An Artist's Dilemma
It happens all the time! An artist begins to make an impression in their community. Customers like the work, associate the work with the artist and buy the art. It is what every artist dreams of. But, wait----the artist continues to grow and experiment with other styles and materials. Oh no! Should the artist continue creating the successful style that everyone knows, loves and buys? Or should the artist follow her heart? What to do?
This is a dilemma I know all too well. For years I sold much of my artwork that had bright representations of fruit and flowers. But I needed to decide whether to continue creating the recognizable style or whatever new style moves me.
The further I move away from my original impressionistic work to abstract and experimental work, the more challenging the art is to sell. However, I love creating the experimental work. I have become obsessed with making and buying unique paper, and I want to put it into all my artwork. The paintings still sell if the paper is incorporated into my figurative abstract work. When I add additional elements such as string, yarn, ink, pencil, ceramics, hardware, foil, metal into my painting, it is more difficult to connect with the customer. Customers no longer immediately recognize my style and the art doesn't sell as readily.
I believe that if you love what you do, it will show in your work, and people will want to own your paintings. I experience great joy in creating my art, whether impressionistic or experimental. I am hopeful that customers will find that same joy in my work.
My next step will be to do more demonstrations to show potential customers how the experimental work is created so that they will more readily connect with the work.
I am participating in a fantastic show with six other experimental artists, and my heart sings when I look at the art. I see something new and interesting every time I visit the show. I want everyone to experience the same feelings when looking at experimental mixed media art.
There is no question as to whether or not to evolve as an artist, I have no choice. The challenge is to bring my customers along for the fun.