As an Artist, we are continually searching for the opportunity to display and exhibit (and maybe sell) the work of which we are most proud, in the anticipation that this will be the show that makes the difference.
The show that sets us on the path to recognition and greater future success. Constantly searching for new openings. The galleries......the rejections. “Am I not good enough.......what are they looking for, what do they want?" Swiftly followed by hours (sometimes days) of rejection flashbacks and despondency. And then the recovery....."what do they know anyway, do they not recognize borderline genius when they see it?" kicks in......and on to the next. Because the next could be 'THE one'.
Then there are the endless hours spent at the solo and collective exhibitions. Very occasionally bringing great financial reward, sometimes small reward and sometimes/often no reward at all. But always rewarding at a human level, with plentiful and interesting conversation with admirers, fellow artists and 'would be' customers. Contacts abound and friendships are made and renewed. This may sound familiar to other artists...."few or no sales at all, just about covered my costs or maybe I didn't quite manage that either"......but hey, I met some great people. And next time could be 'THE one'.
The Art competitions. Why did my work not get chosen as a finalist?.......and THAT did? Aaaaaarrrgghhhhh......on to the next.
Splashing out on Prints, Cards, T.Shirts and other great ideas to promote my work. Someone is bound to recognize the potential genius in me....aren't they?
Websites. I have my own, haven't we all. But is anyone looking? And why should they? I guess not too many potential art lovers and buyers are sitting at their PC or laptop right now and thinking to themselves "I need to search for art.... I know, I'll randomly search under Martin Rolt Brighton Artist'. You get my drift?
And then there is this alleged credit crunch, sent to test our resolve................Aaaaarrrggghhhhh.!
Technology, not my strongest point, but I make an effort.
Some of these on-line galleries and sites look pretty cool. Do they work though? Do people really invest in paintings they have never seen before other than on a 12 inch PC monitor ? Are they 'Artist friendly'?
Some of these sites appear to be a short cut to the promised land. Fantastic!! Offering much to the artist and for just a 'relatively' small fee you too can join in and be part of the fun. Future riches, recognition and fame awaits. Sounds good, I'll give it a try.
Hmmmmm.....no sales, no interest, no enquiries. So, the site has my 'relatively' small fee up front, now, why on earth do they need to promote my work. Hmmmmm.....never thought of that.
Do they not realize that we humble artists, walking the financial tight-rope without a safety net, need a bit of a leg up now and again. It would appear not.
And then I happened upon the artgallery.co.uk website. Nice presentation, all UK artists and custom, fancy tools to enable customers to visualise the painting on the wall at home or in the office. This looks more like it...!! and even better, other than some time and effort in producing good quality photographs of your work, showing it at it's best, with varying angles, close ups and in situ, uploading onto the site, it's totally free to the artist. No up front costs. That's what I'm looking for, someone sympathetic to the artist, yet presenting great and affordable work to all art lovers out there in a secure and trustworthy environment. Benefiting all, from the artist to the art collector to the occasional and even the new art enthusiast.
The site has fantastic artwork from very talented UK artists, covering the whole artistic spectrum of style, colour and size. All of the artwork can be viewed online, each artist having his or her own individual page where the paintings can be seen in situ from photographs at differing angles and close ups where you can see the paint and media textures. Or using the clever website tool which allows the viewer to see the painting and how it would look in the home or office. You can even change the colour of the walls to match your own, to see the full impact that the soon to be acquired masterpiece will have and how it will enhance the ambience of the room in which it will hang.
For me, and call it beginners luck if you will, within a few weeks of submitting my work and being accepted as a worthy 'site' artist I had countless hits (and continue to do so) plus two sales to my name. One of my buyers I had the pleasure of meeting at the point of sale also. So taken was he with my painting 'Rise and Shine' on the website that he made special arrangements with the site owner and made the extra effort to travel, see and collect the painting from myself. It is always rewarding to see and hear a persons reaction and pleasure at first viewing of a painting. Something that has been a labour of love to yourself, these reactions are the antidote to any pain previously felt, and previously mentioned. In this case, my second sale was to the actor Adrian Lester who starred in 'Hustle', 'Bonekickers', 'Primary Colours and 'The Day after Tomorrow' to name a few. So as you can imagine, this came as something of a pleasant surprise when I eventually realized who I had met and who had bought my painting.
Adrian kindly penned a few lines for me to use on my page on the artgallery.co.uk website :
Hello Martin, I wasn't sure I wanted to buy a painting until I saw Rise and Shine on the web. I checked the picture over using the Artgallery testing website and really liked what I saw. The picture as shown on the web is vibrant. But, In reality it is even more so. It seems to pull the viewer in. I'm very happy with it and every intention of picking up some more in future. Yours, Adrian Lester
So you see, for me, this really could be 'THE one' show. The show that makes the difference. 'The future is unwritten'......Joe Strummer once said. But you have to make your own future through time and effort (maybe a hint of self belief and borderline genius), in order to steer a course and path that someone may happen upon, who really can help along the way, to finally make that difference. So, watch this space......and watch this site.