You are not a commodity – Part 2

I said in my earlier post:

If you do not stand out from the crowd, you risk being considered a commodity. This has serious implications for the self-employed business person or artist.

My wife asked me a very good question about "standing out from the crowd" which is worth discussing before I go any further.

Gretchen has begun revitalizing herself as an artist after a twenty-year detour into industry. She is already attracting attention and has begun to exhibit her paintings and pastels in local galleries, but at the same time, she doesn’t consider that her work is that different from the works of more experienced artists in this area.

I am not sure I convinced her, but her work is readily distinguishable from the work of the other artists she paints with. To my eye, it is not so much a matter of technique as a matter of intention. No matter what she paints, I feel that she imbues each painting with a certain feeling of life. As her technique improves, she is able to elicit more emotional response from the viewer with less effort.

Once she figures out what she wants to accomplish, there will be no stopping her if she decides to pursue a career as a professional artist.

There is a young artist in town, Max Charnley, who turns out
remarkable works with colored pencils, felt tip pens and whatever he
gets his hands on. His work practically jumps off the wall at you. At a
very young age he has managed to stand out from the crowd and is
already beginning to capitalize on that fact.

I think you will avoid being considered a commodity if you think of
your work as a communication with an audience. If your technique is
good enough not to get in the way of that communication, your message
will strike home to the viewer who understands it.

On the other hand, if your technique is flawless, but there is no
message being communicated, you have merely created a decoration for
someone who needs that particular set of colors to brighten up a room.
Take a look at the "original" paintings being ground out by the
thousands for sale in malls all over the country. These paintings often
exhibit beautiful brushwork, but they rarely grab you emotionally.

I think if you create works that make an emotional impact on a
prospective buyer, you will stand out from the crowd and will attract
the attention you deserve.

Wishing you success…

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