“Making money is art, and working is art, and good business is the best art,” says Andy Warhol. I couldn’t agree with him more on the art of business and the business of art. After all, this is my business. I make art. When I’m not doing other things like writing a blog or procrastinating on the task of making art. When I do make art, I need to sell that art; it puts food on the table, puts my kids in school and allows me to buy more art supplies to make more art. After that equation is all done, I’d hope to have a little money left over. But that left over money or how to make more money is not what this blog is about. It is about how I, along with many other artists, have a fault. Ok probably more than one fault, when it comes to business.
Here is my fault: grandiose ideas fueled by passion and inspiration. Not to knock the Wall Street guys but I don’t think any of them buy stock cause it’s inspiring. Not a bank in the world is going to lend money to an artist with that business plan. So I saved up my own money from my art sales and bought three overly huge, gigantic, custom-made panels to paint. For me, 48 inches by 96 inches is a bit on the larger size. Granted I’ve painted murals before but those were for outside or over a span of twelve booths. This size painting requires one large sofa.
I started with a little idea. Then with too much time alone, the thought rattled around in my head and got bigger and bigger and bigger. Then I had to call my framer to see if he could make it. I actually looked into making it myself but couldn’t wait. I needed it now! Another fault that many prudent business people don’t share. The framer, a good businessman, tried to persuade me out of it, saying it was too big, too fragile and would be too expensive. My inspiration and passion must have radiated through the phone because by the end of the conversation he was just as excited to build it, as I was to paint it. We negotiated a fair price and a deadline that was too quick for him, and too long for me to keep my inspiration bottled up. The phone call came and they were ready. I picked them up in my truck and drove back to the studio. The boards hung over the tailgate waving a red flag warning other motorists something big and awesome was on the way.
Here they sit in the studio primed white and ready to be painted, sketched, scratched, re-worked and made to shine. I sit and think wow! These are big! How am I going to move them or ship them? Who is going to want something this big? In this economy, who can afford something this size? What was I thinking? Then I think it is a small price to pay for something so big. It is the spark and inspiration that gets me up early and excited to be in the studio. It is a belief in an idea and a passion to pursue it that makes this the best job. I just hope somebody on Wall Street found a good stock and has a big wall this can occupy.