Continuing with the Heart Theme is "Sky Blue Heart". I sold this painting a while ago, but it is still available as a greeting card. In 2006, I licensed 12 of my original images to Arbutus Images, a wholesale greeting card company. They license work from artists all over the world. Go to their website to check them out here.
They are a wholesale company, as I said, so if you want to buy individual pieces, it's best to buy them directly from the artists. Like me, for example! Here's the link to my shop page on my website, where you can see all 12 card images: Buy Cards. I have 6 different heart images for sale, as well as 6 other images.
I am creating more spaces online to market my work, and the cards are one item I haven't promoted very well, until now. Sure, they've been on my website, now it's time to show them in other places too.
In getting so busy with other things I am building and creating, I forgot to value these creations as well as I might. However, today I sold a bunch of them through my website, along with "Blue Chord", the painting featured in yesterday's Online Arts Marketing post. Hooray! The funny thing is, and I do it often enough that it's not really funny but I have to laugh anyway, is that I forget how beautiful some of these things are. I have done them, and moved my energy onto the next 12 things. Then someone buys them, and I'm all "huh? I'd better value those!!" D'oh!
This is what blogging everyday is doing for me: helping me be more conscious and aware of the value of my work. Not just because I get praise and validation for it, heck, who doesn't want that? But more because I get a kind of neutral distance from it. I am becoming more clear about what I need to do, what I want to do, what is working. I write down my work goals for the week and each day. And when I am writing my blog I get to explore some of the spiritual issues I work on as a human being and an artist. Value is a big one.
I was given this lesson years ago in one of my first shows ever, Around the Coyote in Chicago, which is a huge group show and studio art walk each September. I was stuck in a basement gallery space with a guy whose art glowed in the dark. He would turn off the lights when people walked into our space. That didn't last long, as I can be quite fierce when need be. :-) Anyway, Mr. Glow-Art and I had our fair share of visitors, as off the beaten track as we were. I even sold some pieces from that show, including one painting to two of Mr. Glow-Art's friends, which for some reason seemed to irritate him. I also had several more shows as a result of this one.
Two men came in, looked at my work, and liked it. They looked to me like people who loved and bought art. But as they were leaving, one turned to me and said, "Your prices are too low! Nobody's going to value your work until you do." He was actually angry! I thanked him; I was speechless, which takes some doing.
He was right, and I had to begin doing some work on myself about this thing called "value". For artists, value can be such a strange thing. There are all kinds of incidentals that go into pricing work. One of the hardest things I've ever done as an artist is to raise my prices. But it's easier to do so when I look back at the pieces I sold for too little, and realize I value them much more highly now.
I have often told other artists their prices were too low also. I have been amazed at what people were willing to let their work go for. It all comes down to value, and more often it's about the individual being able to value him/herself.
This is where it gets all squirmy and dicey. (Love those words!) Self image, do I really have to work on that one to get a fair price for my work? How about even to SELL my work!
How about you, what do you have to say about this topic?
"Sky Blue Heart" 2005 30"x27" SOLD
Greeting Cards available at kriscahill.com