[Blog originally posted on December 6, 2010]
As an artist just starting out, it's easy to feel unsure as to whether the general public will appreciate your artwork, let alone buy it. One tends to feel exceptionally vulnerable - especially because your moods, feelings, experiences and inspirations are out there for ALL TO SEE in tangible form without your own personal narrative as to why you went in a particular direction. The viewer is able to draw their own conclusions - about you & about your artwork. We won't be the first to say: This is an emotional roller coaster.
One trick we have learned is to look at others in the same medium as ourselves, METAL. Others in the market doing the same kind of quality handmade metal decor or functional metal - and are in essence, our competition. If they are selling than we can sell too. If they are inspired and filling client needs with their own artwork, than we can do so too. We gain strength from this and therefore bypass that vulnerability. We do not manage our competitor analysis in a negative or jealous way. We look to established artists and handmade sellers as indirect mentors to our own art business.
We respect others' creative ideas, and review their business operations for ideas to move toward the exposure and growth we desire. There is enough room for all of us, because as mentioned - Art is relative. Art is derived from inspiration. Art evolves and experiences growth. Just like we as artists and business owners must. Design, business, sales, marketing and know how all comes through these growing pains. It's all about how you frame it, interpret it and use it for your own steps forward.. it's inspiring!