Art woes, marketing, and generally being frustrated at real media

I find myself frustrated. Again.

At the heart, it’s pretty simple–my digital skills, which I’ve been honing for, oh, let’s say nine years now, are so far ahead of my physical media skills (which I’ve worked on, sporadically at best, for maybe four years, and intensively for the last year) that occasionally the frustration reaches up and grabs me by the throat.

It would be nice to say that I work with real media in order to stretch myself, for the challenge, to improve my art, etc, etc, ad nauseum. And when I’m not being down on myself, I’d probably say there’s some truth to that. But there’s a certain irony at work here. Digital art, which so often gets called soulless and fake and easy and whatnot, is a purer art for me. I do digital art to match my vision.

I do real media largely for the money.

Seriously. The sales of originals, since I began working extensively in real media, has more or less doubled my income in a year. That’s not something I can scoff at. It’d be nice to curse the establishment and vow to follow my purely electronic muse, unsullied by such petty concerns, but as my readers undoubtedly know, ya gotta eat.

And to be fair, a lot of my little watercolors are seriously fun little things that are way better as watercolors than digital media. It’s when I get into the mad complex scenes that I WANT to be able to do that things fall apart. I have the skill to put the scenes in my head into pixels, but bugger all if I can put ’em into paint.

I have had little or no luck with limited editions in the past, but I’m starting to wonder if it’d be worth it to try again–offer a limited edition jumbo print of digital pieces. $45 or something for a run of 10, jumbo size, say. Since an average price for one of my big physical media pieces is $450, selling out the entire run would be equivalent to selling an original, and there’s still the small prints. It’s a nice thought. Hasn’t worked in the past worth a damn, and I’m STILL sitting on jumbo LEs of the cardinals from two years ago at half the price, but I suppose I could try it again.

I know part of this is pure frustration at current paintings misbehaving, and the fact that I am still learning about this new media. And I’m being rather absurdly hard on myself–one does not master a medium in four days. And tomorrow I will wake up with my usual natural ebulliance intact and fling myself back in the studio and abuse paint awhile longer.

But still, s’frustrating. NOT being able to do a scene at all was arguably worse, but there’s a peculiar frustration in knowing that you COULD do it, if only you were working in another media.

And for now, damnit, I’m gonna go play Warcraft.

Leave a Reply