I haven’t blog posted in a couple of months, and my record of putting them out at all is admittedly dismal. I’m not even sure anyone reads anything I write. (If you do, please drop me a line, even if just to tell me how badly I write.) Long ago I decided that I had ideas worth expressing in word as well as with visual art. With the New Year less than two weeks away I’ve resolved to jump in to put it out there regularly. I know that in the beginning it will be rough — for me the blogger, and for you the reader; (Thank you, thank you, thank you for being a reader!) And if it seems that I’m just rambling all over the page, and I don’t know what I’m doing, it may be because of just that.
That’s just a foreshadowing of some things to come. What I wanted to inform my readers in this night’s post is the dilemma I have of being both a “fine artist” and “graphic artist” – not from the personal perspective of my personal identity as an artist per se, but from the standpoint of making commercial sales of my art. Those who are among my blessed long-time followers may have noticed my banner has changed from E. M. Corpus Graphic Arts to E. M. Corpus Graphic and Fine Arts although I’ve always done both.
The business of being artists attempting to survive on our artwork is hard enough. I have no desire to perpetuate that absolute myth of the “starving artist”. Some business marketing coaches might say that the prospective commercial audiences of these two (“fine” and “graphic”) art forms are different. Hence the two categories of art should be kept separate. Promoting both confuses your audiences and clutters up your website and social media platforms, they might say. That may be true.
But – I’m an artist. This is the art that I make, Fine Art and graphic art. I make art because I’m a creative artist. I’m an artist whether I ever sell a piece of art or not. Doing the work of artist and passionate at what you do qualifies you as the artist. Selling your work, does not. I worship at the altar of creativity, not of the dollar. Now, I do need that dollar, at least in the ways the 99% of us do. Selling my art for dollars will enable me to continue to eat, pay my rent and make more art. And in making art, I wind up make both fine art and graphic art. Yes, I’d love to find the art lovers and collectors who can like — and purchase — one, the other or both of my art forms.
(Oh, and I also write, though not often enough; and sometimes I make writing a part of my graphic art.)
There has to be solutions for artists like me, and I do intend to find them. For now I’m just more than a little skeptical how the marketing techniques of the business world in selling Big Macs, sportswear and alcoholic drinks can or should be applied to selling art. If I look for coaching to navigate through the world of marketing my “brand” (ugh! I hate the sound of that word), I’d certainly look to those who’ve successfully done so before me with credentials as artists.
I’m surely not offering any of those solutions tonight. I also have another dilemma to vent about; but that will wait ‘til another post.