Friday, February 11, 2011

About Marketing

I depend on selling my work in order to pay the rent and buy the groceries. I have no problem with that. I see no reason that I should not have to work for a living. I like work. Work of my choosing, that is. And I don’t mind that the galleries and consultants that sell my work take fifty per cent of the retail price. They earn it; they do the hard part. I get to stay in my studio with the ringer on the phone turned off while they pound the pavement and deal with clients whose requirements can be difficult to satisfy. If I can forget, at least while I am in the studio, all of this background noise about survival and such, I get my little bit of heaven on a regular basis.

Because a lot of the time there is some anxiety about the foul-smelling, hairy wolf at the door, I have been putting more time and energy into marketing than is worth said time and energy. In these last thirty or so years since I resigned from a salaried job, the galleries and consultants that I have worked with have provided income. I have of late been attempting to incorporate into my daily routine (or weekly or whatever) the use of every other conceivable route to sales and notoriety. Let me count the ways: Ebay, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube, two kinds of blogs (have been trying to get started on Wordpress in addition to Blogger), Etsy, younameit. And then, one day recently, it came to me: This is not good.

For those not familiar with the term, the art consultant is somebody, or a corporation or company or a group of somebodies, who sell art without doing gallery exhibitions. There is no expense or hassle for me about publicity, announcements, framing, or travel. The purchasers might be residential customers, or as happens often in my case, corporations, or healthcare facilities or something along that line. The consultants and their clients have brought home the bacon in the shape of checks in the mail. Except for this blog which is a joy to me, the other routes mentioned above have failed to bring returns in proportion to the time invested.

I no longer feel compelled to follow all the advice and directions I have heard and read about marketing art. That is obviously impossible as anyone in her right mind would have realized a long time ago. I am a slow learner. 

What brought the message home to me was my own response to a friend’s comment to my last post: “Amazing how much there is to do in a life so short.” Looks like I can’t do it all. I will stay with the consultants and continue with this blog (which has me hooked). And most importantly, I will give back to the studio and to myself the time and energy that I was squandering. That is where the real rewards are.

The image above (click on it for a close-up) is of the same twelve collage paintings as in my post of January 7: About Structure. The 32 pieces in the series are finished. I will photograph them today and send the images to the consultants I have worked with in the past. And a few new ones. I am happy with these paintings and expect them to bring many happy returns. Stay tuned.


  1. Good for you, Joan! I applaud your decision.
    See you soon. Incidentally, there's no way for a commenter to check to receive email notification of your response on the blog. I think you have to set that up in the Comments section on the Design tab.

  2. Well, like they say, if it aint broke, why fix it? I will look forward to the rest of your story!

  3. Hi Joan,
    For whatever it's worth, I support your decision. Personally, I think the internet world can be a sink hole of one's time. Working in your studio is obviously much more satisfying and energizing. Go, Joan!
    Shabbat Shalom,

  4. So good to hear from you, Sue.
    I am waiting to hear now about a sale in Boston of older work. These projects take a long time to resolve and confirm and I do my best to forget until I know the outcome. That is becoming easy as I grow older. Forgetting happens.

  5. love the paintings above this, the amazing energy in them-and I'm so glad to hear that so very much time promoting may not be necessary- and that you'll be in your studio more

  6. Thanks, Regina,
    It remains to be seen whether the promotion was necessary or not. It just might be that it's not something I do well. I wouldn't mind if somebody volunteered to do it foe me.