I like to learn from people who are familiar with the seemingly abstract world of the Arts, especially the ones who are savvy in the business department. Art is a tricky career to navigate because it truly is what you make of it. Most artists aren’t as savvy in the art of business as they are fine art. Some artists are great at hustling their wares on the street corners of the Pike Place Market, while others find their monetization in prestigious galleries and private collections of the rich and famous. Finding your place in the art world is so difficult for many “starving artists” because the field is so diverse, and they simply know how to make their work but lack the knowledge of how to market it. I’ve found this to be the case with many products to be honest, but none as much as art.
One year for Christmas I received a painting from my mom who got it from a street artist in Mexico for $20. It really made this point clear to me because it was so amazing and so beautiful it had to be worth more as it was an original. That wasn’t the case because the artist defined his price and what his work/time was worth by the way he marketed himself. Handing out fine art to buy dinner on a street corner seems very sad in many cases but it’s why I was always so reserved about letting my work go for any price. It’s a valuable part of me and I want it to sell for more than the price of a dinner at a fast food restaurant. This is why I follow people like Carolyn Edlund AKA ArtsyShark, Alyson B Stanfield AKA ArtBizCoach, and College Art Association or CAA.
I’ll also mention that marketing is not the only thing that adds value to art. One major factor in the value of a piece is by its contribution to the marketplace of ideas. There’s definitely more to art than beauty. One great example of this is that of José Guadalupe Posada. According to Wikipedia “José Guadalupe Posada was a Mexican political printmaker and engraver whose work has influenced many Latin American artists and cartoonists because of its satirical acuteness and social engagement.” A late family friend was kind enough to gift this amazing original to me about a decade ago. Another close friend was so inspired by it that he had it converted into a tattoo. Art truly is transcendent.