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Old 07-22-2019, 02:12 AM
Steve_d123 Steve_d123 is offline
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

This is a tough topic, I dont really have any art friends and when I do speak to other artists, say during a local country exhibition, it is very hard not to compare your work against theirs, in fact, usually I think my works pretty good before the show and see it against all the others and I just can't see my picture in the same light, its weird, i cant really tell if my own painting is good or not once its displayed.
Most of the time im my own worst enemy, I judge myself and whats worse, I make assumptions that other people are judging me badly, when in fact that wouldn't be at all. I don't know anyone who has any art experience who would not be aware that the road to any skill level is very long, filled with very satisfying art that will never see the light of day, a great journey to be had whatever the skill level and the fragile artist reacts badly to criticism.
So almost EVERYONE sees your art and probably at worst thinks "its got some good details and their getting there" if they just don't down right love it yet in our heads we think they hate it, or worse, pay it NO attention and so we tend to dislike them for it.
Perhaps it is us who are the problem, but that doesn't make the problem any less real.


Just in case, im keeping my art friends to a nice round number, like 0.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:39 AM
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artyczar

As for showing, UseHerName gives me pause in that not showing anymore makes you disappear. I wonder about that. I was planning on giving up on showing. Maybe I shouldn't? I'm also on the fence about it because it stresses me out and is not good for my mental health. I know I won't be "relevant" anymore if I wait a long time before I show again, but part of me doesn't care. I'm not sure if it's depression or a change of mind/outlook on life.

Hey thanks, Artyczar, more than ever I think of art as a triangular relationship. There's You, there's the art, and the most important part of this relationship is the person who is viewing, the audience. I feel that all art is a performance and experience. Some people think that it is the art and the artist-- a totally private, unseen relationship. You can do that too. But I don't think that art is art without audience reaction. It is a form of communication, and in communicating, you need other people. I guess it is a philosophy. In other art-forms like music, theater, film, and dance, you think about it naturally, even in writing. Who are you writing for? Just yourself? You can do this too, but the real "test" is an audience, and I think that you move up the ladder-- shift the paradigm-- when you include an audience. As to "I can't find a place to show-- that issue, well, keep looking.

The benefits of showing: It makes you accountable to a larger group of people. It forces you to interact and communicate. It provides deadlines. Sometimes (not always) you get paid. You meet in person with a community. It adds to your reputation and strokes your ego. It is hard.

I disagree, Artyszar, I feel that stress is good for you. It is a natural pressure that forces you forward. Why do you work? To eat, to have a home. You can rationalize it in other ways, but at the basic level, it is about getting the cave and the roast and the fire and the healthy kids. Without stress, we would all be wombats.
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Old 07-24-2019, 11:11 AM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Use Her Name
Hey thanks, Artyczar, more than ever I think of art as a triangular relationship. There's You, there's the art, and the most important part of this relationship is the person who is viewing, the audience. I feel that all art is a performance and experience. Some people think that it is the art and the artist-- a totally private, unseen relationship. You can do that too. But I don't think that art is art without audience reaction. It is a form of communication, and in communicating, you need other people. I guess it is a philosophy. In other art-forms like music, theater, film, and dance, you think about it naturally, even in writing. Who are you writing for? Just yourself? You can do this too, but the real "test" is an audience, and I think that you move up the ladder-- shift the paradigm-- when you include an audience. As to "I can't find a place to show-- that issue, well, keep looking.

The benefits of showing: It makes you accountable to a larger group of people. It forces you to interact and communicate. It provides deadlines. Sometimes (not always) you get paid. You meet in person with a community. It adds to your reputation and strokes your ego. It is hard.

I disagree, Artyszar, I feel that stress is good for you. It is a natural pressure that forces you forward. Why do you work? To eat, to have a home. You can rationalize it in other ways, but at the basic level, it is about getting the cave and the roast and the fire and the healthy kids. Without stress, we would all be wombats.

You know, it's funny, because this is also my core philosophy, as far as the relationship between the art and the viewer. It always has been. The relationship of the artist and the work is only half the equation. I do believe you're right and needed that reminder, so thank you.

I think my issue is burnout. Probably temporary. I just closed a big show in May. As you know, these big solo shows take almost a year (sometimes more) to plan. A lot of work went into it, plus I put out my first book and it launched the night of the opening. I think I was/am overwhelmed with it all because where do you go from there but down?

Then I just moved to a remote area. I've lived in the center of the art world my whole life, so now what? It feels like I will not longer be relevant and maybe if I "make the decision not to be" it will feel more like I controlled it rather than it having controlled me? I'm not sure what I'm on about really.

Also, the one artist friend I spoke about that I have in LA (LA is only 2 hours drive by the way), was recently diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis is not super great. It's not as grim as it could be, but also not as good as we'd like it either. I've lost more loved ones to cancer than I can count.

There is one gallery here. However, its run by some hoity-toity curators that mix local artists with big-shots from Los Angeles. I've had a slight issue with these curators in the past and already know what they think about me and my work. In fact, the incident I had with them set me back emotionally intensely for a long time.) I am afraid to reach out to them, honestly, for fear of them rejecting me and "putting me in my place." I would honestly feel insulted and don't want to put myself in that position, but I am still with my gallery in LA (represented) and they have the better of my work. I'm not sure what to do but hibernate for a little while. Maybe just start producing some new work and see what happens in a few months. Then I can re-asses.

Thank you for your wonderful words, as you've inspired me to keep it going.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:06 AM
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Mike L Mike L is offline
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

Take a day off. Take a break. Take a walk. Take time to smell whatever you see on your walk. Make time for yourself.

Maybe decide which is more important to you - doing the work or showing it. Then do that giving little credence to the naysayers.
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Old 08-09-2019, 01:21 PM
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

We humans are social creatures. There's no getting around the desire for a community of like people, or the desire for others' appreciation of your work.

And unfortunately, while an online community like WetCanvas can help, there is still a basic desire for face-to-face smiles, eyes that see you and like you, a voice that speaks to you and a set of ears that hear you.

If there is not a welcoming artistic community where you are, then perhaps I would look for another kind of community where you can find friendship. Once when I was alone I joined a folk-dance group. (They were real sweethearts!)

Of course it's not the same as sharing your art with real people, face to face. Of course it doesn't specifically support your artistic quest. But at least it supports you socially, and perhaps then you can share your art online or in other ways and still not feel too alone.

It's tough. Not being comfortable showing your work must feel like a dead end. Painting as an end in itself -- painting for the closet -- isn't really good for most artists, I think. There should be some expectation of an audience, somehow, somewhere.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:17 AM
rickjf rickjf is offline
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

Art, like drama, poetry, music is for others to experience.. Artist mostly work in isolation. I continually look for a place or time to display my art. Very little luck in my area. There is a snobbery in the top tier art business. (My presumption).
But itís been difficult to find an artist community for non professional level artist. There are lots of pay to paint businesses around. Iíve not tried to use those places. Iíll keep looking.
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:11 PM
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

It's hard to break into a group that seems to have an established dynamic. . . it feels like high school all over again. I joined a local group and from the outset felt like I didn't really belong. Luckily, I met one person who befriended me and slowly I've been feeling a little more comfortable in the group. At the meetings at least. Most of the members are financially able to take lots of expensive workshops and travel. . . and I'm not. So it feels awkward when they suggest I go to one and I have to say, "oh, I'm working those days. . . " Which is usually perfectly true. . . but I just can't afford to drop $400+ on a workshop.

Part of the reason I joined that group (and just signed up for another one) is the membership fee was inexpensive and they have group and solo shows throughout the year. So I get to show my work whether it fits in with the local "aesthetic" or not.
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:02 AM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redfang
It's hard to break into a group that seems to have an established dynamic. . . it feels like high school all over again. I joined a local group and from the outset felt like I didn't really belong. Luckily, I met one person who befriended me and slowly I've been feeling a little more comfortable in the group. At the meetings at least. Most of the members are financially able to take lots of expensive workshops and travel. . . and I'm not. So it feels awkward when they suggest I go to one and I have to say, "oh, I'm working those days. . . " Which is usually perfectly true. . . but I just can't afford to drop $400+ on a workshop.

Part of the reason I joined that group (and just signed up for another one) is the membership fee was inexpensive and they have group and solo shows throughout the year. So I get to show my work whether it fits in with the local "aesthetic" or not.

I too was part of an art group. There were some really beneficial aspects of it. There were about 10 of us and it was free, but invitation only. It covered a lot of ground: critiquing, studio life, and sometimes we spoke about our personal trials, like if they were getting in the way of our art practice, etc. It was a little bit like group therapy at times, which was nice, but other times it was difficult to listen to some of their "issues," as they were all wealthy and there was such a major difference in our points of view. I never said anything about it, so that only made things worse for me. I eventually left the group because I felt like a fish out of water, but I had been in for many years prior. I went through a couple deaths in my family and I guess my perspective changed about what was really important in life and art. I just felt done.
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:59 PM
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

I can see why that group dynamic could become stressful, Artyczar. I don't know about the whole "misery loves company" thing. . . except in small doses. The watercolor group meets at a restaurant (yay, alcohol! ) and it has a set structure, and hour to socialize (or not) and an hour for the actual meeting. They sometimes have guest speakers. People would bring in recent paintings for viewing and there are door prizes and the like. They also sponsor a juried art show and a scholarship for students at the university (the members contribute small artworks for a silent auction to help fund it). I don't know what the other group will be like, but my friend will be going with me so. . . strength in numbers, I guess.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:16 AM
Artyczar Artyczar is offline
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redfang
I can see why that group dynamic could become stressful, Artyczar. I don't know about the whole "misery loves company" thing. . . except in small doses. The watercolor group meets at a restaurant (yay, alcohol! ) and it has a set structure, and hour to socialize (or not) and an hour for the actual meeting. They sometimes have guest speakers. People would bring in recent paintings for viewing and there are door prizes and the like. They also sponsor a juried art show and a scholarship for students at the university (the members contribute small artworks for a silent auction to help fund it). I don't know what the other group will be like, but my friend will be going with me so. . . strength in numbers, I guess.

No misery loves company in that group. Maybe I phrased it wrong. We spoke about anything that might be getting in the way of our art practice and tried to help each other with solutions. The only thing I didn't like were hearing about wealthy people's issues/problems, or even their summer vacations to Europe, their mortgage payments, large studio rents, ivy league educations, or anything that would otherwise be absolutely unattainable for someone like me. I was the only one there with a different background, and it got surreal at times. At least one or two people brought work in to talk about and most everyone was very encouraging, challenging too. We sometimes did museum outings, had a few group shows. The meetings were somewhat structured so it wasn't a crazy free-for all and everyone got to share about their last months art stuff. It went 2.5 hours usually. I think I just outgrew it, plus I moved recently.

I used to be part of a large co-op that sounds a lot more like what yous is like, guest speakers, much larger, lots of group shows, and you could apply for a solo.
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Old 08-20-2019, 04:55 PM
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

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Originally Posted by Artyczar
The only thing I didn't like were hearing about wealthy people's issues/problems, or even their summer vacations to Europe, their mortgage payments, large studio rents, ivy league educations, or anything that would otherwise be absolutely unattainable for someone like me.

Ah, yup a bit like the group I'm in. I try to tune it out most of the time, or I doodle on my tablet until the meeting starts. Not everyone in the group is like that, fortunately. I don't have to go to meetings to be able to hang my work in the shows, I just have to pay my dues.
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:22 AM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

To sum up.

I graduate with a BFA in painting in 2008. For the next few years I showed around Kansas City in, mostly, small local galleries. A couple larger galleries, group shows. Truly, almost no sales.

Two years ago, I began showing at horror conventions, science fiction conventions (again--I had shown extensively at sci fi cons around the country from throughout the '90s), and at several of the Oddities and Curiosities Expos around the country. (Dallas, Minneapolis, and Kansas City this year).

Sales are...better. Kansas City last year was really good.

I spoke to a friend recently, who does these sorts of shows for a living. I expressed dismay that my last two shows were less than stellar.

He replied that out of every three shows he does, one is a success.

He does this for a living.

Do not be discouraged.
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:22 AM
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Re: Should I give up on showing?

In my part of the States it's expensive to travel to sci-fi/horror conventions or I'd go. I have friends who go and sell art and do quite well.

In general my state is a very small market. The only way in, as far as shows and getting noticed, is to join one of the few groups/guilds. I don't really fit in here but I keep trying anyway. The market here is still a bit depressed thanks to a slower economic recovery, so sales are slow for almost everyone. There are always juried shows that accept entries online (I use the CaFE site) so that's one way of getting your work out there.
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