Reading some art magazine or another awhile back at Barnes & Noble, I saw a magazine called CLOTH, PAPER, SCISSORS. It first I thought it was one of those scrapbooking publications but in picking it up I found all kinds of ideas to stimulate me! I rarely used scissors unless I was cutting the top of some reluctant paint or glue bottle, the only cloth I used might be the canvas, cotton or polyester for my paintings and have never used paper on my birdhouses though this magazine gave me ideas how that could be done. I ordered it and forgot about it.
Thumbing through my first issue of the magazine and for once actually reading the articles I was struck by one written by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer. She talked about her evolution from artsy crafter to using her art as a provider and how it changed her art and her life. She took a job for the money, her own sensitivities be damned. She created art for popular or commercial appeal...choices of what she thought other people liked instead of what she liked. Reading it, I realized we have all been there.
At one point she stated, "I live and die by likes, comment and retweets. Sometimes, my very favorite projects get ignored. Do I abandon them?" She then goes on to note, "What a very bad space to inhabit. When you're making choices based on other people's opinions, you're operating from fear. Make your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."
The entire article is worth reading for anyone that is creative: artists, writers, musicians, because it gets to the heart of being creative. What caught the attention of others was our own unique and personal style. If, as I have done in the past, I sell something and then try to replicate that because that's what the audience wants, we will often find that audience was an audience of one. Something in that creation moved them to buy. No one else will ever be interested in it.
However, that is not to say a series is bad. I have my "Crazy Quilt" series that has been popular. I found four resin skulls that became my "Last Chance Series" that was popular. I have done the same thing with my fine art painting. I now have two different series of four paintings using cactus plants as my theme. I like these "series" as it gives me the opportunity to mine a subject and each one takes me to a different place, a different skill level.
I too have hit a doldrums. No sales in about two months and not that many views and fewer "hearts." I have determined to continue and do what I like and hope that at some point I will find an audience that likes what I do as well. Here are some point to she makes that I would like to pass on:
Make art a daily habit.
Make an effort to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Let go of crutches. It isn't easy but its important.
Embrace what scares you.
Pursue Bad ideas. Remember, you learn more from failure than success!
Make an effort to reserve time in your schedule for personal artistic development.
Substitue the word "learn" for the word '"fail."
Try very hard to celebrate successes.
Hopefully, sales will return soon. I have not stopped creating as a matter of fact. After reading this article I returned to my work area and completed two new birdhouses, as different from each other as day and night. Since I have a gallery showing next month I plan on starting a new series of paintings for that as well.
Keep the faith!
Please visit my craft store at KrugsStudio.etsy.com and my fine art store at AlanKrugFineArt.etsy.com. Thank you for stopping by and reading!