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Chooseing a medium. (vent, rant, questions)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
For as long as I can remember I've wanted to create art worthy of sale. Problem is, I lack direction. I tend to get an idea, try it, hate it, quit it, try another, think it's ok but lacks real focus, quit it, try another, figure I have to get feedback on something, ask around, get poor feedback, quit it, frustration, start over with something completly different. I've been doing this for many years now and it's getting old.

People in my life always comment, "you're so good at _____. You could devolope that and sell tons." So after people telling me over and over I do exactly the sort of work they said they like of mine, show them what I THINK is half decent only to have the very people who once liked that sort of thing say, "eh. why didn't you make it like you did before". Little do they know I did make it like I did before or perhaps better and they just had a rather rosey false memory of how good it was before.

I know I need to create art FOR ME but, I'm so mixed up as to who I am as an artist that I really have no idea. I don't know if I want to focus on photography, pencil drawing, ink drawing, realistic stuff, silly stuff, serious stuff, crafts, multimedia wall art, or something else I've forgotten or haven't come up with yet. It's hard to put myself out there when I'm not even sure I know what I'm doing. I hit a couple galleries awhile back and felt pretty embarrassed of my work (if you can call it work) so I think I'm limited to internet sales ATM.... but even then, what the heck do I try to sell. If the people who love me wouldn't put it on their wall, who would???

For those who have ANY sucess selling art of any kind, how did you choose your medium? Did you jump around to and from other mediums? Do YOU like your own work and feel it is truely good?
post #2 of 5
Have you tried Deviant Art? You can post things and get feedback from other artists.

For me, I don't like to make something to sell it, I must make it to either make a statement or make it for myself. I can't be thinking about what other people want. It always throws me off. With that said, I have had a small business making consignment pieces, the stuff I have made for other people was not expressive at all. I have done consignment work for other people and that is fun, but not a creative outlet for me, it's more important for me to get my statement out or express myself.

If you have something you feel is great, that's what matters in many aspects. There are many artists that are not technically great but have a style that sells, sometimes it's just about finding your niche, and if you choose to, selling your ideas to people.

there is a book called Art and Fear that might help you, it's a really short read but I think it addresses the issues you are talking about.

And Hey, Who says you have to use just one medium?!
post #3 of 5
I struggle too with having so many desires for how to express so many things. The real issue for me is time, though. If I had time, I could explore and create according to all of my ideas. Of course the longer I don't, the longer the list of things I want to do becomes- and the more variety it includes! I am presently not working at all.

My plan for next month is to begin by focussing the time that is set apart for my creative pursuits on one particular 'project.' I like to work in series, so the creative exploration is part and parcel of the finished work. I plan to map out my projects for the year and work steadily on them one at a time within the timeframes I've given myself.

This will be the first time I'm producing as a mum; previously my schedule was shared between my commercial contract work, school, and my dh. Now it's my dh's job, his other job and our children's needs. We've not yet factored me into it at all.

This is tonight's planned discussion.

Anyway, 'project' based work is the way I intend to reign in my myriad interests and also actually produce. The other thing is that I'm planning to participate in a pretty prestigious show in one year's time, so to do that, I have to hone my skills (just finished a gift for my brother and his wife and was so glad to discover that I can still draw and sculpt!!! : after a nearly 7 yr hiatus!), and execute my work as well as make contacts and gain the necessary repute to be accepted.

It''s a tall order, but I've never done anything less than full-a$$ed in my life, so I'm just continuing in my tradition. The time constraint is helpful to me because it places some urgency on the shoulders of my dh...
post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by FondestBianca View Post
People in my life always comment, "you're so good at _____. You could devolope that and sell tons."
I HATE when people say that. Do they think I can just make a ton of work, and then walk into a local museum or gallery and snap my fingers and get an exhibit? It is nearly impossible, and has very, very little to do with the art itself. Making art is a totally different ball game than selling yourself, which is exactly what you need to do - if you want to make any money at it. Nothing at all wrong with creating for yourself, and experimenting with different mediums, techniques.... it's a fabulous experience. But if you want to sell, producing great art is not enough, because frankly there is A LOT of talented people out there, disproportionately more than people willing to buy.

If you want to do something more than just create, imo you need to develop a theme, or series. Nothing screams art school more than having 20 pieces in 20 different mediums. But only you can decide what this medium, style, medium... is. And it should come from your passion, from your heart, because who wants to make 50 paintings if you are bored with it?

You can see here if you want an idea - I have 2 styles - one is small-medium sized silk, I have about 100 of these, the other is acrylic, very large, just starting this series so not so many yet. I think if you look at 2 of the silk paintings, it is obvious it is the same artist, same style....
www.abrosenlund.com/paintings
post #5 of 5
I think AllisonR is right. I've never sold my art (except for silver jewelry) so I'm no expert, but I've been hanging around Etsy and some other sites to sell items and have noticed that the successful ones DO have a particular theme going. I have narrowed down my painted art to small scale, ink and watercolor. I have painted large scale acrylic, med scale oil, and large scale watercolor before. All were OK. My fave personally is the super bright small scale ink/watercolor sets that I've been working on for 6 months or so. I don't have any online for sale yet since I'm waiting on getting a scanner/printer. But I do intend on giving it a shot sometime this year, hopefully. My small bright sets really speak to me personally, I do intend on hanging some in my own home, and I just love their funky nature. Normally, I'm a nature-colors and laid back person, but this particular set I'm working with just brings me to life, so to speak. So, I'm just going to go with that. I figure at worst, I'll have the prints for my own walls and perhaps some gifts to give to people this Christmas
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