Marketing is Hard: Art vs. Soup - Artist's Reception Day

Art is about emotion - people crave emotional rides. I have more feelings than I need, but bottling them for sale challenges me.  I have to translate the emotions first, and then package them in some identifiable format, which is the part that's hardest for me to understand.

I understand soup.

Soup is an art form. Quality comes at base from the raw ingredients. The recipe documents the chef's labor-intensive process of finding balance between individual flavors and textures (yes, there is work in soup.)

Like any other art, the ultimate reward is finding something that is good for the artist and also for the audience. Those lucky few in the chef's inner circle get to taste the soup and get excited:
OMG. This is the best soup ever. You could sell this. 

My taste is pretty eclectic; I try to create more of what I love so I can love more of it. If I find someone who loves what I do enough to pay for it, that shared love is more reward than money. Having money allows me to create. It's a vicious cycle, risky when you realise how much I like surprises. Surprises aren't really popular.

And, honestly, if people give money for something I created, and they love it for no more than 5 minutes before getting bored, their 5 minutes of happiness is my true reward. My love for what I make is more important to me than accolades, and sharing makes me happy. But.

You already know what's the worst:
We like that soup over there. Can you make us some of that? 
We want soup, but we want it to be like the soup we already know. How can we know which soup you made if you don't label it properly on the can? The system has demographics, and they know how many of which people will buy what kind of soup, so there's a contract available if you just...

Ahem.

What people want to purchase, regardless of medium, is how it makes them feel.

Comfortable.
Edgy.
Exhilarated.
Enamored.
Mind-blown.
Nostalgic.

Is the idea is to own feelings we can control, unlike the ones our psyches use to assail us? We want to know which emotion we're going to feel when we open the can. Is that it, peoples?  Tell me so I can understand what I'm doing here at this exhibit of my own art.

Like any parent, I can be defensive. Sometimes humanity makes such heinously poor decisions that I want to hide my babies  and deny everyone the chance to love them. That precious 5 minutes isn't worthwhile if I allow myself to be judge of everything to which people subject themselves.Their demons are not my problem.

Here ends another day when I don't delete my whole blog; I don't email the editors begging to withdraw my submissions not because they're horrible but because I don't trust the audience with my ugly babies; another day I don't do like my grandma did and build a spectacular bonfire of paintings. But I get why she did it; I do. And at the end of the day it doesn't have much to do with the audience. Y'all are alright.

It's a cycle we artist-folk seem to endure sometimes.

I was the only family member who stood with her to watch her canvases burn, and in my memory we held hands without touching, watching the embers fly upward in a bitter fall wind while two-dimensional barns of oily pigment and linseed went down in flames.

I love you, Grammie. Thank you for every minute.

Come over: see the finished painting, The Zorya
Beanetics Coffee Roasters 7028 Columbia Pike, Annandale 22003
Reception for The Raven's Office, artwork by debora Ewing, is July 28, 2019 from 2-4 PM Eastern.
Refreshments from Cue Club Café will be served, including those amazing Korean Meatballs.
Come over.


My Workspace at The Cue Club

Brain Health Northwest commissioned this set of illustrations to depict brain conditions that can be treated with neurofeedback.     Learn more here.

My workspace at Beanetics

MeetUp: Gödel, Escher, Bach Book Group (aka Digressions We Love) 
Here is my beloved book group. Below are two of its members.

Gödel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid
Buy the book.

Keeping In Touch With Your Art Collectors - RedDotBlog
Jason Horejs of Xanadu Gallery understands soup, too. I look to him for guidance in navigating these fearsome waters. 

My workspace at Angelika Theater in Mosaic District

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