In 2004 I received a phone message from an alert member who had stumbled upon the current episode of “The Apprentice” and said I had to see it. Knowing that I was two hours behind her, I’d be able to catch it. Fortunately, I got her message in time.
The weekly competition in that episode was for each of the two teams to arrange an art opening for a single artist of their choosing. Whoever sold the most art at the opening won the stage. It was that simple.
The teams visited four artists and each selected the one they wanted to work with. One team ended up selling over $13,000 worth of art, while the other sold a single work for $869. Why the big difference? The losing team selected the artist based on the price of her art. No one on that team seemed to like the artist’s work, but it commanded higher prices. So the logic went that they would have to sell less of it in order to win the competition. Big error!
In the boardroom, the Donald took to chastising the losing team. Over and over again he said, “You have to love your product in order to sell it. You have to believe in your product.” That was the failure of the losing team. They had no interest in their artist or her artwork. How can you sell something you don’t believe in or care about?
Until you produce art that you believe in without question—art that you know is your best effort, art that you’re proud of, art that you can’t wait to share with people—you are going to have a hard time selling it to collectors or to galleries. You might be able to make a little money from your art, but you won’t be able to earn a living from it.
FINAL WORD: You have to believe in your work.
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