The Daily Rambling Artist - Show Me the Monet!: Hustle and Flow

The Daily Rambling Artist - Show Me the Monet!: Hustle and Flow

Knowledge about the financial side of my art career has come from various streams of influence. I treasure every nugget I’ve been fortunate to receive. One friend once explained to me a few things that I’ve kept close to me. Wanna hear them? Here they go!

The first thing he told me was to keep my inventory high. He said that way if asked to do a show or a festival, I wouldn’t find myself scrambling for work to do so. There’s a lot of freedom that comes with working to produce a lot of work exhibition-wise.

This nugget has served me well through the years. The other advantage is that if there’s a large order that comes through, which thankfully happens for me sometimes, it’s usually due to the fact that I keep as high of an inventory as I can. It’s a large part of my drive to produce new work every single day.

My friend also shared with me that he once had a house fire, and lost his inventory. His biggest regret was all of the pieces he was uncompromising about selling. He felt pompous retrospectively, and was rueful that pieces that were destroyed could be in proper homes instead. It taught him the importance of striking a deal when interest is present.

I was already in agreement somewhat when he shared his story with me, but his tale brought the point home to me. Sometimes, I hear, “I don’t want to offend you with a low offer.” I’m never offended. Three things can happen. I take the deal, I counter, or I have to politely decline. Declining is rare, as no one ever really low balls that hard.

My friend’s advice on both counts was spot on though. I’ve always maintained that I’m not interested in collecting my work. I’d rather make more and new work, and ensuring that I produce it and move it is key to that artist ecosystem.

-Sergio Santos