Every fall, there is an artist’s studio tour in my area. Artists open their studios for all to see how they work, and to show off (and hopefully sell) some of their latest art. There is an application process and those who are accepted get published in a booklet that is given out around town and receive quite a bit of exposure. I find the biggest barrier to sales is people not knowing I exist, so any publicity greatly helps the cause.
Over the last two years, it’s been suggested by many of my friends (some of whom are artists taking part in the studio tour) that I should apply. They say I am a shoe in, and I will get a spot no problem. I get compliments on my work and they tell me the great benefits of this tour. The only thing is I’ve never applied. Am I worried about getting in? No, what I have trouble with is the term “artist”.
You see, I don’t feel as if I’m an artist. I guess it all boils down to how you define an artist. My wife is a pastry chef, and most of what she makes could be considered art… it also tastes good. I feel an artist is someone who makes bespoke one of pieces that were inspired in some way. I don’t really do that, at least not the stuff I sell. I’ve made one off things for myself or family, but generally what I produce in my studio is production work. I create a design, then I maximize the efficiency in making it. Some items I make only one of because I can’t make it efficiently enough to be able to profit from selling it. So I feel I’m more of a designer, but one who makes the items as well.
So another year has gone by and I’ve let the deadline slip by without applying. While I’d love the exposure, the artist label is one that is hard for me to accept.