THE GRUMPY ARTIST
The Grumpy Artist
Honestly, there are more grumpy artists in the world than you can poke a stick at, and there are very few of us that haven't been in that category at least once.
Apart from things that do not go right while we are painting, it's mostly art shows and galleries that can turn us sour.
Perhaps it's our personal investment in our art that makes us so sensitive about it all. Setbacks in whatever form can be hurtful, it's almost like our own children being treated unfairly, and we take it personally!
Apparent unfairness looms large in our list of grievances. The unfairness thing happens mainly when we are showing with other artists, and it is usually a selling environment. Once sales are involved, we move into a different world, where fairness is not always the main concern, but selling art is.
Art Galleries, including the online type, are businesses that need to sell art to survive. Artists often complain that they are not receiving the same attention as those that have been around for a while, and sell all the time. Galleries will always favor the artists that are well-known and sell. Primary school fairness, where everyone gets a prize just for participating is not a reflection of the real world. Galleries are not social service centers for artists. It can take a decade or more of consistent effort for artists to establish their name, and even then only a small minority will make some kind of a living from it.
Community art shows that are often run by groups like Rotary are often the source of lots of grumbling - mainly about hanging and lighting. It must be remembered that they are not gallery professionals, and they generally do the best they can with what they have. Again, popular artists will be seen to get a better go than anyone else and win more prizes. The alternative is to promote the mediocre and give out prizes to those who haven't received one yet. One art show I know of banned previous winners from ever winning again - kindergarten stuff!
The biggest gripe of all -" my art is just not selling- nothing seems to be selling". Not that long ago I was sitting with a group of artists during an opening night and this same old complaint was doing a roaring trade. One artist left the discussion and starting speaking to people that were looking at her work. She sold a few and had several commissions during the night.
Complaining is easy, it's contagious and feeds upon itself by devouring any artistic spirit. In the end, no one really enjoys a crotchety artist, and things will work against them in all aspects of their artistic life.
Fellow artists, collectors and especially galleries and art shows will appreciate a happy, generous-spirited artist and they will find favor with them all.