Wednesday, November 04, 2009

What do people really want?

Yesterday Jennifer and I had a discussion about participating in art shows and craft sales. We agreed that neither of us could figure out in advance what people actually want or like. When you can do this, then you’re able to tailor your work to meet the demand for what’s hot at the moment visually.
Unfortunately this doesn’t always translate into positive feedback or sales, so that’s why I just follow my own personal agenda and hope that people will get me (although I must admit that I don’t get my own self most of the time).
Take this mixed media piece in my show for instance. The main reason I made it was because I wanted to use the magnifying mirror I’d found on one of my jaunts to Active Surplus with Mary. I don’t know what pleased me more, the serene way in which this work unfolded or choosing the title when I finished: Her Inner Aviary.
So far no one is as enamored of this piece as I am …i.e. it hasn’t sold yet. I really can’t say this bothers me because I have been doing well sales-wise with my show. I also feel that if my art children don’t find their real art home, they’re always welcome to come back and camp out with me—or in this case: roost.

If you haven’t seen my show: Creating from the Inside Out, it runs until November 15th at the Peel Heritage Complex in Brampton. You can click here for more details or visit to see the slide show John put together of my show.


spindelmaker said...

Congratulations on your show! Lots of interesting pieces there.
What people want? Hm. I´ll tell you what I want.
Your book! :-)
Wish I could see your show. The film was kind of quick by some of the images.
I´m glad you are selling good. That´s not a given these days. Any days actually.
Good luck with the rest of the show!

Courtney Price said...

You're right... it's so hard to figure out! I'm always surprised by what people like and don't like as far as my mixed media art. And I'm a photographer as well-- sometimes people get huge blow ups of prints I see as "so-so" as far as the expression on their kids. But I just have to surrender that I may have captured something I don't know about or they have a different vision for what they want on their walls. Same with art :)

Irene said...

I agree, we never really know what people want. Was a time that at a show I would be unpacking and selling and never really having to set up. But now... not sure I could sell anything, but I'm having a good time making...

Ganga Fondan said...

Hi Susan,
Thank-you for the amazing video on your site. I really wanted to see your show but had no way to fit it in my schedule with transportation at the same time. Wow, I love your video and the many art pieces you are showing. I bet all of your innovations will sell in time. It has been my experience in sales that people don't really know what they want nowadays and are inspired by ideas that can make their lives easier or more focussed. Art and music can do that. You'll see. Your sales will skyrocket once people get to to know your ideas. You rock and inspire!!!!!


La Dolce Vita said...

I completely agree with you! I consider my art like children and I want them all to go find good homes, but I can't be attached to their sales or they won't sell.
my formula is to do what I love to do and then if it stays with me, I love it! I never try to figure out what the public wants! I just trust that if it interests me, then others will find it appealing as well!
now off to see your slide show! ciao! xo

Sandy Michelle said...

I know what you mean! I had to taper down with my creations for my x-mas show cause some people are intimidated by art. Hugs!


me again said...

I have been thinking about this post for a while now; it hits a chord with me because I've often pondered the same thing. When I used to do shows regularly, I was always puzzled with what sold and what didn't. One year I toted along dozens of jars of homemade jams, chutneys etc, more just to have as something different besides my regular offerings. So...of course...I basically sold out of the foodstuffs and my other creations sold poorly. You can't figure out a crowd.
Or people. The first photograph I ever sold was not one I considered the best, but the person loved it and that's important. We all see with different eyes.
I think the bottom line here for artists is to do what pleases us and "the market" be damned. I think when you create with more of an eye to "selling", it shows through in the end....that the art wasn't created so much with passion or enthusiasm but, dare I say, with avarice. I don't want to make my mark that way :-)

Ganga Fondan said...

I wanted to add something to this post in another quick comment. with complete immersion and dedication I have been true to my music and art, finally recognizing it as the gift I came to it is also my task to see where it fits into the larger picture. I must look at the world and see how this art may lift them and expand them and show them how this can be. I think the two go together. That's my other two cents worth.

Kristeena Crabb said...

I think it's impossible to figure out what people want, but I think this little mirror piece is stunning! Ultimately, you just have to follow your heart and soul and something will click. I'm glad to hear that your show sales are going well!