Time to go on a tangent and indulge in a dream… I see my art in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City!

How do I get there?

I’ve shown my art on the internet: Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr , Twitter , and Fine Art America .

I’ve had one person shows and my work is on display all over my house.

I’ve been told my work is overpriced and underpriced. Overpriced for here in Montreal, and vastly underpriced for bigger collector cities like Toronto, Vancouver, New York, & London.

So, I’ve changed the pricing, after a great deal of research on how to allocate pricing… let me start by saying it’s a challenge to do comparative pricing with art… the first challenge with this is that one tends to compare the quality of their work that of others. In my experience it’s impossible to be objective with one’s own work. It takes years to develop skills, and sometimes months to finish a single piece. For those pieces that come from ages of visualizing and what often feels like mere minutes of physical work, we adopt an impostor syndrome and  undervalue the work. Remembering the years of practice that lead to each piece is often difficult. So, I and many others attempt to put this into some sort of equation that looks something like this: Material cost + (time spent on making the work x minimum wage x years of practice). This also presents challenges, as I have been able to complete large works in shorter time, than much smaller works, that have greater details. And then there is the question of being honest with oneself about when did you really start practicing your art? I’ve been painting since I was 10 years old and sculpting since I was 15. I feel I have really been painting as an artist for only 20 years now and thankfully a teacher declared me a master ceramicist about 15 years ago, so how many years of experience to I use as a creative artist?

None of this has eliminated my self-doubt on the value of my work. It doesn’t help that I don’t get a lot of feedback on the actual pieces, despite having close to 300,000 followers on Fine Art America. And no sales! Why, I asked myself and a friend who used to be an art dealer. The answer comes back to self-esteem. Dammit, why is it always self-esteem and why does it always feel like it flies in the face of my authenticity? It’s all in my head. So, I begged her to give me some idea of how she would have priced a few of my pieces for sale. I had to beg hard, because she was worried about hurting my feelings. When I told her that my feelings were probably going to be hurt anyway, especially since she filled me with fear and insecurity with this statement… she relented and gave me some prices and why she had those prices in mind. I chose to consider the why above the amounts, because that is what has helped me the most in repricing and feeling justified with the pricing. Soon I will be posting one painting a day, with a short story, and I’m aiming at getting them in galleries.

So the first step, was in accepting my worth and the value of nearly 40 years of learning, creative thinking, and practice. The second step, is to target my markets more efficiently, by aiming at art dealers and galleries. The third step, is being grateful for the gift of sharing my creativity and giving beauty to those who appreciate my expression of it. The next step is giving it all up to the universe and trusting that one of my expressions will one day hang in the contemporary gallery next to the modern masters.  The long term goal is to keep pushing myself to express my authentic voice with art and someday to see my work at The Museum Of Modern Art in New York, and it is possible you will see it there as well.

11 thoughts on “Day 24 – What I Want To Do- 30 Days to Clearly Defining It

  1. Honest and informative. Pricing no matter what form of artistic product is so challenging. I found it interesting that she related sales to self esteem but there does seem to be some connection in the universe to our personal sense of self worth and how that reflects outwards but that means we have to put a value on ourselves, its the same as pricing art – should it be more or less? lol You’re clearly a gifted and talented expert at what you do so I think zeroing in on the right market makes sense. I always think of Martha Stewart when she first started out and tried to sell her pies at a market – within an hour of the day ending she’d only sold one so instead of dropping the price she put the price way up – like way, way up and she sold them all. She said the lesson she learned was that people believe things that cost more are worth more and the people with the most money to spend want what they believe is worth the most so quadruple the price of your favorite and see what happens! One never knows. Great blog and wishing you best of luck with record breaking sales.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oops, just as I was about to file this post, I looked back on the photos of your art. The way you photograph your work is going to do a lot to establish you in your art. Now I know these photos were for the posts, but when you are photographing your art for any exhibit, any site (even your own), etc., you want to get the best possible exposure for each piece, so if you look at the photos above, would you say that this is accomplished? I would say that even on your blog, it is extremely important as an artist to have your photos at the level you would for an exhibit. So shooting straight on, good lighting, etc. – all the things you know as an artist, is essential here. I would go back and check the photos of your art, especially any art you would like to be selling, and make sure that is happening. Mind you, I am trying to be helpful and not negative here. I love critiques of what I do. My artwork is often not perfect on my site, but I am not trying to sell or promote my art. Most of my photos were taken years ago and cannot be redone today, but they are used to illustrate stories, so they DO support those stories, but the stories are what I have to focus on the most.

    Hope this is helpful for you. Looks like you have some excellent work, so you are definitely on the right track. Thank you most kindly.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really appreciate your thoughtful comments related to pricing your work. I have been a fiber and mixed media/urban art/interactive artist for many years, as well as a certified appraiser for some 22 years of quilts and textiles, and so I have dealt with these issues before many times on behalf of clients who have literally not had a clue how to price their own work. Believe it or not, Fiber Arts pricing of artwork (and there are many of us art quilters who make quilts as an art form out there) can be, I think, possibly more complex than that of any other art. The reason for this is that a lot of what is involved besides the issues of time it takes to make a piece such as the material(s) used (not just fabric but paint and many other things are used for embellishments, etc., and some of those techniques to use those materials are highly complex), whether the work involves a lot of handwork, or whether it is done on machine (and if it is on machine whether it is a standard sewing machine or a long-arm machine or a computer-directed machine that creates complex embroidery on quilts, but totally by the program that one buys), and the name and fame of the person, etc. There are also the factors of whether this is an early piece by an artist who has perhaps since died, or whether that person is very highly known and respected in the art, and has developed some condition to make it impossible or very difficult for them to produce any more art. And if the person entered art exhibits, were they juried? There are a lot of additional considerations such as whether the particular exhibit that was held was in fact a one-of-a-kind exhibit. For example, many years ago, in Laguna Beach, CA, an exhibit was held where some high-level (i.e. name and fame) fiber artists worked ‘live’ with some name and fame mixed media artists to create artwork. and exhibits that travel to many venues over a number of years and how much significance the individual venues have. So you are right, there are a lot of issues to be considered when pricing art.

    And as I told one paraplegic friend who was going to price a piece of art that was very good and took her some six months to create, “So at approx. this many hours to create this piece, doesn’t it make you feel good to know that you are making less than a person working at MacDonald’s?” (There is a caveat here and that is that it may have taken six months to create, but is it up to standards for excellent workmanship?) To me, this is an issue of the person creating the art respecting their own work, but also being aware of the level of their skill at the time the piece is made. And it is not just the hours spent; as I noted, there are a lot of other things that go into a piece of work, and sometimes the equipment needed to create it needs to be taken into account overall. If you were to insure your work (and I hope all artists do this; my paraplegic friend lived in Paradise, CA where the entire town burned down and she lost not only her home but all of her many years of creative work as well as all her equipment, tools and materials), you would need to think about all of these factors. And you should also be certain that you are photographing each and every piece not just from one detail shot, but the front, back and closeups so that there is no doubt as to its identity. This is so that if a piece was stolen (and I have had some truly valuable quilts – vintage and those of my own) stolen and never recovered, and even I did not have insurance or even appraisals at the time – shameful for someone who knows better. After-the-fact appraisals generally cover only the cost of materials, but if you have established values on your pieces and have lost something similar in value, you may be able to get more based on a number of issues we have discussed above.

    The issue of place was mentioned in your post, and that is a very good issue as well, for as an appraiser, I know, for example, that if I am able to sell say in Hollywood (to name a place you would likely know at least by reputation), I could get a lot more for the same piece than I could if I were to sell it in Podunk, Iowa, where there are no art centers, and the people are basically farmers, etc. So yes, it is good to identify your best markets and stick to those unless you just need to earn whatever cash you can at a given time. But the other thing you never want to do is to price a piece for this area and then perhaps differently, or to be in a gallery and have the price one thing and then you sell privately the same piece for less. This is a good way to get a really poor reputation as an artist.

    It is good that you recognize and understand all of these issues. Every piece needs to be given consideration for often a different set of factors. For example, is this piece part of a series. In the appraising I do, say you not only teach art, but you also lecture about it or teach using your series. The loss of one piece of a series can be based on the loss of integrity to that specific series, and the fact that it ultimately impacts your ability to lecture the same about the series or teach without that piece. Now this isn’t true of ALL series, but there are definitely some that depending of the nature of the series, would definitely be impacted. I am sure you can come up with some examples in your own art or art you are familiar with.

    Condition is another issue. Now when we tend to think of condition, we tend to think of something old or something that has perhaps been damaged, but also it can be a flaw in creation or accident (such as spilling something that stains or discolors it) afterward.

    I hope some of this information may be helpful for you. There are other issues to consider too but I am sure you have thought of a lot of them. I really enjoyed reading your post and have subscribed to follow your blog. Thank you kindly.

    Oh, the blank space on ‘like’ is me. Since I am managing my own blog and that of my paraplegic friend, it was putting my photo on her site, so I had to do away with that. Thank you again.


    1. Thank you again, Anne.
      Especially the part about telling stories (as you said it, teaching with my work) about the art. I’ve found it a greater challenge to write that down for some reason. I’m getting better now that I’m on my path to getting my Art Ed. Teaching degree. Writing reflections on my own work has been a challenge I’m determined to overcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the fact that you refuse to give up! I gave myself a deadline for marketing my work–10 years–after which I decided to return to university and get a masters in education so that I could live and teach abroad along with all the travel opportunities that offered. Different choices = a different life. I don’t regret my decision, and I try to continue using my creativity in my work. Follow your heart and you won’t have any regrets in the end.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Henry. I recently made the choice to return to school for a teaching degree as well. It’s an amazing challenge and I feel it’s helping me express the meanings of my work better. I’d like to use my daughters belief that I’m a great art teacher, but I think she’s a little biased about her Dad. I know I’m inspiring her creativity and that’s good for me.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. That is so wise, Henry, and I think the most important thing of all that a lot of folks forget. If you follow your heart in what YOU decides makes you happy in your life, it doesn’t matter about other things. I am not a big money person myself, but I know it is important to a lot of folks. I am happiest when I can create at the level I enjoy creating. I am not and do not want to be competitive ever; it is just not me and what is important to me in this life.

      Liked by 2 people

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