Friday, July 11, 2008

Many Artists Giving Up in Face of Economy

In my meanderings about the Internet, as well as in conversations with other artists, I noticed something going on recently.

Artists are giving up. I can't believe they are just 'rainy day artists.' I'm sure they don't want to be rainy day artists, they just think they are being forced to quit...the old psychological recordings replay, telling them that they aren't good enough or that they need to "get serious" and give up on this "silly art thing."

The negative recording seems so sensible. There are a lot of "reasons" that it seems right to quit.
Here's one of them: "The economy is down so nobody's gonna buy this stuff anyway."
This is best said in an Eeyore voice, by the way.

I just don't agree, Eeyore.

I think there is a market for everything at a certain time or place. Rather than give up, think about changes or modifications you can do that will make your art more interesting.

I personally get in an art rut often. That's when I bring out (or buy) an art supply that I've never used before. It brings back that spark for art.

I've also heard an artist refer to her art as "not serious business" and she can't depend on it, so she's going into an MLM plan type thing. I want to know why art isn't "serious." Even if the art is childlike and fun in nature, it can still be "serious" business! It just needs to perhaps be re-marketed to a different target customer, or tweaked in some way to get it moving. If you don't think of your art as a serious business, why should anyone else respect it?

I get discouraged too - a lot. More than I would like to admit. I have bad days like anyone else.
I've wanted to just quit several times when it's gotten so hard to try to do art and raise 4 kids. But I know I couldn't live with myself if I quit. I just like my art and what I have built up so much. I'm not a quitter.

Is the economy down? Yes.
Is gas expensive? Yes.
Are these hurdles that we can overcome? Definitely, yes!

Consider alternate solutions to the problem before just giving up:

If the money coming in is less than before, what I can I do to reduce the out-flow of money?
Examples: start using coupons, don't browse on Ebay and get tempted, grocery shop less to reduce temptation, don't order pizza as often, etc.

Rather than lowering your prices, perhaps you should consider raising your prices first.

Work on the presentation of your art on your site or your blog. Don't have a site? A down time in business is a good time to do the things you wouldn't have time for otherwise.
Take your downtime and use it to your advantage. Think like a CEO. Think of this 'down time' as a blessing. What wonderful things you can do with the downtime!

  • compile your customer database
  • move customer database to a new system
  • organize your art supplies, clean the studio
  • back up all your images onto CD-Rom
  • Back up your website, do a direct mailing campaign
  • figure out how Google Adwords works
  • figure out and add alternate payment solutions like Google Checkout to your site
  • compare mailing fees and options at FedEx, UPS, USPS
  • shop around to see who has the lowest prices for the supplies you regularly use
  • Add Your Ideas Here
There are speed bumps in the road of life. Don't stop driving forward!

1 comment:

Designing Hilary said...

I discovered your blog through Scoutle ... and this post hit a nerve! I'm in the category of not giving up my *art* but I also need to help pay some bills. If people aren't buying, bills aren't getting paid.

But you're definitely spot on in a lot of your suggestions! The "think like a CEO" ... I'm all over that one. It's why I'm on Scoutle in the first place!

I look forward to reading more!


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