“Do it”, is sculpture artist Ian Edward’s advice for anyone who is hesitating in their choice of an artist life. If you don’t do you will not know if it was the right thing. And if it wasn’t, congratulations, you’ve just gained valuable experience from your mistake and you’re able to make better actions and decisions in the future.
One area where many people are especially hesitant is when it comes to reaching out. “You don’t meet anyone in your bedroom, so get out of there!”, says Ian in the interview. To grow your network is the most important in any profession. You could even argue that creative success comes down to who you know, where and when; I.e. Your network.
The artist life: “It’s not just your art that you’re creating: It’s your whole life”
If you never take the chance of reaching out you might be missing out on a ton of opportunities. Ian for instance, is the first artist that reached out to us to be a part of the podcast. And we’re so happy that he did. His charisma and powerful advices based on experience are exactly what we’re looking for to share on the show.
He embodies a passionate being that knows what he wants and is not afraid to work hard to get there. “There is no such thing as an 8-hour work day”, he says. When he was working his apprenticeship he would work tiredless hours to finish the week’s work already by Thursday. It would give him Fridays and Saturdays to focus on his own projects and to build his portfolio.
When we saluted him for his work ethic and proactiveness he told us: “It’s not just your artwork that you’re creating, it’s your artist life. Where you want to live, how you want to live, with whom and doing what. It’s all yours to build and it’s a long road, so you better start today”.
Creating and selling are two things that can never exclude each other
However, you won’t make any money as long as you’re just creating. It isn’t until you get serious about selling that you will be able to live freely as a fulltime artist. “All great artists were great at both creating and selling”. One thing can never exclude the other and this is essential to realise early on.
Ian began to sell his work by walking across the street from his parents and knock on the door of his neighbours. He would show his work and ask if they would like something similar. For each yes he had already meta ton of “No”, but that didn’t matter. Because each yes was already a victory and a new experience on the road of fulfilling his dream full-time artistry of an artist life.
Realisation of the perceived value
The deeper he got into the studies of selling, he realised a crucial concept: Perceived value. That means the price you get (or can potentially get) for your piece. This will depend on the circumstance, whether you’re in a big or small city, in a gallery or just your home studio and more. All these factors will have an impact on the perceived value of your artwork. This is something every creator must consider when pricing their creations. What is the perceived value of what you create in the circumstance you’re in?
Once you have the price figured out, you will have to start attracting your clients.
Ian made sure to place himself in front of as many potential clients as possible. For example he put his sculptures in public exhibitions where he suspected a high number of by-passers. Today with Internet and Social Media, his strategies have shifted towards engaging his audience into his creations and everyday artist life. By making sure to consistently share the story and purpose behind his work, he invites potential buyers to a conversation and deeper connection.
Sculpture of meaning
Ian’s emphasis on the significance of the story runs through all of his work and marketing. It’s incredibly inspiring to listen to his motivations and his drive to sculpt. He refers to his works as “sculptures of meaning” , because each work has its own story and signification in his life. This is an interview that you don’t want to miss. Thus, make sure to bring out your work in progress or get on your sneakers for an inspiring walk. Put in your headphones and press play at the top of this post or head to the podcast episode on Charles and Elin. To read more about Ian’s work visit his website: www.ianedwardsstudios.com and Instagram with the same name @ianedwardsstudios
Did you find this inspiring but still feel fear of failure? Then Charles article “Do what you can’t” might help to give you that extra push to get out there and “do it”.