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03 October 2008 @ 05:21 pm
Tell me about the art you've created and sold.
Bitterfun: Banditbitterfun on October 4th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
?? Which piece? What medium?

I've sold commission pieces, block prints, paintings, a sculpture or two.
Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC)
Wow, I didn't even realize you were going to be one of the people to respond! Wait until you have the time and inclination, because I would sincerely like to hear about all of this.
Jenjenblue on October 4th, 2008 12:56 am (UTC)
This, one of these, this, that, that other thing, one of those, and a few other one-offs I can't find the photos of offhand. That first one might look familiar. I still don't sell worth a damn, but I've learned a few things in the last six years, at least.

...that was more show than tell, wasn't it.
Victoriamahariel on October 4th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC)
I've done two shows with some of my photography pieces to date, but no sales as of yet.
to open mercy, to open your siren throat: LookingBackashbet on October 4th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
The majority of the portraits from 2004-on are commissioned work (the rest I just did because I wanted to/as gifts/because I was feeling inspired): http://www.matermetis.com/Vision/

One of my first commissioned/sold pieces was a 4x5 painted acrylic sign on fabric for my friend's Renaissance Festival booth -- damn, I have a photo of it that I need to scan sometime. (This would be circa 1990 or so.)

I don't usually paint something and have someone buy it -- although I have had people buy prints on occasion.

I'm not doing work on commission at the moment because my hands are so unpredictable and I don't want to take on any projects that I can't finish.

In other media, I've sculpted a feline head for an Asian Ball-Jointed Doll body, and in collaboration with my friend Caitlin, cast a limited edition of 30 in resin. I could have sold more, but Caitlin's availability was really sporadic, and the partnership didn't work out in the end.

I also did hair as a side job for several years (http://www.psysheep.com, although the link is dead now, I let the site lapse), which involved hand-dyeing wool dreads, felting, and creating falls and hairpieces -- I considered that to be a form of textile art, especially since I really enjoyed the inventiveness aspect of it.

So, what brings you to ask the question? :)

-- A <3
Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
So, what brings you to ask the question? :)

A bunch of different things have been knocking on my door trying to create some kind of coherent thought in my head, and it seemed like asking the question might provide the proper duct tape. It's not there yet, so please forgive the disjointed response :)

Ever since I went to Paris back in 2004, I've been philosophically obsessed with the topic of an artist's survival in a far more capitalist, far less socialist system like the USA.

Around the same time, I was dating an executive director of a non-profit arts organization and volunteering as an ESL tutor for an adult literacy program, and observing that non-profits supporting hungry children or illiterate adults have a much easier ask than an arts org. There's even a huge gap between hungry children and illiterate adults.

I have a lot of artist friends, most of whom have day jobs to support themselves. Of all my artist friends, I have 1 that does art full-time, 1 that's transitioning in that direction, and 1 who has an art-related day job.

A ton of the art I've been mad in love with in recent years here in Seattle has been partially sponsored by 4Culture. Recently, I finally looked them up, planning to donate and say thank you. It turns out it's a program funded solely by a lodging tax we have in the city, and it's funding will end in 2012 which left me feeling a bit queasy. Thanks to them, I've seen amazing exhibits at our monthly art walk (do I remember correctly that you're originally from here, love, or did I just make that up?), an outstanding spoken word called "Sitting in Circles with Rich White Girls: Memoirs of a Bulimic Black Boy", a great carpe diem and surprisingly erotic play adaptation of Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and awesome poems on the King County buses thanks to their Poetry on Buses program. The thought of it all ending in 2012 unhinges me in a way I can't quite express, but with the economy in its current dire straits, I find myself wondering what can fill the funding gap in 2012.

Sureshot Coffee in UW has a really great goth-aesthetic photographer's work (Venomous Swan; I have prints of "Our Emergency" and "Train to Nowhere" on the way) that's been up for three months now, and it made me wonder if it was the choice of Sureshot to not rotate more often, or if there weren't enough new artists to do a monthly rotation.

All of this brings me to wonder what avenues are most lucrative for an artist trying to self-sustain...
sculptruth on October 4th, 2008 05:58 am (UTC)
I can have a really extensive conversation with you on that, but it's a lot to type here right now.

4Culture is amazing. I get monthly emails letting me know about their call for artists and it's an amazing opportunity. Unfortunately, it's not as helpful to an artist such as myself unless I have grants and space to work and weld, so mostly I ignore them lately. ha!

Of most help in my professional life is artistrust.org. They are an unspeakably invaluable resource to artists.

What's most lucrative for each artist depends on the individual. Galleries aren't a sure shot for making money, though they get you the most exposure. Commissions, which I've done plenty of are really nice, but you have to work hard to keep them coming in. You also have to keep in touch with your client base. Websites like Etsy are great because if you have the time, you can always put together your small bread and butter pieces, which if I lived full time as an artist (damn those student loans!) I would do this to sustain myself.

I think the key thing is one must be resourceful, unabashedly shameless in marketing, and able to meet people and sell themselves. The pensive stereotypical withdrawn type don't get too far very fast -- in the end it's all about who you know. So y'know, you gotta get out there and em, get to know. In the end, it's a business and a product, just like anything else. :)

Edited at 2008-10-04 05:59 am (UTC)
to open mercy, to open your siren throat: Behindashbet on October 4th, 2008 02:18 pm (UTC)
That program sounds amazing -- I'm really glad that all of you have been able to benefit from it! I wonder if there's a grassroots-type organization working on gettign it reauthorized in 2012? Might be worth finding out, or even organizing one yourself if there isn't one :)

I've never even *been* to Seattle, although I'd love to visit -- closest I've been is Portland for C13. I've only been to the West Coast 3 times so far. I have a ton of friends there, which may be why I have something of a virtual presence in the city! *grins*

I wish that DC had a more vibrant arts community, but what we have is pretty narrowly focused . . . I would LOVE to have a coffeehouse like that in my area. The photography exhibition looks like it would be lovely :)

As for self-sustaining with art -- it's a tough proposition, especially in these economic times. I know people who do it (a couple of webcomics artists in particular), but it's often a struggle, and they usually wind up working part-time jobs on and off through their careers.

One person you might enjoy meeting is ursulav (Ursula Vernon) -- she's a full-time artist and writer, and she's doing quite well making a name for herself. Her output is *astonishing*, I wish I had more of her drive/energy/inspiration!

-- A :)
Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 04:30 pm (UTC)
Ah! I think I met you at C13 (your face is so familiar to me, and I know a lot of the SeaGoth peeps you've done portraits of). Tea Party ... in fact, now that I'm straining my brain, I think we might sat together on the bus ride over...? I was in electric blue and a choker a friend made me broke on the bus. (In fact, if so, I have a slamming hot photo of you from the tea party :> )
to open mercy, to open your siren throat: KissyFaceashbet on October 4th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)
Yep, we met at the Tea Party! (Oooohh, now I want to see this photo!)

-- A :D
blackflymetadragon on October 4th, 2008 05:23 am (UTC)
I've given away every painting or piece of ceramics I've ever made. I've sold a few photographs for fundraising purposes.

I sell a fair amount of things like this, and this freelance, or on comission. It at least pays for my own collection and the suplies needed. :)

Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 05:26 am (UTC)
d00d! You're a total miniature bad ass! How cool is that :)
blackflymetadragon on October 4th, 2008 05:30 am (UTC)

personally, I think it's pretty cool. It is work that makes me very happy.
butterflake on October 4th, 2008 05:35 am (UTC)
a lot of information...
I've been painting more and more seriously for the past five years. The last two years, in fact, have been the most productive for me...

I began art as a hobby, something fun to do while I worked out patterns and printed chaos while in college, making pieces like Luminocity and Confusion. Fright.. Though I was in choir and was a creative writing major, I never studied art, just kept making it up. The two I made during college that really grabbed my heart and that I knew were of me were My Story and Parry. Parry was actually my first project as a painter, and he represents Satan, which represents a remembrance of personal ethics over taught morals; he watches over my art studio to this day and is in plans to become part of my first tattoo.

For a couple of years, I was in a rather horrific relationship with a very abusive man and I created nothing, maybe one or two pieces that had no heart to them. The day after he was taken to jail (I worked at a glass distributor at the time), I took a mirror outside in a plastic bag, smashed it with a hammer, and created My Love and His Addiction.

As I fell into the post-relationship depression, my work began to become darker and more expressive, as it became my main mode of communicating the pain inside of me. I had grown tired of crying and channeled it out into the open to forever exist on the outside. I didn't work often, as I would wallow until the work simply burst out of me, uncontrolled and unplanned. Works from this period include Woman Objectified and Peace and Little Devil Stole My Scarf.

All this time, I never really painted, as I hadn't really ever learned, and most of my paintings were one-shot works. Then, I got my first commission and what came out of me over the course of three months was Bound. I remember looking at it and realizing what I had painted (her martini glass pedestal is dropping, fast). The commissioner then decided he didn't want the painting, and it was later bought by a woman who felt it. I am glad she owns it.

By this time, I had narrowed down my experiments to a few veins I wanted to explore more and have worked within those parameters since (namely, the broken mirror, the silver figures, and the fire lichen like Heaven Beside Me, which sold out of 619 Western during an artwalk... my first big blind sale.

Last year around this time I had a breakthrough. I had come out of a very challenging relationship and started a piece about it. I didn't want to paint it, but that's what was coming out of me. Then, I realized I had to paint realistic hands. Hadn't ever done it, I hadn't even drawn a hand before, really. I put it off for months, then finally sat down and did it. The result of that was Three Quarter Turn, and the realization that I actually can paint whatever I want, if I just give myself the permission to do so.

So I have begun to do so. Stripped is one product of this. I have started to plan project with great success. I still create in bursts, too, such as one evening when I was angry and lashed out Tattrous. The first piece I ever created entirely on purpose was Embrace Me, just earlier this year.

In January of this year, I had a large show at Mneumonic and in a rush of creativity, built the custom metal frames seen on some of these. They complete the pieces enough I have cried over it.
butterflake on October 4th, 2008 05:35 am (UTC)
Re: a lot of information...2nd half
Anyway, as you can tell, I have this extremely emotional relationship with my work. I recently made a piece called The Corner of My Mouth, which I'm still not really ready to show because it hurts so badly still to look at. But, I'm also freeing myself up to sketching and creating little strange works like Trouble on a more regular basis than before.

I'm still learning how to talk about them.

It can be very, very difficult for me to part with my work and I really prefer to give it away rather than sell it... but I have to fund buying more art supplies and I would like to start earning an income off of it that's more than selling a few pieces a year.

What have I sold so far? Almost all my old college stock is gone, and the fire pieces sell quickly, as do the printed figures like Woman Objectified. My darker work doesn't sell, though some people have expressed interest, which is always heartening.
Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 05:51 am (UTC)
Re: a lot of information...2nd half
It seems that I have a somewhat emotional relationship with your work, too! Stripped really upset me. Like on my back, kicking off an attacker, upset. Ooof.

I'm always incredibly impressed when an artist can invoke a strong emotional response in me.

Before Stripped, the last really super intense emotional reaction I had to a piece is in the basement of Tashiro-Kaplan - a piece called "waiting for my imaginary friend". I've debated for three months whether or not I'm willing to pay $300 for it, but this is the second time I've referred to it while writing in a single week!

I debated for 2 full years before buying my Mike Lewis robot piece. His work invokes a very specific emotion in me: joy! :)
Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 05:42 am (UTC)
Re: a lot of information...
My Love and His Addiction both choked me up.

Incredibly strong pieces, damn girl. (And thank you for sharing the story behind them so unreservedly, that's incredibly brave)
Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
Re: a lot of information...
Woman Objectified is so fucking cool. Do you have any plans to do prints of some of these?
Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 05:47 am (UTC)
Re: a lot of information...
And then I read the rest of your post. How much do you sell those prints for?
butterflake on October 4th, 2008 05:49 am (UTC)
Re: a lot of information...
You know, I should. It's an investment I haven't made yet, though.
Cantakerous troubadoursonder on October 4th, 2008 05:52 am (UTC)
I do stuff occasionally (dont know if you read my lj) but I have never sold any of it.
Cantakerous troubadoursonder on October 4th, 2008 05:52 am (UTC)
Well...meaning I have never tried to sell it and I'm not really inclined to.
Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 06:00 am (UTC)

I don't know if this is similar, but I've never been inclined to sell let alone really share musicy art of my own making. I've written stuff for piano and guitar, but it's for me. I don't even really like playing it for other people - and not because I think it lacks awesomeness, but because... it's mine, it's for me. If I'm sharing it with someone, it's because I'm storytelling my why and have hit upon a hesitancy of words that music cures.

When I get back from seeing Miss Lauren on the east coast, I'm investing in one of those digital sequencers though, and I have a feeling I'm not going to have any problems profiting on electronica if I can convince anyone else it's as awesome as I decide it is ;>
Cantakerous troubadoursonder on October 4th, 2008 06:02 am (UTC)
Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC)
You are my new hero.

Jake (nplusm) and I were talking about taking a pottery class this winter. It was mostly my idea because it very very vaguely interests me but mostly because it was a way for him (and perhaps me) to meet women. O:> And then, damn him, not fully appreciating my motivation, he said, "Hey, what about a welding class instead?" So I told him it'll dependent on his dating status when we get our asses in gear.

But damn you, I think I just started arguing for welding.

Are you doing all this crazy fabulous shit with nothing but a dremel?!
Cantakerous troubadoursonder on October 4th, 2008 06:14 am (UTC)
Mostly a dremmel, yeah. I mean I use anything at hand because...well...tools, but the heavy lifting is done by Mr. Dremmel. It's great for all kinds of stuff. My neighbors across the way must think I'm insane because I'm usually in my front room with the windows open wearing a plaid bathrobe, swimming goggles (safety first!) and a dust mask.

Kburgunder on October 4th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC)
Ha. This makes me desperately hope they've taken photos of said spectacle and posted it to their own blogs without comment.

Thank you for making Seattle a bit more colorful ;>
Cantakerous troubadoursonder on October 4th, 2008 06:17 am (UTC)
Oh and just to avoid the WTF? The pics of the young girl in there, the 'glamor shots' as I call them on the first page, that's my daughter Arianna.
Cantakerous troubadoursonder on October 4th, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)
Errr...second and third page.
Beththepresident on October 4th, 2008 01:30 pm (UTC)
I crocheted a hat and sold it to my high school Spanish teacher for $10.
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