I have the same dream that many artists have–to quite the day job and spend my time making stuff people want to buy.
There is no question that there are enough people out there to consume any product. If Chia Pets or the work of Thomas Kincaid can make it so can 50 Little Birds. I’ve never questioned this. The problem is getting the word out to the right people at the right time in the right way.
A couple of years ago I discovered Alyson Stanfield. Alyson, among her many talents, consults artists in order to enable them to reach their markets effectively. I’ve wanted to take her online classes, but never seem to have an extra $100 when here classes are listed.
So I did the next best thing and bought the books.
First I bought The Relatively Pain Free Artists Statement. This book outlines three weeks of writing activities that will lead me to writing a powerful, concise and effective artists’ statement. Most artisist have to write a statement, from time to time, and it’s hard to do well. Most of the time something is dashed off and the job is done–often poorly.
The second book I’d Rather be in the Studio is a practical approach–consisting of a lot of reflection and writing — to beefing up communications and PR and sales so that enough work is generated to allow an artist to spend time in the studio creating.
Both books are excellent. Like any self-help book my success lies in my own self-discipline and willingness to really do the work.
Today, in her blog, Alyson suggested something that I already saw emerging from completing the activities in her books. It seemed obvious– after all I’ve spent nearly every day for thirty years in a classroom. I need to teach people how to look at and how to appreciate my art.
Last night I had a conversation with two art loving friends (an activity I had to complete for the Relatively Pain-Free Artists Statement) and this need was apparent. These ladies both have my work in their collections, but as we talked and they learned more about why I do things the way that I do they were clearly developing a clearer appreciation for what I do to create a piece.
Every procedure, every color choice, every material and every found object is deliberate. There is thought, design, method and madness in everything that goes into my work. Over the next week, or two, I will visit some of these aspects of 50 Little Birds and the madness behind them. It is my hope, that with a few field marks in mind you will be able to examine my work a different way.