Monday, May 3, 2010


No, I'm not selling raffle tickets...I'm just reminding myself of the fact that art is really 50% creative work and 50% at a desk, emailing, making resumes, price lists and the like kind of work...which for me isn't such a big deal because I actually *like* doing that kind of stuff but some people abhor it (It's always a good day when you can use a word like abhor in a sentence...yes! And did I really quick just look up the definition of said word to make sure I was using it correctly in said sentence even though I already knew what it meant? You bet your ass I did ;) Anyway, I really think that the business part gives my brain a break from the creative part and the creative part gives my brain a break from the business part...and sometimes for me one fuels the other....making lists of projects I want to work on makes me excited to get in the studio and working on pieces gets me all excited about updating my website and whatnot (nerd much?).
All that said, today has been a business day that has made me super excited to get into the studio this week...Will be posting progress on two projects I have coming up. Yay!


Also, in case anyone was really excited about the chance of there being a raffle (though I doubt it) no no, make that to continue on the generosity and excitement of winning things (I won two things last week...2 THINGS!...Exciting!) I'll send 2 Flock birds (they get lonely if there's just one of them) to a randomly picked winner who comments below about their thoughts on art making vs. art business...(You need not be an artist to win...Check back on Friday for a winner...Be sure to include your email address so I can tell you if you are a fabulous winner in case you forget to check back...Commenting will close at 11:59pm on Thursday, May 6)


Rocinante Press said...

Hi Darla,
This post makes me think of an Artblog discussion a few years ago that related to Fleisher-Ollman gallery. Artists were posting comments how they were upset that what the gallery was showing was getting attention, because they didn't like the art. The discussion turned to one about networking, and some of the people posting were, in a very snarky way, complaining about artists networking their way into exhibitions, and how that was a bad thing, or an insider thing, or something like that.

I ended up commenting that I think networking, which I think is part of the business side of being an artist, is not necessarily a bad thing. If you believe in your art, you should be excited to talk about it/tell others about it. I think the business side of art should make you more excited to be in the studio and be an artist.

So I guess I'm just rephrasing what you've said in your post!
Michelle W.
rocinantepress (at) gmail (dot) com

Peanutbutter_Eric said...

Art is amazing...and though it can seem a hassle to get art businessy stuff done I find it exciting as your working on finding ways to get your work seen and it's exciting to talk about art which can inspire you to make more art...i'm tired so I apologise if i'm making no sense...but huzzah to art and art business!:)

The Black Spot Books said...

the business end sucks lately. it involves too much pooter. I just want to drive around the world and make things Darla. That is my two cents for to-day. to-morrow I will probably thing differently. Er, maybe next year I will.

Heather Kent's Art said...

I agree with you! I enjoy the business part of it, as well as the creating part, in their own ways. Generally in the day I spend time doing both, though more often I wish I could spend more time creating and less time with the biz end of it than the other way around.

Jed said...

I'm always thinking about the relationship between art and commerce. Honestly, I think the two have become polarized in a way that makes no sense.

I realized the other day that I've become something of a free market republican when it comes to art. What is the problem with engaging in the marketplace? I'm inclined to agree with Dave Hickey that all these institutions (museums, art centers, etc.) that ostensibly support art actually undermine it by promoting "difficult" work that most people don't actually like.

miriamdema said...

in general i feel that the making of the art is the easy part!

it's easy to have an idea, follow it to fruition, learn from the process and have something that comes directly from your minds eye.

doesn't sound easy does it? well, it's easy compared to the getting it out there, selling it, marketing it, representing it part of things that comes after you have something really good.

the 'what the heck do i do with it now' part of things that makes some of us strive to share our work instead of just chucking it into a bottomless closet.

but somedays i wish i had a
bottomless closet :)

miriam dema
miriamdema at gmail dot com

Mouse Trap Vintage said...

Making a living from your work = freedom from boring desk job. I declare 2010 the year of LIBERATION!!! I have had 2 fairly successful years selling vintage & felt jewelry in my Etsy shop, Mouse Trap Vintage:, and am in the process of launching a Textile Design business with my friend, SquidWhale Designs: My hope: to make money doing what I love. This is the first year I ever thought it was possible. I could not be more excited about the FUTURE!!!

Darla said...

Thanks for your comments guys!

Michelle, I agree. I think networking is hugely important and otherwise where would all our stuff be...our studios? Our basements? Our mom's houses? I don't think getting shows from networking is insider-y, I think it's pay off for all that hard (net)work(ing). :)

Emma, I am always more inspired to make art after talking about art...well almost always!

Margaux, This is true...the whole too much time on the computer bit is a pain in the ass but some of it makes things (a little) easier...I'm totally shy so I'm more likely to get the word out successfully via email or Facebook but I also hate being stuck at the computer when I could be slingin' clay around...

Heather, You're right. A little every day is good and keeps it bearable.

Jed, Damn right! I really see no problem in getting work out there. Being an artist is, after all, a business (the IRS thinks so, so it must be true!) and hell if I'm gonna be one of those starving artists you hear about all the time ;)

Miriam, I go back and forth. Sometimes I think making the art is easier, but sometimes the organizing/promoting end of it is easier. I think it depends on how difficult the work is to execute (crying breakdowns at impending possible failure anyone? I've had a few of those) and how on top of my business game I feel at any given moment...which sometimes is notsomuch. And I too have a few bottomless closet worthy pieces...I try to hide them behind things in the studio...:)

Sarah, Yay! Congrats! I really believe if anyone puts themselves out there and are motivated that its totally possible to make money doing what you love. Our generation is particularly lucky to have things like Etsy where quitting our day jobs is not just a possibility but a reality for people (Yay!) When making art made me able to quit my desk job I felt like a million billion dollars. Sure its stressful at times (did you see that NYT article about Etsy peeps making $100,000 a year but working constantly) but the work isnt the same because you love what you're doing! Anyway, congrats again! I saw your blog post and LOVE the plaid mice! Cant wait to see these designs when they are done! So exciting!

Thanks again everyone for the comments! Check back Friday to see who won some birds! Woo!

bbonn said...

Darla... this business of business is so important to us artists! Thats why mostly in the mornings I go on-line and check out upcomming exhibitions and opportunities. This requires me to step out of my own personal artist space, the one in my mind and the one in my studio, and submit and create things I otherwise would never imagine for myself. As Doug Bucci told me during my undergraduate studies at Moore "there will always be a bigger stack of no's than yes's and that should not stop us from making and submitting". I have found this to be so true. In time all our work made and unrealized will have a place and a space to be seen, it is in the "business of business" that an artist, such as myself, can blaze new trails. In expanding our artisit communities our work expands. Growth is realized and our business and studio practice come into a working balance!
Bridgett Bonn-Wagner

MarieE said...

Hey Darla,
I've always hated the business side of it. Perhaps because I wasn't well-prepared for it by school (but damn it- I know how to draw!!!)
I find it especially hard to place a monetary value on something that I've spent so much time on. Half the time I'd rather give something away to someone who loves it and should have it. Of course, I like getting some money sometimes too...
It's easier to get paid for my teaching.