Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Part two of Barney Davey's "Artists for Art's Sake"

Sauvie Island Farm by Michael Orwick 36x36" oils on canvas
for sale at City Arts LLC
www.cityartsoregon.com902 SW Morrison StPortland, OR 97205(503) 224-4777


For the artist, in addition to time, which has its own value, there is the cost of materials Canvas, paints and brushes are just the start. Mortgage or rent on a space to create art is included as well as the fixed monthly fees required to maintain such a space. There quite often is payroll for helpers in the gallery or in the office to generate marketing efforts and make sales. Even for an artist working part-time off the kitchen table, there is considerable expense to making art and creating awareness for the artist. Camera equipment and other digital and technology expenses are common. Maintaining a Web site, newsletter, direct mail list and blog are necessary time and money consuming components of the successful art career these days. A commission-based art rep can command 20% - 25% of an artist’s wholesale cut. If the artist is publishing works with a publisher, he or she can expect to earn anywhere from 8 – 15% of the net wholesale price. It is common for an artist to make less than $1.00 from the retail sale of a $40 poster.Given the difficulties of doing the work to begin and the challenges of making an art career successful enough to pay the bills, much less make a name for the artist, one could wonder why artists bother. Certainly working at the bank or for the city or state in some cushy government job with great benefits would be an easier path for most. The thing is, I believe art choose artists as much as artists chose art. Most I have known are compelled to create their art and in doing so express themselves in ways that don’t allow them to contemplate the path well taken. They are driven by determination to provide creation and to add a voice, albeit visual, to the conversation of life, of being alive and what it means to them and to us who appreciate their work.The point of this essay is not to pity the artist, not to belabor the difficulty of the work and sweat involved in creating art and an art career. The point is to celebrate the artists you find a connection with, to honor them with not just your vocal appreciation of what they have done, but to put your money where your accolades are and buy their work. This Absolute Arts site is a shining testament to the abilities, hopes, creativity and determination of artists from all over the globe. Your one job as a visitor here is to take time to explore the site, to find a gem of an artist, to discover a piece of art that resonates like a finely tapped tuning fork in your heart and brain and to reach out and bring that art home.I’ve attempted to elaborate a perspective of the artist’s life that I think most who surf this site and others like it rarely see or know. It is done so with the hope that having a deeper appreciation for what artists go through on a daily basis, and how much more they need you to support them to merely keep bread on the table that you will be so motivated to take the step towards owning art that feeds your soul and them as well. Perhaps knowing these things will make owning that special piece art that much sweeter? I am an author, blogger and speaker on art marketing topics.Barney Daveyhttp://www.artprintissues.com/
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