You don't have to give up your creative vision to have an art business. In fact, the opposite is true. When you create art that has value for you, your viewers and the marketplace, you create core value for your art business.
When you create art that has value for you - that satisfies your deepest creative impulses and draws on your unique talents - you are more likely to produce art that creates an emotional connection for others.
"When I was younger, success meant fame and fortune. As I matured, success became a vision to create art that was meaningful. Not art for art's sake, but art for humanity's sake. Success to me now is when someone looks into my eyes and tells me that they are sincerely touched and inspired by my work - that my work moved them. The sale of a work of art is not the end result, but rather meeting souls, human element, touching spirits, touching lives. Success now means inspiring someone." Toni Scott. Painter, Photographer and Sculptor
When you exhibit your art, and engage in conversations, you find out if what has value for you also has value for viewers. Is it the style, the subject matter, the color palette? Does it remind them of someone or some place? Does it make them feel happy, sad or reflective? What about these elements, or others, make them want to look longer or even buy the work?
"I've developed a deeper faith due to learning a symbolic language, which gives expression to things beyond words. Art helps me embrace mystery. ... I want to be remembered for creating art that is exceptional in quality (beauty, design, craftsmanship), timeless in meaning, emotionally connecting, and spiritually transcendent." Karen Schmidt, Sculptor
When your creative vision intersects with an audience who wants to buy at the price you ask, your work has value in the marketplace. You can offer a range of substrates, sizes, complexity and finished presentation. If you have or want an exclusive market, you restrict the choices. To build a wider audience, you expand the choices. You can even combine form with function and create art that is useful to the buyer and kind to the environment, while beautifying it.
"My sculptural work is a way of demonstrating in concrete physical terms that the world and the items in it are not as obvious, limited or easily identified as they appear at first glance. It allows me to engage my audience to be more creative in their own daily lives and to think more creatively about the world around them." John T. Unger, Sculptural Firebowls
The bottom line:
Value in your art
+ value for the viewer
+ value in the marketplace
= the core of a successful art business
Only you make your unique creative vision, skills and talents count first every day.
P.S. If you want a better return on all the time, money and energy you invest in your art business, join me and a group of committed artists to learn new "tricks" to marketing your art in the new teleclass series "9 Marketing Strategies to Get Exposure for Your Art." Classes start January 31st, 2013.
If you can't make every class, don't worry - there will be a PDF outline and recording for each session.