|analytical Q||May-Aug 2000||Sept-Dec 2000||Contact||Discussion|
The very essence of being an artist involves the complete and utter disinterest in the financial remuneration of one's expression in order to be inspired and create at the highest level. For once an artist begins painting for money, the subject and even quality of the work have the potential to become aversely affected.
However, to be a successful artist and to receive the financial support in order to continuously paint, improve, and reach a higher level, the artist must be quite conscious of the financial remuneration's and simply, paint for money.
What a paradox, and yet it's a required paradox in the every day life of the artist. When I get up in the morning and start painting, I have to forget about the world, and just tune into the inspired vision of that I want to create. Once I begin thinking in commercial or marketing terms, such as, "Oh, what should I paint today in order for someone to come along and like it and buy it?" I've failed. It is paramount that I do not allow such thoughts in my mind, because these thoughts can create the most mediocre paintings, wasting art supplies at the end.
On the other hand, when the painting is over and done with, it is certainly time to think in terms of financial remuneration. What should I do with it? Where should I sell it at? Should I give it to the gallery to sell it? Or should I keep it at home so I can sell it to someone I know and retain all the earnings without splitting it with some gallery? And of course, what price should I give it so that I will not beat out other galleries selling my work, thus competing with myself?
Wearing two hats of artist and marketer is the only way, I discovered, though I am still practising. Each by definition defeats the other in purpose, but each is quite necessary in my life as an artist. And the successful artist is one who can nimbly balance both acts at appropriate times.
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This diary entry was written by Frances Ku, who will be writing such entries online shortly.