I read the whole thread and wow! Long. And about to get longer!
This art biz is taking time uh because I don't know someone famous who would tweet about me or invite me on their talk-show.
My intent is to be able to do the thing I love to do, to grow as an artist and to make something worthy of being bought and enjoyed by someone else and in so doing-make money. Then I'd be able to do it more and more and I don't huge need piles of art here anyway and it really isn't 'born' until it's out in the world after all...
I tried many many things attempting to achieve this. I rode the wave on ebay. I sold doing cheap auctions when auctions were still more popular and you could be found there, when they weren't yet weighed down by fake low quality prints from China being passed off as originals...until I landed here on DPW when they opened this site up to everyone. At that time, auctions still seemed more visited and I sold but usually only got 1 or 2 bids. So I didn't start out very low for that reason.
In my spare time I pursued my passion. I read everything I could on the subject of art by the artists I really loved and studied the body of art as they produced it to define what I loved about each...like Carol Marine, Brian Burt, Karin Jurick, Duane Keiser, Shawn Kenney, Michael Naples, and many many others... And a lot of them wrote in various posts and in email when I asked--just paint small and often, you will improve, and just do what you love.
And I found it to be true. YES! I am not the only bread winner in the house and I no longer have to work full time so maybe it's going quicker for me. But somehow, the tidbits I received from lots of different people and the time I did spend painting small and as often as possible is resulting in better paintings and better money. Like baking a cake, I put the ingredients in, slopped it in a pan and when it was baked, it was delicious!
Now, I'm not saying my art is delicious, some is still slop! But I'm happy to be improving, painting more often and as a result, selling more. It takes time and some work too, but it will be worth it. Because if what makes us get up in the morning isn't art, why would we bother with it at all?
If we keep working on it, we can get there. It wasn't much different for the artists who have arrived. They had middles too like where most of us are now. And knowing me, I may never arrive. Income may go up, sure, but I will probably never be satisfied with my current state of ability. There's something in my mind's eye that I still struggle to paint...better. And there's so much more beauty I find every day that begs to be painted!