As I morph into Marie Kondo in my art space I now have rows of sketchbooks and neat little piles of artwork everywhere. Stuff that's finished, stuff that I want to play with more and a pile that's ready for sale. If it doesn't sell then it goes back into the re working pile or my friends will get some extra gifts for their birthdays!
I'm afraid for a small while I fell into a little trap. The trap of looking at my art through the eyes of other people and because of that I started to devalue my work. Maybe that's not totally fair to say, I think I started to look at my art through the eyes of people who didn't get my work or maybe through the prism of my own insecurity. Either way I started to reduce my prices in a way that started to feel uncomfortable. Now don't get me wrong, I will honour everything that I'm putting out there and pricing my artwork is a nightmare BUT I can't devalue it any more. Art sales are fine, it's a great way to get affordable art but I have been knowingly under pricing my work and it just doesn't feel good. Id rather paint over it or give it to a friend than betray myself.
Pricing artwork is difficult. There are two ways of looking at it. Either “You've made it yourself therefore it should be cheaper.” or, “You've spent so much time and effort on this you should be paid more.”. I was raised in the first and am still growing into the second. I believe in fair compensation. I don't work for free but in the past I havent always worked for money either. It has to be something of equal value. Exposure isn't enough. A retweet isn't enough ( Ive seriously been offered that as payment even though I had more followers than him ). The problem for me arises when I KNOWINGLY undersell because I want to get my art in the hands of people that want it. It's a tricky knife edge to dance along.
I've made so many mistakes in the past with my art and I still stumble from time to time and this is another little blip that I am grateful I caught just before I upload a bunch of artwork to my shop. The Brynmill Coffee house is not happening ( no drama there ) so I now have a bunch of paintings I can sell directly to you! I'll try and get some good lighting later but failing that it wont be until Wednesday!
Also, a quick Thank you to those of you who pointed this out to me. It's nice to know that there are people out there looking out for my creative brain!
Ryan James x
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