Monday, September 26, 2016

Making a living as an artist ~ the roller coaster ride...

Warning: some tooting-of-my-own-horn ahead! (Of course, then there is also the balance to that.)

I had a great weekend at the Mountain Heritage Festival in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. I found new homes for many of my new paintings and met some wonderful people.

Above is a photo taken at the show with the new owners of the first of the three pillars I painted, the one called "The World Determined". Ron and Carol Del Priore couldn't have been nicer or more fun and I'm delighted that my work will be part of their collection (which includes a Rembrandt etching - just sayin'). The Del Priores also took home two of my newest paintings.

And today I found out that I was accepted again into the American Craft Council show (Feb 2017). This is an important show. Both wholesale and retail. I see many of the customers/galleries that will determine what kind of year I will have. So this is a big relief and I'm very happy about it. It is always such a nerve-racking few minutes when I get that email saying the jury results are in and I have to log into the site and remember my password and watch that little wheel turn while my heart pounds and I wait to see if I've been accepted into the show or not. So it's all good.

Well, not all...this is the roller coaster ride part - remember how excited I was when a gallery in Maine bought 13 of my paintings wholesale at the ACC show last February? They notified me recently to say that only the 3 large pieces sold and that their customers don't want the small pieces and they want to send ALL TEN of them back.

This was such a shock. They had been very late in paying in the first place and, as you can imagine I'd been waiting for and depending upon and expecting payment for months. Then they throw this bomb at me. The shocking part is that this was a wholesale purchase, not consignment, so I didn't see it coming. Wholesale generally means that the gallery takes the risk, which is why they pay less for the pieces. And this is a gallery that has been around for a long time, so I had considered them seasoned professionals who knew their customers and no worries, right? Wrong.

So that is the way things happen in the making-your-living-as-an-artist world. I'm sure similar things happen in all professional worlds. But if you are an artist dealing with galleries, please take this example to heart and GET A SIGNED CONTRACT. I'm such a dope. A naive, trusting dope who is out a bunch of money because of it.

Thank you for letting me rant. I'm really okay with it all, especially after having such a nice experience this past weekend. I'm good at looking for the silver lining.

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