Artistic Direction

Nicolas Jolly fingerprint art

Nicolas Jolly’s ink drawing of NY

I’ve been browsing the net for inspiration, both artistic, and marketing related,  and found Nicolas Jolly’s work. His pen drawings of people reminded me of Giorgio de Chirico, and are well worth checking out. Jolly’s drawing of New York, pictured above, almost looks photographic at this small size, although it is a highly detailed line drawing. (Nicolas Jolly can be found at:

I recently had a very long in depth discussion with a friend on art marketing and promotions. At this point I fit firmly in the amateur section, despite having shown, and sold, before. It takes a mental shift to make the transition to “art first” and “other work on the side.” I’m fascinated by people who do make that choice, and have been hunting the net for people who offer sensible advice.

The most useful site I have come across so far about marketing art is  Art Heroes Radio, which is currently on hiatus. All the advice is business related, and thoughtful. I listened to John T. Unger interview Aletta de Wal. They argued that art making is a conversation between buyers and artists and that, as an artist, the point is to create objects congruent with your own artistic vision that  people want to buy. Simply from a storage perspective this makes sense–how much stuff do you really want to put under the bed? But knowing what people want, that you want to make, is not so easy.   

At any rate, the question what you want to make that other people want to buy is bigger than both art and business. Art will never answer the question for you, and striking the balance between these two moving targets is difficult.

Most of the time, both marketing and creation benefit from a systematic approach. But when the impulse strikes, creation is haphazard, controlled, and spontaneous all at once. Once the work is done you ask yourself, what was that all about? And if you still have questions, perhaps that’s your new direction for your new body of work.

What do you think? I’ll leave you with Roots, a pen drawing I did October 2013, and let you draw your own conclusions.

roots pen 11 2011