The Problem of Earning a Living at Art

IS PRODUCTION. The artist whose work is displayed in what can only be fairly called thumbnail graphics at the link (and whose own blog is here) has such a painstaking and physically demanding process that one of her paintings would have to sell for ten or fifteen thousand dollars in order for her to manage a decent standard of living.

And they might well. They’re certainly good enough, but there’s a certain set of imponderables in the valuation of an artist’s work, not the least of which is the price he himself puts on it. And that has to do with often foggy perceptions of what the traffic will bear. I myself have only ever done one single work which commanded five figures, and that was a commissioned work-for-hire, for which I have never and will never see a dime. (And it will probably never be used for the purpose for which it was
intended.) I have done any number which commanded four figures and quite a few annually of what might be called design sets — not standalone single images, but groups of images on a theme.

It takes a lot of hard work. I could do more, but the demand is limited. I wonder what the market is for Ms Adams’ work. Since I really like it, I hope for her it’s rich and she gets to enjoy the fruits of her labors.

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