Can we talk?

Can we talk?  Where are my clients this year?  Now that I am so much better and should command higher prices, I see fewer inquiries. I am currently running a sale which reduces my base price by $65.00.  This is drawing more browsers to my website, but so far no takers. The recession has changed many things. People don't see the value in original art work.  Potential clients grasp every dollar as if it is their last.  I understand this better than anyone.  (Another story for another time.) I'm less and less willing to go through my pricing and commission process. The attitude is that I can work miracles out of bad photos in last minute conditions. And that I should do it cheaper and cheaper! Where is the respect? Would you ask your plumber to work for minimum wage? Reproduction art is cheaper.  I have no problem with selling art prints, if they will sell.  The sad part is that the viewer will not have the same experience with reproduction art as they will with the original.  In the original, if you look closely, you will see tick marks, brush strokes, eraser marks, wipe downs- the back and forth of the creator's process. Though the print might catch the marks, it can't record the grit, the digs, the sweat left behind by hours of work. A good reproduction print on heavy rag paper, using light fast inks, is a beautiful thing in itself.  It is in essence the cleaned up version of the original.  But to own the original!  Now that is like owning a piece of magic. For enclosed in that border of wood, encased under the sheet of glass, is a piece of human experience perhaps even genius. So much more than a print!

Working in a gallery and frame shop I see clients who are more than happy to drop hundreds of dollars on framing, but walk right by the original art.  Even our top sellers, who show at multiple galleries are complaining about the lack of sales.  What gives?  I am itching to use my abilities, but find myself working on my own stuff.  It's fun, but I can't live off it.