I’m intrigued by the divide between those who make art for it’s own sake and those who need to make some money out of their art… I find monetising my own art quite difficult. Would love to hear other artist’s POV on this.
We posted this question on our Instagram on 16th April 2021, here are the answers offered by our followers:
- When you find the answer, let me know. 🙌 😂
- It’s a mixture of both for me. Getting back into drawing & painting has helped my mental health. But, whether other people like it, or are willing to buy it is another matter. 😣
I think if you can make money with your art or from an element of your artist practice then that can allow you to dedicate time to your work, there shouldn’t be shame in wanting to make a living.
- I started by making art for arts sake, then started to sell it, now i sometimes feel pressure to make art to sell rather than make it for makings sake. Currently in a making it for making sakes period. 😂
- I do both, I make art for its own sake but also with the intention of selling it (girl gotta eat!) or transforming it into another saleable product. Making prints, cards other printed products (and dare I say the word ‘marketing?’) is an art form in itself. I went through a phase where I tried to do more ‘commercial friendly’ art – but it didn’t work on the sales side! It wasn’t true to me. So I went back to creating art for arts sake or what was a truer reflection of me and people connect to that (then they buy it…) We speak so lyrically and romantically about art and what it is, sometimes I think that adds a barrier between artists and non-artists which shouldn’t exist (how many people say to you ‘I don’t get art’) But It’s just a skilled career like anything else. Personally I want to create & I want to sell. I feel confident doing it! Monetising can be difficult, you almost have to look at it with a different brain. Take the emotion out of it (there are 2 pieces of mine that I’ll never sell because they mean a lot to me). Personally I sometimes struggle with commissions (people will often ask for pet portraits and that’s not what I do so I don’t take them on – but there is money to be made there!). Adding a price tag doesn’t take away from the integrity of the work though. I want this to be my full time career (I still have a part time job for stable income taking risks has never been my strong suit!) Not sure how helpful this comment is, I went on a bit. It’s like a dissertation topic, this question, haha. There’s no right way to be an artist just do what you want.
- It depends. I’d struggle to just make art for the ‘selling’ market, my practice & what drives me to create isn’t monetary. But we’ve all got to make a living & I use my creativity in other ways to pay the bills. I think it’s about finding the right balance that works for you.
- I am always apprehensive about spending the money to have a reproduced item available for cheeper easier sales. (Prints, stickers, booklets). It’s a spend money to make money thing but I am paranoid of option of spending money and selling nothing. I guess I am worried about trusting my audience to support me.
- Both carry very different meaning for me and both feel really important to me. Paid work gives me confidence and a sense of success, but i don’t often sell the work I love (at times I have hated making this work for production and design companies). Then, the work I make for the sake of it is the my most authentic and important. I would even feel uncomfortable selling this work because it is sentimental and feels a part of me 🧠🫁🫀