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  #1  
Old 03-16-2008, 02:43 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Is anyone making any money ?

Hello Everyone

After viewing the website

http://www.cordair.com/sculptures.htm

Posted by Mountshang earlier I was surprised to find the sculpture so cheap. Many bronzes under $3,000. If the gallery takes 50% and the foundry 50% of the remainder that leaves less than $750 for the sculptor...then there are mold costs, studio, insurance etc etc. So I wonder is anyone making money ? I have notices Richard MacDonald has managed to create a nice market for his work but he seem to be one out of thousands. I'll go first and say that for me sculpture has been a vow of poverty.

G
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2008, 08:34 PM
grommet grommet is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

well, I've gotten pretty good at fives & tens and will try the twenties next. once you get the watermarks down... oh, that's probably not what you meant...
(just kiddding)
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2008, 09:52 PM
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allenring allenring is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

grommet, twentys are tough, got that color shifting ink, security thread and watermark. Ones are easy but I can't get the cost per below $2.79, always want to use quality material you know. Even if I loose $1.79 on each bill I figure I can make it up in volume. Does that make me a good artist?
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2008, 10:20 PM
oscar oscar is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

I don't think that kitsch is worth a hundred bucks. Surely the casting is being done in China.
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  #5  
Old 03-18-2008, 04:21 PM
Giotto Giotto is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

"Can I make a living sculpting" should be the second most important question for all of us. After the question "Is there a God"

I realized I asked a unanswerable question to this board because most of you associate income with success and aren't about to cop to being broke. My guess is that the percentage of those calling themselves sculptors, earning a living only with sculpture, is small....less than 10% and those earning what say a school teacher or engineer might earn is 1-2%

Comments ?

G
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2008, 04:47 PM
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chris 71 chris 71 is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

i haven't made a dime yet i still hope to some day.i read somewhere on here the key is to never give up. but i wonder how much is to do with where you are and who you know.
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  #7  
Old 03-21-2008, 03:13 PM
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terracotta terracotta is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

Yes the people who do the profiles for coins!
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  #8  
Old 03-25-2008, 01:40 PM
CroftonGraphics CroftonGraphics is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

If I may add my 2 cents, lol.

During the last ten years I spent a lot of time making
3d short films in my spare time from my 'day job' in design. Although they got
into some festivals and I had good comments, they didnt earn me money directly. Although admitedly perhaps earned indirectly due to folio etc.

I havent yet sold sculptures as I havent put them into galleries and am taking a year or so to develop my ideas but I have made a few good sales of some city drawings. So they are a good bit of money for me between my 3d design jobs.

So far from them being yet earning me a full salary, my drawings so far help me to add to my money earned through design. Again I do not know so much about sculptures but there are quite a few painters/drawers around here who earn a good salary with what they do but they seam to market themselves a lot so its similar to business.
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  #9  
Old 05-08-2008, 09:06 AM
ssculptor ssculptor is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

As an artist I have always been a non-profit organization. I did not meant it to be that way, that's just how it worked out.
When I had that moment in life where I realized that I was an artist I then asked myself how do I make a living? Then I thought that I will teach art and that will be a job that will enable me to make a living and support both my sculpture and my family. My naivety was understandable as I was young (22) and single. At no time did I ever envisage being able to make a living with my sculpture.
I did hope to become rich and famous as an artist. Hey, I was only 22, I was still a child.
So I went on for a Masters in sculpture so I could teach in a college somewhere. But I also wanted to live in or near New York City, the Mecca for artists. Lessee now, there must be 10,000 Master of Art degree holders who want to teach in New York City. With maybe a dozen college type schools in the place that makes competitoin just a bit fierce.
I ended up with a teaching job in an adult training branch of the State U in Brooklyn but I was teaching drafting. Then I switched to teaching math and then computer drafting at the school. I taught there for 37 years. All the while I was trying to show my artwork in Manhattan galleries.
Gradually I learned and then accepted the fact that to get "known" in Manhattan one has to live there. Like all human activities, its who you know that means anything. To make the necessary contacts one has to live there and mingle with the right people in the art world. I hate even walking through giant cities like NY so I settled in Connecticut and commuted to work.
I have had one man shows in Manhattan, I have been in numerous group shows there. I maintain my membership in a co-op gallery in Lower Manhattan. My work does not sell. I even had an agent for a few years. He finally gave up. He said the only way to sell work would be for me to have a studio there where he could take clients who want to buy the work of NY artists. To most monied collectors of art you are not a real artist unless you have a studio in New York. I could not afford a studio in NY and a home in Connecticut. Not even a small fake studio.
Now, after 45+ years as an unsold but often shown sculptor I still make my art and I show my work. I had and raised a family which is one of the things I wanted to do in life. I retired from teaching but I still make money as a free-lance draftsman.
What can I say, that's life.
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  #10  
Old 05-08-2008, 09:24 AM
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sculptorsam sculptorsam is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

Thanks for your story, ssculptor and welcome to the site. I look forward to seeing some examples of your work.
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2008, 11:03 AM
oscar oscar is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

Hey ssssculptor, I know what ya mean of not realizing the young dream of being rich and famous. I had several professors in college tell me if I wanted to make it in the arts, to not get married or have kids. It's tough looking back wondering if you made the right decisions. Has my 20 years of barely getting by as a fulltime fine artist been worth not having kids or a wife? Had I gone to a private college would they have been more sympathetic to my bipolar and not throw me out thus allowing me to graduate and teach?

I still want to be rich and famous. You should also! It's time to look back at everything you did and pick out the great things. Look back at your best work. Grab all those key elements that made that work good. Compile them. Sleep on them. Put them all in that mental blender that rests on your shoulders. Then mold the best work you have ever done. It's never to late to become rich and famous! Go get 'em!
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2008, 06:25 PM
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fritchie fritchie is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

Ssculptor, I replied elsewhere to your slightly earlier post, so I'll mostly say again here, thanks for joining, and please do show some of your work.

On your other points, one of the things I have learned here is that many of your comments on Manhattan are correct. However, persistence, with exposure increasing in scale from local to regional and then possibly larger, do seem to have lead to fine careers and sales elsewhere for some of our members. Many can tell similar stories about effort and drive. The important thing, in my mind, is to be satisfied yourself with what you have done.
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  #13  
Old 05-09-2008, 03:33 AM
Musicman92130 Musicman92130 is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

As I read through these posts I read a lot of self-limiting beliefs. I believe your beliefs become your reality. One of the most powerful books I read was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It says if you want to succeed you make a solid committment and failure is not an option, you will do whatever it takes. An anology is if you sail off to war and once you reach the shore you burn the boat.

I have only been sculpting for four years but I have been working toward the goal of quitting my job to sculpt full time. I have a 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals. I have a business and marketing plan and have made a budget of how much I will invest before I start making money. Failure is not an option.

And I know a lot of sculptors who do very well, my own aunt lives very comfortably as a sculptor in Santa Fe and I have met others who do the same. I have no doubt I will succeed because I will never give up. I remember what Lincoln Fox told me about the business "You can become rich doing this or go broke, it is up to you"

Mark
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  #14  
Old 05-09-2008, 09:11 PM
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Tired Iron Tired Iron is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

It is self employment, and like all self employed people ,if you don't put in 18 hours a day.........then there is that old line, Location, location, location.
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  #15  
Old 05-10-2008, 08:32 PM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

Been supporting myself and a family for many, many years. Sold ALOT of sculpture. Did it myself, the NY galleries have done very little for me. I know plenty of people who do well in NYC galleries and live everywhere else. But I suppose if "rich and famous" is your goal then you must rub the right elbows on a daily basis. The best thing about this art thing..."rich and famous" is always a possibility, some unplanned turn of events could change everything. The important thing, though, is to keep making the work you want to make, even if you KNOW it will not sell (because you're wrong about that sometimes).
NYC has chewed me up and spit me out many times already...But I keep coming back. I know how to make a decent living in this game...but maybe there is more...we'll see.
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  #16  
Old 08-24-2008, 08:00 PM
tim taylor tim taylor is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

Yeah I just had one of the "Gesso Forms" sold from a gallery in Italy to a writer who works at the Denmark Parlaiment. I had the proceeds donated to the Arte Club for wine and bread. But in an article I wrote for the Journal "la parola" (Italy) I think that being an artist in America means becoming skilled at negotiating poverty, unless you wanna work for the "machine". It is a labor of love. I'm certain that most good sculptors here could make alot of money if money making was their goal. But we make art, and we are still alive. A better question is "Is anyone making art?", and that we do! I make money, and squander it on art supplies and fellowship times, sufficient to have any New York Shrink try to make money on me, curing my hedonism, narcissism, and impulsive, unstable ways! And the shrinks think they know it all. They teach that if you make money at it, it must therefor be a worthwhile thing! Hell with making money. Lotta rich assholes can't even color with crayons, and they have to hire people to buy their "art".
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2008, 12:35 AM
spikegomez spikegomez is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

Self employment is in... how many ours in a day? on in a week?


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  #18  
Old 12-30-2008, 07:27 PM
fshnrod fshnrod is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

I work very hard!! That means in the studio, the foundry, and at marketing.
Probably equal on all three. I went to art school, struggled to pay my student loans, worked as a fishing guide for part of the year, then focused on doing good art the rest of the time. It took time(ten years), but eventually made the transition to full time artist! I am represented by 10 galleries across the country. I never gave up, never compromised my integrity, and most importantly, never listened to anyone that said I could not do it.
I have a folder full of rejection letters. To this day, I still nurture my relationships with galleries and collectors. They are the reason I get to do exactly what I want, everyday! It's a lifestyle, a passion, and a love. I would break the law to do it. And yes, I make money. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, but the bottom line is not in my bank account, but my soul.
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  #19  
Old 08-18-2010, 02:51 AM
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

I got married at the age of 23 and always knew that I wanted to be an artist, hopefully rich and successful. Soon kids followed and my dreams were put aside because I wanted to provide for my family and a 9-5 job was doing just that.

Some 10 years ago I discussed my dreams with my wife and we agreed to give sculpting a try, paid a fortune to bronze 1 pc and took it to some local galleries to sell. My work was not of a good standard and the needless to say the piece is still with me. I knew then that I would not be able to give my family the best in life if I tried to make a living as a sculptor.

My kids will be finished with school in the next 4years and financially we are strong so decided to take up sculpting again as a hobby. If I sell some sculptures in the future it will be a bonus but it will not be my drive. If I read what most of you have to say and if I look at my family today then me giving up sculpting for some time was a small price to pay.
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  #20  
Old 06-08-2008, 08:54 AM
ssculptor ssculptor is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

I wasn't aware that I was supposed to be making money from my sculpture.
I have been making my sculpture for almost 50 years and haven't make any money yet.
My work is make to express my self. That is all. The images I create are interesting but quite often a bit disturbing. That puts people off at times.
I expect to be paid good money for my work. That restricts sales.
When I had that monent of epifany and discovered that I was a sculptor (artist) the next thought that popped into my head was how will I make a living? Since I was finishing up my B.S. degree work (Industrial Design) I figured that I would go for my Masters in sculpture and spend the rest of my life teaching it to make a liying.
After getting my Masters I left Chicago and I taught Sculpture, Design and Art History for a year at EKU in Kentucky.
Didn't work out quite the way I had planned as the next year I went to New York City and ended up teaching at an adult training center of the S.U. of N.Y. in Brooklyn, NY. I moved to New York because that is Mecca for artists who want to be "discovered". That was 40 years ago.
What we plan and what happens is often two different things. I ended up living in Connecticut (I detest the big cities) and I started by teaching Drafting at the collellge in Brooklyn for a few years. Then I switched to teaching Math and became head of the department. When Computer Aided Drafting came in I switched again and ended up teaching that at the same school.
I continued making my sculpture the way I wanted and showed at various group shows in New York City. I have had two one man shows in NYC and had an agent for a few years. No sales at all.
The agent finally said that every gallery has one or two artists whose work simply does not sell. Thats me.

I do not regret having to spend so much of my time teaching and doing computer drafting. I greatly enjoyed both activities. I have been lucky in that I have found work that I liked doing. I have been able to afford the life style I grew up in and therefor was most comfortable with. Sort of a cross between middle class suburban and redneck. We have two children who are now adults.
So I will not become famous through my art. OK. I can live with that.
I am retired from teaching but I am still making my sculpture and making money doing drafting (part time).

Such is life.
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  #21  
Old 06-08-2008, 05:13 PM
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malakiblunt malakiblunt is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

i think if you put the hours in and have some skills, art is a viable self employed business as any ther, i think the realy hard part is not makeing money but to carry on makeing your art when you start makeing money, i see so many who end up as manufactures of the work that first started selling, but its realy hard to stop makeing the stuff people are bying to make new work.

i do my own casting but if i sell through gallerys i esentialy only get paind for the casting work im still giveing the art away for free.
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  #22  
Old 12-25-2008, 07:32 AM
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

Just arrived here. Very helpful forum. My first post.

If it is for sale i can generate the enthusiasm, professional attitude and hopefully ideas to make the art. If it is not going to be put out there with a price on it i am too damn lazy to make anything worth anything. My previous occupations were gold prospector and musician, both for 30 odd years overlapping for a few years. Most of the time i was working on some boring job to finance these long shot gambles, always aiming for a eureka moment. I had some high times but most of what i got from it was how to deal with poverty and failure. So i dont need to do that any more. I am already an expert at that. I have been given the gift of desperation and i am prepared to go to any length to let go of the things about myself that hold me back. So yes my work needs to be worthwhile so i can believe in it and sell it. But it is not all about me. i am just lucky enough to be making it. The only thing i learned of use to me in 4 years at art school was that i need to join in the mob looking at my art and look as hard as anyone else is. Fearless and thorough and then run on my own opinion of what i need to do to improve it or find new directions. But they have to be for sale or i aint making them. If they sell that is a bonus. I am still a learner so maybe this is all horsemanure but it is motivating me at the moment. victor cj pearson

Last edited by rusted_art : 12-25-2008 at 03:21 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-27-2008, 12:14 PM
tobias tobias is offline
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

I can say that I am supporting my self and have been for almost a year. I know that is not very long in comparison to some but I can not imagine going back now. I do not use galleries i sell privately through word of mouth and advertising at shows.
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  #24  
Old 12-27-2008, 02:24 PM
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tobias View Post
I can say that I am supporting my self and have been for almost a year. I know that is not very long in comparison to some but I can not imagine going back now. I do not use galleries i sell privately through word of mouth and advertising at shows.
Yep T, once you get a taste of that kind of independence and self-determination they'll never be able to pull you back into the rat-race...no matter how much money is involved.
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  #25  
Old 12-27-2008, 03:30 PM
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Re: Is anyone making any money ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by evaldart View Post
... once you get a taste of that kind of independence and self-determination they'll never be able to pull you back into the rat-race...no matter how much money is involved.
life's full of funny twists, Eval...here's my two cents(EURO cents, of course)- I started a woodcarving shop/studio some years ago- architectural woodcarving, interior decoration...that sort of thing.Wrong place , wrong time , and the shop somehow got a life of it's own, and a direction I did'nt like at all- I started getting more comissions that were plain carpenter's work , with less and less carving, I needed more industrial kind tools to get the job done, wich were more expensive and you can't pay for them with carving...To cut the long story short , I was taking a road that led to (if I were sucsessful) building a furniture-making company in say , 20 years - and all I wanted was fine carving and sculpture.Besides , the business was shaky , so I closed it before it was to late, and got a full-time job in( isn't it ironic!)-cabinet making, wich is my trade, and a place I can kick some ass.Now it's the first time I really have some time to make sculpture, and create things I allways wanted to- but never had the time.

...and -yes! I miss the independence and the adventure of not knowing what the tomorrow would bring, every minute of every day, and when I decide I have enough works to show, I'll start talking with the galeries, and try the self employment again - only this time I'm gonna win

Ivan
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