22 April 2006

Honesty Among Artists

Sorry for not writing, but hubby was home for the week and we were having way too much fun working on his truck. He got all ready to go on Thursday, when he tried to start his truck and it wouldn't start. So, Friday we spent all day getting a new started (150+ miles to get it) and the 12-pt socket set to remove 2 bolts that held the starter on. (Yes, 12-pt sockets, not the normal hex head sockets.) We got it put on this morning and he's on his way. Overall, we saved about $200, but I'm not sure my fingernails will ever get clean.

Anyway, one of the things we were talking about while he was home has to do with honesty and artists. Basically one can't trust a lot of what artists say, especially when it comes to business. I know, most people like to feel successful and important, so there's a tendency for exaggeration. In artists, this is raised to an artform! And I'm sick of it!!!

Here's a typical example:

One artist writes on an artist message board that she is having problems with selling tasteful nudes on eBay. She's asking for advice on how to increase her sales. A few artists reply with some simple suggestions. And then Bill (not his real name) replies that he has no problem selling nudes on eBay, has sold 18 in the last 2 weeks, most of his sell for 4-5 times the initial listing price, and they normally get 3-5 bids each. Now this sounds fantastic and, since I have some nudes from years ago, I start looking at his listings to see what he is doing right. Then I look at his completed auctions for the last 30 days. In the last 3 weeks, he has sold 11 (not 18), most sold for $9.95 which was their initial bid price (not 4-5 times), and only 3 got more than 1 bid (none got more than 3). So, what he wrote to the first artist was not even close to the truth. And what is even more pathetic is that it was so easy to catch Bill in his lies!

While I could just brush this type of behaviour aside as typical of human nature, it really hurts me and all other artists. There are a lot of possible venues to sell my art or ways to advertise, and all these take time and money to do. I personally would like to be able to focus my time and money on those methods that others have found useful. But then the honesty problem pops up. Where can I turn for an honest answer to a serious question? If I ask a legitimate question, can I actually trust the answers I get? A few artists will tell another artist the honest truth (display ads in horse magazines is an expensive waste of money), but these are few and far between. And then one has to sort thru all the lies to find the one truthful reply.

And if one thinks this situation is bad or annoying, tomorrow I'll write about some of the cons artists use to mislead buyers.

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