Man alone with choices- watercolor and digital print
This past year I have really struggled with my art and money.
I made a few big-BIG mistakes.
But at least I learned some stuff!
Lesson no1. Don't listen to other people.
Like being advised to paint pet portraits to make money. Paint pet portraits only if you love to.
What was I thinking????
Lesson no2: Don't undercharge or the universe will think you are selling toilet paper.(is that a strong enough statement?)
I cut my prices to a level where my art practice was unsustainable . I didn't sell more, on the contrary , I got clients who wanted portraits but explained to me they couldn't pay more than thirty dollars...
Lesson no3: Stand up for your art. (Don't be an art doormat)
Doubting what I am best at, but trying to please this person, and that person ,and her blind friend...
Frantically looking around me for the right way to take while I was not paying attention to where I was already standing.
What was I thinking???
OK. I learned. It was a necessary process, or so I tell myself because it feels comforting.(but it's probably true)
To be honest I feel like I have come out of a tunnel, not a lion yet, still a bit of a mouse, but working on it...
I feel more committed now than ever, and I am determined my sweets to get my hands on some good marketing tools.
I came across Marie Forleo recently and I am totally loving her. She's brilliant and funny and she knows her marketing stuff! I plan to do B-School with her next time around. Would you?
So I ask you : does an artist need marketing skills? Do you think that art 'speaks for itself', so if it is good enough it will sell enough (ahem, Van Gogh)? Have you learned some tough lessons? Have you spent a couple of days (or more..) screaming at yourself : What was I thinking????
I still feel a slight tinge of moral guilt talking about money and art... Do I need a stupid-moral-belief exorcist or WHAT?