The Profits of Art

I’ve sold 10 of my fruit and body prints so far. Officially, I’ve made a small profit, with the money being used to pay off the debt incurred from the purchase of much photo gear.

When Dan did my reading two years ago, he mentioned that I see colours differently from other people, and that I should try making money off my art.

Back then, I was far from considering myself an “artist”. I used my camera to express myself in capturing memories, not in delivering messages. At the first Emergence Exposition, Nisha would introduce me to people as a photographer. I would add the word amateur as a prefix, but Nisha would correct me and say aspiring. I suppose I’m more inclined to agree with her now. Being able to support myself like this (albeit in a small way) makes a big difference.

It’s a great feeling when someone hands me a cheque, and on the little memo line is written “art”.

The best part of the entire process though, is meeting people. Not just meeting people I ask to model for me, but when I’m delivering prints as well. I get to see where they’re going to hang the pictures, and I get to meet their kids, their parents, their pets, their friends.

Most recently, it was Tiana, who has two dogs, a cat, and a husband. I didn’t get to meet Brent (or the cat) but I’m sure the opportunity will present itself at some time in the future.

No solicitors sign

Tiana feeds her dogs some treats.

Tyrone

Bernie

Bernie roots

5 comments

  1. That sign out front really does work! Only rarely do people not respect it.;

    -Jehovah’s witnesses (about half the time, but I’m at work and Brent likes to talk to them anyway)
    -Jerky security sales guys [http://sassy-red-head.livejournal.com/332606.html?nc=20]
    -little kids doing bottle drives (I’d give them some, but apparently we hoard them. We haven’t returned any since we moved to our house! You should see our garage… They are as neatly organized as 2 years worth of beer and wine can be)

    Surprisingly, I haven’t gotten many offers of treats…maybe some people don’t find their treats to be delicious enough? Just a few of those ‘world’s best’ chocolate bars. I was really hoping for some girl scout cookies.

    On another note, I haven’t put up my print yet but it will go in my newly painted stairwell (once construction is done and the possibility of it getting smashed is greatly reduced). I had it out on my dining room table and my father in law saw it. He thought your series would make a great calendar… I don’t know if that’s too ‘sell out’ for you, but people do love a really beautiful calendar… and the hot pepper one would be PERFECT for February…

  2. Really? I’m a little skeptical myself; I used to have a little sticker about no solicitors but it relies on people’s good natures. In my experience, this doesn’t include politicians, and the Watchtower Society (also Jehovah’s witnesses).

    And where I live, I’ve had absolutely no offers of treats ever since they changed our mailboxes and got rid of the stickers. I wouldn’t mind a box of chocolate covered almonds every now and then.

    I considered the calendar thing (co-incidentally enough, there are 12 pictures in the series), but I’d rather not be mass-produced like Anne Geddes. I’d definitely get a kick out of seeing people with Pepper Penis up on Valentine’s Day though.

  3. I fortunately get Jehovah’s Witnesses in Spanish. I get to say “Sorry, no habla Espanol” and away they go….

    Congrats on the success. It’s an interesting feeling.

    I had a sculpture teacher who does huge civic plaza pieces now in bronze, is very successful. But when she began and was little more than a starving artist/teacher, she said her typically Jewish mother would answer her every phone call with:

    “Nu, D’ja sell anything?!?” (::pause::).

    She said this, for all its sting, was exactly the reason she valued art, because it made no sense with this line of thought. She never approached it that way and told us not to. And of course, now her mom doesn’t need to ask.

  4. The Jehovah’s Witnesses around here have some kind of accent, but I can’t place it.

    It’s surprising how so many people don’t understand that selling pieces isn’t the point of creating art. It helps to break even, however, so that one can keep expressing oneself in such a satisfying way.

  5. You are an aspriing photographer! You’re very talented and I’m glad that it’s paying off, slowly but surely. The best part about being an artist is the artistic reward, I love seeing my stuff in print more than actually seeing the paycheque. Paycheque is definitely worth seeing, don’t get me wrong :p

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