Thomas Kinkade
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    Thomas Kinkade

    ya know, I actually like Kinkade's paintings, just jealous that he makes so much money off of them. that people don't realize that his paintings could proably be considered more as illustrations than fine art. But of course the public sees it as fine art i'm sure. A pretty picture to hang in the living room. This is all fine and dandy, heck I wanna make paintings people wanna hang in their house! heheh.. but man, seems the commercialism has gone too far? He has glade commercials with his paintings on candles... advertised on tv.

    In some ways I like to think that this would help pave the way for more artist and the general public to be more open minded about buying artwork. But it just doesn't seem to be the case really

    Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

    Last edited by Bowlin; January 26th, 2010 at 06:11 AM.
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    artists advertising on tv is a step too far O_o

    is the ad for mass produced prints or what? haven't seen it - live in europe.

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    You wouldn't believe the product list that has his name: in addition to products intended for images (calendars, mouse pads, etc.) he has candles, house paints, air fresheners, home decor, condoms, frames, flower holders, body bags... The list is exhaustive. He's not so much of an artist as a technically skilled visual therapist and businessman.

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    If i could sell anything with my name on it I sure would, the guy is a genious in the business sense as far as I am concerned. People may not view him as a "real artist" but hes sitting at home living like richie rich while many artists are starving trying to sell a single painting. He works in the law of numbers. Sure if he did one painting he might be able to sell it for $10,000 if he was an exclusive artist, but if he sells 10,000 paintings at $300 each then hes got $3million.

    I think most people, the average person, doesn't care about art, they care more about how something will match their furniture, or just that it looks good in their home, hence why he is so popular. Then he appeals to the collectors, as his work comes in series so it sometimes makes people want ot buy more to complete the collection.

    There was a show about him, like a 1 or 2 hour special on the behind the scenes of his business a couple years ago. They showed how they print the lines on canvas and he has apprentices, hundreds of them, paint like paint by number for his "real" pieces, not the prints. It showed like 10,000 of them in this room and he was with his marker signing them.

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    I don't necessarily feel it's right to bash someone for marketing themself well. Honestly, everyone here (for the most part) is trying to make art for money/recognition. If that wasn't the case, we'd happily toil in obscurity, never showing our work to others and never looking to get art related jobs, secure in the knowledge that creating art is it's own reward.

    Art created for commercial reasons often gets a bad name, but it's important to remember that most of the world's greatest masterpieces were commissioned pieces. Take the sistine chapel, Michaelangelo didn't do that for free y'know.

    As for what I think of Kinkade's art itself...Mom always said if you can't say something nice...

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    wtf?! on his website you can become member of the noble

    Thomas Kinkade Collector's Society

    .. for only 50 bucks a year you can join

    "When you become a member you'll learn more about the artist, his travels, inspiration, and vision"

    this guy is TEH crap. and there it says also that he is the most collected artist alive. WTF? he's the total kitsch-artist!



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    Here are a couple excerpts from an interview he did with CBS news.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/...in318790.shtml

    Who is the artist who has sold more canvases than any other painter in history? More than Picasso, Rembrandt, Gaughin, Monet, Manet, Renoir and Van Gogh combined?

    If you didn't say Thomas Kinkade, then you've been shopping in the wrong places. He is the most collected living artist in the U.S. and worldwide...


    It's art and the power of marketing and multiplication. Craig Fleming, the CEO of Kinkade's company, explained the unique Kinkade cloning process.

    It just takes a few dabs of paint, and presto, each canvas - worth $1,000 to $50,000 - is framed. The operation is huge. More than 400 employees work in the vast garret, where forklifts, power tools and assembly lines push the artist's vision out the door to more than 350 Kinkade galleries in the United States and overseas. More than 600 others are being planned...

    When a canvas has felt the touch of Kinkade's brush, it may be worth $50,000. But since he can?t do it all, he has dozens of hired hands to help. Their touch of the brush is less expensive, but regardless, product must be moved.

    And at QVC, The Home Shopping Channel, Kinkade says his art has "sold upwards of $1 million an hour."...


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    Thomas Kinkade is more of a business man than an artist. He knows how to sell his work and takes of advantages of religion and other things to sell his art. The "Thomas Kinkade Family Bible" that was a classic when I saw it, I nearly shit my pants in laughter. He knows how to make money. He creates tons of prints, and if he touches them up they sell for alot more than if someone else touches them up. I wouldnt call his work illustration, some of his work might be illustration, depending whether or not it was commissioned. He never sells any of his original paintings either. Thats the funny thing when they say hes sold more canvas than any other painter in the world, cause that is not true. Paintings printed on canvas or however prints are created. I also dont think its wrong how he markets himself, he is a smart guy and made alot of money, I wish I could do that. The biggest problem with Kinkades work is if you have seen one Kinkade you have seen them all. The art world is alot like the pop music industry, it can be real shady and cheesy. Alot of stuff can be just about image. Also alot of people that buy art, arent always into art, they will just buy what is big, what do they know about what talent is. What it comes down to is if you like it you like it, if you dont, you dont. Thomas Kinkade is a very likeable style that most people would like to hang up on the walls. While I would say many people on this site are just as talented as he is if not more so, but not everyone wants to hang up monsters on their walls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Smith
    but not everyone wants to hang up monsters on their walls.
    lol,

    stupid goody good couples always going on the "safe side" with pastoral landscapes, tsk tsk



    this guy is TEH crap. and there it says also that he is the most collected artist alive. WTF? he's the total kitsch-artist!
    no, no, no.
    No doubt he's talented.
    I don't like it when people say an artist sucks just because he's over-popular (over-rated) or whatever. He's a good artist, just not a really original/diverse one.



    Kinkade has lots of similarities to Bob Ross.



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    Yeaahhhh... that's kinda how I view it, he is a good artist, I actually love a lot of his cottage paintings, but fine art and illustrations are two different things, aren't they? And the general public doesn't see this at all. So the marketing takes advantage of this and sells it as fine art. .... But he's really just a good illustrator like us, hmm?

    I don't think many people know that he first started out as a background painter for Ralph Bakshi's "Fire and Ice" (visually designed by Frazetta) .... hmmm... you can really even see the big influence of Frazetta in Kinkade's paintings. Then after that gig he and James Gurney (artist of Dinotopia) hopped on the trains to make their own sketchbook. If you look at Gurney's paintings where it's a landscape scene of sunset or dawn it pretty much looks like kinkades paintings (ever noticed most of his paintings are at sunset or dawn?)

    Hmmmm... in other words, his paintings really are just fantasy paintings (like Frazetta). But it kinda bugs me that the general public doesn't see it that way and unless the subject matter is already completely acceptable in society they'll just belittle any other types of fantasy (except for us hardcore's of course)

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    WTF? he's the total kitsch-artist!


    er...buddy, we're all kitch artists here (or at least trying to become one)

    (i'm being serious, research it a little more before you use that term with a negative connotation)

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    does anyone else find his paintings a little bit creepy? they're just too much...

    I bet if you added a pair of glowing eyes to the shadows of one, it would become really scary.

    anyway, I know a lot of people in the general public who think he's ridiculous.

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    The only difference between fine art and illustration is that for illustration you are commissioned to do a piece and for fine art you just create art work in hopes that someone will buy it, art is art. A Kinkade painting though does have more details and refinements than a typical illustration due to time restraints that are usually are involved with alot of illustration work. It all depends. The other difference for fine art, depending on the type of fine art, such as painted square paintings with lines, or whatever, that is more typical of fine art, but those could be illustrations as well. How you define each category of art is personal prefrence, nothing is written in stone for art. A teacher of mine showed us a comic called "(forget the characters name), The Worlds Smartest Boy", most peole would look at it and call it graphic illustration or comic book, but a musuem got a hold of it and called it fine art. Now musuems have the power to do whatever they want, they can make anyone huge if they feel like they can sell them, just like the music industry. But back to my point, its however you feel about it. Art is a business like anything else, we create art becuase we want to for a living, Kinkade just happened to be a good enough of a business man to make alot of money off of his art.

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    Yeaahhhh... that's kinda how I view it, he is a good artist, I actually love a lot of his cottage paintings, but fine art and illustrations are two different things, aren't they? And the general public doesn't see this at all. So the marketing takes advantage of this and sells it as fine art. .... But he's really just a good illustrator like us, hmm?
    I would say fine art and illustration are interchangable. Any big museum can turn illustration into "fine art" just because they have the power to deem it so. The general public is ignorant when it comes to art, as my brother (Matt) stated before, its like the music industry. Its all about making people rich.

    I live in a small town outside of Binghamton New York, doubt many of you have heard of it, but it may blow up big in the art world. There is a 4 year old girl here that paints abstract expressionism and since the New York Times dubes her as a child prodegy, her paintings sell for around $10k I believe. Here is a link Marla
    A photo realist in the area is friends of the family and "discovered" her you can say and he did a lot to get her "famous." People from all over the world have come to Binghamton during "First Friday" (art walk open galleries first friday of every month) and it has grown a lot because of Marla and the New York Times. But if you ask me, she is anything but a child prodigy. But its boosting the economy here. Some people love her work, some don't. I personally don't like it at all.

    As with Thomas Kinkade, he made a name for himself, or someone else helped him out and he is bringing in the big bucks. All the general public wants is a name, a collectors peice, something that will be worth value to trade or to boast that they own a "Picaso" or a "DaVinci" or a "Monet" Its all for show. The general public is overall ignorant and easily manipulated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by injection223
    er...buddy, we're all kitch artists here (or at least trying to become one)

    (i'm being serious, research it a little more before you use that term with a negative connotation)
    right, concept art can be seen as kitsch-art, too.
    well, i'm from germany and here the word kitsch means something different i guess.
    of course kinkade is a painter with great skill but i've seen no picture by him that expressed something meaningful. sure, they're all real eye-candies and very decorative but just a little too much. i personally think most of them a crap. i mean, the guy has 400 workers that repaint his pictures 24/7 so we can see em everywhere. sure a good way of marketing but that way i lose the last spark of interest in them. i think kinkade sure has great technical skill and sense for colors and forms but his topics are all just too bright and happy. there's almost no variety amongst them.
    imo he doesn't deserve the award best artist of the year. on this forum there are people who are 10 times better than him and relatively unknown as well.

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    style/content set aside; I would'nt pay $3000+ for a giclee (inkjet print on canvas) maybe thats just b/c im a poor art student.

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    should I shoot myself now? Did I really just see someone, on the same board that I post on, say they like Thomas Kinkade's work? I'll hand to him on the marketing, but give me a break! He's a hack! I've looked through tooooons of his books, hoping that there would be something that was at least decent! Buuuuut... there wasn't. I saw things that any number of students at my school could paint circles around. He was never more than an average student at Art Center.... but whatever, to each their own. I know I'm a snob when it comes to art... it's just that I like good art, and I like liking good art.

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    wtf is wrong with you people?! the dude has people paint stuff for him, then dabs some paint on it and sells it for big bucks? This is the epitome of what is wrong with our society, from an artistic standpoint. No doubt, in his own right, he's likely a good artist, and no doubt he's making money, but the way his operation is run now its a total sham. That is entirely phony, how can you pretend otherwise? Yeah, he's got "paintings" worldwide, but he doesn't actually do any but the first one?!

    Compare that to an artist like Bougoureau, who's got a total of 700 or more works, all original pieces, and all kicking Kinkades ass...or Wyeth, or Rockwell, or Leyendecker, or half of the people on these boards.

    Thats like the music industry; when a couple producers get together, mix a few beats, and then get Ashelee Simpson to sing a few bars and put out a new CD. Sure, it's musical "eye candy"...it sounds nice and happy, but below, its got no substance, originality, or heart. It's bullshit, but it makes money for a few rich fellows. How can you call that credible? or even real? For every Ashlee Simpson, there's 10 Dido's, you just never hear about the other 9.


    Quote Originally Posted by Phuzion
    it's just that I like good art, and I like liking good art.

    agreed.

    I self-published a book on the fundamentals of drawing from life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phuzion
    I know I'm a snob when it comes to art... it's just that I like good art, and I like liking good art.
    yeah, that's the attitude i was looking for. i mean, seriously: how can someone have so much success with such "average" stuff. i mean, there's nothing special about his pictures. they're only pleasing to the eye and nothing more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetpack42
    wtf is wrong with you people?! the dude has people paint stuff for him, then dabs some paint on it and sells it for big bucks? This is the epitome of what is wrong with our society, from an artistic standpoint. No doubt, in his own right, he's likely a good artist, and no doubt he's making money, but the way his operation is run now its a total sham. That is entirely phony, how can you pretend otherwise? Yeah, he's got "paintings" worldwide, but he doesn't actually do any but the first one?!

    Compare that to an artist like Bougoureau, who's got a total of 700 or more works, all original pieces, and all kicking Kinkades ass...or Wyeth, or Rockwell, or Leyendecker, or half of the people on these boards.

    Thats like the music industry; when a couple producers get together, mix a few beats, and then get Ashelee Simpson to sing a few bars and put out a new CD. Sure, it's musical "eye candy"...it sounds nice and happy, but below, its got no substance, originality, or heart. It's bullshit, but it makes money for a few rich fellows. How can you call that credible? or even real? For every Ashlee Simpson, there's 10 Dido's, you just never hear about the other 9.

    agreed.
    It isn't wrong if the goal in the end is to make money and not to produce one of a kind works of art.

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    Then he ceases to be an artist and becomes a businessman. In which case his "works" are nothing I care to discuss on terms of any sort of artistic merit.

    I self-published a book on the fundamentals of drawing from life.

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    Right on Lim, but I have to correct you on one thing: They're NOT pleasing to the eye. Unless you like garrish colors, random pinks thrown into the lights right next to greens and blues in an amatuer understanding of impressionistic technique, Quasimodo finesse when it comes to handling the brush, and an untrained child's sense of form and space... theeeeen, yeah I guess they're pleasing to the eye.

    Overall, I think Jetpack42 and I see eye to eye on this one.

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    HIs art looks like Jerry Yarnells... I don't like it at all...

    If you want a living legend of a painter, look at Richard Schmid. He deserves what he gets for his artwork.

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    I hate backing Mr. Kinkade at all, his style is not something that I really like for my home, or really in general (i like very abstract art as home art), but pleasing in the eye to whom? Perhaps to a professional who will nitpick and examine every brush stroke or play of color on each other, but not to the average person who buys the work. They gobble him up in a fanatical manner reminiscant of Oprah. I guess, as often stated, pleasing is in the eye of the beholder. Understook this is an art forum so it is expected he will be bashed I suppose. I think I don't even bother to break down the faults in his work because I don't believe his intended purpose was to ever create a classroom correct work of art, if he is capable of this I don't know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lim
    i mean, seriously: how can someone have so much success with such "average" stuff.
    simple, he found ppl that like it. he doesnt have to be good if ppl like his average work. not saying its right, but thats why.

    anyone here familiar with aaron jasinski's work?
    http://www.deviantart.com/print/177/step2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phuzion
    Right on Lim, but I have to correct you on one thing: They're NOT pleasing to the eye. Unless you like garrish colors, random pinks thrown into the lights right next to greens and blues in an amatuer understanding of impressionistic technique, Quasimodo finesse when it comes to handling the brush, and an untrained child's sense of form and space... theeeeen, yeah I guess they're pleasing to the eye.

    Overall, I think Jetpack42 and I see eye to eye on this one.

    -Daniel
    yoa, you're right. the average person would probably see one of his pics and go like "whoa. thats pretty!!1" of course anyone with some taste or style would look at them and go like "WHHHHHAAA... BULLSHIT.. why is this stupid sonofabitch makin so goddamn much money out of this un-art?"
    i just didnt want to be so drastical about it and point out the reason why people may like him and why his art became such a success. i guess he's just way too hyped by the collectors. real talent is mostly discovered after their death.

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    Being a skilled or talented artist does not mean you'll be showered with money. They are two separate things. Skill/talent in art is totally separate from making money.

    How does Kinkaid make so much money? As people have said, he's good at marketing.

    Being a good businessman or good at marketing--that also has NOTHING to do with your skill at art.

    If a poor but good artist wants to make money, they'd better damn well be a good businessman or good at marketing--or at least good enough to know they need to pay attention to that stuff if they want to make millions.

    If you just want to make good art and not worry about business or marketing, then don't expect to make millions. To make money, you need to actually concentrate on making money. That's true in any field. You may luck into money doing something else, but usually, to make the big bucks, you have to have that as a primary goal.

    But that doesn't mean someone isn't skilled as an artist. And it doesn't mean someone who is making money IS skilled as an artist.

    Well, I'm not snobby at all. I'm an illustrator and computer game artist and am NOT doing anything deep and meaningful. And I really don't care. It's GAME art!!! It's not going to change the world, no matter how cool or good or kitschy or bad it is.

    And I say about Kinkaid: More power to him. If he enjoys painting his cottages and likes making millions, he should be free to do so. People buy all kinds of weird stuff, 99.99% of it will probably NOT be good art. That's reality. And if it makes people happy to buy Kinkaid's stuff--it's their money after all.

    It's not easy making money from art... good art or bad art. At least Kinkaid shows that it's possible to get incredibly rich painting what he likes. You may hate it or hate him, but he's probably laughing all the way to the bank and sleeping well in his mansions dreaming of his adoring fans who are throwing money at him and could care less.

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    Matt Smith hits the nail on the head. Amen buddy. I think it's a shame so many artists criticize and attack eachother when one can make a good living off of their own work. Art industry is absolutely no different from the music industry....EXCEPT: the artist gets to keep his originals AND the rights to his own work.

    Thomas Kinkade should be a great example to ALL artists. This man is making MILLIONS off his own work and he doesn't answer to ANYBODY. He is self published and owns everything!.

    An artist wo "sells out" is an artist who sells ALL his rights away.

    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
    his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he
    has imagined, he will meet with a success
    unexpected in common hours."
    - H.D. Thoreau
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  31. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lim
    real talent is mostly discovered after their death.
    sad, but far too true

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  32. #30
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    The beef I have with him is that I've talked to people that knew him before he was a megazillionaire- for one his work was completely different (apparently pretty good too), but my problem with him is he plays the "superchristian" card, and acts like jesus is with him as he pushes his paint around, just to cater to the religious people, when I highly doubt his religious motivations are there at all. But hey, money's money and if he feels like integrity is second to that, more power to him.

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