thoughts behind the work

Changes in the Marketplace

I’m done with my last ditch effort to draw Christmas. The month is half over and reality is here. I have the selected 2 or 3 simple gifts set aside for the holiday. I have been glued to the computer screen like some kind of crazy magnet in search of educating myself on what is going on with the internet. Have you ever awakened to the thought, Where the hell have I been the last few years? Well this has been my revelation since somewhere around October and I am hit with a major learning curve.

Now that all the very big life changing events have sorted themselves out, like buying and remodeling my house, serious health issues, the pandemic and my mascotas (my 3 cats and 2 shared cats) for a total of 5 fur babies to care for. Lately I have noticed a big drop in online sales lately. What I have learned recently since I’ve taken the time to look, is how much things have changed. The business of being noticed on the web is pretty impossible because the competition is so huge.

I have learned 99% of what you put on the web is discovered by the audiences’ keyword searches or tags. Of course I’ve known this for over 20 years but I’ve been personally lax in paying attention and with recent changes in my life. My compadre groups have been disbanded by the big parent sites who have turned us off and over to be on our own. Many have been forced to go to non professional groups like facebook etc, the standards have been watered down to pee water and the artist is once again pretty much on his own.

I realize my sales have come from friends and personal references and not the outside world of web surfers looking for their specific needs. Naw. It has become a jungle out there and lots of POD sites have instituted trend searches on their sites. Tons of You tubers are posting how to get noticed and giving their how to fixes for beating an impossible system. half a million searches a month? 7 million searches a month? So if you are not on page one or 2, it ain’t gonna happen. How can you get found?

There is a science to this as with anything else. I get it. I understand how the business has changed. But like anything else that has changed so drastically over the past 10 years I’m asking myself, what the??? So we have become flooded with thousands of people doing the same thing over and over, looking to break into the graphic and visual arts with little or no training and no taste. They all want to make a quick buck. They want to design a t shirt with no design skills. There are sites out there that offer them a way to do it. I don’t disparage them. But in reality, they can’t replace those people who actually do design and think and develop their ideas and come up with outstanding stuff.

There has to be more to a great t shirt that a pun, which I recall someone said was the lowest form of humor. I think about old tv shows and how they included the vaudeville clips which I always was embarrassed to watch. I can’t stand corney and it seems the world is full of it. And then….you see a genius work. An inspiration from a really good artist and all is forgiven. So I ask myself why do I bother? What is the point? I think the answer is that the people I meet and work with, my friends in the business inspire me. That includes the friends I made and kept over the years.

There is some wonderful energy out there but you have to look for it. Once you find it though in something that is beautifully drawn or executed with masterful skills, you have to stand back and be inspired. I find those darned sites every day. Too bad you have to go rummaging through a hoarders’ junk pile. Well, it’s the art that has always inspired me so I will keep enjoying the good stuff that is out there.

There is some wonderful energy out there but you have to look for it. Once you find it though in something that is beautifully drawn or executed with masterful skills, you have to stand back and be inspired. I find those darned sites every day. Too bad I have to go rummaging through a hoarders’ junk pile. Well, it’s the art that has always inspired me so I will keep enjoying the good stuff that is out there.

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