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Does Everybody Love You and Your Art?

by Sandra Haynes on 10/12/2011 10:38:06 AM

This post is by guest author, Sandra Haynes.  This article has been edited and published with the author's permission.You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community.  If you want your blog posts listed in theFineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 15,000+ subscribers, consider blogging withFASO Artist Websites.  This author's views are entirely her own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.


Hi friends,


Of course, the straightforward answer is, no.


Not too long ago, I was asked a really good question about selling and how you would know when you've "made it".


This artist sold a nice pastel piece for a decent price and then later entered what she considered a couple of her better works in a local juried art event. Neither of the pieces was accepted.


So, from the emotional roller coaster of a good sale high to the depths of the dreaded rejection, she was perhaps feeling betrayed on some level.


The hard truth is, one good sale does not guarantee anything. Not continued success, not the top of the mountain. The truth of the matter is that a buyer in the circle of exposure that is this artist's world liked a piece enough to buy it. It was the buyer's opinion that the art was worth owning. Just as the judge(s) that rejected her work for the show didn't like it enough to jury it in. It's still just their opinion. It doesn't or shouldn't then become that artist's reality.


Art is created from the depths of an artist's's a personal thing. Taking the step to put your art on the market leaves you open to as many opinions as there are people. The narrower your "niche" market is, the more people there are that probably won't much care whether you create art or not.


Your mission, if you are still wanting to be in the game, is to find the market that will love your art enough to buy it. It takes perseverance and a lot of fortitude to stick with it, because so much of this is learning the hard way, by doing. Watching people to see what pieces they linger in front of at art shows, listening to comments, talking to them...ask questions for heavens sake! Find out why they like something and, yes, why they don't like something.


An entire world is at your fingertips...get on the internet and go to other artist's web sites (FineArtStudioOnline is a good place to start). Bookmark the art that really catches your eye and then go back and study it carefully. Decide exactly what it is that drew you to it...color? subject matter? Note whether there are a lot of sold signs on the work.


Is there room for your own work to improve? Be honest now. There's always room for improvement. Consider making some changes so that your work becomes more marketable. And this last bit of advice is serious...grow a thicker skin. Don't take rejection personally. Someone out there rejected your work, not you, and there's still a lot of people out there that didn't reject your work.


If you analyze this as a business and find out what can make your "product" better, the sales will come. Will the whole world then love you and your art? Of course they won't. But why should you care. Build your empire.


All my best,




Editor's Note: You can view Sandra's original post here.


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It doesn't matter if everyone or anyone loves the artist. There are many artists, who have made it to the big time, that are complete jerks. Doesn't take away from the impact and significance of the work.

I personally don't care what you think of me, in fact, it's none of my business.

What I care about when I invest in a work of art is what it means to me and if the message of the work has been accomplished. Am I moved or is this just an other happy landscape that matches the drapes and couch? Drapes and couch don't work for me, unless it's the Lichtenstein series that mocks this exact way of thinking.

That being said, there is another aspect to the selling of the work and the selling of the artist that is relevant. As someone who runs an art collective and produces art events, it is important to me that there is a level of professionalism. What I look for is ease of the venue or person in question to work with. Are they on time? Do they fulfill commitments, how are they with people skills. You don't have to be loved or likeable to have fantastic people or sales skills. This is a business that involves being able to work with people.

Show up, be present, engage, and make it easy for me to work with you and we have no issues.

When jurying for an exhibition, we all know entirely too well, that it is about fit. Does the work fit with the overall narrative of the work submitted, does it fit into the level of skill/execution/process expected, does it fit with the curatorial theme or not? To that end, it's not necessarily about is it good or not.

Good isn't always the question.

Jurying my last exhibition had nothing to do with mere opinion. (Ya'll need to get over that.) We all worked hard to understand the artist's body of work, their statement, their resume or pedigree and then what they submitted within the context of our overall theme for exhibition.

It's always good to ask why a work wasn't accepted. We rejected some of our friends and collective members for this particular event. But when our friends and members saw what was accepted, they realized our vision and perhaps the need to step up their own game.

jack white
Your article made me smile. When I was just getting started I was doing a show. Two women standing behind me were talking. I listened and heard one ask her friend, "What do you call that junk?"

I turned, tipped my cowboy hat and answered, "My art mam, I call that junk my art." They vanished!

Rejection is just part of the business. G. Harvey tried to get in the Cowboy Artists of American but was rejected. His last show he sold a million and a half dollars worth of his art. He didn't let the rejection keep him from the top.

Not plugging my books, but Malady of Art: Fear deals in depth with rejection and how to deal with it. It's just part of being an artist.

Only one of the Impressionist was accepted into the Salon in Paris. They were all rejected.

I think your friends mistake was entering a juried show. People who jury shows don't have a clue what the buying public likes. Most of them are art critics and museum workers. Tell her to take her work to people who buy art, not some snob that is a know it all. If people loves her work then she is a success.

Jack White

Sharon Weaver
There seems to be two different sides to this issue. One is what sells and the other is what the the art community accepts as good. These two things do not necessarily overlap (although they sometimes do). Is it best to sell and make money or follow your passions? Deciding what you want will help with the answer.

Sandra Haynes
And your comments made me smile, Jack. It was important to me for my friend to realize that rejection by an individual doesn't carry much weight...and that she needs to go where the sales are if that is her personal measure of success.

The apparent two sides to the issue...what sells and what the art community accepts as good, can meet in the middle. I don't care at all what the academics think....I have to pay my light bill. The artwork I do is also my sells well to the public and other artists are some of my biggest collectors. But I've sought out and developed my market, my niche if you will, and it's working very well.

So what makes for an artist to be considered a success? Depends on what you have identified as your marker for success.

Barb Stachow
I think this is why the internet art works sales are so good, no one has to know who you are...just what you create!

Sandra Haynes
Oh, but I love going to shows...big or small. It's the quickest way to find out if your art is connecting the way you want it to and most of my customers become good friends too. I love talking to people and asking for that sale. (Please note: this came with years of practice, from a person that was formerly very shy.) OK, none of my friends now believe that either.
The internet is a terrific tool and certainly has a good place in your bag of marketing tricks...shows aren't for everyone.

Donald Fox
There have been no more gruelling critiques than those suffered through in graduate school. Successful students learned to create work that they themselves valued. If we don't value what we create, how can we expect others to value it enough to buy it?

Sandra Haynes
So true Donald.....creating what you're passionate about really shows, and the art buyers now are sophisticated enough to recognize that.

Yes, developing a thick skin and more importantly, an attitude of perseverance, is definitely part of the process. I couldn't continue to enter my work in FAV's Boldbrush monthly competition with the staggering distinction of being one of the very few artists who enter here with no entries ever having been acceptable on any level if I didn't have a sense of perspective!

floyd smith
Does everybody love you and your art by Sandra Haynes, is one of the very few article's I've enjoyed reading - but must also add that these artist that were turned down at an art-show - may not be any fault of the artist, only that so many other unseen factors are at work. Don't build your art empire only just on juried art shows or what these judges or what anybody else thinks about your art. If a judge accept's your art work, maybe because really its the very best work they have ever seen in their life, or its just possible this one judge knows an artist as a personal friend. Who knows? I've seen it happen, even if others say its not possible. Maybe they have their head in the sand. "Think as a writer." Many of the most famous writers in the world were turned down more times then you have fingers and toes, before their first work was accepted. Have the fortitude or should I say guts to stay on course no matter what, and then you will see that only you have to love what you do as an artist - and the ones that don't like your work. "I say thats to bad." There are so many other people that will. In due time those that were unaware of your raise from obscurity to a well-rounded artist, will come knocking at your door.

Doris Nickerson
I paint what I like and how I like. I paint also because it's good therapy for my health and well-being. I know when the finished painting is great, good, or otherwise. So if I think I have a decent one, I will exhibit it and let the viewers decide. One person make view it and think it's "crap" but another may see something in it that speaks to him or her. You can't please everyone. Just please yourself and keep painting!


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