walking smoking pipe - SOLD
two arms - available in the shop
lightning bolts on this hand - available in the shop
man wearing a paper bag - SOLD
hairy pyramids with laser eyes - available in the shop
rather excited cubic zirconia - available in the shop
man wearing a booga wooga t-shirt - available in the shop
dinner plate with an eye patch - available in the shop
I've been thinking about audiences, and who artists make art for. When an artist is creating, is she or he thinking about the viewer? Are they thinking about the buyer, the gallery owner? Are they thinking about what their friends and peers might think? Are they thinking abut themselves? When you create a non-commissioned work, who do you think about?
Drawing pictures inside the books I sold through my shop was an interesting experience. Although I didn't customize them for each specific recipient, I was very conscious that it was for an individual who had taken the time to order a book. I didn't photograph or scan the drawings, which meant that they weren't going to be shared online. Each drawing had an audience of one. It changed what and how I drew. I often wrote "I drew this _______ for you", which seemed like such an appropriate caption. I liked how direct it was. There seemed to be less separation between the viewer and me. It was like I was leaving notes for people. From a creative standpoint, I found it strangely liberating. I came up with all kinds of new ideas for drawings, some of which materialized into the ones you see below.
By sharing and selling my work online, I have a more intimate relationship with my audience than I would through a gallery or other third party (this does not mean I won't sell in galleries, in fact I look forward to doing so more). I acknowledge and embrace and am fascinated by this relationship, and I'm amazed by how it seems to grow and evolve, especially through the back-and-forth that occurs through twitter. I've become more conscious of it, and I'm allowing it to have an affect on my work. The medium is becoming part of the art.
Back to my book, one of the frustrations I had was my inability to ship it affordably around the world. It frequently cost over $40 to ship a $25 book anywhere other than within North America (my own country's postal system has something to do with that, as well as the book's weight). It highlighted just how global my audience is. I couldn't believe how many folks from non-English speaking countries wanted to order. And my book was essentially incompatible with sharing online.
Those are my thoughts so far. They are not fully formed, I know, but I wanted to start sharing thinking and talking about it. In the meantime, I drew these pictures for you.