When you’re exhibiting at an art show and the artist in the next booth is selling.
They’ve got lots of people turning up to their booth and you’ve just got a few. What’s that feel like?
It’s easy to feel bad and criticise them. Perhaps your technique is better. Or you say well, they’ve given in to commercialism, I’m the proper artist. Or you think there must be a trick and you wander over all innocent “you seem to be doing really well, what’s your secret?”. They say oh, let them hold the painting and you wander off happy with a new thing to try.
I want to encourage a different way of thinking about it. I don’t like this separateness, the jealousy of it.
The crux is that you’ve spent your life getting to the place that you’re in. They’ve spent their life getting to where they are. Although you’re both artists you have completely different lives.
You can’t be that other person. You can’t have that person’s strengths, you don’t have that other person’s advantages.
But you do have your strengths and your advantages.
The only thing to do is to continue to improve and evolve. Not just your art but also your marketing, so that everything is always improving.
Maybe next time you’ll be the booth that’s selling and there’ll be somebody next to you who isn’t selling. And you would want them to have good feelings towards you. You would want them to recognize the same thing. They are on their journey and you are on yours.
And obviously if they pop around to pick your brains, help them out. We don’t pull up the ladder.
Stay safe, sell art.