Sep 08 2017 Written by ann rea · Categorized: 1 - ACCOMPLISHING 32 CommentsArtists Love Me or Hate Me Artists either love or hate what I have to say and let me know it. I’m challenging common limiting beliefs among artists and this is not always received well. However, the mixed reaction is good news. What if no one said anything? Roger did not like that I pointed out that his art was technically a “hobby.” But it is and there is no shame in making art your hobby unless deep down you really want your art to be appreciated enough that people buy it. But what if you don’t know how to sell your art? You might enter contests with the false hope that this will lead to opportunities to sell your art. You might get very defensive and insist that your work is “before its time.” You might be snooty and pompous to cover deep insecurity. You might be jealous of those artists who do sell their art. You might degrade other artist’s success by referring to them as a “sell-out.” Here’s another idea. Learn how to sell your art without feeling like a sellout. This exchange between an indignant man named Roger is so rich that I decided to share it because it explains why some artists hate me or love my mission, to grow a collaborative community of artists who thrive by securing their creative freedom through business savvy. Roger (call me old fashioned if you will) but, for me, there is no necessary correlation between the making of art and the making of money. All of these type things take for granted that the artist is manufacturing a commercial product. I have never thought like that – ivory tower? perhaps, elitist? maybe, art for art’s sake? Most definitely! ArtistsWhoThrive It is good to know what you want and what you do not. Sell your art or keep it as a hobby. Do what is best for you. Roger A ‘hobby’ as the only alternative to selling? You jest I think? Or you are being insulted (albeit unwittingly?) ArtistsWhoThrive Hobby: an activity or interest pursued for one’s pleasure and not as a main occupation. B Business: the sale of goods in an attempt to make a profit. Vocation: a person’s employment or main occupation, especially regarded as particularly worthy and requiring great dedication. (If you are employed, you get paid.) ArtistsWhoThrive “there is no necessary correlation between the making of art and the making of money” There is LOT of money changing hands in the sale of art. If artists want their fair share then they must participate in that “business.” If they don’t want to participate that’s fine. They have a respectable art hobby. Roger, you’ve done it again – making it a choice between ‘business’ and ‘hobby’. No mention of vocation, of going your own way, of being driven, of developing over a period of time, of creativity, of the ambition to produce good art. Would you argue that the artists that make the most money are the most successful or the best? Damian Hirst for example, the house artist for the 1%, is the most successful at making money but surely not the most successful at making art. ArtistsWhoThrive Roger Just as I said. There is NO judgment here. Interesting that you keep insisting that there is. Again if what an artist really wants is to sell their art BUT they pursue their art like a hobby? They will be continuously conflicted and disappointed. What I am offering serves for artists who do want to sell their art. If you do not want to sell your art then what I am about is just not for you. BTW The first sentence in the definition that you reference is “a type of ‘work’ that you feel you are suited to doing.” We get paid for “work.” If you don’t get paid for “work” then you are either a slave or you are engaged in a “hobby.” Roger Google tells me, her name is Ann Rea, Sandra and she is, unsurprisingly, American. Ann your last post confirmed the fact that you simply don’t get it! There is much ‘work’ done by people for its own sake – volunteer carers, environmental activists, people who build things themselves because they can’t afford to pay for others, artists who go their own way rather than produce things for a perceived existing market; in addition those who choose to earn much less as a nurse or a teacher for example than they could doing something else. To designate such people as slaves or hobbyists is indeed insulting. What’s it worth? It is worthwhile that’s what. ArtistsWhoThrive Roger Why are you so very offended by the word hobby? Simply find another word that accurately defines your objective and respect that I have another objective. So what? Why is that so hard for you to accept? Why so bitter and enraged over a free eBook? My God! I have obviously struck a nerve with you yet all I am doing is helping artists who want to sell their art. If that is not you then move on. No need the get your nickers is such a twist. Life is too short. ArtistsWhoThrive The bottom line is this. If you are doing something primarily for your passion and your pleasure, you have a hobby. If it gave others pleasure, and you knew how to reach them, they would buy it. Roger not a hobby – end of! ArtistsWhoThrive Roger Then what is it? Should we invent a word? Roger We already have one: a vocation! A way of life. The main event! If ‘hobby’ and ‘vocation’ had the same meaning there would be no point in them both existing. But they do. To designate everyone who does not actively promote their work as a hobbyist is demeaning and, for me, incorrect. ArtistsWhoThrive Roger What meaning are you attaching to the word “hobby” and why are you so upset? Is it that you would like to have a market for your art? Roger as you seem unable to understand the point I am making it is pointless to continue with this. As for the sly dig of the last sentence, I attach an image of my painting ‘Seaside’ sold from the last Columbia Threadneedle Prize exhibition at The Mall Galleries. ArtistsWhoThrive Again. Not sure why you are so defensive except that I am challenging some of your deeply held and unexamined beliefs. You don’t have to change your mind but since you are commenting on MY page I am sharing my experience. That’s nice that you tried to win a prize but wouldn’t you rather of sold your art? Do you realize how much money artists spend on scamming art contests looking for validation? And for what? A little ribbon. How much money have you spent over the years? ArtistsWhoThrive Oh my. I just read the terms of this contest. You have to pay to enter this silly content and then offer your art for sale and then pay a 45% commission plus the tax. Plus the artist has to pay for transport. Why would you do this when you enjoy the inspiration that you created for someone and you can sell directly to collectors who can refer other customers? Over 85% of an independent artists sales come by way of referrals from their customers. If you have a representative you will NEVER get these referrals. This is an old establishment model that takes advantage of artists in need of approval because they are not clear on the value of their offering or they are artists who have learned helplessness. Roger please no more of this narrow-minded (clearly unexamined) nonsense. You are a disaster, fixated on nickels and dimes when you could be reaching for the stars! Not that it matters much but I got the painting accepted into the exhibition, I didn’t win a prize but sold the painting (as it in fact says in my comment). I am happy to sell work but I am not a business. I have now wasted too much time on this stupid disagreement and will not be posting any further comments. ArtistsWhoThrive Roger it is you that needs to examine your defensive response here. I am only providing an alternative to the scarcity and permission based art establishment. The only people who “win” these dreadful art contests are the contest organizers. How much money and time have you spent over the years submitting your authority to contest judges? How many repeat sales have from this sale? $0? There is another way. Don’t get mad. Get paid. Jonathan lolololol your response to Roger is CLASSY. way to go gaslighting them and saying Roger is the one being defensive 😉 Morenike Roger IS being defensive. Morenike I never can understand anyone, let alone artists who stoop to insulting people and calling them names just because they don’t like what they hear. Instead of just scrolling on by they get angry and lash out with insults. And for what? Morenike Ann I find it really interesting that people are so sure that “you don’t get it” ArtistsWhoThrive Morenike Thanks for chiming in Morenike, as an artist who does sell her art without feeling like a sellout you get to experience a connection with your collectors that is positive. That’s because you know who you are and what you stand for and what you stand against so the art establishment can’t lead you around by the nose. Artists who submit to the scarcity and permission based art establishment become inevitably bitter. I see it all the time, sadly. ArtistsWhoThrive Roger “demeans my life and my work.” Drama! I could say the same thing because my life’s work is to help artists take their power back. So I just find this to be an interesting exchange that serves to clarify my mission to help the artists who care enough about their “life’s work” to help themselves. Let’s back up. Shall we? This started with my offer of a FREE ebook to help artists sell their art. Take it or leave it. But rather than just moving on… you dismissed other artist’s desires to make money with their art. Not cool. So typical of the art establishment’s control over artists’ sense of self. So that is where I stepped in. Because I defend the rights of artists to get paid for the value they deliver. I clarified that you do have a respectable “hobby.” But then you took great offense at the word “hobby” and argued about the dictionary definition of the word… which you really can’t argue. But clearly that is what you have and deep down you know it. Why? “thou doth protest too much”, sir. I am not here to change you mind. Do what makes you happy. Pay to enter art contests. Deb , may I offer that had you posted your comments and arguments on your OWN page or profile, ignoring them would have indeed been a plausible response. However, you chose to speak out on a post by Ann, on Ann’s page, and so the choice to respond. ArtistsWhoThrive Deb Kennedy Thank you Deb! Roger ArtistsWhoThrive amongst your offensive comments you didn’t challenge my dictionary definition of ‘vocation’, sticking with ‘hobby’ because it suits your agenda. This describes how I view it – in it, as I am for the long haul. It takes time to develop a genuine direction. I see my work as a living thing, an organic process, as with a tree growing with branches. I grow things, things that need tending, nurturing. I don’t make a clear distinction between that which I designate art and my other activities. I work where I live and so am not bound by any sort of fixed ‘work-time’ or the necessity to meet deadlines. This way I end up somewhere different to that where I started and that is dictated by the process not the demands of a ‘market’. ArtistsWhoThrive Roger. Are you just going to ignore Deb too? WOW. Again. Do as you please. I’m only interested in helping artists who want my help. You have made it very clear that you don’t. So move on. I don’t dismiss your “strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work.” Have at it. Again. I’m just offering a free ebook on MY page where I help artists who have a strong desire to spend their lives doing a certain kind of work AND get paid for it. This is where we differ. I get that you think very highly of your work and of yourself and that is why the word “hobby” rubs you the wrong way…. or do you? Regardless my intention is clear, to help artists think enough of themselves, and their art, that they don’t get taken by “pay to play” schemes like you did, they get paid for their contributions, and can’t be manipulated by art contest organizers with false promises of “exposure.” PS you might want to read the definition you so forcefully cite. “the work in which a person is employed.” You are NOT employed as a fine artist. You don’t get a paycheck for your hobby. Don’t be ashamed of it. Own it.