06/15/2010: "Selling art IS important after all"
I have probably never worked as hard on a show, or felt as confident in the quality of the work, as I did on my current show at the The Canvas gallery. Before the opening I told friends that it didn't matter so much to me if the paintings sold well or not, for a change I *knew* that the paintings were really good. I even raised my prices a bit and felt like if they didn't sell, I'd be happy to keep them.
Then the reception came (a tough day all around, including getting rear-ended while trying to park in front of the gallery at the start of the opening). I spent the first 15 minutes of the show crying in the bathroom. My eyes were beat red when I came out, people probably thought I was really high or something.
I was frazzled. My brand new car (first in 15 years) got a crunched bumper and I was so rushed to get to the opening that we didn't call the police to report the accident or anything.
I tried to stay focused on schmoozing with the people who came to see the show but it was really hard. There was a big turn out yet only three paintings sold (out of 20) and they sold to incredibly supportive friends (thank you thank you thank you!!!) so even though I'd claimed (and believed) that I wouldn't be disappointed if little sold...I *was* disappointed.
And I've been kind of in a funk ever since, which tends to happen after every show, no matter how wonderful.
Anyway, last night Aaron called me at work to tell me that an AK state representative bought THREE paintings (two of the largest ones) to add to his collection of Alaskan art that he displays in his large hotel in Fairbanks. Wow. Talk about a turn around! In my experience, it's rare to make sales after the opening.
I can't explain it, but this has completely reinvigorated me as an artist. I mean, for one thing...I had just canceled an order for new canvases because I didn't feel like I could afford the $180 for shipping to Juneau, and now I can after all! I also felt like...justified or something, in my confidence in the work because this guy is an art collector and *not* a personal friend of mine.
Look, I am not an overly confident artist, I worry all the time that I'm a terrible hack...but I guess I knew this time I'd done just about as good of a job with these paintings as I'm capable of. To know that someone else liked my work enough to buy three paintings and pay for shipping to boot, well...it helped. a lot.