Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Welcome to the Cooper studio, assignment, Lipetsk.
Art Or Product?
Ah. Tis the season of the great American ‘Art in the Park”. Art Fair. Art Festival. Art on the Square. Spring Festival of the Arts. Fall Festival of the Arts. Botanical Garden Festival of the Arts. Downtown Art Fair. Uptown Art Fair.
I was thinking about this during the morning run.
A bit of background may be helpful. I started running at the ripe old age of 43. Yup, forty three. Crazy, I know. I made an agreement with myself that I’d quit when I turned sixty. Hunh. Then a famed (infamous?) Iowa senator had his photo in the paper jogging around our nation’s capitol at age 76. Seventy six. Really, Chuck? I guess I can’t quit.
And the other thing is, I enjoy it in a weird self-competative sort of way. And it seems to be the only regular form of exercise I can stick with. Isn’t commitment a grand thing.
But this is an art blog. Back on subject, please. Roll back up to the title & first paragraph, and let’s stir in a little artist. A little painter. A little creator-kind-of-person.
Art Fair Insider is a great source for exhibiting artists. I love it. But every now and then, someone types in the word “product” when they converse about their exhibiting. May I state it annoys the heck out of me? Because then I feel compelled to read between the lines.
Are they an artist? Or are they using the art fair venue to make an extra buck? Are they creating art? Or are they making product to sell, under the guise of art, at said art fair venue? Are they an artist? Or are they just in it for the money?
Ha. As I ran this morning, I realized there is another question that answers that question. (good grief) And that question is (tahdah, drum roll, please) when are you going to retire? When will you quit? When will you toss out the running shoes? (wait, I think I mean when will you toss out your paint brushes?) Are you looking forward to a day when you don’t have to do it anymore? When you don’t HAVE to “make art”?
Folks love to play with that age old question "what is art?"
Wait, did I just discover the answer?
If you can retire from doing it, is it art? If you don't need it to make your week complete, is what you're doing art? If you can circle a date on the calendar, say December 31st, and say that's it, I'm done, have you been creating art? Or something to sell? Is your head & heart in it or just you bank account?
Art. Product. Commitment. Retirement. What is art? Hunh. Maybe the answer has been right in front of us all this time....
Now go paint something lovely, and don't worry about whether it will sell or not.