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

By brenda.artmine - 22 June 2010 56

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

What’s Your opinion?


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56 Responses to
Why are people still buying mass produced ‘art’ from ‘dept stores’?????
p1 3:01 pm 22 Jun 10

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?

Snarky 2:52 pm 22 Jun 10

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!

Hosinator 2:21 pm 22 Jun 10

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.

Hank 2:19 pm 22 Jun 10

Snarky said :

Hosinator said :

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

This is perfect!

luther_bendross 2:03 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.

S4anta 1:45 pm 22 Jun 10

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

… 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

Deano 1:28 pm 22 Jun 10

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.

Snarky 1:17 pm 22 Jun 10

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!

gibbery 1:11 pm 22 Jun 10

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.

Hosinator 1:01 pm 22 Jun 10

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.

Thumper 12:56 pm 22 Jun 10

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_Bells74 12:51 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-Caruso 12:36 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 toad 12:18 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.

Snarky 11:21 am 22 Jun 10

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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