Accounting for my Existence

I’ve been sitting for hours at the computer today trying to update various selling platforms and social media places and I’m at a bit of a low thanks to the tediousness and pointlessness of it all.

I’m thoroughly sick of trying to work out the difference between ‘actual’ artwork size and ‘unframed’ artwork size. I’m sick of trying to find a category that best explains what I do and how I do it. I’m sick too of having to take loads of photographs and resize them for one site only to have to resize them again to something else for someone else. I’ve pushed and promoted and worked until my eyes and hands can’t take another minute at the computer.

I find myself asking what the point of it all is. Every time I try to sell I’m told by one person with “I’m not paying that much!” whilst simultaneously told by someone else as “That’s far too cheap! I don’t want it!” Hardly anyone ever says “That’s great I want it. I really respect what you are creating and I want that in my home. Here’s my money!” Given the current economic climate that is unlikely to change. Economists say we were out of recession but successive government policies don’t seem to be putting money into people’s pockets. I fail to see how anything will change in my favour any time soon. Sales have really slowed down in the last two years and I find myself increasingly trying to account for my existence as an artist. Today I seem to hit a blank at every turn.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be trying to sell my stuff if there are no buyers around for any of it. Part of making the art is that I’m making it for my own satisfaction so why not just destroy it all for my own satisfaction once completed stuff in my studio reaches critical mass. It would certainly alleviate the frustration and clear space at the same time. The fire would keep me warm in the long winter evenings too. Yes, yes… I can hear you shouting “Noooooo! Don’t destroy it!” and yelling a multitude of reasons why I should hang on to the art I make. Sadly, I doubt any of your kind words will pay my rent or feed me.

I tell myself I am lucky because I have alternative skills that I can use to make money. I really enjoy running my photography workshops for other people and seeing them get joy from creating something new from what they see around them. I love being out and about in the community helping people learn. I’m very good at what I do there. Even if I could make a million selling my art I reckon I’d still run my photography workshops because I can see the value they have to other people’s well being and their self-esteem. I get the same boost in self-esteem when I’m making my own artworks.

It’s a shame that being an artist has all these extra boring, non-artistic bits added to them which just drive my soul into the ground. Feeling successful is partly an internal thing but there has to come a point where others acknowledge success in you through money or opportunity. Spending forever at the laptop trying to reach these people seems to be the only way for that to happen and even then I often feel I have to scream for anything I say to be heard. I’m trying to come up with a positive conclusion which doesn’t make me feel useless. So far I’ve got:
1. Making art makes me feel good.
2. Helping other people makes me feel good.
3.Burning art makes fire which keeps me warm and makes me feel good.
4.Trying to sell my stuff is like trying to swim in concrete boots through treacle.
5. Most people don’t want to buy my artwork.
6.Those that do don’t have any money.
Not much of a positive conclusion there. Sorry. I did try. Maybe if I just focus on 1 and 2 from that list I’ll be able to pick myself up and be in a more positive frame of mind about it all tomorrow.

Meanwhile, there’s a shop here if you want to buy stuff. Alternatively if you want to just look and imagine how it might look in your home then it’s ok. Just let me know if you do like any of it. Any kind of positivity you can send my way would go down real great right now.

A Stitch in Time 2

 

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10 thoughts on “Accounting for my Existence

  1. Most artists I know are in the same boat. I have done the other career thing, as have you and it just doesn’t give the satisfaction that making art does. I sometimes think it’s a sort of mental illness, an obsession, an addiction but I know I am less happy if I am not doing it.

    • It makes me even less happy to be doing the ‘office’ side of things. I’m glad I’ve done it though. I can start afresh today and dig in with more making. 🙂 🙂 Thanks for the support 🙂 🙂

  2. I couldn’t agree more, I am not naturally a social person, but being an artist means I have to spend a great deal of my time on social media – marketing myself and networking and I find that hard sometimes. I don’t make art that anyone wants to buy either, it’s far too dark and moody to hang on a wall usually 🙂 In January I met artist Mark Anstee (https://ailsabrims.com/2016/01/13/mark-anstee-living-in-the-moment/) who culls his work regularly and although at first I was horrified, talking to him I realised it is actually a very healthy thing to do. We hang on to so much. Saying that I still have a studio of unsold work so I am not necessarily practicing what I preach! Anyway, I admire your work a great deal so don’t stop 🙂

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