Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fine Art is a Good Gift This Year

Tracks in the Snow, 2008, Oil on Panel, 8x10

In 1995, Doug and I lived in northern Utah. Our nephew (we later adopted him) was living with us and our other son was just a baby. We had moved out there in 1993 so that Doug could work full time with a holography company that he had invested in years earlier. We had just moved into our second crappy rental house, we had been asked to move out of the first one because we were late with the rent a few times, um because Doug's company was doing badly and his pay was erratic. Soon after we moved into the second house, the company actually filed for bankruptcy and obviously we were in trouble. I was a stay at home mom and Doug's partner literally told Doug that he should make me get a job. You know, to help out. Never mind that that would require all kinds of extra expenses, like day care, transportation, clothing which would probably just about equal any kind of low paying job that was even available in the area we lived in. Plus, there was no chance that I would be handing my child over to day care, that was something we both felt very strongly about.

Doug applied for unemployment and my unpaid job was to make sure that we were living as frugally as possible. I cooked everything from scratch (cheaper than buying packaged foods, even with coupons), there were NO extras allowed, no movies, no eating out, no shopping, no extra driving, nothing. We managed to get the rent paid on time each month, and kept up as well as we could with the other bills. Even though this was a very stressful time, it was also a very happy time for us. Our baby was unbearably cute and fun and mostly we just looked at him all day which didn't cost anything! The financial difficulties brought Doug and I even closer. We kept our heads, assigned no blame, put together a plan and stuck to it. We worked as a team to handle our finances.

So in the spirit of team work, I have put up yet another blog. It's called The Fine Art Department and I'd like to post an image, a short description and link to artists who are selling their own work. The economy is tough and those of us who (try to) make a living selling our work have been greatly affected. Obviously, I hope that if one has limited funds, they will pay for food, insurance, mortgage, etc. first, however perhaps there are still a few folks who can squeeze out a couple of bucks to buy a piece of art to enjoy or to give as a gift. If artists aren't selling anything, they are also not buying anything either or paying their bills or the mortgage and the dominoes will keep falling. I realize that not every art buyer wants to buy my art (what?) so I'd like to offer some alternatives and hopefully somebody will make a few sales, even if it's not me.

So. If you have a website, an Etsy page, an Ebay store etc, where you directly sell your work, and would like to have your link included on The Fine Art Department, please email me. No sales will go through the The Fine Art Department, all sales must go through the individual artists sites. Please include a jpeg (72dpi), a short description and price info, and the link and I will load it onto the site. Then please post a link to the The Fine Art Department on your sidebar, preferably in a prominent position rather than in a blogroll. I was hoping to make it blink or something (at least through the holidays) on my sidebar but I need help with setting that up; I know that Chris knows how to do that, maybe he will give a tutorial. heh. Anyway, I get about 300-500 hits here each day, and I will also send this link out to all of my real life, art buying friends, and if all of you do the same, maybe we can get some good traffic. I am just a simple girl and confess to having little to no understanding of search engines and all of that so any other ideas would be great.

Let's try and work together to get through this lousy, stupid ass economy, 'k?

PS. Things eventually worked out for us back in 1995. Within a few days of the bankruptcy, Doug started getting job offers and other opportunities within the holography industry, so that was very encouraging. And within a few more months, one of their old clients decided to buy the company out of bankruptcy. Doug became a partner, was put in charge of the plant, got a signing bonus and we were soon able to get out of debt and buy our first house. Doug and I learned that we were a great team, and also that talking about money while in bed was a bad idea, two lessons that we still truly appreciate and which are coming in handy right now.

EDIT: I have been flooded with submissions for The Fine Art Department! I have decided to keep it relatively small (25-30 artists) and I already have 26. You can send me your info, but unfortunately I probably won't add it. Sorry.

22 comments:

Melody said...

Tracy, that is an extremely kind and generous offer. I would like to take you up on it. I'll send my info along shortly. Much thanks!

sarahfburns said...

Great idea - I'm on board, too! Thanks for doing this and thanks for sharing your experiences.

Kim Morin Weineck said...

Excellent post. Gave me a shot in the arm and some similarities are mind blowing.

Thanks for some special insight and a networking venue.

Tracy said...

Looking forward to getting your info (Melody's is posted)! Thanks for joining me on this!

Fiona said...

Brilliant

Angela Wales Rockett said...

What a fantastic idea! And so generous. I especially love how you've come up with a solution instead of just bemoaning the problem.

My husband's mother was berating him the other day for not sounding worried enough about the economy's effect on his employer, and his response was along the lines of "we just have to keep offering our clients the very best" - something they were doing anyway. And that's kind of how I feel too. Why should good business practices and customer service only be important when there's an economic crisis?

Oops, sorry about the rant. I will definitely be emailing you soon with my info. Thank you, Tracy.

Natalya said...

great story, thank you for sharing! and i'll be sending you my info shortly...

indigomar said...

great idea and generous! would love to get on board. i'll send info soon!! thankfully prepping for a show this weekend...wondering about the sales while maintaining a positive outlook.
mary ann

Laura said...

Tracy, I'm a friend of Jody Paulsen in Montana. She passed on your blog to me, and I've really enjoyed it. This is such a great idea, I think your right, the more artists help each other the better. I believe there are buyers for everyone's style out there if you can somehow reach them.

Tracy said...

Thanks Fiona. I am most awesome, heh:)

Angela, well I certainly have my moments of bemoaning and maybe terror as well about the future, but I had that when the economy was good to:) So glad you will join in.

Great, looking forward to getting your info Natalya!

Hi Mary Ann, happy that you are on board too. I am not happy about fewer sales, but I understand it and have decided to do what I can to get by and keep working anyway.

Hi Laura, Glad you are saying hi and that you have enjoyed the blog! I noticed you on the follower list and did visit your blog. I noticed Montana, but didn't connect it with Jody, duh. In my defense though it IS a big state:) Nice work, btw, love the murals!

Michael Lynn Adams said...

Hi Tracy. As one my favorite artist bloggers I have Tagged you. This is a good thing. It helps spread the word about your blog, and you get some pretty entertaining information about other artists. To get the rules about Tagging other artists, visit my blog.

Michelle said...

Tracy,
Great idea, much more efficient than mine (trying to persuade Target to trade xbox games for art)
I will send info to , and put you promently on my blog!

self taught artist said...

tracy, found you through lisa call...email on its way and will for sure link to it. great idea and very supportive!

Veronica Funk said...

Hi Tracy, what a fabulous and supportive idea...I'd love to take part with this amazing group of artists if you'll have me. I'll send an e-mail shortly.

Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson said...

Tracy, tried to email you but it's getting kicked back. would love to be considered for your listing, have figurative collage work on eBay with links from my blog:
http://elizabethsthilairenelson.blogspot.com/

Tracy said...

Thanks everyone, so glad that there is so much interest in this, please send me your info if you haven't already so I can get it posted!

Sherri Woodard Coffey said...

I love this idea! Thanks. I sent info to the email addy in the piece but it was returned. I've tried again by removing the .com after the .net. Hope it works this time.

Thanks again.

Deborah Ross said...

Tracy, you are a genius. We all need to stick together and look out for each other. Thanks for your encouraging story, it is true that things usually come around if we keep on the right track. I think this offer from you will finally give me the kick in the pants I need to start organized selling of my work on the internet. Thanks.

Jennie Rosenbaum said...

Hi Tracy, that is a great idea and very generous of yu! I will send my information along and publicize what you are doing on my blog as well :)

thanks for your story about coping with financial difficulty too, my husband and I have had similar times and are facing another one now. it's funny how it does bring you closer together in the long run, the lessons we learn in each lean period always serve us well for the next, we feel like old pros now! it's a harsh climate but if you are a team with your partner then it can still be fun,

Shayla said...

That was an inspiring story and you've thought up a great networking strategy. Best of success!

Vivien said...

Natalya put me onto your blog. It's great, full of art and heartfelt commentary. I think your Fine Art Department is a great idea; I hope it's something that catches on and outlasts whatever hard times we may be in for. Good luck to everyone!

dianeclancy said...

Tracy - thank you for sharing your story - it is quite moving!! I will email you - I would like to take you up on your offer.

Thank you!
~ Diane Clancy
www.DianeClancy.com/blog
www.DianeClancy.etsy.com