Over the past few weeks, while trying to find some direction for my art career, I’ve been pondering this question: Do buyers care how my art is created?
To answer this question I should probably first identify “who” these buyers are, and more importantly, what they’re buying the art for.
In my case, I’m assuming they are people who purchase the art for personal use (i.e., for their own home, or as a gift for someone else’s home), or perhaps business owners who wish to display the artwork in their place of business.
Obviously these aren’t the only people to consider when selling art. . . there are also gallery owners, art licensing dealers, manufacturers etc., etc. But essentially it ALL comes back to the final resting place of the artwork—which in my opinion must fall into one of the two groups above.
So if there is a “final destination” or “group of people” the artwork is essentially created for, do these people actually care how that piece of artwork was created? Or is it really always about its final resting place?
You see, I believe that most people buy art not for the canvas and paint (or whatever medium it was created with) but because of the feeling or emotional response that they receive from the artwork. They like the subject, the colours, the style, and the memories those things bring up.
Now, why am I pondering all this?
Well as an artist trying to build my art and illustration business, I’ve primarily been marketing myself as an “Australian Coloured Pencil Artist,” however, that is not the only artwork I do.
In Australia where coloured pencil isn’t as widely known, it’s been my way of distinguishing myself—however, I’m finding a fatal flaw in my marketing plan: coloured pencils are a MEDIUM. . . and customers are looking for something else.
For instance, do buyers actually care that it takes 60 hours to produce a large coloured pencil artwork? Artists often appreciate the process, but buyers? Do they care enough about this fact to make them want to buy it?
Judging by the number of artworks filling my studio, I think not.
So where do I go from here? If I can achieve a similar effect using a different medium in half the time, should I? Does it comprise my integrity, or my “brand” which has taken me so long to build?
Why do I create coloured pencil art? Sure I enjoy the process, and I love working with pencils, but if my art doesn’t reach its “final destination” and simply sits in my studio then why I have created it?
My true goal as an artist is to create works that go out into the world. My art is my voice, and I want it to be heard. So maybe coloured pencil isn’t the best way to achieve that goal.
I’m sure that some may disagree with my thoughts, and I wouldn’t suggest that I have the only answer. . . for myself, though I’m going to find a way to get my art into the buyers’ hands, even if it means changing my entire marketing message.
Think about your own art. What is your marketing message? What is your brand?