Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 62

Singapore Heritage Shophouse No. 62
6"x6" Oil on Canvas
Click Here to Purchase

Life in the tropics... I've now had three good painting days this week (today is going to be included), and I have gotten so much done. I love it! I spent a good portion of this summer really looking at my artwork, and the business end of it, and what direction will be best for my artwork and myself. Do I want to go play in the "big leagues?" Do I want to just paint for myself and have my husband be the breadwinner? Do I want to just be a hobbyist and go to lunches and volunteer here and paint when I feel like it? 

This has been quite an evolution in both my art and myself. We live here in Asia, and we could wind up having to move somewhere else on very short notice. Luckily, these circumstances have made it so that we do not depend on my income from art, and I am more or less allowed to pursue it at my leisure.  But at the same time, if we lived back in the US, our situation would most likely be more rooted and stable, allowing me to better establish myself as an artist. I could sell online (right now shipping costs basically negate any profit I could have). Galleries are much easier to approach if you are local, etc.

Pursuing your passion at your leisure may seem wonderful as well, but then you are treated as a hobbyist. I don't want to be treated as a hobbyist. I want this to be my job, my livelihood. Getting into major galleries in the US and breaking into the NYC or San Francisco art scenes doesn't really concern me, but I do want people whom I meet and see my work to take me seriously. So, long story short, I've decided to step up my game and focus on the local market here in Singapore. I think that as I get better as an artist here, and continue to grow and define myself, things will eventually happen in the US as well. I've been too scattered as of late.

The local art market in Singapore (and the rest of Asia) is completely different from America. The biggest difference is that most Asians don't buy art because they like it. They buy it like they would buy a piece of real estate - for potential investment growth. Disturbing. So, because of this, the gallery system is a little strange, and I think I'll be avoiding it. So the next step will be self-promotion here in Singapore. Art fairs, art (like tupperware) parties, all kinds of fun things. I know that expats respond best to my art, so I'm going to go where they are and find them. 

I also am stepping up my game with the quality of my art. I learned so much this summer from Karin Jurick, and I don't think it is best to post a blog post just to post. If I produce a wipe-off one day, then there just won't be a post that day. I think it is much better to have a consistent body of excellent work than some mediocre work in there. So, I apologize to my mother if now through Shophouse #79 I skip a couple. Those were some that now I would have gone back and wiped off.

It will definitely be a new adventure, but one I think is worth pursuing. We could move anywhere, at any time, and I think by focusing on my experience abroad that I can be the truest to both myself and my art. One of the most terrifying realizations I had after I graduated from college was that the only thing that was getting in between myself and my happiness and dreams was... myself. Time to check that ego at the door and roll up the sleeves and get to work.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Shelby,

    I share many of your views on galleries and personal goals as an artist and just want to wish you great success in following your own voice! Your work is always a pleasure to see.



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