Art is a very personal thing, so it’s completely understandable that not all artists are commercial and want to sell their work or make a living from it. My hubby and I are both graduates of Falmouth School of Art. But I have never sold any of my paintings or sketches. And the same was true of Dave until three years ago.
Our journey to our new workspace started when friends invited us to join them in Wexford for the Art in the Open Plein Air festival. We had a fabulous week indulging in what up to then had just been a hobby. And left a couple of our paintings with our hosts to say thank you for their incredible hospitality. Thrilled, they persuaded Dave to enter his work into the exhibition which closed the event. We genuinely expected to receive them back in the post a few weeks later, but they all sold. Understandably, Dave’s confidence received a massive boost. So when the opportunity to enter the Imagine Falmouth exhibition arrived, he decided to take the plunge and his entry was accepted. He sold his piece and was over the moon.
The seed had now been well and truly planted, and he decided to set his sights on becoming a professional artist when he retired. But working from home, although very cost-effective is not easy ideal. And after two years of working in the conservatory, I was ready to take the step away too.
We both needed somewhere to work on raising our game, so we started looking for a studio. A move that we hoped would help Dave focus on developing his professional practice. And give me somewhere to separate my work as a content writer from my personal ambition to finish my novel.
Frustratingly despite the huge artistic community in Falmouth, or maybe because of it, artist studios are very hard to come by. We knew a few other friends who were in the same position, so when we saw a property listing in the estate agents window, we had a light bulb moment.
In January we picked up the keys for our new professional home at the Terrace Gallery in Penryn. It’s fast becoming a home from home for other artists and creative businesses which offers invaluable exhibition space for artists and makers who struggle to get their work shown in the larger galleries. The handy event space also provides local artists & makers with the opportunity to share their inspiration, techniques and craft as talks, workshops and short courses.
As artists ourselves, we know the equilibrium between the time and effort that goes into creating original artwork, and the sale price is often unbalanced. Thankfully the commission rate for the gallery is low and the cost of hiring the event space reasonable.
Dave’s first giant leap is nearly upon him as he prepares for his first exhibition in February. And I have rescheduled my calendar to make sure I take some personal writing time during the week…so maybe I will finally get to finish my novel afterall!