22 June 2010

Why are people still buying mass produced 'art' from 'dept stores'?????

| brenda.artmine
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I really don’t know…do you?

There is so much terrific art in studios and sheds of the Canberra region….%$@#&^R*&(*!!!!

Check out the on-line gallery at www.artmineanddesign.com and come see our first ‘physical’ show at The Front Gallery, Lyneham shops 24 June to 6 July with the opening 24 June at 6PM…

Cheers! Brenda

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Telll Fabforty dreams come true! re: tell Jeffree Skewes he’s dreamin….hah sold it! ~ you better stick to what you know, instead of the usual self evident pie on face quote …..I don’t know much bout art but I know what i like…etc
next you might even blame the buyer for your own gaps in art market perception and culture.
Oh go on just do it and confirm your bias. You know I’m right
An appolgy would clean the state.

even Aldi sell limited edition original paintings

That one where the dogs are playing poker sure is funny.

I only buy classy prints of whales, harley davidsons and odd native Americans sitting on wolves or eagles. The latter compliments my native American dream catchers and assorted new age paraphernalia.

All purchased from classy suppliers such as clints and the reject shop, of course.

If you put a wig on a dolphin, it still can’t sing better then Delta, and isn’t as pretty as granny.

Woody Mann-Caruso11:47 am 01 Jul 10

Nothing says ‘classy’ like an Athena poster, laminated and block mounted.

“Dolphins! And that black border! It’s like we live in a fancy art museum, except the anme of the print and the photographer are in carefully spaced pastel text at the bottom!”
“And this naked muscly bloke with a baby! So tasteful! Should we get it in black and white, sepia, or the kind of washed out pink one?”
“Go the pink. It’ll look great next to our giant Swatch watch and the Copperart knight!”

Pommy bastard10:46 am 01 Jul 10

Does “artmineanddesign” stock that poster of the “tennis girl scratching her arse”, or “scary looking vaguely oriental woman with a green face”, or better still “Three Wolf Moon”?

If not, I can see why people are shopping elsewhere…

The only Ikea product in my entire house is our dining table, which my parents bought bordering on 30 years ago.

Personally, I like to take photos, get them printed, put them in frames and hang them on the wall.

Maybe the Ikea poster looks good?
I don’t have any Ikea on my walls but I almost bought the Ikea “Eiffel Tower” last time I was up there.

E.L.K said :

The heading was rhetorical, you guys should stop being so fucking serious and check out my stuff at http://www.myspace.com/elkstencils, plus I have a solo show coming up at the Front on 9th July (prints available for poor people)

Luke,Awesome stuff. Move over Banksy. Actually, where is our Canberra street art?

Brenda, I’m with you. Why buy mac-produced crap when you can have an original and support local talent.

And Sepi, +1. I buy too much art and it sits waiting for a spare wall.

For the other whingers….get off your bots and support our arts community. Yes, some is shite, some is great but why oh why would you pay $180 for an ikea poster when you could be giving it back to our arts community?

The heading was rhetorical, you guys should stop being so fucking serious and check out my stuff at http://www.myspace.com/elkstencils, plus I have a solo show coming up at the Front on 9th July (prints available for poor people)

I knew someone would say that. I was gunna say prints, (original prints) but a lot of people think that just means posters.

I have the opposite trouble with art – I buy too much of it, and it just sits around in drawers or the garage…

you just want people to come up and see your etchings, sepi; tumbled your game then… 😉

anu art school open day and other exhibitions in their space is an excellent place to buy local art; as is the capo ball each year, if this is still going..?

cmag have local stuff, too, though more often at the upper end of the price range. otherwise, keep an eye out for opening listings. lots of small gallery spaces in canberra if you hunt.

Serious art can be bought at the gallery in Deakin. they often have art by artists represented at the National Gallery.

I have real art and posters on my walls. I also have stacks of real art sitting around in teh garage waiting for framing (which often costs more than the art.)

Etchings and the like are a good way to get cheap real art. Also the art school open day often has nice etchings for sale for not much at all.

I find the real art I have is more interesting to look at on the walls over several years than the posters, which are nice, but I don’t’ find I’m seeing new things in them 2 years on.

Clown Killer2:49 pm 25 Jun 10

I’ve never bought anything that you could call ‘art’ from a department store, but to be honest I’ve had trouble finding art that I’m prepared to pay for in the Canberra area. I’m not talking about crafty stuff, but serious art by serious artists.

Im sorry hang on a minute ! You sell your art by approaching cafe owners and getting them to hang it on the wall ? The whinge it doesn’t sell ?

How about you get off your arse and actually TRY and sell your products instead of whinging about it.

Geez if it was that easy to get a cafe owner to sell stuff I wouldn’t be getting up at 5am every weekend and attending markets to sell my craft/hobby items. You know spending most of the day there chatting to potential buyers, negotiating a sale etc etc etc.

Hmmmmmmm I wonder if a cafe will put my sewing up on the wall so I can sit back while someone else sells my ‘art’ ?

What I love about indie artists is that they convince themselves everyone else has poor or undeveloped taste when they have trouble selling their overpriced crap.

For the same reason people are buying Lime-Green Holden Commodores.

“longshanks I don’t care to make money from my art work as I said I have a professional job.”

So art is your hobby. How can I get other people to pay for mine?

“Petrol to drive to the store and purchase items, plus paying for parking $4”

F me. You’re really jumping the shark with this. Costs me more to do my hobby

Woody Mann-Caruso10:10 am 23 Jun 10

How many of us have heard that some of the most renowned artists of our times such as Van Gogh died penniless, there is a very good reason for this.

They were filthy hippies?

I would be more likely to buy original work if it was under $100. If I did paint, I would do it as a hobby and would be happy if I could get $50. I like to do cross stitch and knit, and although they can be expensive, I never expect to recoupe the costs.

Don’t the majority of paintings become expensive after the artist is dead anyway?

Have you tried ringing John Stanhope?

He has a history of buying overpriced gaudy artworks.

longshanks said :

Hosinator said :

It’s not my website ghughes. I’m in no way promoting anyones art work, just attempting to clarify the costs associated with producing art.

Here’s a quick question for you – when you fill out your tax return, do you declare the money you make from selling paintings? Or do you consider it to be a hobby for tax purposes?

Given that it’s not your main source of income, I’m going to assume that you consider it to be a hobby. If this is the case, the cost involved is secondary to the pleasure you gain from pursuing it. Plenty of people have expensive hobbies!

On the other hand, if you do declare this income, then surely there’s a mechanism for deducting your overheads (canvas, pants, easel, etc.) This would then significantly lower the per unit cost to you.

Since the CFO in our family works with the ATO, I duly pay all my taxes.

longshanks I don’t care to make money from my art work as I said I have a professional job.
However, I reiterate what I said before that artists don’t sell a piece of their work on a daily nor weekly basis.
How many of us have heard that some of the most renowned artists of our times such as Van Gogh died penniless, there is a very good reason for this.
Art is subjective, Trunking Symbols said it the best “

Trunking symbols said :

I don’t know much about art but I know what I like.

and that is why a lot of art does not sell. The creator may love it and the potential buyer may hate it.

longshanks said :

On the other hand, if you do declare this income, then surely there’s a mechanism for deducting your overheads (canvas, pants, easel, etc.) This would then significantly lower the per unit cost to you.

Well, yes, there is a mechanism for this, it is the section of a tax return where you declare costs associated with earning your living. You claim this against your income, thus reducing the total amount of tax you pay. My understand however is that you can only claim these cost against the income derived for the activity in question. So if I spend $100 on materials, and sell one painting for $100, I can only claim a deduction tax paid on the $100, ie not much.

Unless I am totally, wrong. Like most people on the interwebs I am talking out my arse.

A better question would be: who the hell cares?

People buy art they like, where they buy it from is just the end result.

georgesgenitals7:46 pm 22 Jun 10

I’m sure it costs a lot to paint a picture, but the reality of the matter is that for me (and many others I suspect), I just can’t justify dropping a thousand bucks or more on a picture for the wall when a nice print works just as well.

Tell Jeffree Skewes “he’s dreamin'”

(Trust me you cannot use student pants.)

LOL. Why not? Tony Tuckson once used his pyjama pants in a painting.

Trunking symbols5:24 pm 22 Jun 10

I don’t know much about art but I know what I like.

Hosinator said :

It’s not my website ghughes. I’m in no way promoting anyones art work, just attempting to clarify the costs associated with producing art.

Here’s a quick question for you – when you fill out your tax return, do you declare the money you make from selling paintings? Or do you consider it to be a hobby for tax purposes?

Given that it’s not your main source of income, I’m going to assume that you consider it to be a hobby. If this is the case, the cost involved is secondary to the pleasure you gain from pursuing it. Plenty of people have expensive hobbies!

On the other hand, if you do declare this income, then surely there’s a mechanism for deducting your overheads (canvas, pants, easel, etc.) This would then significantly lower the per unit cost to you.

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Yeah, because something like this is just like a Ferrari.

Somewhere there is someone who’ll buy this, scarily enough.

Here’s another Ikea piece. Now, Ikea sell NOTHING that won’t turn a healthy profit, and out of their hundred or so posters and pictures they feel that this will sell far more than enough to just cover their costs. I wouldn’t buy it – presumably you wouldn’t buy it. But many, many people will. And if you’re an artist whose work is like this, you could actually make a living from it, using mass reproduction and a grass-roots-advertised and marketed internet sales system.

ghughes said :

Congratulations to Brenda@art mine and Hosinator – you convinced us all to look at your website. And having had a look – I don’t think it is the price you should be worried about.

It’s not my website ghughes. I’m in no way promoting anyones art work, just attempting to clarify the costs associated with producing art.

Woody Mann-Caruso4:10 pm 22 Jun 10

However a simple piece of art is bespoke, handmade, akin to a bespoke suit or Ferrari and priced accordingly.

Yeah, because something like this is just like a Ferrari. An icon of the luxury motorsport world is just like “contemporary abstract graphic poetry” selling for $4,400. Guess they left off a couple of zeros.

justin heywood3:45 pm 22 Jun 10

SmileOnTrial said :

…. I unfortunatly have to deal with alot of artists

You work for Centrelink?

Congratulations to Brenda@art mine and Hosinator – you convinced us all to look at your website. And having had a look – I don’t think it is the price you should be worried about.

Snarky said :

That the frickin’ AMAZING thing about the internet and mass-reproduction art in general Mr Shanks – no matter what you make, somewhere there will be someone who wants to buy it. And NOW we have the technology to let them find it!

It also works the other way. What ever you want, it exists somewhere on the interwebs.

SmileOnTrial3:29 pm 22 Jun 10

I think most “artists” (including most Canberran bands) would do much better if they pulled their heads out of their own bums. I unfortunatly have to deal with alot of artists and they just dont seem to live in the real world. If I was an artist and was serious about making money from my art I would be doing more art along the lines of the stuff that sells alot untill I made a name for myself and then slowly put my own bohemian twist on things.

Hosinator said :

Snarky I appreciate the suggestions but you have to understand that the cost of art is very expensive for a reason. Mass produced art is cheap because like all economies of scale, mass producing something reduces the per unit cost.
Fair enough not arguing basic economics.
However a simple piece of art is bespoke, handmade, akin to a bespoke suit or Ferrari and priced accordingly.

See, this is where I see your complaint making little sense. Why don’t we see Ferrari’s everywhere on our roads? Why do we see people wearing ill-fitting, off the rack suits to work? Why would I walk past a beautiful restaurant on my way to a Subway to buy lunch? Obviously, because that’s what I can afford.

I would suggest that rather than trying to shift the mindset of the great unwashed – who even if aware of your work, would likely not be able to afford it – a better use of your time would be finding ways to market yourself to the people who can afford what you’re trying to sell, and appreciate it.

longshanks said :

I would say – if you want to sell your art, make art that people want to buy.

That the frickin’ AMAZING thing about the internet and mass-reproduction art in general Mr Shanks – no matter what you make, somewhere there will be someone who wants to buy it. And NOW we have the technology to let them find it!

Woody Mann-Caruso3:10 pm 22 Jun 10

Johnboy, can we get that put up the top of the website with the rest of the random quotes.

I think it already is. I was merely standing on the shoulders of giants.

Snarky said :

If you want to sell your stuff make it easy to buy!

Hosinator said :

a simple piece of art is bespoke, handmade, akin to a bespoke suit or Ferrari and priced accordingly.

I would say – if you want to sell your art, make art that people want to buy. Your paintings might be beautiful and astute commentaries on the frailty of the human condition in a harsh and chaotic world. They might be a primal representation of your inner child, seeking reassurance amidst the bewilderment of modern society. They might even be genuinely beautiful and thought provoking.

But maybe – just maybe – they’re crap. And handmade/bespoke crap is still crap, and society is under no obligation to subsidise your production of crap.

Just my thoughts, of course – and after last night’s curry I’m off to produce some crap myself.

Hosinator said :

(Trust me you cannot use student pants.)

Ain’t that the truth.

Hosinator said :

Mediums: $30 to $50

I though you were talking about painting, not communing with the dead?

I won’t argue the economics of one-off pieces Hosinator – in fact I think you’re underestimating your time and costs to be honest. What I’m saying is that if you’re trying to make even half a living from selling one piece one time then you’re doomed to the poverty-stricken life you’re living.

Take advantage of the modern print repro, internet and photographic technology that’s out there – Cafepress costs nothing to set up, for example – the only money that changes hands is when someone buys something from the site, then your share gets sent to you. Digital print for posters and postcards is cheap! A digital camera that costs (say) $700 now is as capable as a $20,000 camera 20 years ago. Space on the internet is essentially free, although it may cost a bit to get a decent website set up. I see no reason whatsoever that you should be content to sell a piece once, once every few months. We have a range of cheap and affordable technological solutions any other artist in any other time period would have killed for to be able to sell more art, more often! Think outside your little square – the rest of the world is!

Snarky said :

Why don’t people buy it? Is it the price? Get prints made and sell those. Size? Offer a range of sizes of the prints from full size down to postcard size. Stick the original in a really kick-ass frame and put a premium on it – the prints will sell even faster when their price looks so much cheaper in relation, plus some rich art connoiseur may even buy the original for an even bigger profit for you. Drop off art postcards for free at cafes with a website where even more can be purchased in big letters on the back. Go to cafepress or similar and put your images on *everything* – t-shirts (which you then wear around a lot and get noticed), coffeee mugs (which get into offices and generate discussion), desk calendars (ditto).
If you want to sell your stuff make it easy to buy!

Snarky I appreciate the suggestions but you have to understand that the cost of art is very expensive for a reason. Mass produced art is cheap because like all economies of scale, mass producing something reduces the per unit cost.
Fair enough not arguing basic economics.
However a simple piece of art is bespoke, handmade, akin to a bespoke suit or Ferrari and priced accordingly.

As an example I’ll give you the cost breakdown structure for a simple piece of art work that I priced.

Canvas: $35 to $100 depending on quality
Professional Quality Paints between $50 to $80 dollars. (Trust me you cannot use student pants.)
Brushes $10 (these can be reused but need to be replaced from time to time, so I am prorating a number of expensive brushes and tools that I use.)
Mediums: $30 to $50
Petrol to drive to the store and purchase items, plus paying for parking $4
My time to actually do the painting. I have a professional job and based on my hourly rate lets halve it because I create art out of enjoyment and do it on my time. But as a professional artist you need to earn a living… lets say $30 per hour x 5 to 10 hours per painting.
Simple artist’s easel prorated over 20 paintings $10.

After I have finished said painting I need to sell it, which involves driving around town on my time using my petrol…but I won’t include it here so as to keep the cost down.

So after all of this my single piece of art work at best costs $289 or at worst $534.00, now also take away commission for the gallery or cafe where it was sold from…5 to 20%.

Now place the cost of all the marketing material you want me to produce to sell my painting…and people wonder why artists ask for exorbitant amounts of money for their art work.

Please also keep in mind that an artist doesn’t sell a piece of artwork everyday. It maybe months before they sell their next piece, all the while eeking out an existence, there is a reason why they don’t wash or eat.

Hosinator said :

…If you want to sell your stuff make it easy to buy!

This is perfect!

luther_bendross2:03 pm 22 Jun 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

Also, all the art on your website is bullsh*t and I laugh at it.

Johnboy, can we get that put up the top of the website with the rest of the random quotes. Best. Thing. Ever.

… and I have to talk to grubby artists who want to tell me their life story and explain the acrylic train smash they claim holds the answers to life, the universe, and everything?
quote]

Pure Genius. 4 billion S4anta points right there

Why go to a department store to buy art when there are plenty of Iranian/French/Israeli art students coming to my door offering their handcrafted efforts at discounted prices. Now that’s service.

Hosinator said :

… But sales are few and far between because as much as people may like your art work and comment on how much they like it, they don’t take the next step in purchasing it.

Actually, I sympathise with your predicament Hosinator, but I still think that if you’re trying to earn from your art there’s more you should be doing to sell it.

Why don’t people buy it? Is it the price? Get prints made and sell those. Size? Offer a range of sizes of the prints from full size down to postcard size. Stick the original in a really kick-ass frame and put a premium on it – the prints will sell even faster when their price looks so much cheaper in relation, plus some rich art connoiseur may even buy the original for an even bigger profit for you. Drop off art postcards for free at cafes with a website where even more can be purchased in big letters on the back. Go to cafepress or similar and put your images on *everything* – t-shirts (which you then wear around a lot and get noticed), coffeee mugs (which get into offices and generate discussion), desk calendars (ditto).

If you want to sell your stuff make it easy to buy!

Maybe people just don’t give a sh!t enough to try and find some artist who isn’t willing to go to the effort to put themselves in the way of the consumer.
it might be mass produced, but the artist who created it has made the effort to market themselves where people will actually see them.

Here’s an idea, the art that I create, I keep for myself rather than trying to sell it for ridiculous amounts of money, and then I go get a real job to pay my bills.

The fact is that as an artist in Canberra it is hard to get any recognition in the market place.
Unless you know how to market your product or know someone who can, it is difficult to get your work out there.

I’ve placed my art work on show in various places, cafes, hair dressers and small retail shops.
But sales are few and far between because as much as people may like your art work and comment on how much they like it, they don’t take the next step in purchasing it.

And when your art doesn’t sell 24 hours after hanging it the owner of the premises you placed your art work with, asks you to remove it so they can put up another piece, 24 hours later it changes as well because it doesn’t sell and the owner doesn’t get their small piece of commission.

Maybe, just maybe, people like the stuff in department stores and can’t stand the stuff on show at the Front.

Just a hunch, mind you…

Hells_Bells7412:51 pm 22 Jun 10

lol I’m just laughing at Woody now.

Isn’t it all part of the treasure though, little studios out in the bush that occasionally have a gallery or exhibition. Aren’t they kinda best ‘hidden’ away to just be shown to selected people otherwise really? Day to day life will definitely see you in a dept store more often than an art gallery or whatever. We may appreciate the convenience in the city, we don’t have the hours to chase down art. Then there’s the price difference. Struggling artists are just that and tend to reflect that and my wallet doesn’t comply for one, I (with a family) struggle too.

Just how I see it. I’ll be much more likely to buy pieces mass-produced but pretty and striking!

Woody Mann-Caruso12:36 pm 22 Jun 10

I really don’t know…do you?

Because it’s cheap, convenient and there’s a wide variety to match your decor? As opposed to expensive, inconvenient and I have to talk to grubby artists who want to tell me their life story and explain the acrylic train smash they claim holds the answers to life, the universe, and everything?

Domayne and Freedom aren’t stealing your share of the ‘artistic merit’ market. They’re soaking up the ‘the red in this print will match the cover of my Acer laptop’ market. You trying to claim one has anything to do with the other is ludicrous. It’s not like people are heading to Harvey Norman looking for local art and being sucked into buying Chinese prints instead.

Also, all the art on your website is bullsh*t and I laugh at it.

barking toad12:18 pm 22 Jun 10

I’m with the snarky one here.

If the art in the studios and sheds is so good, well it should sell, shouldn’t it? Arty types in berets and scarves should be knocking down the doors to get at it.

Maybe there’s more overpriced crap in the sheds and studios than in department stores – produced by kiddies living off government grants even though they failed plasticine in kindergarten.

Perhaps BECAUSE the “art” is IN “department stores” where people are looking to buy things and NOT in “sheds of the Canberra region”?

Seriously, if you want to sell it, put it where it can be seen by the people who you want to buy it. And as a side note, just because a painting or photo is mass-produced in the tens of thousands doesn’t make it less attractive on a wall or shelf than a one-off painting. Sure, there’s alot of sh!t out there, but there are some mass-produced pics that are gorgeous – it’s why they’re stocked.

If you want to make art then that’s great – more power to you. If you want to sell it, then get out and SELL it – don’t whine about the competition. If you’re “better” in whatever quality is relevant to the buyer, you’ll win the sale, but only if the buyer knows you exist.

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