Ryan James


What actually works when selling art?

I'm preparing myself for a nice long and relaxing weekend after a bit of a nightmare of a week. I'm glad to say I am now fully recovered from my 3 day migraine and even in the middle of all of that I managed to get three of my small canvas' done. Some of my research on line about selling and marketing your art is to have art in three separate price ranges. Something for the under £50 mark, something for the £200 mark and then the £1000+ . I have collected a bunch of smaller canvases over the years and I've never really used them so I thought they could be the cheaper ones and although as I learned this week, just as much effort goes into them as the bigger ones the time is reduced so I can justify letting them go for something reasonable. This all raises a few questions in me about the difference between creating what is truly in my heart and utilizing my skills.



I'll be honest, most of my work is a happy accident. A scribble that I fall in love with, a sentence that becomes a poem, a whistle that becomes a song. That is how creativity works for me and I love the process. The emotional expression, the evolution, the unravelling of who I am creatively to get to my core. But there's also art that pays the bills. There are commissions of paintings that I would never normally do, songs I sing that I would never normally look at. And what I've learned is that there's an art to that too. To finding the unravelling and expression in something that you wouldn't normally step into.



There is a narritive I picked up in art college that goes something like this, “Work on what you love and the money will come.”. Tried that. Didn't work. I've done tours across the country and come home out of pocket, I have paintings that I love that no one seems remotely interested in. It happens and it's O.K that it does. I've come to understand that my relationship with my art is a personal one and that just because I like something it doesn't mean that everyone else will. So I continue to do the work that I love, that goes without question but I also am mindful of what sells. If some part of my work is popular then it would be stupid to not continue investing in it, even if it's not exactly setting my soul on fire in that moment. At least I still get to create and have people appeciate what I do. So I keep painting the things that I love to paint and I keep making the things I love to make and what connects with others is a process that I am mindful of but not driven by.



Thank you for listening,



Big Love,



Ryan James





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