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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Positive. Negative.

Which Shall It Be?

Original Art by Pamela Hunt Lee
Five Portraits of Dat so la lee 
Original paintings by Pamela Hunt Lee

I follow several blogs, some crafted by other artists.  I follow several artists who have Facebook pages.  It's fun, entertaining, and educational.  Every day I take a bit of time to read these and while running through those posts today I came across two very different opinions from two distinctly different creators.  The newest post from Alfinsen Arts Alive which throws out some comments and questions about innovation, experimentation, and working with the public has a positive note (as well as some great images and a cool story about a street artist).  The other, from a completely different person is one of several Facebook posts complaining about the buying public, and carries a distinctly negative connotation.

Without getting into the messy details, the basic question seems to be:  Do we create for ourselves or do we create for the buyer?  

A secondary question would necessarily evolve: If you create for the buyer are you selling out, not following your passion? This second question came bubbling up when an artist's work was considered for purchase by a prospective customer only to have the possible sale negated by an interior designer who didn't care for colors in the work stating it "wouldn't look good over the sofa".  Though we artists may not like to hear that, we all know it happens.  So then what? Let the hair stand up on your neck, get angry and frustrated, or move on knowing that what you have created is true to yourself, your style, your objectives. Or if asked, create something that would fit the space, in essence painting for the customer?  These are questions each artist must answer for herself.

I firmly believe that if you create for yourself, follow your passion, your inspiration, push yourself and actually create (not just produce), your work will be accepted.  When a prospective customer inquires about my work I help them become familiar with what it is I create, help them understand why I create what I do, educate them, and let them decide if my work is something they would like to spend time with, live with.  If an artist wants to sell, part of the job of the artist is to educate the public about their art. Oh sure, there are a few potential customers who cannot decide for themselves and let someone else sway their decision, but that doesn't happen often. 

So what will it be?  The Positive or the negative?  I choose the Positive.  How about you?  Leave me a comment.....

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  1. I agree with you positive! And I follow my heart, my inspirations with my art. There are so many things that I want to do… to draw. I feel starved if I cannot get to my artwork each day!

  2. Love what you are doing and the inspiration behind your painting. Digging deep into another time and place and bringing into this time.