in my genes.

When I used to play in rock bands during high school I found that there were three types of music that a band would do:

1. The slow stuff (ballads, love songs, etc.) These were super easy to write and play. They were expected to be done at reasonable intervals through out a dance or party that you were playing. We hated them. (Although many had no percussion which allowed me to dance with my girlfriend). They were mind-numbing to play but we had to do it to if we wanted the gig.

2. Experimental stuff. Lates play with a jazz riff and build on it. Have the bass do the piano line and let the guitar work the bass line. That kind of stuff. Generally we did this as a way of stretching and it was always fun and interesting to us but nothing anyone else cared to listen to.

3. The rock and blues songs. These were the songs that got everyone up and dancing. we would get to throw in some nice solos and musical acrobatics. At the end everyone would applaud and we would feel great both from the attention and being able to "show off" some.

My point (sorry this is so long) is that you can do anyone of the three. They each have their place - 1 get's you the gig, 2 get's you the talent and 3 get's you the recognition. I think this easily translates to the art world as stuff you do to get in show or galleries, stuff you do for yourself to expand your abilities and stuff that comes out of both.

KJ said...

And that's about the size of it. You work your bread and butter stuff and then stretch yourself with the challenges that originally made you want to pursue this line of work. It's great if one day they become one and the same... that's an achievable goal.