As an artist, I compartmentalize my work to some degree. I want to make paintings that are passionate and alive, but when I promote my work, it benefits me to manage the business side of art, well, like a businessperson.
In other words, when I paint, I am a free spirit, a creative soul, but when I sign my name in that corner, I have taken possession of a product that I need to be a little coldblooded about selling. Ideally, I want to be able to captivate a potential buyer by sharing the emotions I’ve invested in the art they are considering. Then I need to be able to keep that smile when they criticize the price or reject the piece of my soul that I’ve framed for the world to see.
There’s a real contrast in the life of most artists. We work alone until it’s time to unveil our creations, and it can be very hard to deal with the harshness of rejection and criticism when we step out of the studio into the gallery.
Not all artists chose to make art their business, and I have debated myself over whether I should be trying so hard to make money from my art. I find the process of painting very satisfying, but in exhibiting a painting, the cycle is completed and I don’t feel quite fulfilled without being able to share my art. In choosing to market my art, I have also chosen the pain of rejection and criticism, and I must choose to deal with it in a professional manner.
Sometimes it feels like blind faith to believe in your work when you are meeting with rejection (or even just apathy) along the way. But if you leave your inner businessman outside the studio door and are painting from your heart while challenging your skills, your faith is justified because your product is the real thing.