Letting Work Go or Keeping It
March 22, 2022
Hi Allyson, 

I was a student of yours in 'start a painting' class back in 2018, recently we met again at Regenaissance in Miami.  I mentioned to you in Miami that I have been painting lots since and as of 2018.   I hope you and everyone is thriving at COSM and good health and good spirits prevail. 

First of all I'm so very grateful for all the influence and encouragement I got from you, Alex and COSM, it's been priceless in these past 4 years.  

I know you are a very busy person and just wanted to thank you once again  and also ask you a question. 

This Saturday I will be having the first show for my paintings, several people have already mentioned interest in acquiring some of the work. Though this is a great milestone I realized that I find myself in a crux...  

In part I am beyond grateful that the artwork has resonated and found a great audience, but at the same time I find myself very attached to the paintings and the artwork and am having a really difficult time accepting to sell these, in fact I really don't want to. I really love seeing them on my walls.  I've been meditating on practicing detachment and all but these feel like a part of me and am having a really hard time quoting a price or even putting them up for sale. 

I thought about maybe offering photo replicas on canvas, but as such an initial part of my career I'm not sure if this could actually be a setback.  Any ideas of how to go about this dilemma, or anyone I could talk to that could share insights?  Obviously I gravitated towards you first since what you and Alex and Cosm have created fully resonates and your opinion is valued greatly. 

In gratitude,

Fabio Blancarte Díaz
Ask Allyson Image
Featured art by Fabio Blancarte Díaz
Hey Fabio,

Thanks so much for reconnecting. Great running into you at Art Basel Miami in December.

The urge to retain our best work and the question of how to price art are questions on the mind of every accomplished artist.
Considerations go like this: 

- I’d like to have my best work in my studio to share with friends and future collectors who might visit. 
- I would like to be comfortably self-supporting as an artist.
- Having my work around me can inform my current and future work.
- Allowing paintings to reside outside of my studio enters my work into the collective. 
     More people will see it and it’s value and the value of future work will increase.
- Did I mention the joy of being a comfortably self-supporting artist? 
     "One-of-a kind" paintings are ever more prized, especially when reproducing is so easy.
- The best work inspires me in the studio and gives me joy.
- News of a sale is a buzz that will bring benefit to my art journey.

The artist, Gilbert Stewart painted over a hundred portraits of George Washington to be hung in many great buildings. 
It is acceptable and often recommended to paint the same painting over again. 
Each iteration can be unique in its own way. Trying something new while retaining the best elements of a piece is evolutionary. 
A successful work might do nicely as a series with variations.

Regarding making prints to sell, experience tells us: 
- Produce only what we think will sell and then print more. 
- A log of the prices and contact information for all collectors of prints AND originals is important to keep.
   You may wish to share new work, upcoming exhibits and news of your art successes with all collectors. 

Regarding pricing, here are a few questions to ask yourself:.
- Is there any amount of money that would make selling this piece worthwhile and satisfying to me? 
   Perhaps there is an amount of money that might offer you something you really want or need, like a car, a downpayment on a house, a great fancy easel, a months rent or six…. Most things have a price. 
- Envision a number that represents what you really think a piece is worth to to you. Express that number when ask about a sale.
- The "Pain Factor" is the amount of loss you'd feel in selling a work.  
   If there is no amount that would take away the sting of loss, then keep the piece for awhile longer.  
Selling spreads our seed and funds the fruit of our vision. Originals are highly valued. 

Grateful to hear that you are keeping us and CoSM in your heart.

Love,

Allyson
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