On selling my work to people I’ll most likely NEVER meet

Posted on 12.10.2013

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One of my very good friends signed my high school yearbook with the note ‘follow your dreams, keep making art and sell your painting for $16,000’. While I will probably never sell a painting as that would require owning paint or paintbrushes, I have made it to the ‘selling your art’ part of the message, which I think was the main part after following dreams.

4614372501_98fe82b01d_oI think as a young person, the initial goal might have been to get my work into a museum and maybe in some magazines. But I think I realized even in art school that that might only happen to 2% of my graduating class, if we were lucky, so I actually never set my sights on selling my work past the graphic design level. I took on photo PURELY as a way to get myself out from behind the computer and also to allow myself to stop being a perfectionist at drawing… which I still can’t reach realistic perfection in.

It’s funny to think that the 16-year old version of myself would be REALLY effing impressed by now, if she had got to see what would happen with all of those goals she kind of set back then. I’ve got a list that’s quite long of all of the people who own my art, and I didn’t have to gift it to most of them (even though some DID get gifts). More recently, the Mamiya paid for itself when I sold one of the images I took with it for more than I spent on the camera. This isn’t ‘making it big’ by any means, but it’s certainly more than I ever expected, so there’s that. Really, that Etsy shop has already done so much for exposure. I can’t complain.

My most recent conversation about my work has been with a client in another country who has no personal connection to me, discussing the exact size and print techniques available to her. I’ll never get to meet her or see the prints on her wall, but it’s still a fun conversation to be having while sitting in a different country with nothing to do and nowhere to go. And even if it’s not the walls of the BMA, I count selling my work to total strangers in other countries as a success. I’m sorry to not be able to meet some of my clients, but thankful that they’ve managed to see my work and like it enough to want it on their walls. That’s amazing. Thanks, internet!

Now if this could happen every month, I’d be very pleased. But I won’t push it, because as far as I’m concerned this is already winning. If this didn’t count as ‘accomplished’ until I had something in a respected museum, I’d never be done.  At this point I’m already going to far outlive my death date just with the sheer amount of my work sitting in people’s homes around the world on archival paper. Let’s not even discuss how many drawings and paintings of me in my 20’s exist… And isn’t a long life all any of us really wants?

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Posted in: art, life, my work