It seems, that with art you have basically two types of buyers – you have the art collectors who can afford pieces that cost upwards of $300 (and the types of buyers that people trying to sell art would love to have buy a piece) and then you have everyone else who might *love* to have an original piece, but can’t fork out hundreds of dollars to buy something to hang on a wall when they could be putting it to better, slightly more practical uses. So most of us, myself included, end up splurging on mass-produced (and legitimately cool) prints and posters and other wall-decorating pieces. Unless we see something that *really* catches our eye and we don’t mind saving up whatever it takes to buy it.
It seems like making art available to the general public has become more of a means for a select few artists working for big companies to have their work (or variations of it) mass produced, and that the art community at-large is still sort of….distant and revered. We can go to museums or galleries which are absolutely wonderful and look at the beautifulness, but affording it, as much as we want it, is probably not overly likely unless you have a budget for that.
With etsy, and artfire, and the internet in general, it’s becoming easier to sell to who-ever you want to and in whatever price-range you want to. Although, still, art is something that’s revered, that’s almost expected to be unaffordable – and rightly so, because artists do need to be able to make a living, which usually means selling pieces for upwards of $100 just to recoup the cost of materials and time.
Though, I think a lot of people would love to have original pieces if only they could afford it – and if they could afford it, I think they would be coming back for more – keeping the artist in business for longer even if the artist was making less per-piece.
So maybe this is consumeristic of me, and maybe it’s because I decided to make my own art because buying it was too expensive (and I *love* making it) – but I would love to be able to make a way that artists and the general-middle-class-non-art-collecting-public could both make a living and enjoy all that art has to offer.
I kind of try to do this with my etsy shop, which is why my biggest pieces top out at $100, and I have ACEO’s starting at $2.50. I want to share art and beauty and fantasticalness with normal people like me, and I want to do it in a way that’s not going to be insane for either of us. It’s a fine line to draw – because people value the price of things, so if something is $300 they’ll value it more than something that’s $50 even though they probably won’t buy the $300 one.
I’d like to change that. I’d like to make it so art is valuable *because* it’s art, not because it’s expensive. I think *everyone* should be able to own an original piece if they want without having to take out a small loan or max out a credit card. I think it should be a business relationship that benefits the artist and the consumer in the long run. Return customers over one-time $500 purchases that happen occasionally.
So the other day I had an idea for an art boutique that would do that. If I could, I would love to have a group of local/unknown artists selling original pieces for under $200. With an online-shop component also – and a storefront in a good location. People could look around, get a piece (or several) for their room, or a gift, or a souvenir – they could ask for custom work or commission a piece if the artist they wanted as open to that.
I guess really it’d be like taking the museum/gallery experience and bringing it to people who would like art but don’t think they could ever afford it.
I don’t know, maybe it’s crazy but it makes sense to me, and I think I’m going to work it into my etsy shop further. Explain it, I suppose. Also, I’m considering doing a Deal-a-week. Which one painting is featured at a discounted price only for that week, and the next week it’s a new one. Kinda like they do with shirts, except every week instead of everyday.