Sunday, May 15, 2011

Soaking knowledge

Big project - finished art on the floor
Size: 96 x 60 inches, stairwell project


I have completed the stairwell project for the latest commission. It is very difficult to take a good photo of this art, since, well, it's bigger than I am. And it is meant to be viewed from a distance. Can't wait to see how will it look installed. I wanted a fun piece of artwork, the one that will get attention, and what attention getter this is!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Have something worth paying for

The best advice I can give to anyone who wants to succeed in art, and business in general, is to always think about what is your value proposition. The art world is specifically conflicting on this issue since artists seems to compare themselves to each other and form their pricing based on what they have seen someone else price a pice of work.

Just as there are different prices in cars, furniture, housing, restaurants and all other kinds of services, there have to be different prices in art. The difficulty comes when the cost of time and materials exceeds the amount market is willing to pay for.

The solution is twofold: find a way to reduce your product expense and produce same quality at the lower price, or, get better at your product or service, provide more value, unique product to your customer and ultimately win over your competition.

The question is this: would you pay the stated amount for this product? If the answer is yes, then go ahead price it like that and market will support you. If the answer is no, then either work on making a better product or reduce your price where others will pay for it.

I am uncertain if this rambling makes sense, but ultimately if you want to sell anything it has to compete in the marketplace. This includes art and all kinds of fine, high-end functional and non-functional items, as well as services. Have something worth paying for and you'll succeed!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Creating Big Art

The biggest painting I have created is 4 x 6 feet. That's pretty big! But, I've never embarked on creating a commercial installation like I am doing today. Painting big canvases is pretty challenging and physical. I enjoy the process very much and it seems like time just keeps flying when I do it. My last project that consisted of 5 big canvases was ruined by a brake-in. Someone stole 2 out of 5 finished paintings that lined up make a rainbow.

I have decided to move on, and not worry about the theft. Police has my paintings, I'll call next week and try to get them back; if repairable we can try to repair, if not new canvases are on their way to me and should be delivered next week. They are very nice canvases, heavy linen, I just love them! The school that commissioned the project :DMACC, is super cool. They are just so nice to me and said that deadline doesn't matter, they've been talking about getting some art for the campus for a long time, and a few more weeks won't make much difference.

I think this experience will give me more know-how when I have an opportunity to go into the next commercial installation. There are so many things I never knew how to approach, installation being one of them. The artist should always build some cushion into their proposal for expenses that occur during the project. Nobody can fully predict what will happen, and much less anticipate that someone would steal two paintings no smaller than 3 x 5 feet. Next time I propose to work on something large, I'll have to build in those "unexpected" things into the commission contract. This time I got really lucky that I have one of the nicest clients possible.

The consequence of not delivering the project can be that you have to refund the money that you have already spent on creating the project. I couldn't really deal with that at this time. I am starting my own studio gallery, every artist's dream come true. People are seeing me working in there and that must be pretty unusual. I spent too much time setting this gallery up and talking to other artists. Now is time for some creative activity, the whole reason why I have rented the space in the first place.