The Art is Only Half of It

I have spent most of my lifetime learning and growing into the artist that I am today. I have experimented with media, techniques and ideas. I have a nice foothold in my own style, and I am just starting to fulfill the dream that i AM indeed an artist. Being published in a couple of books, selling my own independent works, the stacks of finished art in the corners of my apartment, are my evidence.
As I work to now try to bring my artwork out of hiding and into the spotlight and the hands of collectors, I am finding that even with all the learning and reading and creating that I have done, I still have so much more to learn. In fact, I am a babe in the virtual art woods. There is an entire side of art that I was unaware of. The business side.
How could it be that I have spent years in fact a couple of decades learning and growing as an artist, but yet I am totally clueless about the art "system"?? I know so little about it all! With the internet at my fingertips, I have been spending countless hours reading reviews, reading reports, looking at exhibits...and what a world of things I have found out that I didn't know!! There seems to be so much information out there. How could I be so naiive about it all?
Truly! I thought about the nice little family that makes a fairly decent living in their little middle class home, sitting in their living room with empty walls pining away for a piece of art. How they will "happen" across my artwork, fall in love with a piece, and just HAVE to purchase it for their home. Good grief, how could I have been so far away from the mark here? This scenario is NOT the way it works. As I read about the political part of collecting over at Ed Winklemans blog, it scares me. I read articles about artists being chosen by age (or good grief, gender!!! what century are we in?) over at Anonymous Female Artist, or the tale of art market rookie Susan Hancock and how she bought artworks because someone else did which I read on artnet. There is just so much going on behind the scenes in the business of Selling Art. I had no idea.
I am wondering about the real meat behind all this bullshit. The art. Doesn't that matter at all? Does it really come down to gender? age? or good grief, mass popularity??? How entirely depressing! And discouraging.
The art apparently is only half of it. The smaller half.
Well it's a damn good thing that money and fame are not what drives me to create! I end up not wanting to read anymore about it, and depressed, I go Make More Art!

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