The term "starving artist" comes to mind lately. Living in a country where civilised rules no longer apply and a certified beer-sucking lunatic is singularly in charge of everything from the time of day to killing and destroying across the globe in the name of "freedom" and "democracy", Art has rapidly dimished in significance to the general mass of citizens. Consumers, walmart shoppers and home shopping network enthusiasts, define Art much differently than millionaires and the affluent. Of course, the "affluent" mostly see Art as an "investment", which may actually be more insulting, in the long run, than a walmart shopper's view that a crying clown on their toilet seat is "Art".
Having been just barely making a living for the last 35 years as an artist (and some of you know me well enough to know exactly what I've had to do) has been an extremely challenging "work of art" in itself. My biggest single disappointment in life has been that as the years have progressed, the number of clients and the potential market for my art has steadily decreased. The general population has been dumbed down - by an educational system that favours consumer values over art appreciation. The government itself is a perfect example of what happens when the mentally challenged are allowed to be in positions of responsibilty.
So what does an artist do? Two things. One, I cut back on my living expenses - drastically. In my case it meant buying a piece of property in a beautiful, but extremely remote, location. I bought the property with a credit card and I'm still making payments. We don't have a house, but we live happily in our art studio - an "out building".
Secondly, I keep plugging away at trying my best to sell art over the internet. (Not any chance of selling work around where I live. In fact, when I tried to rent a warehouse in Red Bluff to use as an art gallery, I was refused the right to rent - not based on credit - but based on the opinion of the landowner, Anne Reed, that "art ain't what we want. We just want some regular people renting our warehouse. And we don't want them hanging around, we just want them to drop stuff off and store it here." And the proof is in the pudding - there are NO art galleries in Red Bluff.)
This website offers artists books, prints and cards for sale. How many sales per year do I have through my internet site? 6 (s i x) is the average per year over the last 7 years. Oh, and 20-30 requests per year for donations and or free samples.
You might consider buying something! (SUPPORT AN ARTIST and reward yourself- Imagine THAT!!!) My cards and prints are very reasonably priced and attractively packaged as gifts, if not for yourself. A packet of notecards - with my abstract designs, Ana's flowers, or my current scenic art would make a very unique purchase or gift - you certianly can't buy my work at Hallmark or Walmart. Of course, if you prefer the same crap that everyone else is buying at Hallmark or Walmart, you might not find my work to your liking. It is CREATIVE, UNIQUE and "Different". You may find it, as one Redding resident put it, "uncomfortable" to buy work from someone who hasn't been published at walmart; or to go through a new purchase system on this website. But if you do push yourself over the "level of comfort" you may be used to, you will find it amazingly rewarding - if the letters I get from satisfied customers are any indication!
UNIQUE & CREATIVE ART is also getting harder and harder to find - most artists don't want to be "starving" - they would rather take a "job" waiting on tables or clerking at Walmart. The day they do that is the day they stop making Art.
You can respond or comment by emailing Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org But, honestly, I'd rather you just bought something.
In 2007 Phil continues to promote his book, BROTHER EAGLE, SISTER MOON. The novel tells the story of an Iraqi family and their plight during the current occupation by the US.
A 12-year-old boy and his 16-year-old sister are two of the most important characters in the story of how their family copes with the current war in Iraq. The story is based on true-life experiences.
An American Army Sergeant (Ernesto Alvarez, 101st Airborne) is also a central character to the novel. The story illustrates the complexity of being "on the ground" in a country on the edge of anarchy; and yet, performing duties in an intelligent, compassionate and honourable manner.
Please order your copy of the book by clicking here.
September 2007 Newsletter - Motivation & an African Experience - click here