finding value in your art
i have been mulling over this topic for a week or so now. it all started with a simple conversation. i was talking with a more seasoned artist. something she said struck me. she said that she was not able to afford anniversary gifts because her and her husband were both artists. you know the whole starving artist mentality. it’s the norm in most art communities. and i almost feel as though i would be laughed at if i disagreed.
but the truth is, i just can’t with any ounce of me agree with this mindset.
i just might be crazy. but i do believe that you can make a living with your art. and a nice one for that matter. i am not there yet, but i will be there one day.
this theme continued in a series of emails i exchanged with a fellow blogger and artist. we discussed how difficult it is to truly value what we do as artists and why we get so hung up on prices. because it really is hard to find value in our art.
so how do we get over this debilitating mindset? i have a few thoughts.
first of all, you must see yourself as a business woman. the only way you will ever make a living at your art is by being business minded. when i look at other artists who are making a living it is because they have made very smart business decisions. they have many streams of income; licensing, e-courses, selling of products, teaching and so on. the artists who just rely on their etsy shops don’t get very far.
if you don’t know anything about business, then learn. take a business class. read e-books. make a business plan. research marketing. do whatever it takes to educate yourself.
secondly, i think you have to learn how to separate yourself from your artwork. as artists, we are so attached to our artwork because it truly is an extension of our hearts. so when we fail at something, we automatically think that it is a reflection of our work. i am not good enough. my art really is not worth that much.
you have to learn how to separate yourself as the artist and yourself as the business woman. watch this train of thought. have you ever gone to this place? this is what the artist thinks.
my original piece never sold. i must be overvaluing it. no one likes it. it isn’t worth what i priced it at.
now look at this train of thought. this is what the business woman thinks.
my original piece never sold. i must not have marketed to the right audience. if i can just get it in front of the right person, it will sell.
see the difference? see how the second train of thought has everything to do with business and nothing to do with your value as a person or an artist?
so don’t take it so personally the next time your art doesn’t sell. and if you are confused about pricing your art, you should check out this amazing FREE ebook that my friend brandi wrote, the artist’s guide to pricing.