So I have been thinking about trying to grow my visibility and the steps I need to do to be able to do that. One of my thoughts is to gather enough art to do a fair OR to join in an event called Hunt and Gather that takes place about 4 times a year.
Hunt and Gather is a really cool event in Crown Point, Indiana and they have a room full of artisans and antiques for 2 days, four times a year. It’s not just a small room, it is HUGE! People that make hats, soaps, jewelry, art, refurbished furniture and people that sell antiques. That being said, I have talked to a few of the artists that are there and none of them have much luck selling their art. WHY?
This is in Northwest Indiana and it is NOT Chicago, though we are close (40 min drive on a bad day) and most people lie on their Facebook pages and say “Chicago” when they are really from some town in Indiana. The people at these events are trying to sell their art for $500.00 + and it is hard to sell art, period. when I purchase a piece, even if it is $100.00 I have to really like it. Mainly because I am not loaded with cash. When I was looking at houses to find one to purchase I saw the ‘art’ that hung in those homes. People in this area do NOT spend money on art, and instead go to Kohl’s or Target and buy prints.
I feel in order to sell art at this show I need to tailor make art FOR that show. Make some cool pieces that can go with people’s furniture color scheme for a decent price. Even if I have some small canvas pieces or paper that isn’t framed with a price that people do not think that hard about.
My thought would be to have a booth selling my art and to maybe to have a set up where I do quick portraits. I feel that people will buy them because honestly people are vein. Though I don’t know if people would buy portraits the way I do them.
This is my Husband and I thought it didn’t really look like him but everyone that knows him says it does. This was a fast portrait (7 min) and I think it is pretty neat. It was fast and needed some dry time so it took longer. They have electric units at the event so I could hook up a blow dryer.
Before I can do this event like this, I need to have people sit for me to practice.
By the way, drawing portraits is NOT like riding a bike and you can fall out of touch without practice. It is very frustrating. These portraits were both done last week. Maybe I should do portraits like Picasso and really abstract so no one says it doesn’t look 100% like them? OH or I could do a portrait and say I am connecting with the spirit world and painting their soul? Okay, maybe that would be a hokey schtick but what if it worked? I mean people are always interested in their horoscopes right?
I need time and some people need to bear with me and I need to work out the kinks. I haven’t really done portraits from real sitters in front of my face since I was in art school, circa 1997. To give you a reference, here is a series of portraits from class with sitters. Well the 2 women at least. The middle one is from a blown out photograph of a relative.
I was doing quite well, I thought. I think the only thing that is missing from these are FUN and FREEDOM. They were drawings that were imposed on me. This is how you are supposed to draw, this is the shadow. I know this is what makes them look more like who they really are. I need that structure with some freedom.
Next is a series of images I drew from photographs, mainly because I have no access to famous people for some reason. I wonder if it has to do with the restraining order from Ian Somerhalder? Just kidding… I don’t have one from any celebrity, but he is devilishly handsome and I would love to draw him in real life if I got better.
Marilyn Mason, Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins and Tori Amos. I think I captured their likeness well except for Tori, that could have been better. These were more fun and I was more loose here than I was when I was in the classroom.
Do you ever bend from what you normally do in hopes of bringing in more cash flow? Lord knows I will never make more money in my current job, but it does allow me a lot of extra time and I have plenty of days off.