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the "and where do you sell it" question


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#21 Claypple

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 03:44 PM

Hmmmm ... maybe I'd be wondering if I could make a living with art too.Posted Image


Maybe it is an idea for a new topic: "What did I think of potters before I started doing it myself.

#22 meisie

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 04:38 PM

Since I have gotten back into the arts I've really been taken back by one very consistent question I get. If I am at a casual social gathering of non-artists, at a garage sale or any other non-artists contact and I mention that I do welded steel sculpture and pottery I always get exactly the same question, word for word "and where do you sell it". They almost never ask anything about the nature of the stuff I do such as "is it big, little, round or square". I think this is an interesting commentary on what is meaningful in our culture ... $$$

Does anyone else have this experience?

Larry


I ask this mostly because I want to go look..... I generally say though "do you have a gallery/studio where you sell from?" Then I generally follow that with the technicalities of the work, the how. One of my most favorite events in a neighboring town is an open studio day. Each home/studio is listed on a map and you can drive all over town looking at the artists and the work in their habitat so to speak. :-)

#23 meisie

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 04:44 PM

OK ... confession time.Posted Image

When I meet someone and they tell me they make " x, y or z" I will admit to asking them if/how/where they sell it.
I want to hear their answer because I want to know how deep to go in the conversation.

That might sound awful, but people who are doing it for self fulfillment are not into the same things as people who are doing it to support themselves.
People who are doing it to improve their knowledge or push boundaries are into a whole different conversation.
People who do not want to be doing anything else are the best because they want to talk about everything.

So yes, I ask but it has nothing to do with how much $ they are making.


Kinda what I was thinking and you put it so nicely. I ask because I'm curious and will make the effort to look up an artist I meet ( or go to their gallery if I can) and see what kinds of things they are creating.

#24 JBaymore

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 04:50 PM

I typically ask a lot of questions about the work before I ever get to the "where do you sell" question .... if I ever even do get to that. From the engagement about the nature of the work, and the time put in, and how long they have been doing it, and the influences they might have, and what they are working on at the moment,...... I can usually tell if the "where do you sell" question is even relevant.

It is never near the front end of the exchange.

best,

................john
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#25 JBaymore

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 04:56 PM

John, I would argue that many schools, especially the elementary schools, find the arts to be very important. Don't forget, many of them added "exploratory" classes, such as art, to give the general classroom teachers more prep time......


I'll agree when I see school boards (and the communities that vote on these kinds of issues) cutting football and cheerleaders so that they can then use the money to fund a better art program. Ditto on raising the salaries of ALL teachers......and particularly art teachers. Dittio on dedicating more of the overall curriculum to the various visual arts. As a percentage of the overall educational efforts and budgets....... art lags WAY toward the bottom.

Compared to when I grew up...... the arts currently tend to get short shrift. And we are seeing the consequences of that shortsightedness. Broad based arts education teaches creative thinking and problem solving........ and lord knows the US has a lot of problem solving it needs done.

best,

................john
John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

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#26 Benzine

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:16 PM

John, I would argue that many schools, especially the elementary schools, find the arts to be very important. Don't forget, many of them added "exploratory" classes, such as art, to give the general classroom teachers more prep time......


I'll agree when I see school boards (and the communities that vote on these kinds of issues) cutting football and cheerleaders so that they can then use the money to fund a better art program. Ditto on raising the salaries of ALL teachers......and particularly art teachers. Dittio on dedicating more of the overall curriculum to the various visual arts. As a percentage of the overall educational efforts and budgets....... art lags WAY toward the bottom.

Compared to when I grew up...... the arts currently tend to get short shrift. And we are seeing the consequences of that shortsightedness. Broad based arts education teaches creative thinking and problem solving........ and lord knows the US has a lot of problem solving it needs done.

best,

................john



I agree John, my post was meant to be partially sarcastic. The true point was, that they find the arts important, because they serve the purpose, of keeping the kids busy for a while, while the general classroom teacher has planning. The Middle School Art teacher I work with, also teaches some Elementary. When we have altered schedules, he can't get to the Elementary buildings in time, and he always gets complaints, because those teachers don't get their full prep. Of course, if he loses his prep time for some reason, who cares right?

I currently will not complain, in regards to my funding. My Administration will green light any purchase I can justify, and I've never taken advantage of that.
However, I was at a district, where my position was cut, because of budgetary reasons. This is despite the fact that my class numbers were good, and would have continued to be so. In fact, at our "Pink Slip Meeting", where all the cut teachers were brought together, a Union representative asked, "What if the art classes are so full, that it would still require the full staff, are we going to turn those students away?" The Superintendent's answer, "Yes".
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#27 jrgpots

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 11:55 PM



OK ... confession time.Posted Image

When I meet someone and they tell me they make " x, y or z" I will admit to asking them if/how/where they sell it.
I want to hear their answer because I want to know how deep to go in the conversation.

That might sound awful, but people who are doing it for self fulfillment are not into the same things as people who are doing it to support themselves.
People who are doing it to improve their knowledge or push boundaries are into a whole different conversation.
People who do not want to be doing anything else are the best because they want to talk about everything.

So yes, I ask but it has nothing to do with how much $ they are making.


In order to talk intelligently, one needs a frame of reference. Setting up your "x, y, and zs" are absolutely needed. I like the way you framed the conversation. It's true that everything in our society is based on income. I wish it wasn't so. I just finished building a cinder block wall around my home. Everyone wants to know why I chose to build it. Most assume it was a cost driven choice. Nope! I love working with my hands making things.


I would think its to slow the hurricane winds as its not going to blow down, but I;m always in a functional mode.
Mark


I built a wide footing then filled the entire core with concrete. Hopefully the wind will just blow around it, and over it, but not through it.....the story of the three little pigs all over again.




#28 docweathers

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 09:43 AM

I never ask "and where do you sell it". I was asked "what you do" and "how do you do it" because I'm interested in learning whatever I can from them. I want to know if they have found a better material, tool, technique, source of inspiration. I've learned a lot from even the most meager and un-accomplished artists.

Larry

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#29 Bob Coyle

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:00 PM

I'm maybe more of a technician than artist. I love learning about stuff, so maybe my outlook is different, but most of the other ceramics artists I have met seem not at all interested in learing much new. The discussions I think, do involve the "bottom line" too often. The people I meet are mostly locals doing shows or studio tours, and most are either retired or part time potters. They are not making a living from ceramics alone.

We have a very large "art guild" here and we have monthly meetings where talks and demos of some aspect of art are presented. These are generally poorly attended by the same people. We also have "open studios" where individual members open their studios to other artists and show what they are doing. Once again, the same few people come. Of course for the annual shows, everybody is on board.

I also belonged for a couple of years, to a clay guild, and ran into the same thing. Most people showed little interest in any aspect of the guild than sales.

Maybe that is the nature of ceramic guilds, as in the medieval times, they guarded their hard won secrets closely.

#30 Kohaku

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 01:22 PM

At least Americans have the $ to buy the art. Have you tried to be an artist in a country where the average pay is $1,000 a year?


Just back from Ecuador- here's a photo of an artisenal potter outside of Loja. I don't think I'd want to trade places with her, but she seemed pretty happy...

Posted Image
Not all who wander are lost




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