Trying to Find a Balance | Sunday Reflection 6/30/19

Trying to Find a Balance | Sunday Reflection 6/30/19

June 30, 2019

On Sundays I reflect. 

I didn’t drink alcohol this week. It’s the small victories these days. 

It's Still a Struggle

A few artist, friends and strangers hit me up about the struggle this week. I laugh when I get these messages, for a few reasons. Primarily, because people think I’m not struggling.

For the last five years I’ve kept a bag full of cheap pipes I make on me at all times to sell for a few bucks, trade for a meal or a ride, or gift to someone who has graciously let me sleep in their home. I probably wouldn’t survive without these little guys to this day.

I remember an old friend in the pipe scene telling me they would carry me, and they always have. Amy, if you’re reading this, I wanted to say I haven’t forgotten that you made me promise to make them for you any time you ask no matter how “big” I got. 

Another reason I laugh is because just two years ago I was sleeping in my studio with virtually nowhere else to go. Before that I slept in other people’s studios, sometimes on the concrete floor. It’s not that this is necessary to make it as an artist. However, it is necessary to go all-in, whatever that means to you. This lifestyle requires massive amounts of sacrifice. 

Working with Other Artists

I’m currently representing over fifty artists. As an artist I’ve sacrificed a lot of my time that could have been spent creating my art, in order to build this platform for myself and other artists. I recognize how important representation is for artists, along with anything that frees up more time and energy to create. It’s most difficult for me to market and sell my own work, but I’m working on it.

Are Art Galleries Worth It?

Typically the conversation I have with artists is as follows: they tell me it’s too hard to create the art in addition to marketing and selling it. They also don’t want to give up half the price of the piece to a broker. This is a two way street.

If you are a talented artist but can’t handle sales and marketing, in addition to creating, I highly suggest working with a gallery or broker. If you would rather make work and let it sit for as long as it needs to for you to get your price, you might be waiting your whole life.

Galleries and brokers spend tremendous amounts of money and time to market and sell your products. If you don’t think they deserve their cut of your work (typically 50%) for this effort, do it yourself. I guarantee you will spend more money and effort (and time which is money) than if you paid a gallerist or broker, and you will be missing out on their exposure and clientele. 

Trying to Find a Balance

I missed last week’s reflection. I’ve been buried with work and trying to stay afloat.

I’ve taken a few puffs of herb in the last two ways, which in no way compares to my prior habit of smoking herb from the time I woke up until I went to sleep. This habit lasted at least a decade. Between that and the heat causing me to work at night, my sleep schedule is fucked up. My life has been in a state of flux for a while, and the stability of routine is slowly developing.

I went to see Death Cab For Cutie at Red Rocks the other day. I would consider that band to be a guilty pleasure, whom I had not seen live. They put on a great show, but I don’t think I’d see them again. Glad I checked it off the bucket list though!

I don’t have much of a CUPDATE for you today, other than a few summer aesthetic updates to the website. But we are processing and photographing a lot of inventory to bring to the website and Instagram. 

Time to get on with my day,
Ben


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