Small town or city life, doesn’t matter anymore. The need to make is more obsessive than ever , but now I think about who I am selling to and where is my market for the type of pieces I am making. Quite the thought that keeps you up at night, dreaming of making pots and how to correct them or to adjust them. And then you move on to where to sell them. I have really had no experience in this department, I have mostly sold through University events, small shows and through Medalta of course. Producing work has always been my goal, but I have always stalled on selling it to the mass market.
I go over this in my head and come up with the answer immediately : it is fear that stops me from getting work out there. What if they don’t sell? What if they are too contemporary for the public? What if the glaze should happen to chip!?
I know the most basic answer that comes to mind is to be confident in your work and the technical aspect of the work must be figured out, but the real reason for the stall, to get work out there,is only because of an invisible barrier. The only true constant that stops me is thinking about what the market will want, how should my pieces identify with the user/buyer. I had a great discussion with some local people around the county of Pictou and have had some discussions with peers and professional’s I have met over the year. The reality is when to make work for yourself and when to target your work for only the public. It is a constant debate, where some are so opposed to making work specifically for the public, breaking a rule of your personal creative dynamic to sell out in a fashion. Some on the other say it is a matter of integrating in the community, to give the public want they want first, objects made (decorated perhaps) in relation, in some way, to the surrounding community. When you have some measure of identity in the community, with those objects, I have been told that is when you reel them in to your own ideas and your real intention through your work.
With this in mind, to be “authentic” or to make work which markets to the surrounding community you live in, I have come up with the basic plan of making the work as I want to, technically , but the imagery presented on the pieces will delve into community themes and “likes”. It is all a matter of changing the imagery to suit my own creative desires within the pieces. Authenticity is a slippery slope.
As an example, let’s say I put an image of an anchor on the piece I make. I am aware of the history of the surrounding area, so the anchor is symbolic. But I need to change that anchor, as an artist , that anchor must be manipulated in some fashion. And this is my goal, to find the answer to making work, while engaging the community as well.
One of the reasons this theme or these questions came to mind is due to:
And also the questions were raised due to random conversations with artists and the public.