Thursday, August 30, 2012

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

"Window on Pine Island" 16x20 wrap canvas; oil

 Years ago, a retirement adviser suggested I diversify my portfolio. “The secret to success,” he said, “is to avoid putting all your assets, all your eggs into one basket.”

He was right. It still didn’t stop me from losing money when the tech bubble burst; my mutual funds were heavily invested in technology. And it didn’t stop me from losing money when my AOL stock tanked. His advice did teach me a valuable lesson: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. They just might break and you'll lose everything!

That philosophy works for artists, too. We must diversify our portfolios and adapt to market changes. A recent visit to some art galleries and consignment stores underscored the need to stay abreast of the changing tastes of a younger upscale market; one that is being pinched by the current economic climate.

I saw smaller artworks, smaller canvases, and artwork being applied to craft items: Magnets, plates, glasses, boxes were plentiful; and more jewelry is being made. Tourists who must fly back home are looking for gift items that will tuck easily into a suitcase. 

"Hey, Coconut Mon" 18x24 mixed media on canvas

Artists must adapt and make these “bread and butter” items in order to bring needed cash into their resource bank. Recycled items were numerous: Palm fronds elaborately painted with shiny enamel to look like fish, jewelry made with seeds and natural items, Paper Mache sculpture, etc. 

Online, I saw an Indonesian artist creating wonderful artwork on Styrofoam cups, probably for lack of money or supplies. Extraordinary skill and talent cannot be kept down, even by money.

I force myself to paint “pretty little things” when what I’d really like to paint is serious, controversial paintings with possible political overtones; but who buys that? Still, if we paint what we love, eventually someone else will love it, too; or so I’ve been told.

I don’t know about you, but when I get discouraged, I’m less creative. When I try to “make myself” create, I come up against a wall. When I stay positive and stay busy, I’m more likely to come up with more ideas than I can use. Don’t give up. Adapt, change and find new avenues for your artwork and your creativity.

Featured Artist:
Dorina Costras from Bacau, Romania. Exquisite, original drawings and paintings may be found on Facebook or at the RedBubble link below.

PLUS Stan Propenko Part 3, Drawing of the Head, Sideview