I have a Karen Mobley I bought from the Spokane Art School for an incredibly reasonable price “for a Mobley” I was informed. I bought it because I really liked it and it was a very incredible price. I would have valued it for 10 times as much, doesn’t matter who did it. I really liked it. I’m going to have to work quite a few hours to custom frame it, but I will enjoy hanging it when it is done. I have an original Sam White too; it is a portrait of me and my husband. I love it. I also have an original Janene Grende.
When people start to refer to your art by your name, there is a feeling of arrival. Someone came into a co-op gallery I was working/hanging in and they exclaimed, “That is a Kurtz!” They were in fact, talking about my work. Quite a heady feeling, for a moment. The thing is, in Seattle or Bellevue, Los Angeles or Port Angeles, “Kurtz” means nothing. You can be a big fish in any pond, but somewhere you are merely a minnow swimming with sharks and whales. It is all about perspective.
There will be so many different perspectives about you and your work as you go along. People will see you from where they stand and will judge you and your art by what they know from that place. Be the best that you can be as much and as often as you can. It is important that you keep a healthy perspective about what you create. I met one of my peers for coffee the other day. I called her to set up the date out of the blue and she was excited to sit down with me. Me! When we were face to face, she said I sounded surprised that she would want to do it. I told her that I looked up to her and felt a little like Oliver asking, “Please can I have some more?” I didn’t feel like her equal and she acerbically told me that “You will have to get over that.” I was told that I was her equal in no uncertain terms. She is right, I need to work on my perspective. The reality is that I am sure she faces situations where she may not feel as secure too. Someone will always be above us, and we will look up and (unfortunately) look down on others; we need to remember that they work hard like we do.
Buyers look to find artists they are familiar with but most of the time, those who become true art collectors won’t give a brass tack about what other people think. From their “perspective” your work is what they want. Don’t question their taste, just say “Thank you” and let them buy it. The best perspective comes when you are shaking the hand of someone who invests in you.