Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Deciding Factor

Everyday we make a bazillion decisions in our life. I made one when I sat down to write this blog post. When you go to the grocery store you have to make lots of decisions. You don't fill up six carts with everything in the store that appealed to least I don't think you do. You decide what is on the menu for the week and what things are the best items for your nutritional needs. You make a decision or two.

And so it is with your art. In my workshops artists are always saying that they go in so many different directions that they find a signature style does not develop easily and this frustrates them in their marketing. And I understand the tendency. You have so many ideas that excite you, so you want to act on all of them. And you can....BUT at some point you must decide on what is the main genre, look, style, theme etc. that you want to really work on and develop into a series of work. The work that you will market to shops and galleries. The work that will define who you are for that season in time. The other ideas you can play with in your off time and perhaps from them will come next years series of work. But you must decide. Bummer huh? Gotta narrow it down. My dad, the Marvelous Mississipian, always says "You can't chase two rabbits and catch either one."

I like to do many creative things. I have a notebook full of ideas that's so big I carry it around in a wheelbarrow. (Not really, but you get my over-the-top point.) Many of them are in different mediums from what I do daily and they excite me soooo much that when I see them I have been known to exclaim aloud. "Oh man...I really wanna paint!" But here's the deal. I have DECIDED that at this moment in time I am going to focus on mixed media collage, so that I have a cohesive artistic portfolio with which to flaunt my creative prowess to shops and galleries. A gallery owner does not want to see a portfolio of every idea you've ever had. That will not impress them. Amuse them, maybe...but they will not give you a show. They want to see a series of work that will make you recognizable to their patrons. When I took the first fabric collage that actually satisfied me to a gallery in Santa Fe, the owner said..."Make me 5 more so I know you can repeat yourself." She didn't want 5 of the exact same thing, nor did she say make me 5 more of just anything you can think of...she wanted 5 more in a series that would have impact. She wanted to know this piece of art with a cowgirl and a quote was not a fluke. By replicating "my look" I assured her I was not.

I hope you decide to comment.
Maybe you'll even decide to join us at Marketing Mindset. Either way...there's a decision to be made here. xxoo


icandy... said...

These are just fantastic!!!

Nancy said...

I, too, have that notebook of "want to do's" ... and find myself doing a little of this, a little of that. *sigh* I applaud your focus - and I LOVE these pieces!

Evidence of an Artistic Life said...

I so need to focus! Do I want to make books, mixed media, fabric, eraser carvings?? I am going to applaud you and use you are my new year's resolution inspiration! I love your work-it speaks to me and it is your heart and soul. If the mixed media collage is where you need to be-go for it! You have so much talent-your focus will be our windfall!

Nonnafairy said...

I've found a kindred spirit. Godspeed with everything you touch. From your Prairie Fairy in Fort Worth, TX

Angie Platten said...

Beautiful stuff... and love the window frames! Hey, where in MS is your dad from? All my family is from there!

Dorthe said...

Hi dear KC

You are certainly speaking the truth, --it is absolutely nessesarily to be able to continue working with,-and developing this special thing one is getting known for, and feeling passionate working with.
Splitting one self up,doing all in the world interesting stuff, dosn`t work.

Like with me here, --it is my dolls, that count, and them almost everyone comes to see and buy.
I would love to have more time to spend working with f.eks. what I learned in your wonderfull workshop KC , but as you know, I used my time making dolls ,to sell for christmas, because thats what people wants to see .
In my mind I`m longing to do my Alter, and I still have lots of things collected for that, that will be a wonderfull relaxed thing to work with for me in coming new year`s first months.
I have so many things I so want to do, --they have to come in between, and in spare time, as you say.

And wow ,what you showed her is faboulous.
Love and hugs to you , I`m looking forward being an active member of your workshops again dear.

Kathleen Sigg said...

This has been my BIGGEST stumbling block! I have so many interests how do I focus on just one? I've decided to incorporate all that I know and love but channel it into textile arts. This is my focus for 2010. We'll see how this goes.

Ramona Daniel Gault said...

You hit the nail head-on, honey! "Scattered" should be my middle name. I'm thinking hard about your advice, how to channel my energy. Not easy though. How did you decide on your signature look?

Anonymous said...

Hi KC ,
Wow i love your pieces they are amazing .
Would look great hanging on my walls
I know exactly where your coming from , i have loads of ideas rattling around in my head , but just need to take time out to do something .
Love to you
Lorraine xxxx

Kim said...

Good advice I think. As an artist still defining her style, there's much food for thought here, but it makes good sense. Like you I get so excited by ideas and have a creative notebook stuffed with them that goes everywhere with me, but honing it down is the challenge!

Charlene said...

You hit the nail on my Gemini head! I can not or should say have not found the one thing that is MY THING. I would love to figure it out & be in that workshop with you. I would so love to be able to make some money to feed my art "habit". Thanks for being there to lead the way. Charlene

Rhonda said...

Thank you for saying what I've been feeling for a year. I'm pulled in all directions wanting to make everything all at once. I love so many different creative avenues. I always knew I'd have to chose one or two. It only makes sense, from a marketing aspect. It is so clear now.

Nishant said...

a little of that. *sigh* I applaud your focus

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