The Artist and the Economy...
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  1. #1
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    The Artist and the Economy...

    Have you guys been hit in the art pocket by the economy yet? I come from a fine arts background (currently freelancing rpgs, ccgs, portraits, book covers, etc., using digital media), but I'm eyeing my local gallery scene with great desire. I have to wonder, though, if I'll be spinning my wheels in the mud to try to go all 'fine arts' at this particular time. Thoughts and observations? Sock it to me.

    ~Cris

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  2. #2
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    I have very little real exposure to this topic because of a small sample size of acquaintances that do ‘fine art’, so take this with a bucket of salt. I've asked them all about this (as I too am currently trying to do less freelance and more gallery work) and here are the responses I've gotten from them:

    1) Makes a good living doing portrait commissions (minimal gallery representation, almost purely direct commissions, not entirely sure of prices but I believe >5k): "The people who spend the money on getting portraits commissioned get richer in this type of economy, so I haven't noticed any negative effects".

    2) Sells through a large gallery that represents him (quite well known, 1-2 shows a year, prices in the 5-15k range): "My last show didn't sell anything on the opening night, the bad economy has hit me noticeably".

    3) Sells through multiple smaller galleries (just starting, not really well known, but gathering momentum - prices < 5k): "Paintings are selling ok, still not making a great living from it, I can’t tell if the economy is affecting me."

    4) Sells paintings through multiple smaller galleries, i.e. not pure ‘fine art galleries’ – a combination of gallery/framing shops, and galleries that sell other stuff like jewellery and woodturnings (prices < 2k): "Paintings are selling pretty well, I think with my lower prices the bad economy isn’t affecting me".


    I'm also in Australia, and all prices are in Aussie dollars - I get the impression that art doesn't sell here nearly as well as it does in America. I'm personally trying and failing to make any money out of the fine art scene, but I believe that's more to do with my shitty paintings and bad work ethic than anything external

    I think if the work is good, it will sell.

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  4. #3
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    Puck, what you have said is music to my ears, I just started a thread about my stuff being small and casual, but inappropriate for a solo show or a big price tag. I'm still not sure how to approach the galleries though.

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    Puck, that was an awesome reply. It's exactly the sort of info I need, and VERY helpful. I can add another germ of knowledge I received from an on-line friend of mine who does New Age, figurative work (in Australia, actually!) She has seen her print sales dive, but the original paintings are selling well. She does smaller work, mostly <5k, and has a good resume' of published works.

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    so far as I've seen at my gallery, it's really erratic right now. In the past five months, there were a couple really good shows and a couple not so good shows, and one month which was the worst in the history of the gallery. And that's all the same gallery

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