Saturday, July 9, 2011

Art Blog: Demographics

I love my art life. I love painting. I love creating. I love being able to say “I am an artist!” However, I HATE the business of art. I am not a social creature. I have a very difficult time talking to people about my art. I am not a social butterfly and put very little effort into accruing art social connections. I get flustered if someone expresses interest in buying anything. I have a tendency to make work that is so personal, I feel like they are asking to buy my first born child. I know this is ridiculous. I have worked years on this very troubling issue. I need to sell in order to make more; it is that simple.

I have sold a lot of art in my life time. Almost all my sales have been through galleries. I wasn’t there for the wheelin and dealin. I just showed up to pick up the check. For the past few years, I haven’t been associated with any gallery. I wanted to be a free agent but that has been so difficult for me.

When I rented my ArtLofts studio in downtown St. Petersburg a few months ago, one of the motivations was to push myself out there. I kept telling myself, “If you wanna show and sell your work, you have to stop hiding SHEREE!”. So I did the dirty deed and rented another more visible studio. I have been in this new studio for six months. I have worked there a lot, but I have not taken advantage of situations that involved the public studio visits. I feared those nights and would not attend. Even thinking about having people come in and out of my studio made me feel dizzy and panic stricken. I made this month’s event my deadline. I needed to do it or forget this extra studio rent.

Well, I did do it and had a wonderful time. In order to allay some of my neurotic fears, I made a game of it. I opened my studio door; I set up a laptop with my own art videos playing and sat outside my studio door. Every so often, I would pop into my studio to talk in short spurts with people looking at my art. If I felt anxious, I would walk out and take a breather (LITERALLY).

I learned so much tonight. I had such a great reaction from the patrons. I was really surprised. I had a great deal of optimistic feedback and quite a few rave reviews. I had some really wonderful conversations. I got some fantastic leads. Also, I got an understanding of my demographics. This is the part that shocks me the most. It seems my art appeals to youngerish people or those who are a bit more edgy. During the open studio I saw so many people in my own age group, walk into my studio and then walk out. That is just fine. What really amazed me is how people in their 20’s/30’s would stay in there and talk and point and laugh and really get into my art. This was so interesting to me. I had never thought about who my “audience” is.

I don’t know what any of this means. I haven’t had time to think about it. I know I find it so ironic, but pleased with this qualitative data. I must be doing something right. At least I know, if younger people seem to “get” my art, I know I am not turning into an old, fuddy, duddy artist. That sounds good to me!!!

Click pic to see what others saw in my studio tonight. I made this video a few days ago, sans people. It all came together this month. It felt good and right. I figured out, I can do this. It is MY work and I am sticking to it!

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