Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Let it free if its not for you

Sometimes things that you think are within your grasp are taken away from you. Sometimes it takes you by surprise and sometimes its out of your power no matter how much you think you're doing the right thing to get it. So, this was the case last year when I went to the local farm shop and talked with the owner about hanging some of my paintings there. She was keen on the idea, liked my art very much, had even been actively looking for a local artist to hang some paintings and was all for it. She just needed to hang some picture hooks. I went back week after week and the hooks weren't up but were going to be - imminently! Then we had the problem with "insurance" and the insurance company not being happy with paintings with glass hanging on the wall because of children running around and maybe harming themselves. So it was decided that it was better not to have my paintings, and they'd do without artwork. Fair enough. And funnily enough, a few weeks ago when I went they had some artwork on the wall. Ok, it wasn't for sale, and was possibly screwed to the wall, but it wasn't my artwork (neither was it as good as my artwork!). So, I shrugged it off, and got on with other things. There wasn't much else I could do.

This week something else was taken away that I thought was a "given". My spiritual healer friend has decided that she doesn't want her self-help book on unicorns illustrated now. The book has been two years in the writing, has only been completed recently, and we have on various occasions discussed me illustrating it for her. We were both looking forward to the creative partnership of her words and my images being published. But she now feels that the book doesn't need illustrating. Fair enough. It's her book and for her to make the decision. And its not for me to argue the point (too much!) - she is my closest friend, and will remain so, so we're not going to fall out over it. I know she's not comfortable with some of the erotic artwork I do sitting against "spiritual" images. But I paint so many varied subjects, so many different things, and maybe that's part of the problem. I do TOO much to fit into a niche. I know I'm good at what I do, and others like what I do, and my art sells. But I don't fit into a title - I do erotic art, but I'm more than "just" an Erotic Artist". I also "do" landscapes, and fantasy, cats, people, and figures. All I want to do is paint pictures and sell them. The subject matter is VAST.

But, this has also got me thinking - there is no reason why I can't still paint the unicorn pictures I have been planning in my head. There is no reason why the pictures won't make beautiful paintings, that people may want to buy, there is no reason why I may not at some point write a book - about my art, for instance, that will have a chapter on unicorns, a chapter on the fantasy fannies, a chapter on landscapes, one on tigers, one on mermaids, one on erotic art, one on surreal art, one on erotic landscapes, etc etc. I have enough subject matter to write a book already, and I enjoy the writing process very much. And it seems to be well accepted in return. I plan at some point in the future to do it. Not now, and maybe not for a few years, but its on the mental "to do" list.

So, I can only be true to myself - and paint what inspires me. Whatever it is. And listen to what other people ask me to paint for them. Its all fantasy, one way or another.

MMm........ Maybe I should retitle myself "Fantasy Artist"!!!! :)

14 comments:

Loving Annie said...

Paint, Jackie, no matter what people say or decide... It is your legacy.

Jackie Adshead said...

Loving annie - Thankyou, that comment means a lot.

Fitzy said...

That was rather sad that you lost the opportunity to have some of your work on show in your local farm shop, especially given the owner initially at least seemed keen. Do you have any of your work on show anywhere at present, other than perhaps the Guild of Erotic Artists place?

Given the farm shop setting I am perhaps assuming it wasn't some of your more erotic work going on show? Although I am happy to stand corrected, as I know my place!!!

Do you perhaps feel that however much the owner liked your work that she then looked at your website and even if she still personally loved it, she might have just felt it was not the right image for her shop given that her customers might do likewise after looking at your work in the shop, think that's great, go home google you and then think, well whatever they might think?

As whilst you know I think your work is amazing and I am clearly not alone in that view, there are no doubt people out there that would for some reason be offended by it, so do you think that could perhaps be the reason behind her change of heart, even more so now there are pictures on show, albeit not for sale and perhaps screwed to the wall?

If that is, or might be the case, would you ever consider running two websites, one containing what would be considered more traditional works of art, with a second one reserved just for your erotic works? Thus avoiding any potential conflict between the two.

As for your friend, that is again rather sad, but given how you said she feels about some of your erotic works sitting against the more spiritual imagines that might be her reason for changing her mind?

Well I hope that gives you some food for thought, although clearly nothing that came from the farm shop of course!

Given what I have already said about your writing in the past, I would like to put my name down early for any forthcoming bestseller!

Jackie Adshead said...

Fitzy - Yes, it was a shame to lose the opportunity at the local farm shop. I have my work in a local gallery and tea rooms, but only a few pieces. Its an on going problem for me finding a proper gallery for the different type of art that I do!

You are quite correct, it wasn't anything erotic - only rural landscapes and animal paintings. You may be right, that she found my art too much for her, and her customers, but I wasn't offering to put anything vaguely erotic (or offensive) on her walls.Its part of my on going problem again, that I do erotic art and hang it against the more vanilla stuff. But I honestly think it was the technical reasons of the difficulty with the hooks and insurance that was the problem rather than the erotic art I do.

I HAVE already considered some time ago, having two websites for the erotic and non erotic art, but I'll still do both sorts regardless, so I might as well put all my art together so that people can see ALL that I do, and make their decisions regarding whether the erotic stuff is offensive for them.

Its part of the reason that my friend has made the decision not to have any illustrations in her book. But she's known I do erotic art as long as she's known me. She feels the book doesn't need illustrations, in keeping with other books of that genre. I suppose that readers can make their own pictures in their heads, and having a drawing in the book with detract from that.

Yes, thanks, it has given me food for thought. Even the experience from the farm shop was helpful in a negative way, if that makes sense! :)

Ok, I'll put you down for my forthcoming book - although you might have a bit of a wait!!!! :)

Fitzy said...

It certainly is a shame to lose any potential venues to exhibit your wares, and whilst you do have a couple of places, the more you can find the better. I am sure the internet is a huge help, but it must nonetheless be incredibly difficult to market yourself as an artist (of any description) and to do so in a cost effective way. As you point out the varied nature of your work also makes that task harder.

Has there been much benefit that you can atribute from your membership of The Guild of Erotic Artists?

I am sure you are right then about it being the technicalities of it causing the problem in the farm shop, rather than it being the other types of work that you do, which we all love by the way!

At least the two sites is something that you have considered and I guess it does really make sense to only have a single one containing all of your work, and it is clearly far easier to administer from your point of view, as well as showing just what a varied repertoire and talent you have! Also in this day and age, and for anyone with internet access especially, there shouldn't really be anyone getting too upset over some nude paintings and drawings.

I do still think that it is a shame about the book illustrations though. But as long as you remain friends, and from what you told me you are not easily offend, so friendship is more important than work.

I do understand how you can still take a positive from a negative experience, just, although I had best not dwell on this for long as I am becoming increasingly confused! lol

It seems I shall just have to wait for your blockbuster then, but I do think that you should give some thought as to who should play you once the movie rights are purchased!!!

Jackie Adshead said...

Fitzy - Its finding the right venue that's the tricky thing - I've tried various galleries and local exhibitions over the years, all to no great effect. And of course the bigger the gallery the more they take from the poor artist, so at the moment I'm trying to promote myself and my art through my website and blog, and that seems to to working quite successfully at the moment, and of course is more cost effective.

I've had huge benefits in a supportive and promotional way, from being in the Guild of Erotic Artists, but no sales through them, as yet.

Yes, it was easier to have one website rather than two, since some of my work is vaguely erotic in a mild way (mermaids being topless for instance!)and I don't know *where* I'd put the erotic landscapes if I had two sites - since they are both "erotic" and a "landscape"!!! As for people being upset - art is littered with nudes, i just add a frisson of intererst to those nudes!

Yes, its a shame about the book illustrations, but the friendship is certainly more important than us falling out over it. You're right, I don't easily take offence.

You're making me smile about being confused about me being postive from a negative experience, we'd better not get onto double negatives becoming positives then!! LOL

Mmm.... that's got me thinking, who should play me in the movie? Er........

Fitzy said...

Do you feel that you would have more luck in finding a gallery if you were perhaps closer to London? But then I guess the downside of this is that a gallery in London would expect an even bigger cut from your sales.

Just a thought, but are you aware of the London Fetish Fair? Whilst I have never been myself, it is run monthly and might be of some use? Not sure if I can add links in here but if you google London Fetish Fair you will find their site.

Pleased to hear that you consider the Guild of Erotic Artists to have been a help. As for no sales through them, I found you via them, so whilst what I have just purchased from you came from seeing it on your Blog, I did only discover you via their site, so you do now have at least one sale attributable to them! And hopefully a couple of commissions as well. Although perhaps I shouldn't say that too loudly as they might be looking for a cut! lol

Putting it like that, I do see now why it really would be such a problem to decide how to split your work between two separate sites.

As you say, as long as you both remain friends then that is the main thing. Even if it might mean bread and jam for a few weeks! Should you need any butter though, I will gladly deliver some! lol

A double negative!!! Oh dear, lets not even go there, please remember that not only am I a man, but I am currently a sick man taking rather strong painkillers to boot, so just how on earth do you think I am going to understand that!!! lol

Just this once I shall forgive you for not answering the actress question as it was rather unkind!

Jackie Adshead said...

Fitzy - Yes, I'm sure I would have more luck if I was closer to London, but a London gallery would certainly take a huge cut, and I'd probably get about the same as I do now anyway for a painting, but my buyers would have to pay oodles more money to cover the galleries cut.

I've heard of the London Fetish Fair but wasn't aware that it was run monthly, thanks for telling me! I'll look into it.

That's true - you've come to me via the Erotic Guild, but its my blog that seems to be tipping the balance for sales. And, no, the Guild won't be looking for a cut on any commissions I do for you - only from me directly hanging a painting on their studio wall and exhibiting on their wall space and web space.

I'm not on butter and jam, just yet! LOL But I know where to come if I want any from your butter mountain, thanks.

The actress question wasn't unkind - it was a delicious thought! I just couldn't think of anyone appropriate!!! LOL

Fitzy said...

It certainly cannot be denied that things are outrageously expensive in London, and as you say, people would then be forced into paying far more for your work than is currently the case. Which from a selfish point of view is not good, plus it does risk alienating existing customers if they are unable to afford the price increases.

Do you feel it would be preferable to always work on the best guess basis that you previously mentioned, thus simply selling the work you think people will like, or would you sooner always work on commissions? Whilst I expect commissions are nice as it makes a change and they are all different, I would assume those to more time consuming?

Pleased I could tell you something you didn't know about the Fetish Fair.

I think your Blog is a great advert for your work as I feel it makes you far more accessible than might be the case with other artists, especially for those of us that enjoy art, but perhaps have little or no knowledge of it. So I am sure it does work very well as an advert for your talents.

I am pleased to hear that I get to maintain my butter mountain for the time being, but I shall keep some on standby! lol

I am also pleased to hear that you didn't consider the actress question unkind.

Jackie Adshead said...

Fitzy - I'm unusual for an artist, in that I prefer commissions. A lot of artists like to paint their own thing and don't like intrusion into their set ideas. I prefer commissions because then I can talk to the client, and find out their ideas, discuss them with them, add my own, and hopefully at the end of it, the client gets exactly what they want, and its personalised for them too, so they prefer it more as it's something very personal that they can relate to. And yes, commissions are more time consuming, but then at least I know I have a better chance of the painting being well received by the client, so its worth putting the extra time and effort into it.

Yes, the blog does certainly seem to work very well as my best advert. Its a form of communication that gives people a better idea of who I am and what I am like as a person but more so as an artist. It means I can connect better with people through it rather than just my website. And people can ask questions and get replies that hopefully are informative and helpful. Of course, there are also a lot of people who read it and never comment, and they must get something from it too - the entertainment value, if nothing else! :)

Yep, you should always hang on to a bit of butter, you never know when you might need it! LOL

Not at all, I was touched at the thought of the actress playing me. Thankyou!

Fitzy said...

Putting it like that, I can certainly see how you would gain greater satisfaction as an artist from working on commissions, rather than from simply painting your own ideas.

I would have to agree that I am sure a great many people are simply happy enough reading your Blog, even if they don't feel the need to join in. It sure has entertainment value! In a good way I hasten to add!!! lol

nitebyrd said...

It's really her loss not to have the book illustrated, especially by you. Definitely paint what you've been thinking about, they will be magnificent and well loved.

Jackie Adshead said...

Fitzy - That's good to know!! :)

Jackie Adshead said...

Nitebyrd - Thankyou, for all those lovely points you've just made!