Friday, April 23, 2010

You want to be an artist? You want respect?

If you want to try to put yourself out there as an "artist" you need a suit of armour. Mine is getting battered these daze. Here are some of the highlights of my year thus far-

Trade show- artists not in the show were invited to scope the event in case they'd like to sign up for next year- my booth was frequently filled with lookie loos - worst moment: standing trapped behind a group of would-be artists asking me about my techniques and watching the #1 potential customer taking a business card from the periphery of the booth and leaving the venue.

Cool idea that went well at the wholesale show requires findings- not available in Canada

Sent info package to the lost customer....still waiting for a response.

Spent a day spent searching for a wholesale source. Findings back ordered from USA - 4 weeks

I have to advise new clients that the items they want are back ordered 4 weeks

Sent piece of art to invitational show.

Back order extended to 6+ weeks... (they did very well at a wholesale show- must be nice!)

Work goes on... deliveries of available pieces made.

Recieve returned NSF cheque for $100 of work from gallery that shut down. Emails go back and forth...

Cat delivers dead rat to the studio.

Someone steals my running shoes from the back of my car.

Back ordered items arrive- missing half of the items requested- realise to my chagrin that paid $26 duty on the items I didn't recieve. Orders on hold...

Receive notice that the merchant has credited my VISA for the customs duties incurred. Feeling better but still not able to fill my orders.

Re order items.

Cat delivers live rat to the studio.

Daughter dispatches rat.

Receive returned piece of art work from the show with extensive damage. Begin insurance claim.

Keep working. Write blog etc...

Two galleries return "Stale Work" shipping costs $40

Send new work to various outlets by mail... shipping costs $50. 

Receive email from main Vancouver gallery location that the Olympics haven't increased businesses- sales are down by 26%.

Discover location of dead rat's burial site while weeding the garden.

Decide to rest vocal chords after unexpected episode of screaming.

Canadian dollar at par with US - great for buying from US sources but tourism projections reduced. This is not good news- most of my sales are to tourists.

Yay! I'm in a book! Uh oh- someone else's name is under the pictures of my artwork.

Yay! The problem is fixed for upcoming editions.

Deliver new work to local gallery- wonderful response!

Big order of findings finally arrives.... fuelled for creativity!

A gallery contacts me asking if my findings can be sterling silver rather than pewter plated. with sterling silver (sounds great but after days of sourcing I'm convinced this item doesn't exist in the real world and if it did it woiuld make my costs prohibitive with cross border duties)

Discover another gallery is changing management-- haven't heard from the owner... making note to phone tomorrow hoping usold work will be returned.

etc, etc, etc....

Thus far this year my expenses for supplies, shipping and customs duties far outweigh my sales. I LOVE making art but trying to balance the books and put up with occasional comments and occurences that feel like disrespect can get really challenging at times. 

Now the time has come for applying to juried shows.

Time to up my meds or get a martini.
Apologies to Rodney Dangerfield.


  1. Well, that was encouraging! LOL. I've been struggling with whether or not to try selling some of my work and I've already run into the problem of getting supplies in Canada. It's so frustrating.

  2. LOL- if you get discouraged do a vent blog like this one-I feel a lot better now!
    Sometimes all you can do is laugh!


  3. They don't call it 'struggling artist' for nothing, lol

  4. And I thought I had it rough! Hang in there, your work is beautiful & it will pick up!

  5. I vote Martini. I hope you see things turn around soon!

  6. As distressing as most of it was, you at least kept your sense of humor - most important! And gave us a good reality check of the charmed life of an artist. Hang in there. Your work is wonderful and inspiring.


I always love to get comments!