Wednesday, March 20, 2013

value & hype

Recently, the pursuit of filthy lucre has been on my mind.

Perhaps it's because of my decision to have an original art trunk sale.  Even though I am starting to feel stressed as I watch my expenses rise as my income (due to limited work time) lowers, I also feel guilty and confused about how to price my art.  People are weird about art--what is expensive to one person is a bargain to another. What I consider deeply discounted, others might think is still too much. And, if I discount the art too much will it devalue it? In art school, I remember vividly teachers telling students never to sell their art or skill cheaply. "If you don't value your own art, how do you expect others to?" they said.

But, what I want most is that the art ends up with people who love it, regardless of how much they paid. In a way, I'd almost rather just give it away--especially after I watched this Ted Talk by Amanda Palmer:

But I'm not sure how it would work. So, I guess right now, unless something better comes to mind,  I'll stick with the trunk sale and just try to muddle through (by the way, there's still time to sign up to be on the trunk sale list; I'm aiming for the first batch of art to go on sale the first week in April).

And related to my path of money-grubbing thoughts, I also read this interview of Neal Pollack which contained this  quote:

I spent a lot of years trying to turn myself into a brand because they told us self-branding is a way to success. And I kind of believed the hype. It’s just not true. To this day, I see writers publishing their first book or their second book and I can just see them going overboard with the marketing and getting all hyped up about it. You just have to write. 

 Even though he is an adult author, I thought it was an extremely interesting. The article indicates that the coveted hype around a book  just might not be that valuable after all. Which I found both hopeful and disheartening. Hopeful because I think it just shows that the only real success one can can have being an author is writing something you truly love. But disheartening because that success may never pay the bills. 


Heather said...

Hi Grace,
I am a textile artist, in addition to my other pursuits. I look at selling art as being a matchmaker. You've got to get the pieces out there, so the people they belong to can find them. Each piece belongs to someone, you just don't know who it is yet. When it finds its person you just know, and that's the part of it I like best. Good luck with your trunk show! Heather

Anna Alter said...

Beautifully put Heather.

I am inspired by the TED talk and the quote... perhaps the changes going on in publishing, like the music industry, will yield some positive things!

Grace- I think your trunk sale is very much in line with what Amanda Palmer is talking about.

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