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Old 05-23-2017, 10:52 AM
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virgil carter virgil carter is online now
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

David, both paintings are strong, personally expressive and a joy to see--congratulations!

I know this is a "art business" forum, about the business of art, but may I humbly suggest that painting what one knows and loves is the only reason (and the only incentive) for long-term painting and growth. If you like these paintings--and you should--then do 100 more in the same direction.

Who cares if they sell or not? Well, of course every professional artist cares about selling, but my point is to paint for yourself and not for potential buyers.

Risking the wrath of the forum's moderators and long-term participants, strong art first, and sales second!

OK, let the lightening and thunder begin...

Sling paint,
Virgil

PS: Keep painting!
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:18 AM
Davkin Davkin is offline
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

I understand what you are saying Virgil, but I feel I need more purpose for making art than to just pass time, I have other hobbies for that, I don't really need another "just a hobby", and unlike most artists I don't really buy the idea that making art is inherently any more important than any other pass time, (talk about risking wrath! That statement will probably buy me some. ) my other hobbies have usually been creative as well anyway, and I have friends in them. However it seems to make a successful art business requires total commitment, in other words my other interests and friends would probably have to be "sacrificed" at the altar of art and even then success is questionable. I'm thinking I'm probably better off setting art aside for a while, I'm not dedicated enough to make anything productive out of it.

Anyway, that's getting off the original topic.
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:26 AM
theBongolian theBongolian is online now
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davkin
I think this style with this subject is the most unique thing I've ever done, however I feel that style has limited appeal. I know other artists really like it but I don't get the feeling the general public does. I'm sure there's a niche out there that would go for it but I don't like my odds of finding it. I kind of feel like I'm at a crossroads, do I bother taking this art thing seriously anymore or am I better off focusing on other interests instead?

So if I understand you correctly - you're not satisfied with painting in the dark stumbling around, occasionally selling the one-off - you want to take it to the next level.

But before you commit you want assurance that your product will have some level of success. Right now you have a few samples of what the product could look like - but you have no track record, no proof that you could even make a dozen of these - that you could sustain the enthusiasm, the desire, motivation, the ability to actually go into production.

I understand because that's pretty much where I'm at. I've come to realise no one can give you any assurance what so ever because it's unknowable. It is a leap of faith. That means YOU have to have faith in yourself, your aesthetics, your ability, be willing to take a chance knowing that despite your best efforts the odds of success are long.

I have absolute faith in my aesthetics, kinda sorta sure about my ability, and while I would like to make money or a degree of fame from my work - it's not a huge motivating factor.

At present what motivates me, what gets me up in the morning is the challenge. I want to prove to MYSELF that I can at least make it to the starting line. If I can make a professional level presentation of a consistent body of work around one subject - then whatever happens after that will just be icing on the cake.
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Old 05-23-2017, 11:40 AM
Davkin Davkin is offline
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

Bongolian, we do have some things in common though maybe I don't find the challenge as motivating, for me it's more about creating, both the process and the result, though I'll admit if it was easy I maybe wouldn't be interested. I do have faith in my ability, actually it's not faith, I've seen what I can do and there's no reason I can't do it again, no faith required. I like my aesthetic, if I didn't I'd be doing something different, I don't know if any art collectors like it however. That's where I have virtually no faith, my ability to market and sell art. I'm not a stranger to selling things, I used to be a very active seller on ebay, even selling things I made and I rarely had much trouble selling those things and with no marketing whatsoever. Art has been just the opposite, tons of effort has produced very little fruit.
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:04 PM
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blondheim12 blondheim12 is offline
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

https://lindablondheim.com/style-issues/
The above is my take on styles.
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Old 05-24-2017, 05:09 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is online now
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

Well said, Linda! :-)

sling paint,
Virgil
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:11 PM
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blondheim12 blondheim12 is offline
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

Thank you Virgil.
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Old 05-25-2017, 08:37 AM
ashleycordwell ashleycordwell is offline
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

Hi Davkin

From a gallery's perspective it is attractive when an artist has an established style because it will likely mean that the gallery can expect consistency from that artist in the type of work that he produces. In our gallery it is often the case that artists at the beginning of their career will approach us with their portfolio containing far too many different styles to be seriously considered.

I will usually give the advice that it is worth focusing on one or two styles a) to improve and polish them and b) so that prospective galleries know what to expect and can judge whether that style will fit in with their current collections.

Once you have your foot in the door and are selling a particular style with a gallery it is much easier to present a new variation of that style or indeed a completely different style. That way you keep your collectors interested and can offer something different for your current gallery that they can try.

By way of example one of our artists Allan Morgan was known for his landscapes with poppy fields or lavender fields and striking dramatic skies. If you visit his page you will see that this original style has expanded to beach scenes and even wildlife paintings but we continue to sell his original style well.

Hope that helps.

Ashley
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Last edited by ashleycordwell : 05-25-2017 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 05-25-2017, 09:35 AM
Davkin Davkin is offline
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

Thanks for joining in Ashley, it's good to have the perspective of a gallerist. I don't know if I'll become gallery artist, I think I'd rather just sell online but that's proving to be nearly impossible for me, so maybe some day I'll end up in galleries instead. I think maybe you are confusing subject with style however, when I look at the Allen Morgan paintings on your site I see a very consistent style. Even in regards to subject however even if the scenes are different types they are all landscapes.

I think I may have solved my dilemma anyway...by switching my medium to oils. There are things I like about oils and things I don't, but at least I can paint en plein air with them and in a way that is similar in style to my studio paintings. Of course it won't be exactly like what I do with acrylics but close enough. What's important is that I enjoy the process and achieve pleasing results and so far I do.
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:55 AM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleycordwell
I will usually give the advice that it is worth focusing on one or two styles a) to improve and polish them and b) so that prospective galleries know what to expect and can judge whether that style will fit in with their current collections.

Once you have your foot in the door and are selling a particular style with a gallery it is much easier to present a new variation of that style or indeed a completely different style. That way you keep your collectors interested and can offer something different for your current gallery that they can try.

This is what I have heard from various sources as well. I've heard it referred to as "coherence" in business coaching. I recently went through my art site and removed much of the work that did not feel coherent. Gradually finding my path, but the coherency idea is really helping me to curb distraction.
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:14 AM
Davkin Davkin is offline
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold Roth
Gradually finding my path, but the coherency idea is really helping me to curb distraction.

Distraction is my main problem as well, I think making the commitment to switching to oils may solve that. I understand what Linda and Virgil are saying, but I've played around/experimented enough, (not that artists don't experiment their entire career but at some point an artist has to limit that to become a professional). I believe focus will not only keep me consistent but also improve my skills and my paintings, it's just a matter of making a commitment to take this serious are continue treating it as just a hobby. While my style is still developing, (what artist isn't?) I feel like I'm in the ballpark of where I'll end up style-wise primarily because I've found a process I thoroughly enjoy, now to focus and become the best I can be at it.
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Old 05-25-2017, 12:02 PM
Harold Roth Harold Roth is offline
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Re: How does having multiple styles affect your art career?

Yes. I feel like I've experimented enough too and now I have to hone what I am doing, really go into the depth of it and bring out what is most mine. One person characterized it as "speaking in your own language."
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