A few months ago I painted and re-organized part of my studio space. This is my "Clean Space", where I do my painting. My work space is actually located in five parts of my home. I also have an office, where I do all of my digital work and business. A dark room / print room, where I do all my photography and printmaking work. I have a room dedicated as a warehouse, where I store all my finished work. And a wood shop a.k.a. garage, where we do the framing. One day I will build a dedicated structure that will house all aspects of the business, and it is my dream to offer an apprenticeship program for artists.
Well, I finished my first art fair of the season, and it was excruciating! Being pregnant, obviously made it harder. Also being the first one I have invested so much in, also made it difficult. It involved weeks of prep work, and heavy lifting once we got there. I met a lot of really great people when all was said and done, and I sold a handful of paintings. I will be honest with you though, I ended up putting out way more money than I got back. In the end, my endorphins were completely shot, and I felt defeated. Then came the big question from my own mind, and those of family and friends, "Is it worth it?"
Good question. I have done a few art fairs in the past, and I knew they were a gamble. Some can be a complete failure (maybe most?), and sometimes you can get a win. If anything, you are out there showing the work to the public, and attempting to make new business connections. But is this enough? My method right now is to try, modify, and try again until I find success. I am looking at them as trade shows. As other businesses go out there to meet the public, I am doing the same. But, I can't keep this up forever, or I will go broke with a broken back.
There is a lot to contemplate when you are attempting to run a legitimate business. A lot of trial and error. A lot of failures before success. There was a time when artists did not have to worry about the business side of selling art, as much as they do now. Galleries handled the sales. Most galleries fell 10 years ago, and in today's world, artists are expected to run their endeavors from conception to sale. This means all business and marketing falls on them. I read that to find success, 60% or more of your time should be devoted to marketing. When you factor in this time into the price of your work, it can be confusing and also unrealistic.
QUESTIONS FOR OTHER ARTISTS?
I am curious what other artists feel about this? What is the time and effort you are devoting to your business vs. practice? Where is your happy medium? How do fairs fall into your category of marketing?
Do you have questions for other artists regarding art fairs? or marketing efforts in general?
It has been a while since I posted an update. I am pregnant and have been very ill. I am trying to get myself motivated to get back into the studio and make new work, something that has been a challenge on top of preparing for this summer's art fairs. This is the first time I am giving my all to the art fairs, so it is taking a lot of work to prepare. Brochures, labels, boxes, packaging, building walls and tables... the list of to-dos go on. I only have a month until my first fair, so it is time to get serious.
Here are some snap shots of the state of my studio.
So I switched my Patreon around a bit. I didn't received a lot of momentum for it, but I don't want to give up quite yet. I used to have it set up as a Painting of the Month Club, and at different tiers you would received artwork every month. I have moved this over to my website store. So you can check that out here. Now, my Patreon is more simplified. If you would like to show support, it would be appreciated. You will get simple rewards in return. Thank you in advance for your support.
EEEK, I just ordered a fancy new sign for my art fair booth! Oh, did I mention I am doing a few art fairs this summer!? I am starting to get excited. I have only done a few fairs, and they have been stressful and a ton of work. But I never did it right. I tried to cut corners, showed up unprepared, and I learned the hard way on a lot of things. I am finally getting a professional set-up and I am going all in, which I think will help the process and sales. More on this later.
- Jun 21, 2017 Studio Snap Shots Jun 21, 2017
- Jun 21, 2017 Upcoming Summer Art Fairs Jun 21, 2017
- Jun 7, 2017 To the Artists: My Thoughts on the First Art Fair of the Summer / 2017 Jun 7, 2017
- May 4, 2017 May Update May 4, 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
I have been feeling under the weather, so, regretfully, I have not been in the studio in a while. I hope to be in the studio soon. I have a lot of new work in my head, I just need to get my hands dirty. I thought I would share some oldies with you in the mean time. Tell me what you think.
I have started a Patreon page, and I am really excited about it! In case you’re wondering, Patreon is a simple way for my fans to contribute to my art practice every month, and get great rewards in return. CHECK IT OUT!
Still confused about Patreon? Check out this video to learn more.
I am part of this amazing group of artists called, PICCOLOs! It is part gallery, part community. The artist Thimgan Hayden found an amazing group to be included in the project. I will be doing an interview / show and tell on the Facebook Group February 12th at 11:00am, so I hope to see some support from friends. Join the group -> HERE
This is my first video! This painting was made with ink, salt, alum, and silver leaf. I love the process of making these pieces, so this is my attempt to share my love of the process. The song is Waltz in A minor by Chopin, performed by Aya Higuchi. It is a special song to me because Chopin is my favorite composer, and I have performed this song at several performances (back in the day). Thank you for viewing. Purchase this work in my gallery.
Here are a few of my new pieces that are waiting to get framed. We cut the maple, now we just have to assemble, varnish, and purchase the glass. It's a long process from start to finish, but at least it is rewarding.
I have been experimenting with alternative materials, and different subject matter. I am breaking from my theme, hoping it will come full circle in the end. I have a lot of ideas but I am still in the phase were I am figuring out how to execute them. It's intimating and exciting. I hope to take some in-progress shots soon. I am also working on a video.
Thank you, as always.
I am really happy with how these turned out. The gilding (silver, gold, and copper leaf) is incredibly hard to capture in a photograph, and these photos do not do any of the pieces justice--but at least you can get an idea. The paintings are rather intricate, and fun to look at up close. The gilding pops from far away, and during different times of day. I love that an artwork can change with time. That seems to be a big part of what I am interested in.
You can purchase these works in my Gallery.
Taking a few minutes to write while my son sleeps (I don't have long!). I have been working on the less fun aspect of running an art studio--managing the business side. I would much rather be in the studio! End of rant.
I uploaded some artwork onto Fine Art America. You can now purchase the work listed, or buy products with my artwork on it. Check it out!
I am sharing this piece because I painted the moth 2 years ago. It sat on my (self proclaimed) "wall of failures", incomplete this whole time until I decided to add the triangle. I have been captivated by impossible shapes ever since I studied Gerhard Richter's Impossible Object series at the Art Institute of Chicago almost 10 years ago. I am happy to be exploring this subject in my own work.
Alright, here we go. I am notoriously inconsistent at Blogging, so I have steered clear of it for the last several years. Now, after reminiscing over my Instagram account and realizing how cool it is to look back and see my progression as an artist, I admit it's time for a more formal way of documenting my life, process, and ideas.
Here are two portraits I made years ago. The subject matter are Armenian women who were kidnapped and displaced during the Armenian Genocide in Turkey in the early 1900's. These women were taken by nomad tribes, and were tattooed on their faces. Later, some were released to their families. My grandmother knew of these women, who were her mother's age.
The portraits were made by degrading an image over and over again, and then scanning the degraded image and piecing it back together again digitally (much like a puzzle). The final product was a hand pulled, 4 color Lithograph made from the digital image.