Sale currently going on… check the site to see it for yourself.. . See available pieces here (link in IG bio):https://cotyschwabe.com .Favorite site for canvas(Affiliate link): http://bit.ly/2QSmTnS. As always, paint by @dunnedwards.. #abstract #art #abstractart #emergingartist #artist #abstractpainting #artgallery #instagood #creative #phoenix #painting #arizona #contmporaryart #homedecor #artoftheday #homedesign #interiordesign #interiordesigner #modernart #fluidart #artforsale #picture #modernpainting #pinworthy #artcollector #cotyschwabe #artlover #artsy #fineart #artwork
ATTENTION: This post is for any creative type – NOT JUST artists. Writers, content producers, musicians; this is for you.
As an artist, it’s easy to get caught up on trying to please everybody, but there are really only 2 people you actually need to please, and I’ll share that in a moment.
Before I do, let me address a common pitfall that I’ve come across:
It seems to me that a lot of us have people in our lives that have demands on our lives, whether that’s friends or family or heck – even complete strangers!
And oftentimes – these people mean well. They start giving us thoughts or ideas or suggestions that they would like us to complete to give THEM some sort of satisfaction.
I’m not sure if this comes from some desire for them to live vicariously through us, or they simply want to be known by association if that thing is a success or what – but it can cause us to derail from we know we SHOULD be doing.
It stops us from doing what we feel in our core is what WE want to accomplish.
You as the artist know what you’re trying to achieve.
And when you have all these background voices – these other cooks in the kitchen so to speak – trying to direct what you should do, it takes you away from the important stuff.
It causes your work to suffer.
It makes you less productive because you’re chasing these different avenues.
It makes you feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
I get it. I’ve been there.
So who are the two people you need to satisfy as an artist?
The first person you need to satisfy is yourself.
Most creative people I’ve talked to know the quality of their work and what is most fulfilling about it.
And because of this, they (if they’re being honest with themselves) know if their work is up to their standards or not.
Is it good quality?
Does it achieve the goal or message or look you wanted – at least in a way that it feels complete?
If someone sees it, do they see my style or personality in it?
Only you can answer these questions as the creator, and if you’re too busy trying to chase other people’s versions of these things…
…You may never live up to it because it’s THEIR VISION.
When I started painting, I had a ton of people ask me if I did landscapes or portraits or murals. And I told them “no.”
But almost every one of them came back with “you should totally do this because of XYZ” or “I think you’d be really good at it if you just gave it a shot”. Things like that.
But truth is – I knew right away that I would not enjoy painting those things.
Even if I took the time to become semi-decent at those methods, it wouldn’t have fulfilled me.
It was the same thing when I was writing before this.
I’d tell people about a project I was working on, and they’d say things like “what if the characters did this” or “you know what would be cool? If XYZ happened in the story…”
There’s not enough time to try every idea, nor enough energy to entertain every direction your creative work could go.
The second person you need to satisfy is your buyer.
I care so much about what people think of me as a person, that I’m literally AFRAID of disappointing them.
In fact, recently, I had someone buy a small painting of mine. I had another similar painting that I actually felt went with it, and because I didn’t want to fail them, I over-delivered, and sent the other panting AT NOT EXTRA COST.
Now, I did this because I felt it was right at the time (and it served me well) but I also did it because I didn’t want the customer to have a bad experience with me as a seller.
But look- you’re going to get tough customers – even if you do over-deliver. That happens.
And if you’re just starting out or every sale counts and you can’t pick and choose your buyers, then you will have to deal with these customers eventually. It’s a nature of business.
Maybe they don’t like your product for some inane reason.
Or they just want this one thing changed. Again.
Or maybe they simply had buyers remorse.
But here’s the thing: you can still continue to over-deliver, and if it’s not right – simply don’t do business with them again after this and move on.
These people tend to be the minority.
While I think that customers should be treated with respect, I don’t believe they’re always right. Sometimes the expectation just can’t be met no matter how hard you try.
If it comes down to satisfying you or the buyer in the end, I say choose yourself.
If you create what you genuinely like or are passionate about, you can enjoy the process.
Bu this only works if you’re not worried about what everyone else thinks or wants.
If you enjoy the process, and you don’t make any sales – well hey – at least you enjoyed making the damn thing. And you can now move on if you’re happy with it.
At this point, I pretty much only create pieces that I know that I will like.
Of course, if someone requests a commission (not just making a suggestion but is ACTUALLY WILLING TO PAY FOR IT) – then I’ll make a piece and they can buy it if they like it, but it still has to conform to my styles in it’s final form.
Just keep putting out the work and enjoy the process, this way you don’t hate it and give it up.
And you never know when you might put out the right piece at the right time and someone who has never purchased from you might buy that particular piece, and that’s the one that kicks bigger things into motion.
If you’re thinking about making your own canvas, you may be tempted to use some flat looking 2×2’s or so, cut out four of them to fit your rectangle (or square – with maybe a few pieces across the middle sections), attach them together with some staples and glue, and you’re off to the races!
Yeah! You just spent $20 to make a squar-ish frame!
Go you! That’s great…
…If you want that bad boy to warp…
…Or not have the ability to be tightened later…
…Or you want your painting to “ghost.”
First off, stretcher bars (or at least decent ones worth buying) are made of kiln-dried, knot free wood.
What this means is that they have been dried out as best as possible, taking out most – if not all – of the moisture in the wood that would otherwise cause it to warp later on.
It being knotless also means less likely of being wavy, instead of straight.
Of course, these pieces may have SOME knots or moisture, but considerably less than a normal piece of wood that you’d buy at a lumber yard or hardware store.
There’s a reason you pay a premium for a stretcher bar or cross brace and a few bucks for a 2′ x 2′.
Another advantage that stretcher bars have is that they are LITERALLY MADE TO BE ADJUSTED.
Stretcher bars have gaps in the corners to allow for tension wedges or “canvas keys.” This allows the canvas to be tightened later on, should the frame slightly warp or canvas sag a bit.
There are arguments that if done correctly, a canvas should never need to be tightened, but IMO it’s nice to have the option, should it ever happen.
Finally, canvas stretcher bars prevent “ghosting.” Ghosting is when the shape of the frame emerges underneath the canvas (painting) itself.
This is a problem for two reasons:
It detracts from the piece. Sometimes it makes it look cheap or tacky, being able to see the frame underneath. There will be this giant square within your painting. Certainly less professional.
It’s harder to correct sagging. On a flat frame, the painting will often rest on the flat surface of the frame itself, and if it does, you’ve got to get it tight enough to pull up off of that frame. The more surface its resting on, the more work you’ve got to do.
This becomes a real problem if the frame is flat, with a sagging canvas resting on that flat frame that ALSO does not have any room for canvas keys.
Stack this on top of warping wood later on, and maybe you can see the problem with using regular wood to make a frame as opposed to stretcher bars.
I have actually seen this on cheaper, flatter canvases. Usually on student grade canvases, where the depth is only 3/4″ (or .8 inches). I’ve have also bought them handmade, from a local dealer, and these pieces too had this issue.
Even using braces, these pieces are still warped TO THIS DAY.
Stretcher bars almost always have a beveled edge so that only the very edge of the corner gives the frame its shape, and the rest of the frame fades away under the canvas, leaving a nice flat canvas with crisp, clean edges.
Obviously, the choice to use regular wood is yours, but I’ve found that by cutting these corners, you run the risk of the piece suffering later on.
My parting advice would be this:
If you’re creating it for yourself – sure. Go for it. Try it out. See if I’m wrong (wouldn’t be the first time).
But if you’re planning on selling those pieces later, my suggestion is to invest in the stretcher bars.