Art has been around as long as human beings, from the time the first person picked up a charred stick and began drawing that day’s hunt onto the rock wall of the cave that was home, and all along through the years, art has changed. There have been times when it was respected, times when it was ridiculed, times when it was valued, and times when it was taken for granted. It has continued to exist through all times because it is part of being human. That little spark of creativity, is in my mind, the thing that lets us know we are made in the image of the Master Artist and Creator.
Art as business though… when did that start? Was the man in the cave considered the community historian, and given an extra share of the hunt in exchange for his services, or did the rest of the tribe look on with bemusement at his strange pastime? We will likely never know the answer, however at some point, artists began being paid for their skill and talent, and a few were brave enough to try to make their living at it.
There have been times when the art business was doing well, when people have had the extra money to buy something if they liked it, and times when it was doing poorly, and the artist struggles for food and shelter.
Where is it now? Somewhere in between those extremes, at somewhat of a crossroads. Various societal trends are impacting the art market, and will shape it in the future.
So, here are a few developments I predict in the art business, some of which are already happening.
1. More wearable art. Art on T-shirts, art on shoes, art on necklace pendants, purses, and coats. This is both printed art, and art that it is hand painted right on the products.
2. Smaller pieces. Mini canvases that can be made into Christmas ornaments and refrigerator magnets, this is art that those in the downsizing movement can still embrace.
3. Street art that is created fast, in front of the buyer, providing both entertainment and an inexpensive piece of art. Such as seen in this video.
4. Related to the above, but a little different, is visual art AS performance art, as seen in these videos (though not all of us artist have the ability or desire to do this):
6. More “art classes as social time”, such as “art parties” where people gather and an artist takes them step by step through how to create a painting, or make a mosaic, or some other project. These are already gaining popularity, and I predict more growth in that area as people are looking for an alternative then dinner or a movie when wanting to get out.
7. More commissioned work. For those people who do have their own home with room for art, often, they have something specific in mind, a specific color scheme or subject matter that they want for their home, what better way than to hire an artist to make it just for them?
Most of all though, I see art just simply continuing on, as it has since the times of the cave-paintings.
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