Want to know what is one of the most difficult things about being an artist? Not knowing where your art goes or if people actually like it.
Most of my friends who buy my art are pretty good about letting me know when something arrives in the mail or tagging me on social media to help promote my work. But lately, especially now with my Etsy shop, I’m finding that people aren’t letting me know when packages arrive or if they even like it. I know that just goes with the territory, but it’s a new one for me.
Last week I showed my first in-person piece for Art Bar. I stayed until about 10:30 and it was pretty low traffic at that point. The next morning I had prepared to pick up the painting and take some photos of it. That’s when I received a text: “Your painting sold last night, so make sure to pick up your money today.” I had mixed feelings. Obviously I was proud, relieved, and excited to have caught someone’s eye. But at the same time, I was feeling a little sad that I would never see the piece again. When I asked who purchased it, no one knew. Just that it was the last sale of the evening at midnight. All very mysterious. I had hoped that perhaps the person purchasing this piece would send me an email or tag me in social media, but unfortunately that has not happened.
I know this sounds quite petty. I should be thankful that someone was interested. But…as I said. It’s tough to let something you created go out in the world then never see it again. Maybe it gets easier with time. Before last year, I honestly was a hoarder of all my art. At the time I thought I could never make something like that ever again, therefore I didn’t want to part with it. But now that my skills have improved a bit and I feel more comfortable about recreating compositions if I wanted to, it’s easier to let things go, knowing that I could just paint the same thing in one of my sketchbooks. Plus let’s be honest—there’s just no ROOM for everything I make! Now that I also have products as well as personal art, the amount of STUFF is just taking over.
I have about one week until the next Art Bar and I have yet to begin my piece. I have a vague idea, but putting that into practice could go all sorts of ways. I’m truly hoping that I don’t let the thought of “You are going to make this, then never see it again” get in my way. The truth is, I may never make another sale ever again. I need to remember that in the art world, success is fleeting and completely unpredictable.