Today I was getting caught up on my blogs, since being away for a week when I came across an entry where someone was saying how bleak the business of art is. How there are more artists, more shows, more competition. They also went on to say what I always tell people…find a market for your work and make sure your work is good.
I have only been in the ‘real’ art world for under ten years…becoming more serious in the last five. The more I hear how bleak things are or how imports are taking over artist’s jobs the more I realize that I have come into this game in a different era than artists who have been at it for a long time. Especially in the glass art bead business.
There was a time when business boomed. Art beads seem to have been the new, cool, not-so-easy-to-find items. People paid top dollar maybe even for handcrafted beads that were not of the highest quality. Just the fact that something was handcrafted meant something. They didn’t have to compete with imports or hobbyists.
Now, it’s different on all accounts. The cheese has moved. Uh oh. Deja vu. I’ve written about this, haven’t I? The interesting thing is, the point at which I entered the game. I am one that has bloated the market. While I have surpassed the beginner and intermediate level of work, I believe I was in the group of people that started flooding in about five years ago. Many from that time are no longer around but there are many behind them to fill their places.
Because of my timing, I haven’t experienced the drop in customers or increase in competition. It has always been what it is. I came in knowing that if I wanted to be noticed I would have to set myself apart and price competitively. I would have to work it and market myself rather than showing up and hoping the show promoter did their marketing to bring customers.
Now I wonder, where will my cheese move? What will the next stage be to come in and rock my little art world? And, how can I stay ahead of it and move with the times?