In February, my post entitled “WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A WORKING ARTIST” marked the beginning of my attempt to write about my experiences as an artist here in France.
I don’t know if there are any artists reading the blog but I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the past six months and add new thoughts to the topic.
These have been trying times for all. Financially and politically, we have witnessed extreme fluctuations worldwide. And I have myself at times questioned my path. It has been a long journey for me and there were times when I was so close to the end, I couldn’t see beyond my immediate future. So close it seemed, that I was floating by my teeth.
But the random acts of kindness have materialized at the times I needed it most. With my partner putting a huge amount of effort into seeing me succeed and getting the word out with my work and thinking in a clear concise way, it has helped me immensely. She has found my buyers for me and has always been by my side to participate and champion me to others. Other friends of hers brought people towards us who eventually bought my art. Or they spoke about me, us and the paintings. They have come out to support me and her at our little showings and have been generous in their willingness to help spread the word and to get more exposure for me as an artist.
Everything that has come to us has come through meeting people personally and establish a rapport with them. Allowing them to see you as a person and not just a face. Sharing my passion for what I do with them and seeing them react to the paintings in a positive way. Seeing how happy they are when they buy one and put it in their home or office. All these things come from being available and open to people.
I don’t know of many artists who sell directly from their website without first meeting their clients. If someone does buy, it is usually after having seen the painting in person at their atelier and having met the artist personally. Also, I’ve noted that people need to get a sense of who you are as a person as your work always reflects ones energy. They want to bring positive energy into their home, not negative.
But art is a personal thing and I guess I need to understand that it takes time to accumulate exposure and an awareness to your product. I have at times been frustrated because of what I thought to be too slow of a process of getting some exposure. I have repeatedly reached out to various print media only to be ignored. I don’t know what their agenda comprises of for exposing artists here. It seems at times that for a country like France that is known for their inclusion of culture and arts in everyday life, here in the south the focus is only on tourism revenue. It can break you down and make you feel like no one cares. But you keep on keeping on. Like the monologue in Rocky Balboa, “it’s not about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Because if your willing to go thru all the battling you gotta get through to get to where you wanna get, who’s got the right to stop you? If you know what your worth, then bloody get what your worth!”
If you are an artist going thru the same thing, what has been your experience so far? Who have been the angels that have helped you out? How have you been resourceful with limited resources? I’d love to hear your thoughts.