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Old 01-15-2012, 07:35 AM
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Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

I would like to ask you all, dear fellow artists. Have you felt the same way? have you dealt with similar dilema?
I have noticed lately, the tough economy pushes me into creating less quality /quicker art.Smaller & less detailed pieces. The temptation (to do cheap art) is continuously in the air due to lack of sales. it is harder to find clients for larger and/or better quality art. But if I do quick sketches, I will be holding myself from developing my skills. If feels more like going backwards!
What do you do? -go with cheap market request or focus on developing your skills & just keep your better quality art for yourself for now (unpublished), until the market hopefully gets better?
Every time I`m trying to do a quick sketch, I feel guilty, because "I know I can do so much better that that" and I feel i wasted a good idea on a quick sketch.
Do you ever do the same artwork twice?-> in cheap form and in good quality form and sell them both?
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:08 PM
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caldwell.brobeck caldwell.brobeck is offline
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Re: Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

I find quite the opposite, there's nothing like a tough competitive market to force you to play at the top of your game.

Re sketching vs more finished work, I think that this more or less just depends on what sort of work you like doing. I find sketching more intimate and responsive than finished work, it tells me more about the artist and his or her approach, skills, and aesthetic views, as well as the artist's response to the subject, and probably the subject itself. It also seems to me to generally be more open to interpretation (i.e. engaging) than highly polished work, which often tends to be somewhat pontifical. Hence I am more likely to buy sketches from other artists, as well as offer my own for sale.

With respect to reprising one's earlier work, again, I'm all for it, though not as straight copies, I like re-interpretations. This quick sketch (contains rather abstract nudity), for example, I've redone any number of times in various ways, from encaustic to block print to ink and water colour (I won't sell the original because it's on newsprint), while this drawing:

I've used for several etchings and a lithograph. Each variation comes out differently, which gives one the chance to explore all kinds of techniques.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:32 AM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

I've done the quicker/faster/cheaper route, and it did not work for me at all. There was less passion in the work. And it takes a lot more time and effort to sell 4 items for say 300 bucks, than 1 item for 1200 bucks. At least in my case. Seems the larger, more intense, more outrageous, more into it I go, the better I do. The other stuff looks quaint. Regarding improvement: that is why I do my art - to stretch myself, to learn. If I wasn't doing that, it would have very little meaning. So that's something I won't give up.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:03 PM
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Re: Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

the economy might more dictate projects to me if i was trying to make a living off my art ... i'm not ... it's a relative improbability to do so here anyway, so i just carry on with projects that inspire, display them, and sometimes they sell.

prints are an option i think, for those wanting to offer more affordable options ... can't warm up to the idea myself, but again, that make a living thing controls a lot.

la
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Old 01-22-2012, 11:41 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is online now
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Re: Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

You answered your own question.

If you are creating work of lower quality, just to make the quick sale, and in doing so you are aware that you are not working up to your full potential, well--

--stop it!

I create works in a variety of "price points". At my shows, there are works priced around one hundred dollars, all the way to works priced in the (low) thousands.

Thus, I have my elaborate, expensive, at-the-top-of-my-game pieces, and some smaller, quicker, more expressive "quick sell" pieces.

If you are selling all the small, inexpensive piece you make, then raise the prices on those pieces twenty percent right now. Spend the extra time on maiking the "elaborate" pieces that will challenge you to continue to develop your skills.

Otherwise, you're only cheating yourself--and there's no upside to that.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:03 AM
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Re: Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

all good advise, keith, me thinks i'll take it too, thank you very much = )

la
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:28 AM
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Re: Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

The economy makes no difference to my creative needs, but it does in how I need to market my work. Keith's advice is good, and I think it's a bad idea to try and create cheap art. Then you will be attracting buyers who want cheap art, not buyers who want YOUR art.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:15 PM
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cuttineagle cuttineagle is offline
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Re: Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

Good point ,everyone, I`ll try to go with Keith`s advice. Thank you.
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Old 02-23-2012, 12:24 PM
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Horsa Horsa is offline
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Re: Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

I have seen this put as "Do you want to be Wal*Mart or Tiffany's?" Both are valid business models.

If you opt for the former you are trading creativity for mass production, catering to the whim of the market. If you opt for the latter you are choosing to create high-end unique pieces and trusting that the buyer will come to you.

If you choose to follow the Tiffany's model you are increasing the chances of zero sales days, but also increasing the chances of 5 figures sales days.

Personally I would rather sell fewer better pieces. If the market is in a slump and people are reluctant to buy, give them better quality at a reasonable price. Value will always appeal to customers.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:58 AM
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Re: Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsa
I have seen this put as "Do you want to be Wal*Mart or Tiffany's?" Both are valid business models.

If you opt for the former you are trading creativity for mass production, catering to the whim of the market. If you opt for the latter you are choosing to create high-end unique pieces and trusting that the buyer will come to you.

If you choose to follow the Tiffany's model you are increasing the chances of zero sales days, but also increasing the chances of 5 figures sales days.

Personally I would rather sell fewer better pieces. If the market is in a slump and people are reluctant to buy, give them better quality at a reasonable price. Value will always appeal to customers.


Not to mention that going for high quality will improve your skill level, and will also keep you more sane.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:49 PM
Tatianapaints Tatianapaints is offline
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Re: Tough Economy stops/slows down art skills improvement

Very good food for thought.

Always a tough choice, I also like to have a range of work available. There are other reasons for producing your best work on a high-end basis too, like getting pieces together for an exhibition.

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