by Carolyn Edlund
A few thoughts on why it should be harder for artists to get into business.
Back in the day when I graduated with an art degree, I worked long hours creating a portfolio, had slides professionally taken, and started submitting them to shows and exhibitions. My work was judged for better or worse by experienced juries. Slowly I started getting traction and was offered opportunities to show and sell.
Today, I could decide on a whim that I wanted to start painting with watercolor – or create collage – or make jewelry – and tomorrow I could have an online storefront selling my work. In this time of immediacy where anyone and everyone can enter the marketplace at will and call themselves an artist, we’ve lost a sense of the accomplishment that hard work and recognition originally earned.
Empty Etsy shops and incomplete portfolios litter the online galleries of the world where aspiring creatives tire after finding rejection or abandon their efforts to become an entrepreneur. There is too much access to present and sell your work to the world. The value of it has been diminished.
Jumping straight into commerce means that no one need take the time to develop their work enough to make an impact or focus on quality. Derivative designs, poorly made work and outright copyright theft compete directly with well-conceived and executed art.
This leads some to even despair that entire art forms are being destroyed.
With the genie out of the bottle, and global exposure at everyone’s fingertips, how do you approach your own art business? Do you ignore the noise and double down on your focus to make remarkable work?
Do you see reduced appreciation for art forms, or do you believe it has been enhanced by technology?