So, what do we do now? Just sit twiddling our creative fingers? Or do we get on and do ‘something’ while we’re waiting for the affluent people to feel affluent again? Okay, enough already! Everybody has now heard that we’re in recession and the media seem to bang on about it at every possible opportunity.
Worse still for artists and other creative types is that our decorative wares are now definitely right at the bottom of the shopping list for those middle to high income earners who like to purchase what we make.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that our beloved Galleries are having a hard time too right now (all except for those that are dealing in real ‘investment art’ by very famous and possibly dead artists).
Here’s a few ideas that you might like to think about…
Prepare for the UPSWING
The tidal surge of art buying is cyclical. When people feel cashed up they like to splurge. When their shares aren’t doing quite so well they panic a bit and become tightwads. At the moment many artists will be experiencing a new excuse for clients not buying their art…”Oh I absolutely LURRVE it, BUUUUTTT, with the recession and everything I just cant afford it”. So what’s an artist to do? Well you could prepare for the upswing in the market at some point in the future, so when all of a sudden mr $$cash$$ comes out to play again, you are ready with your fine wares to capitalise on your clients perceived new bank account happiness.
Believe it or not the people who are going to have lots of money in two, three, four or five years time (and potentially the buyers for your art) are busy going round buying up assets like houses, businesses and shares right now while they are dirt cheap (as opposed to buying your stunningly beautiful but nevertheless non-essential art). When the market rebounds these ‘new rich’ will need trinkets and fripperies to display how fabulously wealthy they are. This is where you come in.
So, use this ‘quiet time’ to stock up on your artwork. Spend your time making lots of paintings, say… two or three exhibitions worth(!!). Book actual ‘selling’ exhibitions for these works well into the future. Of course you may have to find another way to make a crust in the meantime while things are quiet (uggh!), but as you create all these fabulous new works you can continue to build your profile in readiness for the new glorious day of cash-loaded clients by…
Exhibiting in Public Galleries
It’s great to have an exhibition without the pressure to sell anything, just for the sheer pleasure of executing an idea, a theme or a concept without all that nasty money related stuff. Many places in the world have galleries that are funded by the local, state or federal governments, and to have an exhibition in one is considered quite a feather in the cap of any artist who enters their hallowed halls. It gives the outward impression that serious art people (sans the money bias) do take you seriously. So why not get started by putting together an exhibition proposal for your local public gallery?
Better still, apply for funding from government agencies who are specifically there to develop our cultural landscape.
Even better, if you’ve got a strong concept it might be worth touring the exhibition through many public galleries. This will give your artworks plenty of exposure ready for future clients to buy when these artworks finally make it to the commercial (ie selling) galleries. Just think how good this will look on your artists statement! and while you are at it…