Make no bones about it this article is designed to persuade you to become an ‘influencer’, the new word for ‘patron’. Fortunately, in the current environment of social media you do not need to provide financial support to become an influencer, all that is needed is a mere retweet, quote tweet, facebook like, mention. Being well respected, admired or simply known within the world of sport and cricket your word goes an awfully long way. A simple retweet of one of my cricket drawings is the difference between a sale or not a sale – it’s a simple as that.
But why should you?
I have thought long and hard about it, people who buy my art and people who support my art cannot understand why I have not made it big, why my art is not selling like hot cakes. Realistically it is not difficult to understand. Sport is not the genre that adorns gallery walls, being low on the order of preferred subjects, galleries would argue that there simply is not the market for it. So if I cannot sell through galleries I have to sell through art fairs. However, that is also not my market. How many people going to an art fair would firstly love cricket, secondly love art and lastly be prepared to love cricket enough to buy a piece of cricket art? Not that many! During my last art fair, a chap wandered over to my stall and gazed longingly at some of cricket prints which were displayed smartly in black wooden frames. He eventually settled on ‘Unbelievable’ – a firm favourite, he smiled at me, wandered off, wandered back, gazed at it some more, in fact performed the usual ritual that as an artist you begin to recognise is a customer who has got hooked, he’s seen something he simply cannot take his eyes off. Then his wife joined him, stood at his side, gazed up to the framed print, looked at him, looked at me and announced ‘I know what you’re thinking – well don’t!’ – and that was that! The spell was broken, hands thrust deep in his pockets and without saying a word shrugged at me and shuffled off.
So, if art fairs are not my market – where is my market? Where can I promote my love of cricket, expressed so uniquely through my artwork? The answer is with you and here’s 5 reasons why…..
1 #Cricket is not an Art unless someone draws it or paints it!!!
Andrew Hughes in his article The Literal Art of Cricket wrote ‘when you go to a cricket match, you are not just a spectator, cheering for a certain team, but a connoisseur of a particular art form’ (full article – http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/941723.html) to be fair he was making an argument to class cricket as an art – and I agree, I would however go a step further and suggest that unless artists represent cricket in some form of art, whether through drawing, painting, sculpture etc then can cricket ever be considered an ‘art form’? I would say not. Cricket or anything for that matter cannot really be likened to the art world unless the art world likes it. So whilst, cricket journalists and writers (like yourselves) strive to make parallels with the world of art you will only be convincing if the world of art begins to unleash its creative genius on the sport.
2 #Cricket Art is old school it needs modernising
Being an artist means I appreciate art, I appreciate other artist’s art just as much as my own. Just as a cricketer wants to do well but at the same time enjoys watching others do well too. I struggle however to find any cricket artists that I can aspire to. The persistent images of cricket art is like this:
A perfectly executed piece of art showing a full cricket match at Edgbaston, or this:
A light hearted, heart warming, slightly comical representation of a cricket scene – and so it has been for many years. Many cricket clubs have the traditional watercolour of their club house alongside a couple of beautifully painted legends of the game.
In my opinion its static and very samey a bit like cricket in this country used to be until recent years. Now its fast paced, well organised, technically brilliant whilst risk taking, pushing boundaries and alive!
My art is that!
‘The Final Wicket’
A contemporary, fresh outlook in my cricket art that is like nothing else out there!
3 #You are allowed to be an art critic
The art world has done itself no favours in recent years. By promoting, funding and heralding some frankly questionable pieces of art its been a big turn off for most people. Yet, art is everywhere. There is no house or pub, hotel, business or anywhere that does not have pieces of artwork on the walls or elsewhere – despite the disconnection that the art world has with normal people we still love art, want art, buy art.
I completed a small quiz recently asking me to decide whether a piece of contemporary art was a hit or a miss, was it worth millions or nothing. I scored 10/20 and was told I was not an art critic. How wrong was it? Very wrong!! Of course I am an art critic, if I buy a piece of art for my home or studio I will criticise it, analyse it, question it and then decide….. I sold two pieces of cricket art to a customer who bought them for her dad as a father’s day present.
|This is one of them ‘Bouncer’
She told me afterwards that her father had been a club cricketer for many years in a local Potteries team – retired for many years now. He loved the pieces and as he hung them on the wall he said ‘I’ve never owned a piece of original art before’
For me, that’s the best feedback, a collector or gallery looks for monetary value but to sell to the man on the street who has never purchased original art before is the hardest thing. And that’s what I want to do. My cricket art needs to be on the walls of cricketer’s houses, club houses, press offices, changing rooms. You can help me get it there if you like it – you decide!
4 #Unless its successful it will disappear
Quite frankly I have got better and better, each drawing strives to capture the moment in a cricket match, the pivotal point that becomes the turning point. My skill level at drawing cricketers, and cricket scenes is so unique its uncopiable, in other words if you own an original drawing or print then it’s a piece by ‘Paulette’ no- one else. My commissions are equally as unique even in other sports. This drawing was a commission where the subject was the little boy being a ‘mascot’ for England. As much a signature of my style as all my other pieces
However, I have to make a living, if my work does not sell then I cannot carry on doing it and there will be no more cricket art like this.
5 #The best is yet to come
Over the next few weeks a cricket drawing of mine will hit the headlines….I can guarantee it, make sure you’re ahead of the game. Get to know my art before everyone else does.
If you’ve got this far then thank you. If art doesn’t work then there’s always writing!
Visit my website https://www.cricketandotheranimals.co.uk/ to see all my work. If you like what you see then become an influencer, retweet my artwork tweets next time they come your way – @paulettefarrell Like my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Cricketandotheranimals/ and if possible give me some feedback, tips or any ideas that you think can help….