Should a Dream of an Art Career Remain Just a Dream?
I have been a professional fine artist for fifty years. Provided well for my family, purchased a gallery, art supply shop, picture framing business, art school and home from my art income.
World-wide travel and family holidays paid for by my art commissions. Retired to spend a decade writing seven novels to fulfil another lifetime dream. Fitted in a career in sculpture amongst that lot. Three and a half years of creating art video tutorials all in my patreon site as patron rewards, and now starting a new dream of learning book binding to create original ink line and watercolour wash art and writing journals of archival quality.
Loved every moment of my creative life. Never followed a dream I did not really want.
This reminds us to follow the dreams we really want not those others want for us or what we think we should be doing.
Would you make art if you never had probable success spurring you on?
If there isn't a market where you are, for what you create, you often need to go to where the market is. If that still doesn't work, I agree, it is hard to market something there isn't a market for. That is why my current novel sits at the first draft stage unfinished and probably won't be finished, not many read clean historical fiction set in Australia with lesbian main characters. I narrowed the genre too much to gain enough sales with that story to cover production expenses. Do I want to spend months working on an unpopular genre novel, just because I love the story? I'm still tempted to write it. but, at 75-life is too short to work on unsatisfying projects so I'd need to be fully commited.
Do I want to change the plot to suit the genre trope? No.
So I may abandon that goal. I'll never abandon painting—as long as I can do it.
I never had that unsuitability issue with the work I finished doing. Enough people liked it for me to have enough sales at the right price to earn a living. That's the business skill of doing market research before you over-commit to a costly mistake.
For every goal we go ahead with, we need an action plan to make it happen. If you don't want to do the action plan, then it's okay to let that goal go and find a more workable one.
During my retirement from exhibiting artist, I've continued painting, but have refused to sell the originals. Only downloadable items or print-on-demand goods managed by third parties who pay me a commission are available now.
I hope to be able to continue (finances permitting) refuse requests to sell originals. It is time to paint for my family. So money doesn't motivate me as to if I paint full-time or not. I still work long hours at my art and study to learn new creative art associated skills.
For me, my art career was a passion. There were lows and highs, financially; that is too stressful for some. I just maintained a belief that good artwork will always sell and held out until the client came for each work.
In recession times, it is hard to sell art. That's a known fact. You must learn to manage and average incomes out over seven years, much as someone whose livelihood comes from the land does.
Experiment with your pigments, especially in mixes. to learn how they handle.
When I want a strong and lasting yellow I do choose cadmium Yellow.
Cadmiums are heavy metal pistons and s this colour should be used with care and the waste water containing cadmium should not be tipped down the drain. Europeans consider these paints so low in soluble cadmium that they do not present a hazard. Californians rate it as toxic. I recommend careful use by experienced artists. These colours are not for children nor careless adults.
There are alternative safer colour that you can use to obtain good reds and yellows. – this means no eating or drinking in the studio, taking care to dispose of unused paint in the bin rather than down the drain and secure storage away from children and pets.
Some companies have developing safe alternatives to cadmium colours, others have produced inferior pigments that either fade or lack strength. There are also more toxic yellow and red pigments that are best avoided. Weighing it up, I am continuing to paint with the cambium colours as I know nothing that matches the opacity, vibrancy and durability of this centuries in use artist's painting pigment.
If a tube of paint is labeled cadmium hue, the word hue means colour, so it is a colour like cadmium, but it isn't the real cadmium pigment. Price is a good indication of quality when choosing a cadmium hue. Better quality hues are closer in price and performance to the real cadmium.
Lesson 2: Painting Tonal Patterns
Copy a tonal Pattern by Eye Using a Five Tone Scale
Create a simple five tone pattern consisting of the darkest tone, (0) the lightest tone (10) the mid-tone (5) and the medium light tone and medium dark tone.
Then reproduce that pattern sight size, working from dark to light.
Always start with the darkest tone and proceed, from darkest to lightest, as the canvas you work on is light, and you always begin where you will make the greatest difference.
As with the tonal chart scale in lesson one, practice makes perfect. Practice reproducing tonal patterns, and you will develop your artist’s eye to see tonal value, the shape of the tone and the proportion and correct placement of it in your painting.
Lesson Two Part Two