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James McCormack

7 Months Ago

Fine Art And Mass Appeal

Fine Art and Mass Appeal - we have to sell to live, but are Fine Art and Mass Appeal opposed or on a sliding scale? Is "commercial" selling out?

We still see famous artworks reproduced, parodied, and --- popular.

https://blog.lofty.com/top-10/mass-appeal-top-10-most-parodied-artworks-in-art-history/

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David King

7 Months Ago

You are only a "sell out" if you are not being true to yourself. I personally have no problem with creating art with the purpose of selling in mind either though, I really don't like the term "Sell out", as if making something of value to participate in the market place is somehow a negative thing.

 

Drew

7 Months Ago

Making a living is not selling out. Starving for the sake of an ldeal is just plain stupid.

 

James McCormack

7 Months Ago

A lot of people see them in opposition, personally I don't. My sales have been on SM - you can't get more mass market than that. However it is my own original work, not "doing flowers because flowers are in vogue this month". Reproduction quality has come down in price and up in quality, so mass produced is no longer always synonymous with bad quality.

[edit replying to David K]

 

David Bridburg

7 Months Ago

James,

Is the question do we listen to the crowd? Or does the crowd listen to us?

Is the crowd fellow artists? If so count me out. I will always do my own thing.

Dave

 

James McCormack

7 Months Ago

"Is the question do we listen to the crowd? Or does the crowd listen to us? "

well put David,

I have no intention of starving Drew, gotta sell, gotta live, are there any lines to be drawn?

 

Jeffery Johnson

7 Months Ago

One advantage to a POD site is one should never completely sell out.

Jeffery Johnson | Photo Captures by Jeffery
http://www.PhotoCapturesbyJeffery.com

 

Phyllis Beiser

7 Months Ago

What Drew said!

 

Jim Hughes

7 Months Ago

I've always thought it was a bogus distinction. Some things are enormously popular because, well, they're just that great.

Is Beethoven's 9th a "commercial success" or is it a masterpiece that lights up the heart of everyone who hears it, even people who know nothing about music in a formal sense?

Beethoven wanted common people to love his music. He wanted commercial success as much as anyone. He got some, and he deserved even more.

 

Edward Fielding

7 Months Ago

The idea of the sell out is in the mind of the jealous critic.

 

Ronald Walker

7 Months Ago

I don't see a connection , art and money or artistic concepts are not related.

 

Ronald Walker

7 Months Ago

I think there are times where great art might translate into financial gain but certainly not always. As I said they are not the same thing. Think of the saleability of romance novels and comic books. Perhaps not great writing but sale well anyways. Human expression is not always about the almighty dollar, novel concept!

 

Dora Hathazi Mendes

7 Months Ago

I graduated at a University of Applied Art as Textile Designer, (MOME Budapest) so not from the Fine Art University... Before I went to a secondary school, which was also an Art School ( I was specialised there in leather works ) before then, as a kid I was attending local art courses in our little town, and instead of just focusing on learning drawing and painting , I was more interested to see what the adults did there in the other room, and I asked them to teach me also.
It was about to make enamel jewellery. So I asked my mom to give me some money to buy the copper base for earrings, and for using their equipment, and I made several of them, as I knew at summer time German tourists will visit the town for the annual Music Festival, so I made my good profit from it..
I was around 12 years old then lol :D

In the University I was not satisfied to just create nice textile stuff, but I wanted to sell them, so I combined the task, and made usable things (hand woven curtains with painted bamboo sticks which was a wow thing that time, the IKEA just arrived with their plain bamboo curtains, so I gave my touch to it) and I sold them so my teachers got jealous. But I made money, so I asked again my mom, to invest in me a bit, I bought my own second hand loom from Finland, I paid back the price of the loom, and I was able to make good money from it...

I like to paint and draw from my childhood, so I went to art direction from the beginning, but I never wanted to make something which will shake the world, but nice things for me, and for others, which are possible to sell.

I am soooo happy to find FAA, a pity I havent found it before, like 10 years ago. I think it was made for me, it is just great!

As soon as I like what I do, and I can sell it, for me is fine. And as I have a paper about it, I am officially an Artist,so I think I can do what I feel like :D lol ...

Dora Hathazi Mendes
Cats of Karavella Atelier



 

Shelli Fitzpatrick

7 Months Ago

I was just thinking if I ever "sell out", I will just make some more...

I think of myself as a gifted artist because God made me an artist and I don't have formal training. I am not so sure I was ever "in" in the first place. So I guess I can't really be considered a sell out since most formally trained artists probably wouldn't consider me one of them anyway.

I go by the technical definition of professional artist and since I have sold some of my art I consider myself a professional, not an amateur anymore. Doesn't mean I am a good artist, just that I have sold some art. But selling isn't my only motivation so I don't consider myself a commercial artist either. I am just happy to be able to make money doing what I love to do!

Edit to add: most famous artists didn't have mass appeal in their own lifetimes did they? Very few anyway, I would think.

 

Dora Hathazi Mendes

7 Months Ago

Shelli to have a paper about it is not always good... I had a long dry period of my life (travelling, having kids) I didn't do anything art related. So they asked me, what is your profession, hmmm well I am an artist. oh wow, and what do you paint? hmmm nothing right now.. lol .. it was awkward, made the suggestion, like if you have paper about it, you should be good, so I felt kind of like I failed or something.
Since i restarted I feel better, and to find Faa or the other site we are in, just made me feel even better, because with sales I can be appreciated by someone that what I did was already liked by them so much that they wanted something with it, and bought it.. And they want more...
The system is great, and that we have net to get feedback from all over the world..
Made it more simple.

 

Val Arie

7 Months Ago

Why is it that that in most other professions the term "sell out" is seldom used in the same way?

 

RD Erickson

7 Months Ago

Part of the problem is the snobbery in the scale of art - the difference between "Fine Art" and "mass appeal". What is "fine art"? Describe how it is different from art that has mass appeal. Are you talking about "aesthetically ugly' art is fine art. And, as an artist that is trying to create art to sell, earn money, wouldn't you rather sell a lot of "good" mass appeal art than "fine art" that is only good for museums and people that collect "aesthetically ugly" art? Where do you class non-representational abstract art? It doesn't really have mass appeal - although you can now find it decorating many homes - and is to some degree aesthetically appealing. Flowers are aesthetically pleasing - but they don't really have mass appeal with the buying public.

I would love to "sell out" all my photo images, the few paintings that I have and my mostly non-representational abstracts - oh yes I would.

 

Kevin OCONNELL

7 Months Ago

I think you missed step one, learning your profession and doing it well.

Once you are good at your profession, I think you might be selling yourself out, not others, if you don't do something as you maybe should.

 

Drew

7 Months Ago

James asked are there any lines not to cross?
While a person who is not starving as compared to a starving artist, it is easy to pick and choose.
But for Me, I do not render pornography nor do I attempt to depict The Omnipresent Creator.

 

Ronald Walker

7 Months Ago

I think as long as the artist is true to their vision and direction there is no problem. When an artist stagnates their development for the sole purpose of cash, that is selling out. Side note, many artist have "pot boilers" that they produce but I can see no real problem with that as long as it does not derail their primary focus.

 

Drew

7 Months Ago

I disagree Ron! A commercial artist may stagnated simply because they are too darn exhausted to further their craft after putting in the hours it takes to make a living. I think the concept of selling out is a rather judgemental perspective that lacks an empathetic approach to understating.

 

Roger Swezey

7 Months Ago

Dave, James,

RE:... "Is the question do we listen to the crowd? Or does the crowd listen to us? "


If I "listen to the crowd" I would be just another one lost in that crowd

So

I've always strived to have the crowd listen to ME!!....... At least a significant bunch

 

Kathy Anselmo

7 Months Ago

That's when you know you have made it as an artist, when your artwork is parodied.

For me personally, the difference between fine art and commercial art is the motivation of the artist (and it's not money)... if in their heart of hearts they perceive what they are creating as fine art, then its art and if it happens to be highly commercial looking, good for them!

 

Drew

7 Months Ago

Kathy while I'm somewhat in agreement, financial stability by happenstance is not assuring.

 

Dora Hathazi Mendes

7 Months Ago

One of the reason I prefer FAA vs Pixels, because whatever you upload here, you can say, it is "Featured at Fine Art America" ... sound much more sophisticated than Pixels...

The other thing I think every art has "fine art" potentials, more important is the garnish and the theory around it.. Every of us saw questionable art (in our own terms) exhibited in top places, or sold for trillions.. So why them? They were in the good time, good place, with good connections :)

I think there is no big line, but there is luck and things like that :)

 

Ronald Walker

7 Months Ago

The same stagnation happens with art educators Drew. The fact that one has to make a living has its consequences. That does not change the concept of trying to avoid such pitfalls.

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David King

7 Months Ago

"You have to love what you're doing to plug away at this for years before the earnings start adding up to something."

I enjoy making images, but I don't enjoy the business. I'm not seeing any evidence this "business" is ever going to amount to anything for me, so I keep thinking my time would be better spent elsewhere.

 

Ronald Walker

7 Months Ago

I love art, it is my passion and I have been seriously Painting for many years. I have had many successes and failures over the years. I suspect that will be my future story as well. I think my story is more typical than unusual. This is a tough buisness, if that is how you view it, I think if you don't have drive and passion you most likely won't last long. If money is your only goal, "get a job hippy!".

 

Arturo Lopez

7 Months Ago

Create art for art's sake or spin your wheels and waste the most precious thing you have chasing pipe dreams.

 

Cynthia Decker

7 Months Ago


"The ones who do well have both the passion for the art and enjoy the business part."


Bingo.

 

Terry Tuley

7 Months Ago

The frustration of every artist is knowing what sells at any given time? Most people in my area of the south want something for nothing. You have the stores like Hobby Lobby and others who sell mass produced art. I have looked at some of this stuff and I am amazed at the low quality and work of some of this art. But it sells. Everyone wants something cheap and that is the dilemma of the artist. We labor for weeks over our work and put our heart and soul into it, and people will buy it for 20 bucks! I think the public has been conditioned by these stores. They see one of our paintings or photographs and the wheels start turning and they know they can go down to the local thrift store and get it for nothing! There seems to be a great lack of appreciation for a true artist these days. And, the public schools do not help. There is not much appreciation being taught over the great works of art as in yesteryear.
I guess all of this is a sign of the times. Its difficult finding that narrow pocket of buyers who really appreciate the artist as well as his work.

 

Kevin OCONNELL

7 Months Ago

No Toby, Peter Lik does it for the money, as that is what he states. That is why I brought the fact up. What I think or you think about how good he is, is irrelevant. No matter what you do for a living, you should strive to be your best.

 

Arturo Lopez

7 Months Ago

"Doing well", please define that in a non-subjective way if you can.

 

Ronald Walker

7 Months Ago

Arturo, I had the same question.

 

Cynthia Decker

7 Months Ago

Arturo, it's pretty subjective - each person has to define what they want to get out of creating art, but since we're all here at FAA it's safe to assume we also all want to sell.

In the context of this thread, I take "doing well" to mean earning enough to meet financial expectations while still creating art out of a love for doing it. That's my personal definition, and one I have achieved since deciding to sell my work. 2017 was a fantastic year for me, and I believe that success —in both sales and making new work—comes from balancing the love of creating with the ability to deftly handle the business and promotional side of things.

 

Arturo Lopez

7 Months Ago

When you assume...............well, you know the saying. I don't think to many of the historical art masters were concerned with the business end of art when they were in the process of creating.

 

Cynthia Decker

7 Months Ago

Perhaps, but they're dead. Their problems are over.
Besides, I would argue that of course they were concerned. Many of the great masters had patrons/galleries/customers with very specific expectations.

Here we are, alive and discussing the balance between making art we love and making art other people also will love. We're artists. We're trying to sell artwork, no? If you're not trying to sell, why would you be here on a POD site? Wanting to sell changes how you create art, whether you acknowledge it or not. Your audience becomes more important to you when you truly want to reach them and not just please yourself. The question is, can a person do both? I say yes, if you can manage the balance.

 

Arturo Lopez

7 Months Ago

The question is, can a person do both?

Perhaps, but it's a lot more liberating creating art for the love of art and you will most likely not experience that to it's fullest if your focus is bifurcated.

 

Cynthia Decker

7 Months Ago

When I create, I am lost in it. I love it and I always make images because it's what I love. It's not like I'm calculating business moves at the same time I'm engaged creatively. I never know what other people will resonate with. Sometimes I finish something and think it will sell and it never does. Sometimes I finish something I think nobody would understand except for me, and I sell 20 prints of it in a month.

An artist can experience the freedom and passion of creating with integrity AND still know how to work social media and be charming at art gallery openings. The two are not mutually exclusive.

 

Arturo Lopez

7 Months Ago

But you just said "Wanting to sell changes how you create art, whether you acknowledge it or not".

I think the ideal is when I don't have to change anything and I can still choose to sell my art. That answers the question of not selling out, it also simplifies life.

 

David Bridburg

7 Months Ago

Art comes from craft. Things made for sale. Modern art is onto itself. When many tens of thousands of artists make art onto itself and do not find ways to rework art theory........the system fails for thousands of artists. This has nothing to do with selling out.

If everyone in this business needs to build a better mouse trap only a few will in truth. Craft is for sale.

Dave

 

Cynthia Decker

7 Months Ago

It does change how you create. It broadens it for me. It's not like I HAD to change, it just happened and I'm a mindful person so I noticed it. That's not necessarily a negative. It can be growth, or refinement of style, or focus in direction.

For me, I started not only thinking about what I wanted to say, but also about how my work was perceived. It didn't change my original message, but I added a new kind of awareness about how someone might hear that message. Because intention is nice, but perception is where it's at.

 

Ronald Walker

7 Months Ago

Communication is the name of the game for me. Selling or the market does not effect my work, perhaps that is why I don't sell a great deal. My goal is to basicly express my lot in life. Since I am one amongst millions I imagine My experiences have similarities with others, but I'm sure there are also differences. Creativity is a basic human condition and people create with or without a financial angle.

 

Marlene Burns

7 Months Ago

::::waving Hello to Mario::::::

 

Arturo Lopez

7 Months Ago

"Creativity is a basic human condition and people create with or without a financial angle."

yes, agreed Ronald.

Further I'll state that baking your favorite cookies at home or making your favorite meal and serving it to the masses are two different things, the recipe will likely have to be changed if you want to feed the masses,often the quality will suffer.

 

Cynthia Decker

7 Months Ago

Oh, Arturo is Mario?

 

Drew

7 Months Ago

A little slow on the upload are we?

 

Cynthia Decker

7 Months Ago

Ha! Apparently. Don’t visit the forum for a day or two and you miss a lot!

 

Shelli Fitzpatrick

7 Months Ago

Who's Mario?


 

Drew

7 Months Ago

Just playing around Cynthia! No offence intended.

When I see a new avatar and a new member who gets on the forum and comments as if they have have been here for years, especially if there is the same dynamics going on that happens between known members. In makes me say, "hmmmmmmm"!
LOL!

Speaking of Mario and uploads, he has some pretty darn good photos of sculptures he has done of late.

 

David Bridburg

7 Months Ago

Shelli,

I think no one wants to discuss the curse of Mario.

Something of a troll.

Dave

 

Shelli Fitzpatrick

7 Months Ago

Thank you Dave.

That is what I thought, they do change bridges often don't they?

 

Ronald Walker

7 Months Ago

Mario, if that is Mario, is many things. Like most of us he is a complex creature. Troll? Not by my viewpoint, he is a creative free thinker. Not sure how long of a vacation he is on but look forward to his return.

 

This discussion is closed.

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