Taking Requests and Begging Approval

A friend of mine often insults and belittles artists who “sell out.” Once he suspects them of self-promotion and of wanting to be a little too successful, he turns on them. And as my old boss used to say–once you get paid for doing what you love, the quality of your work goes down.

Sigh. I guess I’ll have to take my chances. A few of you have suggested that you might possibly be persuaded to buy one of my pieces, and at the risk of sounding like a jerk, now is your chance–although I have NO IDEA how to go about this. If you do happen to be interested, let me know. And if you’ve seen a piece of mine that caught your fancy, let me know that too. I will be working on way to display things and take Pay Pal and all that horrid business stuff.

How do you feel about promoting your work? Does putting something up for sale change you?

Thanks. Now Happy Halloween. Go get scared.

10 thoughts on “Taking Requests and Begging Approval

  1. queruloussquirrel

    I’m already scared by this topic. But the idea of selling out only applies if you keep churning out the same stuff over and over and lose your creative edge. But the quality of your work going down as a result of success? The bitter words of the non-successful. I am highly successful in a very creative field and as my success has increased, so has the quality of my work, because of my love for the work itself, my pride in its quality, the challenge it poses — I would lose interest if I did not constantly try to change and push that envelope. The best art is a relationship to ourselves first and secondly to our audience, because if we don’t please ourselves, we will feel like shoddy frauds. That I’m not successful as a writer saddens me, but I have never put the same effort in, it’s a much more ambivalent and emotionally wrought endeavor, so I don’t expect to ever face that selling-out dilemma, not because I’m morally superior, but because my productive output is for the most part wishful thinking.

    Also, Gingatoa’s blog “Hello” has been selling his self-published poetry books on line. Your art is wonderful It also deserves exhibition and I’m never sure with art the trade-off between sellling and exhibition. Or, given it’s print orientation, it might have possibilities as a book with some written text, maybe even a children’s book because of the text that itself is so inscrutible to children. If it’s a book, like Gingatoa, everyone can have the art. Also, for that reason, I would hope you would sell prints and not originals.

  2. I liked the moon one, I think it was item 15 on your post a few weeks ago when you let us vote.

    I don’t promote myself other than on my actual blog. I’m anonymous. Self-promotion would be the death of my anonymity.

    I don’t think you are selling out in the slightest. A selling out example would be Lou Bega who sang the one-hit wonder, “Mambo No. 5”. A few years ago there were like 4 different ad campaigns that used the song. The song totally lost it’s whimsy and appeal somewhere between the Toyota Rav 4 and the Pringles commercials.

    You are staying true to your work, not using it to promote potato chips.

  3. Interested; letting you know.

    I’m not even sure I know what I’m doing by trying to sell my writing at all, to tell you the truth. (Maybe this is just the dark night of the soul talking here, or whatever the expression is.) My writing is better as a result of the last year of writing-writing-writing. But since the odds of actually making enough money from writing — enough to justify the work — seem slender, at the moment I’m trying to derive satisfaction from the writing per se.

    Would I love a million readers? ten thousand? five hundred? Sure. Would I set out to write a bestseller in order to achieve any of those levels of success? Probably not. I think I’m just intending to write “whatever,” and count on Fate to deliver the audience — or not.

  4. Tom

    I seem to have Inner Copies of your friend and your boss: the thought of “selling out,” of marketing what I’ve written, is a rampart I’ve yet to breach. It emerged somewhere into my first book, when a friend who read it said, “Man, this is better than a lot of the stuff on the book store shelves right now. You could sell it.”

    Poof. Zen writing — those startling blocks hours gone missing while words flowed — evaporated. Suddenly, every word had a price. Writing went from a labor of love to just labor.

    The quality of my writing is directly proportional to . . . to the quality of my writing. The ‘product’ (a word I despise these days) is a function of the ‘process’ of writing it. All my salad days baggage about money, about the rich and the successful (all probably products of envy), polluted that process. I have yet to completely clean up the spill.

    The most frustrating thing about all this can be encapsulated in a single Q&A:

    Q: What changed?
    A. Nothing — but the way I thought about writing.

    Your friend and your boss are dead wrong. On this subject at least, you should steadfastly ignore them. And if you figure out how to do that, please, share. 🙂

  5. I don’t understand why artists are supposed to give away their work for free. In what other profession do we expect this? Even those in a “vocation” get paid, like ministers . I think artists devalue themselves and their work when they decide that trying to make a living at what they love, somehow debases what they love. If I were a wealthy woman, I’d spend my money on buying original art, tickets to concerts and plays and dance productions, and books from independent bookstores. (heck, I do that anyway, just on a small scale). Artists feed our souls, so why not help them feed themselves and their families? Selling out, to me, is when the product (and the artist) loses its inherent artistic integrity. Your work is full of artistic integrity- that’s why it’s so beautful.

    Yes, I’l LOVE to buy one of your pieces. And I’ll promote your work wherever I can.

  6. I hate the thought of promoting my work, but it’s part of the job of being writer when you get a novel published. As far as art goes, I haven’t marketed my art or photography before other than when I used to do craft shows (years ago). I suppose with the internet it might be possible to be more passive than otherwise, simply because the buyers come to you. Etsy is a good venue for sellers, I know a few people with Etsy stores. I’d probably go that route, or similar.

  7. Sophie, 15 sold on the first night. But I did make something similar.

    Everyone who might be interested, I’m trying to come up with a site to post pictures and all that crazy stuff. Though it still freaks me out. I’ll post something more about it when I’m ready.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s