09/07/2012 12:51 pm ET Updated Nov 07, 2012

The Little Red Dot: On Selling Art

My friend and I were discussing our feelings about putting our respective photographic artwork up for sale.

Whether through a gallery or a solo show, selling is very much our wish, we confessed. We are happy to be admired, but selling, well, that is another level of satisfaction.

Yes, of course we get pleasure from creating. Of course! It wouldn't get created if we didn't!
But isn't that the definition of pleasure? Creating -- art or anything.
Isn't that something we all strive for? That level of satisfaction.
Isn't feeling creative something we wish for one another? As a measure of pleasure! Just plain, ordinary creating of just plain, ordinary pleasure?!
So this dialogue was not about pleasure or creating or even talent.
It was about selling.

I went to a show last weekend. The work was exciting to me. This artist has been photographing old stuff in a junkyard for a long time, but now has photoshopped the pictures into abstract work and has delivered them to a metallic surface so they are hung unframed. I got to see 15 pieces from her new body of work. The pieces are creative, fresh, visually lovely to look at and very thoughtfully produced. Her eye from real to abstract has a focus on texture and color. She decides how to photoshop these pictures into wonderful forms and unusual colors and makes it work as fine art, in my opinion.
We spoke about selling. We spoke about pricing.

Every artist in any medium has difficulty pricing the work.
It involves an evaluation of your time and materials.
But how do you put a price-tag on your eye or your mind or your self-awareness or even your technique?
For most of us, if we simply break even on expenses, we can measure, we feel successful. I venture to guess that in every community in our country someone is creating something unique and perhaps even beautiful. Perhaps practical. Perhaps really interesting. Perhaps something quite brilliant.

There is always caution about pricing too high or too low.

As my friend and I said goodnight, we found ourselves agreeing that if someone really wants it, really loves it, can't live without it, is able/willing to pay, it will sell.
We went so far as to convinced each other that price may not actually matter.
Some form of real connection must be formed on more than one level.

My own photographic retrospective show will occur this October/November in Denver.
I am working to heed my own words!

Art remains hard to make. Hard to market. Hard to sell.

And still, we make, and market, and try to sell.

It's the Little Red Dot we're after.
There is joy
which everyone can see and comprehend
when we get to place that
Little Red Dot next to artistic work
which emanates from own deep creative spirit
no matter what the medium.