Why don’t you Paint Luxury Sport Cars?
[caption id="attachment_751" align="alignleft" width="550" caption="San Francisco based Artist & CEO"][/caption] A luxury-marketing consultant recently asked, “Why don’t you paint luxury sports cars? It’s the same darn thing as a vineyard!?” "Are you kidding?" I laughed. But, he wasn't. I’m not sure how a vineyard and a car are related in this gentleman’s mind. But he insisted that they are the “same thing” and that his recommendation would give me the opportunity to appeal to a luxury market with a predisposition for collecting. It may be the same thing for a commercial illustrator, but from an artistic point of view, it’s just not. He was on the right track. It’s no secret that I’m targeting prospects with well above average discretionary income and collecting personalities, but I’m not a commercial illustrator. I’m an artist. And as an artist, I have to pursue subjects that I feel passionate about and that resonate with me, or, I can assure you, they won’t resonate with collectors. I also don't want to confuse my market with an unrelated direction. It's best for businesses, and artists, to first firmly establish a niche before they venture too far a field. I receive a similar “suggestion” about painting golf courses. I mean no disrespect to car or golf enthusiasts, but neither fancy sports cars nor are golf courses are of any interest to me. And I'm quite clear on my art direction, thank you. I once lunched with Stephanie Gallo, and she asked me “Why do your paintings have so much feeling and depth compared to the artists that we have worked with? Their work doesn’t even compare.” My answer, “Because you’re not telling me what to do. I’m expressing my emotions. I can’t possibly do that if I’m thinking about satisfying your expectations.” I’m not sure if she liked, or really understood, my answer but my response is the simple truth. In the words of Tim Mondavi, art, just like wine, “has to come from the heart.”