Monday, April 13, 2009

I don’t get it.

Well, the great eBay experiment is over…the drawing didn't sell the second time around either. Just like last time, there was a good amount of interest, around fifteen people 'watching' the auction…but no-one actually decided to bid.

I honestly feel like I'm missing something now. There's a hidden step or technique that I don't know or understand.

You see, part of my great eBay experiment was just looking at the 'direct from the artist' artwork that's available online, from eBay auctions to private websites… and after a lot of research I honestly see no correlation between talent and success.

For example, this afternoon I was looking through some 'Etsy' stores (Etsy is an online store-front service specifically for hand-made arts and crafts). There's a massive mix of talent and prices on their from awesome art dirt cheap to stuff that's just plain shit for literally thousands of dollars…and after looking at a few stores and the artist's feedback ratings I couldn't find a link between the artist's skill and the amount they sell.

Basically, unless you're famous, it appears your success comes down to a coin flip. I saw gorgeous pieces of art for reasonable prices that had been on sale for months with no interest…and on the other side of the coin, absolute crap selling for literally thousands of dollars. Like the title of this post says, I just don't get it.

You see, the stock answer is that art is subjective, and that's true, but only to a certain point. There are some things you can justify with words like 'style' and 'taste' but some artwork is objectively bad. When someone is selling a realist painting and they've got the proportions wrong, the shading is inconsistent and disagrees with the light source…and the supposed 'beauty' is slightly cross-eyed with a wonky mouth…that's not 'style', that's someone attempting something and failing.

My question is why? Why does some amazing artwork just not sell while pieces of absolute crap fly off the shelves despite the ridiculous prices?

It's something I've noticed all over the internet. If you go to you'll find the same handful of writers consistently have the highest number of readers and page views despite the fact their work is entirely mediocre, while some insanely talented writers never get more than a handful of readers. Deviantart has some of the most talented artists on the planet, yet most of them are ignored while a handful of talentless shmucks churn out bad anime and get ridiculous numbers of page views.

It really is the same everywhere. Popularity and success appear to have absolutely nothing to do with talent.

Does anyone have any idea what's going on with this, because I honestly can't work it out.

1 comment:

Evan 08 said...

I noticed that with Part of why I didn't stick around... it's also partly because I decided to ditch my stalker around this time.

I'd love to be an artist... I'd be in heaven if I could compose a song or two per year, or write a book every couple of years, or sell a painting every year or so. Unfortunately, I'm not outstanding in any of these fields, and I have absolutely NO connections