Who Will Buy My Love?

Two things are true: (1) I need to make some money and (2) I need to make what I love.

Years ago – before I was ancient – I could’ve learned how to make “beauty.” Maybe I could’ve learned how to make cute/adorable/charming. That’s less likely. But, instead of doing what I could’ve done to feed a consumer need, I fed my own.

I made what I love.

Now it’s all I can do. It’s all I want to do. I need to make what I love.

Now and then I can produce “beauty,” etc. But it’s….meh. I don’t love it and I can’t fake love well enough for my “beauty” to be be beautiful to the world. 

Let’s shift gears, OK? Take a little detour…

Online advice about selling visual art via print-on-demand sites always includes this gem: “Know your audience.” That’s excellent advice, applicable to most of life’s endeavors. But how do you know and satisfy an audience that doesn’t exist? Beyond supposition I haven’t a clue except that it would be people like me but who had money to spend.

Detour over.

Given my timeline (I’m ancient, remember?) in the early spring of last year I decided to focus on what I love to do. That seemed wise because even if nothing sold I could at least enjoy what I was doing and my dwindling time wouldn’t be wasted pretending to love something that might not sell anyway.

Ooooo! Exciting! Must’ve worked great, yes? Here’s how well that plan’s worked: Nothing’s sold except a sticker of an [arguably] beautiful abstract I made 13 years ago. I earned $.33 (cents, yes) that I’ll likely never see because the payout threshold is $20. Want to see it? Click through to my Redbubble shop.

Who was my audience? No idea. Maybe a music lover. Maybe a violin player. Or maybe someone who likes little abstract images that will stick to things. 

Reeling from the realization that I wasn’t getting anywhere I updated equipment and purchased new software. Beginning mid-summer last year I frantically tried to make what I thought might sell. What was that exactly? Not what I love. Everything else. I’ve tried hard to create for that other audience, the one that likes beauty and charm and adorable cuteness but IT’S NOT ME. I’m drowning in loveless creations.

I need my love.

I need my faces.

So – enough! I’ve had enough! Maybe I’ll make abstracts along the way, maybe I’ll take pictures of pretty things, maybe I’ll crank out a few colorful patterns just to please the POD site’s algorithms, but my new plan is to make – and try harder to sell – what I love. 

Like this face:

Acrylic painting, photography – digital collage (©️Robin King)

Is it ugly to you? Creepy? Scary? Weird? Edgy? Disgusting? Bizarre? It’s beauty to me. I loved making it! I love seeing it!

And I love this one:

Acrylic painting, photography, pencil drawing – digital collage (©️Robin King)

Does it intrigue you? Bother you? Make you feel compassion or confusion or anything at all? It’s dark and bleak and touches me deeply. It’s beauty, to me.

I’m my audience. All I need is a few people like me who share my love and will buy it. 

……

Note: The above may seem like whining and maybe it is. To be fair, I’ve flip-flopped this way before. I’ve also been wildly inconsistent with promotion. And – maybe – what I love isn’t really meant for anyone but me. Maybe it’s just “bad art,” not even good enough for a refrigerator door. Maybe my love is wasted, misplaced. But it’s still love and I’m going to make these faces until I can’t.

A Test and Some Fun


The face up there isn’t the test. It’s the fun! I make faces when I want to enjoy myself without restraint or reservation.

ABOUT THE FACE: It’s a digital collage. One of the layers is an abstract I made using this website: http://jacksonpollock.org. You draw on your screen, take a screenshot. Try it!

Artist/designer/photographer Phil Perkins – https://perkinsdesigns.com – shared that Jackson Pollock link with me. Thank you, Phil!! It’s terrific!!!

………

EDITED: So what’s the test? It was the presence of the face. I know we can post social media links here that display and I wanted to try one from Instagram. Several months ago I tried a Twitter post and, although it was visible on my “actual” site, it wasn’t in the WordPress Reader. Not good! I deleted it. When I originally created this WordPress post it included an Instagram post. It was visible – the test was successful. But tonight I deactivated my Instagram account and the linked post went away. So…I uploaded the face to WordPress.

An Affinity for Lines

Diagonal lines – nice. But I want something else…
THIS is what I want!

Yesterday I posted a request for advice about either Affinity Photo or Pixelmator Pro. You can see the specifics in this post: https://robinkingfaces.com/2021/11/25/do-you-use-affinity-photo-pixelmator-pro-is-this-possible-thats-all-i-need-to-know/

Thanks to Phil Perkins – Perkins Designs – I was able to do exactly what I wanted, using Affinity Photo. Thank you, Phil!! And thank you, also, to Ed Ritchie – eRitchieart – for letting me know that I can do the same thing using Pixelmator Pro. I haven’t had an opportunity to try that yet but I’m sure it’ll go well. Thank you, Ed Ritchie!!

Adobe’s Announcement About Photoshop Elements & Mac Monterey

If you have a new version of Adobe Photoshop Elements on a Mac with Monterey, you may have been having a difficult time opening/using Elements. I certainly have! Well, there’s some news:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/photoshop-elements-discussions/does-photoshop-elements-2022-work-with-macos-monterey/td-p/12545025

(You don’t need to sign in to Adobe to read the announcement.)

Upshot? They’re working on it – with Apple. Yay!

“All the News”

“All the News” (©️Robin King)

Several weeks ago – before my most recent (and unexpected) absence from art & the internet – I uploaded “All the News” to my Redbubble Shop.

There’s so much news! Some is good; most isn’t. Some is objectively important to how we navigate our days; most isn’t. But it arrives, wave after wave of words and images. There are times when it threatens to overwhelm, to swallow us in the information maelstrom.

When I composed this piece I deliberately restricted the news aspect of it and allowed the face to be prominent. Yes, the effects of the “tide” are there but they don’t overwhelm, not entirely. The image is a digital collage that incorporates three photographs and one layer of digital painting. If you think you see a paint palette in there (with acrylic paint smeared on it), you’re right.

“All the News” is available as open edition prints and stickers. Here’s a direct link: https://www.redbubble.com/shop/ap/93859197

Still Alive


Everything’s an unexpected mess for me right now.

The details won’t be interesting to anyone so I’ll just leave it at that except for the most recent mini-mess: the heater isn’t functioning this morning and it’s 59 degrees (F) in the house. Today was supposed to be a get-caught-up-online day but, instead, it’s a shivering-while-waiting-for-the-heater-tech-to-arrive day. I’ll reply to your lovely comments and be around to say “Hello!” to everyone as soon as I can.

The faces above are small sketches I made while testing the iPastels app on my iPad. The app is free, has a tiny footprint, and wonderful tools. There’s a desktop version, too. I’m sure that my goofy faces aren’t displaying the full power of the app so if you’re interested in checking it out for yourself, here:

https://www.ipastels.com

 

They Love You! They Really Love You! (But What If They Don’t?)

©️Robin King
“Bright Eye” (©️Robin King)

Everyone loves you! Everyone loves your art!

But what if they don’t?

What if no one even likes – or, maybe worse, no one cares – about your art?

You laugh if you can. You cry if you have to. Then you decide whether or not you need to have your work liked more than you need to create the work that no one likes or cares about.

If you can create what you want and aren’t crushed by the reception the work gets, then you make more. Otherwise? You find out what you need to do to please people and then make the work that will bring you the notice and/or approval you want.

Or maybe you fling yourself back and forth between these options? Trying not to care, trying to find out what people want, trying not to care…trying, trying, trying.

Or maybe you pack it all in and stop trying so you can stop caring, until you realize that won’t work because you really need to make your art so you start all over again. Trying, caring.

Then, in one of those cosmic bursts of magic, someone loves your art. Not everyone. But someone.

Maybe it’s you.