THIS BLOG IS A FREE RESOURCE DEDICATED TO HELPING OTHER ARTISTS SELL, MARKET, PROMOTE & CREATE THEIR ART from The Normal Challenged Artist (aka PopArtDiva!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

NUMBER ONE IN A SERIES OF INTERVIEWS WITH PROFESSIONAL ARTISTS DOING ART AND CRAFT SHOWS FOR A LIVING


(My Questions show up in Light Green Text and The Answers appear in Red Text.)

DELIGHT PRESCOTT-SPALL of DELIGHT'S FANTASY ART


Artist Name: Delight Prescott-Spall

City & State: York, South Carolina

Website URL: Delight's Fantasy Art

E-Mail for contact: delight@delightsfantasyart.com

What is the price range of your work?

My prices range from $9.00 for an unframed open edition to $295.00 for a very limited edition artist proof. There are many stops between those two prices.

What is your type of art, medium and subject matter?

Digital, painting and photographic?
Subject matter is fantasy, ie. dragons, mermaids, fairies, castles, knights, anything fantasy. I create a world that's a fun place to go and visit.

What's your educational background?

Bachelor of Arts

How long have you been doing art shows?

Thirty-two years. I've done art shows in the West Coast and now, in the East Coast for the last 3 years. I moved to the East and started doing only Renaissance Festivals, when the shows in California started to go down in quality. In other words, when the shows allowed more imports because of NAFTA, the show quality degenerated to such a level that the fine art clientele was no longer coming.

Additionally, because of the lack of funding for the arts in this country, the general public has become less well educated in art appreciation and, therefore, could not understand or comprehend the difference between original, quality art as opposed to mass produced art.


A case in point, I have actually had a young adult stand in front of a 3'x 5' original acrylic painting on canvas (a painting that required over 100 hours of painting on my part) and say, "How much is the larger poster?"

This type of growing response indicates to me that artists are now dealing with a sadly uneducated general public when trying to market their art.


So, how do you compensate in your marketing approach for this issue?

I sell prints of my originals in sizes ranging from 5"x 7" to 16" x 20" prints, matted and unmatted, framed and unframed. I also have a website where I sell my originals and my prints. Additionally, I sell mouse pads and tote bags. I sell tee-shirts online only. I am considering setting up an online store at CafePress to market my designs on other products like cups, aprons, pillows etcetera.


Are art shows your primary source of income?

Yes, they're my are. However, my website is also another source of revenue. I have also licensed my work to greeting card companies and playing card companies.

Has your professional life always been involved with the arts? And, if so, how? If not, what was your other profession?

It's always been my profession, my passion and my first love. Until I was 30 I just had jobs. Like all artists of the era, I was told you can't make a living with your art. And I was told that by the generation that had just gone through the depression where art was a luxury commodity. Interesting, isn't is, how that era correlates to the political and socio-economic trends of today? However, I have, at least to this point, made a fairly good living as an artist.

How did you get started doing art shows?

A wealthy friend of mine saw how unhappy I was in the 'mundane' world and helped print and frame my artwork so I could start doing art shows.

Where do you participate in art shows? (local, state, regional, cross country)

I do the Renaissance Festivals all up and down the East Coast.

Do you have any good stories, incidents, events, etcetera, revolving around your art show career?

There are really too many to enumerate. I could write a book and maybe someday I will! I love dealing with most people most of the time. There are very few exceptions and I love learning new things about my profession every day if possible!

One story does come to mind (at least the only one I can tell in mixed company). Another artist friend of mine, was in his booth at a show in downtown San Francisco when he noticed a "street person" making his way slowly from booth to booth, being shooed away as he was not the most pleasant smelling individual and appeared to be intoxicated to boot. Okay, the bum was drunk and stinky!

My friend, who shall be called "Bob the Artist" had a greater tolerance and listened to the street person's ramblings. The "street person", (hereinafter referred to as the "Bum") asked "Bob the Artist", "how much is that picture?" and pointed to a small landscape original. While "Bob the Artist" was attempting to tell the Bum the price of the painting, the Bum looked up a small alley next to the show, saw another bum going through a dumpster. The Bum then hollered at the other bum, "Hey, you! That's my dumpster!" and took off at a shuffling run after the garbage thief.
"Bob the Artist" just shook his head and went back to his booth.

Later that afternoon, the Bum returned and said, "How much did you say that painting was?". "Bob the Artist" gave him the price, at which point the Bum proceeded to pull crumpled fives, tens and twenties out of his dirty pockets until he arrived at the asking price. "Bob the Artist" then handed the original painting to the Bum, whereupon the bum took the painting and shambled off into the San Francisco fog.


Now you'd think that would be the end of the story - the lesson being "Treat everyone nicely, you don't know who your next customer is." However, the story doesn't end there. One year later, "Bob the Artist" was attending the same show when a different bum approached him and said, "You know, you shouldn't have sold that painting to old Bum last year."

"Why not?" asked "Bob the Artist, "he had the money." (for a moment "Bob the Artist" probably thought he had garnered a whole new clientele of San Francisco Street People.) The new bum said, "Well, Bum was paranoid. He went back to his room, cut the painting up into small pieces, put them in a shoe box and put it under his bed so no one would steal it."


And the moral of this story is, "Learn to let go."


What's your best advice to someone who is interested in art shows as a vocation?

It is a tough time out there for the art show circuit at the moment. Frankly, it's a different market and venue than when I started doing shows 30 years ago. However, it has been profitable and enjoyable for me - I've always wanted to be an artist and the art shows gave me the venue to be a well-paid professional artist for over 30 years.

I might not make that same choice today, but I can't complain because doing art shows brought me a wonderful network of friends, lots of travel and a rich life of experiences and I got to do it all with a paintbrush in my hand. (Wacom table now!)


If you can think of anything else that you believe would be interesting or helpful to fellow artists contemplating doing art shows for a living what would it be?

Go into computer graphics or game design.

-----------------end of interview

Thank you, Delight for your time and thoughtful answers!

Please stop by Delight's Website to view more of her wonderful fantasy art. It's a wonderful trip into the world of imagination and talent.

2 comments:

idea coach said...

I really love this series of interviews. Keep up the great work. are you planning to do the audio also?
thanks so much

Pop Art Diva! said...

I'm not planning on audio - I'm hoping to do some video interviews though.

I hope to have a new interview later this month!