Friday, April 9, 2010

site under construction

Well its been a crazy few weeks and nothing much has happened.
Had a few husbands and wives disagree over a painting or two. One wants it and the other doesn't! I hate that! They stand there arguing over your work, go away empty handed and you have no food on your plate..... what's happening to the world? Just buy it and tell her you love her!!!

Anyway enough of this.

My mate had a show recently of his cartoon style pop art work. Great fun and light hearted show. Great effort mate keep it up! (If you're reading this...). But, here's something I noticed - the following two days he was quiet and not his normal self at all. Yes he had the post show blues.... Most of us get them (I think).

Don't give up! The thing is I've had shows where I've sold nothing - that was depressing and I've had shows that sold out... apart from 1 painting out of 32 so I destroyed it for failing me. That's another story.
You hear all sorts of stories and art is full of rubbish to be honest. Some of you may know a guy who paints in New Zealand and is/was practically revered for his abstract modern images (and no it's not dear RH!). He's highly sold as one of the top selling artists - yet I heard he struggles to sell 10% of his work. Hmmm, puts a slightly different picture to it all. I've also heard that another revered artist is meant to have his paintings sold at $600k - I also heard that it was stitched up in an auction house for publicity between 2 friends in on it and that he struggles to sell his works for $15k to $30k. I've also heard that one of NZ's best selling female artists went to U.K. with her work and the gallery wouldn't hang it because they said the work was trash.

So the point I'm making is - there's a lot of talk, a lot of rubbish. Fame is fake, whether it be in your local township or in your country or worldwide.

So paint because you want to.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dealers and Prints

Here we go on another can of worms!

We have artist 'x' who paints say 2 or 3 paintings a month. So a reasonably high turn over of work. He'll probably be a middle ground artist selling his works in the $1000 to $7,500 bracket. Over the course of a year he may sell 50 - 70% of those in say 2 galleries. He comes home with $1800 on average from a $3000 painting. Then the tax man and costs take his income down to probably around $750 from that painting. Now don't foget he's publicly doing well - he's selling 30 pics per year! Yet he comes home with an income of $22,500. Yet publicly he's doing well and being pumped into the odd paper here as local hero, etc etc etc. Yet he can't feed his kids.

So he thinks to himself 'what can I do that can generate more income with little more work?' - cos he's working like mad to create 3 new works each month at a high quality. So he has this brain wave of producing some prints of his work.

The dealer then isnt happy because the wealthy collectors who sit back talking to them complain that the 'value' of the original work is going to drop and they devalue the work. Don't foget the artist is still at home stressed out to the hilt trying to create new ideas whilst not being able to feed his family.

So the dealer tells the artist - 'No we don't want you to make prints - if you do you're not going to be in our gallery any more, because it devalues your work.' So the artist has a dilema.

How does a print devalue an original? I have never yet seen this happen in reality. I've heard a lot of dealers say it does - but never seen an artists work go cheaper or disappear because of a print. In fact all the artists who have produced them in large quantities I've seen go from strength to strength.
So can anyone tell me where the 'reality' of devaluation comes from?

So an artist could produce a print and sell for say $50 profit with a street value of about $250 with a simple frame. That with a 1000 prints sold (10 images with a run of 100 of each) means his income is now at a respectable $50k - 75k. Why is this a problem for most dealers? Can any dealers or collectors prove to me, and any other confused artists, how and why it devalues?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Grumpy Artists

Hey just want to say at this point - don't think I'm a grumpy artist just stirring pots of luchious paint. I have friends who are art dealers in various places around the globe and I have good relationships with dealers in general (just a few are on my wrong side but I am not particularly talking about them anyway!).

What about the poverty stricken artist fantasy? Is the post on 'Dealers and Prints' just a bigger part of the fantasy idea? What do I mean?

Well I have a theory that most people like a little mystery about the artist. They like the idea of some cold, poor manic artist beavering away in a large spacious studio producing master pieces amongst the greatest of mahem and poverty - and there by believeing that their single purchase of a painting has somehow redeemed the artist from the edge of starvation. Or have I got that wrong?

From what I see people LOVE the concept of an artist and they too would love to paint. They make all the 'right' comments (and lets face it guys and girls most of what they save is tiresome) but frankly they want us artists kept in poverty. Why do I say this? Well apart from comments try going to a bank and getting a mortgage with a totally honest display of accounts etc.... (I am in now way here saying go dishonestly!) but try it and you'll know exactly what I mean. The banks generally have a list of 'low risk, medium risk and high risk' jobs. Artists aren't even on the list in the U.K. when my wife and I went for a mortgage. So you don't get one. It's like ballet - some love to watch it and will pay a small fortune to watch it - yet do they think of the bleeding feet or the semi crippled dancers as they are older?

I had an interesting conversation with two bankers who were giving me grief because I had no money in the bank to pay my bills - I hasten to add I was over due payment (over a month overdue) of $25,000 from a dealer. I was at the time earning more money than the two bankers arguing with me that I couldn't have an overdraft until the cheque came in. What ended up was they forced me (literally) to have a loan which they then transferred onto my mortgage of $6000. They made off this little transaction a hefty amount in interest over 25 yrs as the mortgage was locked down for a few yrs and the fees to put money back in to pay off were not worth looking at. A few months later I had about $75,000 in the account and they were ringing me up asking to invest and calling me 'sir'. I politely told them where to go.

Why is it though 99.9% of people want to have artwork on their walls or want a gallery in their locality when they treat artist as they do? Is it because if we are truly 'successful' in art then it shatters their fantasy?

In all of these posts I am trying to let you 'new' artists know that your ride thru life as an artist is not easy. If you still want to be an artist at the end of reading all my posts you may make it relatively well - :)
You need to be somewhat 'pig headed' as I call it, 'determined' is another word. You also will need some tolerant friends, preferably rich enough to bail you out occasionaly. Whatever happens though.... don't stop painting!