To sell or not to sell.

I’m basically a self-taught artist.  Granted, in architecture school I did learn to draw, but not formally as part of a class.  I have learned from watching others, reading books and lately through the internet.  Until now, I hadn’t ever considered myself an artist.  Because I like to draw/paint/sketch what I see and not something from the imagination I had thought what I did wasn’t art.  A few weeks ago a youngster with a formal art degree convinced me that what I do is exactly art; I paint my interpretation of what I see… how I see my surroundings.  So yes, I’m calling myself now an artist.  I’ve accepted it.  And now what?

I have always done this just for fun, just as a hobby.  For quite some time various friends have told me to sell my sketches, but I never even considered it.  But I figured that artists also eat, right?  So decided to sell my art, a couple of weeks ago I went to my first artist event, La Campechada, held at Old San Juan.  The first day I didn’t sell a thing.  True, I was focused on painting and not selling, but by-passers didn’t even stop.  The second day I sold a few, but I didn’t even break-even.

I then opened an online store at Etsy (link), and have got lots of visitors, and a few faves.  I don’t actually like to sell reproductions, so I have been selling my original sketches.  I thought that if I managed to keep the price low that I would sell them quickly.  Wrong!  No sales… even when I’m selling my original pieces at what other artists are pricing their reproductions.  I figured that it’s too early to tell, but I just read an article that opened my eyes.  It says that if the price is too low, buyers could think that there is something wrong with my pieces that I’m not saying.  It also says that a low price is the equivalent of cheap, which could work against me, opposed to what the logic would tell us.  I read that if you are getting the views but not the sales that the pieces may be priced too low.  So, it’s apparent that the price ain’t right!

Well, I’m a man of my word, so I’m not gonna increase the price tags of the items I’ve already put online.  But I’ll definitely increase them for the ones else I put on the store from now on.  I still want to make it affordable, but if pricing it low means I don’t appreciate the pieces myself, it’s not gonna happen.  Let’s see how it goes.

Also I’ll be doing pieces larger than 9″x6″.  I just got in the store my latest “cavinela”, the term I made up for my paintings with coffee (café) and wine (vino) in a watercolor (acuarela) fashion.  Here it is:

"Boulevard des Lices", Coffee and Red Wine on 12"x 9" watercolor paper.

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One response to “To sell or not to sell.

  • quirkyartist

    I read this a couple of days ago and I’m still astonished that you haven’t till now considered yourself an artist. STILL thinking about it. Earlier in the year when I did a handout for my sketching students, yours was one of the art blogs I recommended they look at. As well as that, I like the way you think about your work. Particularly the ‘coffee machine’ post – about the difference between loose and – too loose. (Need a search button in the sidebar so I can easily find it again).
    Anyway, I’ve thought of you as an artist all along.

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