Turning the Clearinghouse into a Real Clearinghouse

This blog's original goals were:
link sharing
The first reason I started this blog was because I kept finding fascinating webpages about collage and I wanted to keep track of them. I know that we all like surfing, and sharing the things I found seemed like the considerate thing to do. And so Collage Clearinghouse was born. 5 years/682 posts ago.

I am an inquisitive person, and I love conversation. I love learning. I was hoping to start some online dialogue about the Fine Art of Collage, about these artists and pieces that I profiled. I was interested in conversing with others. So we could grow. We all could grow into something even better. Something the world has never seen. Yet.

art sharing
I do a lot of work. I admit that I was also interested in promoting myself. I figured by starting a community of intellectual, like-minded collage artists, I could learn from others and also share my work. It seemed like a great formula!

I considered these original goals as I recently pondered how to disperse 100's of personal collage works.

How can I get this artwork into the hands of others? 
Without making money the objective. Because truly, money ain't everything. Honest.

My first idea was to just give art away. You like it? You can have it. Why not?
This idea has some pitfalls. If I give my art away, this will affect the value of ALL of my work, not just these pieces. I am still an active collagist...and I am still selling work, both online and offline. I don't want to wreak havoc with my own market. Imagine how my friend Janet will feel when she finds out I am giving away pieces almost equal in size and quality to the piece she paid $175 for? It could cause hard feelings. It could also de-value everything I do. Why pay for my work now, when you can wait 10 years till I am sick of storing it and giving it away! My antique dealer fiancé tells me that you set the bar, and then you have to live with it. I don't want people to think my artwork, creativity and time is worth a big zero. Giving it away seems to have inherent issues.
And then there's the shipping! Certainly I can't pay for shipping to give away art. Now that's a serious losing formula.

How about I give away the art? But You pay the shipping?
Well, this does help me a bit! I won't lose cash by being generous.
But it still leaves me with value problems like I mentioned above. My personal market could be seriously affected.

How about Raffles? Contests? 
Nope. I am not into using my time to hold contests or raffles. It's too gimmicky. I usually lose on lottery tickets and raffles.

What if I reduce prices so much that just about anyone could afford my art? 
(Like a half price deal or something?) And you pay the shipping?
Now I feel I am getting somewhere. I would at least be getting some meager compensation for the work, and not losing money to ship it to you. I like this idea. It's like the fashion designers that are signing up with Target and providing the common man with couture design. I would be selling quality art to the common man, affordably.

How about making this process a bit more interesting? Just putting things up for sale is freaking boring. I would like to get more than just money. I am interested in feedback, remember? Dialogue. Sharing.
And not the "it's beautiful, i love it!" kind of dialogue.
Real dialogue. Real Criticism. Honesty. Feelings.
It's more like "Why did you do this piece in duotone colors? I think a complimentary scheme would lend more feeling." or "I just don't get this piece. wtf were you thinking?" or "I loved this from the first time I saw it. But I don't get it."
How can I reap some other benefits from dispersing this artwork...besides just plain old boring cash?

How about I put a super cheap price on the art? AND I put it up for sale to one and all thru this very blog? And you comment about it. Write me a paragraph or two of your personal truth. Tell me WHY you want this piece. Tell me the feelings it invokes. Does it remind you of something, someone? Tell me something I don't already know. Earn it. Earn it by participating in dialogue.
In this case, I would get some money for the art, and therefore I am not just giving it away. It might be more like we are trading art for commentary about the art. I wouldn't lose money for shipping. We all would get the conversation, the criticism, the dialogue. It's like a bonus. We all would benefit, especially if even those that didn't want to purchase the piece participated in the dialogue.

Would this work?
I just don't know. I could spend hours posting pieces and get zero response. Or I might be pleasantly surprised. It's a crap shoot.

Am I dreaming?
Probably. But I really have this goal to disperse 100+ works of art. Cheaply. And Soon.

Am I going to do something like this?
Yes. I really am.

It sure would turn Collage Clearinghouse into a literal Clearinghouse!
Things may change just a bit on this blog. I just have to figure out a way to implement this plan.

Ya got any ideas?
We can start this conversation Right Now.


Monkeybrain said...

SO I guess I am first to comment on this (that must make me eligible for a freebie... JUST KIDDING). To tell you the truth Julie, I think I need a little bit of time to digest this one. Not really sure how I feel about your proposition. I will comment again tomorrow after I think about it a little bit. I am wondering if I am going to get to this point too. I understand it at some level, but am puzzled too. It seems a little bit sad, but I'm not really sure why. So I'm going to think about it for a while and get back to you. Until then, like always, thank you for your creative thoughtfulness and inspiration and provocation ;-)

Julie Sadler said...

I am wondering....
Is the sadness related to the value of the work you have bought from me changing should I give some work away?
Is the sadness related to the entire idea of me not getting monetary compensation for the artwork?

it's thought provoking anyhow!

Monkeybrain said...

I think it's neither. And I don't even know if it's really sadness, per se. You put your heart and soul into some of these works. I guess it seems sad that they're just "sitting around" waiting to be gotten rid of. But in a VERY related way as you've mentioned in many posts... it's about the process. The money thing is pretty much irrelevant to me (and I'm grateful for that). It's the spirit and the surrender. I watched a thing on television last night (rare for me) in which they interviewed the guy who invented Facebook. He was offered a BILLION dollars for it!!! BUT he refused to sell it. Man, with a BILLION bucks, he would be more than set for a lifetime. But he's probably not doing it for the money (maybe). I just know that pretty much every artwork has a piece of the artist's heart "in it". Well, at least you're not throwing the work in the dumpster. One of my deepest fears is that when I die, all my work gets thrown away in the dumpster (of course, what will I care at that point?). I guess it's not the money at all...but the emotions. And I'm not even sure it is sadness.

Monkeybrain said...

BTW, I want to come down sometime and look through your work and buy a couple more pieces.

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