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  1. #51
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Great thought. The corollary, Vincent van Gogh was an artistic success.

    I too went to a photographic seminar over 20 years ago where a sentiment was uttered that I have seen many times. It goes something like this... "It is very difficult to make a career in photography." Though the discouraging thought stuck in my craw, I have the tape and it proves the rest of the lecture is really quite inspirational - the speaker got past the introductory downer and got into practical strategies for making a successful photographic career.

    Cliveh, Do you recall from the lecture you attended, was the speaker totally discouraging? Or did he/she go on to light a spark. Your work delivers value in excess of what I've paid for it, and value in excess of what I could afford to pay for it too!
    Bill and others, I really can't remember apart from the fact it was not a revered lecturer or anybody famous and the talk was about his own images and not discouraging. I probably wasn't paying attention, but do remember him making the statement about a photograph is only worth what people were prepared to pay for it. Perhaps he was just trying to provoke debate and perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned it.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #52
    CGW
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    it makes me wonder if "success" ( monetary success ) actually means "artistic failure" ?

    Hmmm. Then monetary failure=artistic success=reverse snobbery. That's what I hear all the time.

    Guess that's why I have more sympathy for and interest in "outsider" art than the derivative stuff that clogs community art centres, galleries and outdoor art sales in my area.

  3. #53
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    Originally Posted by cliveh
    Many years ago I attended a lecture by a photographer who claimed that a photograph could only be rated as a good photograph by how much people were prepared to pay for it. I could not understand that viewpoint, any thoughts?
    I thought this was true in my field (violin making and sales), and that the old Italian violins were the best.
    Then I learned that appraisers never play the instruments. All they do is look at previous auction results.
    So the idea that FUNCTION is related to value is false, in many cases. The appraisers are simply looking at socio-economic factors, not how "good" the item is.
    This is true of many other fields besides mine, photography included IMO.

  4. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    Did she expound on her answer at all? Be interesting to know.

    One also has to wonder if ANY person creating "art" ever thinks of themselves as successful.

    Because the better you get at your craft, the more you realize that you really aren't all that good, unless you're a narcissist and read your own press.

    The really really great ones usually have some sort of mental issues that make them a one trick pony and don't function well in any other facet of life. They probably don't consider themselves successful either.
    hi michael

    i tried to get her to explain what she meant ... but she didn't really say much
    ... i think a lot of it had to do with the fact that she worked awfully hard at her craft,
    but the loudmouths, and show offs got all the glory ( and being a woman in a man's world didn't help ) .

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    It's the proceeds from the "f-ing price tag" that supports life and the arts community. It's naive to think otherwise.
    Actually, in my case my day job supports my artistic endeavors.

    This is by choice, I could spend 60 hours a week marketing and selling and putting my capital at risk and running a business and get maybe 10 creative hours in versus working 40-50 hours a week without any business risk and having 20-30 hours to think and act creatively.

    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Just that it's supremely self-indulgent and narcissistic to think this way. It's a conceit.
    Would you apply that same logic other forms of expression? Say free speach? Politics?

    Also, so what if it is? Something morally wrong with that?

    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    What makes an artist successful? Doing good or doing well?
    A question I get to answer for myself, for my life, for my family?
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  6. #56
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Actually, in my case my day job supports my artistic endeavors.

    This is by choice, I could spend 60 hours a week marketing and selling and putting my capital at risk and running a business and get maybe 10 creative hours in versus working 40-50 hours a week without any business risk and having 20-30 hours to think and act creatively.



    Would you apply that same logic other forms of expression? Say free speach? Politics?

    Also, so what if it is? Something morally wrong with that?



    A question I get to answer for myself, for my life, for my family?

    Reminds me of the old joke. "What do you call a drummer without a working girl friend? Homeless."
    Friends who regularly sell work across various media manage to live off it. They're good at it and are recognized for it but often log 60-80 hr weeks. It's not a hobby.

    The quote I responded to above that you deleted was:
    Art is art in and of itself and doesn't require anyone else's approval or endorsement whether that's given with a cheque book or the nod of a head.

    Yup, still regard that view as self-indulgent and narcissistic. Nothing dysfunctional or anti-social about it but it's relativistic and meaningless. What's the connection to free speech/politics? Nothing in the Constitution about guarantees for self-importance.

  7. #57
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    Wouldn't you say it's art if it has aesthetic value with little other value for anything else? "Candy for the eyes."

  8. #58
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    Reminds me of the old joke. "What do you call a drummer without a working girl friend? Homeless."
    Friends who regularly sell work across various media manage to live off it. They're good at it and are recognized for it but often log 60-80 hr weeks. It's not a hobby.

    The quote I responded to above that you deleted was:
    Art is art in and of itself and doesn't require anyone else's approval or endorsement whether that's given with a cheque book or the nod of a head.

    Yup, still regard that view as self-indulgent and narcissistic. Nothing dysfunctional or anti-social about it but it's relativistic and meaningless. What's the connection to free speech/politics? Nothing in the Constitution about guarantees for self-importance.
    What do you call art with commerce? Manufactuing.

    What successful business people are good at are things like self promotion, business, and manufacturing. Whether the product is a toothbrush or a photo, is irrelavant.

    Most commercially successful photographers that I know have developed repeatable processes to create their work. They did some trail and error or research and found a look the market would buy, built a marketing system, and created assembly lines to do it over and over and over again.

    Once the cookie cutter is made and the "machine" starts cranking out the product it becomes tough for me to call the product art anymore.

    I looked at buying a studio once and hired a business consultant affiliated with Professional Photographers of America. One bit of advice he gave me that really struck me was this. "If you buy this business you can't change the products or the pricing or style for two years without risking failure. After that it needs to be incremental. The client's of that business have to trust you first. If you want a studio with your own vision it's better to start from scratch."

    Since getting that advice I've watched various new owners of established businesses make that exact mistake, always seems to end in tears.

    Had I pressed ahead I could have been commercially successful but I would not have really been making art, simply would have had a job at a picture factory.

    The connection to speach is that I view true art as the original expression of an idea, not the product of a system.

    Art and science are what happens the first time something is done, engineering is what's happening the second time, craft is what is happening the third time.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  9. #59
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    making art is a self indulgent activity.
    it is self expression... thas nothing to do with selling things.
    I agree...There is making art and there is selling art. Two very different activities. Doing one does not mean one must do the other.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  10. #60
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    What do you call art with commerce? Manufactuing.

    What successful business people are good at are things like self promotion, business, and manufacturing. Whether the product is a toothbrush or a photo, is irrelavant.

    Most commercially successful photographers that I know have developed repeatable processes to create their work. They did some trail and error or research and found a look the market would buy, built a marketing system, and created assembly lines to do it over and over and over again.

    Once the cookie cutter is made and the "machine" starts cranking out the product it becomes tough for me to call the product art anymore.

    I looked at buying a studio once and hired a business consultant affiliated with Professional Photographers of America. One bit of advice he gave me that really struck me was this. "If you buy this business you can't change the products or the pricing or style for two years without risking failure. After that it needs to be incremental. The client's of that business have to trust you first. If you want a studio with your own vision it's better to start from scratch."

    Since getting that advice I've watched various new owners of established businesses make that exact mistake, always seems to end in tears.

    Had I pressed ahead I could have been commercially successful but I would not have really been making art, simply would have had a job at a picture factory.

    The connection to speach is that I view true art as the original expression of an idea, not the product of a system.

    Art and science are what happens the first time something is done, engineering is what's happening the second time, craft is what is happening the third time.
    Just so much wrong here.

    The enviable crew I know who do well in a range of commercial photography is anything but "cookie cutter." They deliver consistently what their clients want, not a canned product. That it's just "manufacturing" is an implausible truism. The people you're describing appear a bit light on creativity.

    Maybe commercial photography and sausage-making are similar in your world but not in mine.

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