Monday, April 26, 2010

Another Open Studios Come and Gone

Spring is here and another Open Studios has come and gone. Some of us had a pretty successful event with a good amount of sales, while others (myself included) not so much. As artists, we are supposed to find intrinisic value for what we do. Creating a painting that we are both proud of and excited about should be a reward in itself. So why does it feel so bad that I didn't make a significant sale all weekend?

I realize that as an artist I shouldn't equate my own validation with sales, after all Van Gogh didn't make a single sale while he was alive and no one would say now that he was not a great artist, but it's really hard to keep up moral when what I made over the weekend couldn't buy dinner for four in a third world country.(Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't good either.) So what does one do after a weekend like this? I could sit and mope about it and make myself feel worse (which I did think about doing), or I can find the positive and focus on that. I have chosen the latter and this is what I found:

1. People had a lot of great things to say about my work. Most people were amazed that I hand painted each image and had done so so well.

2. People are starting to recognize my work and my name. A lot of people commented that they had seen my work at Artzone 461 Gallery (which currently has 12 of my paintings being shown there) and had come specifically to see more of my paintings. There were other comments about how people had seen my work online or elsewhere and were happy to finally meet me.

3. I got some commissions out of this. It's a huge compliment when people trust you with their family photos and want you to paint them as a gift for someone they love.

4. People were walking around other studios with my postcards and telling their friends how much they love my work (as overheard by Ben many times).

5. The more times I participate in an Open Studios, the more recognizable my work will be and the likelihood that someone will buy my paintings in the future increases. This is called "paying my dues". Just as in music where a beginning band has to play the midweek show to only three of their closests friends, it takes time to build a fan base and gain enough experience to start playing at the big venues with the bigger audiences. People are starting to take notice, as well as galleries. Sales will eventually follow the compliments and I will be making a good living as an artist. The key is to not get discouraged and to keep on trucking. If I continue to make quality art, people will start to realize the value of it and start buying it. In the meantime, I will try and not get discouraged or take it personally. Thank you to those people who stopped by and had some great comments about my work!
Image of me in my studio by Rosemarie Hughes-Croucher. Allother images were taken by me.


  1. I believe in you! Patience is definitely necessary when you put yourself out to the world. I know you have what it takes.

  2. Thanks Valerie! I've never been a very patient person and it's frustrating to see people around me making sales, but I know my time will come. Thanks again for your support and encouragement!