A Creator Getting To Know Her Business Side

Being an artist and being a businessman/woman are like oil and water, or atleast its been precieved that way since forever.  Artists must struggle and be poor for the sake of creating great things.  When in actuality artsits have been getting paid (and sometimes very handsomely) since forever.  It’s believe by some, that even the pyramids in Egypt weren’t built by slaves, but were commisioned to be built by the people- probably for food, crops, or supplies or something.


When I was going through college (and struggling), I realized that me being a sought after and gallery represented artist was a very distant vision.  To me, it was a really unrealistic image portrayed by my art school.  For one, me selling my pieces for enough money to support myself and the shipping and handling of my work was not going to happen soon enough after graduating.  For two, the idea of preparing and shopping a series of images for months to galleries was a really boring concept!  I want to make things and make people happy, as well as support myself.  Considering the typical setting for galleries, I kept imagining my pieces sitting on a white wall somewhere, where only a very select few actually ever get to see it before its taken off the walls... boooooring.

Sometimes while I’m tattooing a client, they’ll ask me how long I’ve been tattooing (not sure why people ask you that AS you tattoo, seems like something they’d ask before), and they’ll also ask how I got into tattooing.  The honest answer is that my boyfriend has been tattooing since christ (jk, 12 years), and I took that as a great oppurtunity for me to draw more, as well as put my work out there more immediately.  It takes constant thinking and re-creating- always staying on your toes- simply because the tattoo world now is always growing and changing to peoples interests.  Its very much a commercial business in the sense that it caters to the customer, but thanks to a very dedicated and talented few, its more recently being seen as a legitimate fine art form. 

With tattooing, I could draw or paint all day, show my work to others, and create a permanent piece of art all within 12 hours.  It’s a legal rush.  Don’t get me wrong, I love visiting galleries and I get a huge amount of inspiration from the artists in them.  But that’s not ONLY how an artist can be percieved.  An artist can also be a really good business person.

I listened to Pharrell on his Beats1 radio station (OTHERtone) tell Rich Chigga that if he really wants to do something to just do it himself.  In Chigga’s case, he wanted to make movies and be an actor in them.  Pharrell was basically like, connect with some videographer friends and some writer friends and just do it.  Which has been my motto for years now:  JUST DO IT.  I don’t even wear Nike’s, but that’s like the best motto ever.  And to be truthful, its super hard to do everything yourself.  In whatever you’re doing, you’re going to need homies and build a symbiotic relationship.

You can always take the ‘just do it’ motto and become a really dope gallery represented artist.  I’ve learned over the years to respect the represented fine artist.  They grind really hard to make that dream a reality.  Which is why I still go to galleries and check out the work, sometimes because the work really inspires me, but also because I know the other side of trying to get into galleries and respect what they’ve accomplished.  

Going to a gallery to see someones work is like going to a really clean zoo where all the animals are inside frames instead of cages.  Looking at wild visuals tamed by white walls and some track lighting, I feel a deep appreciation and curiosity for the gallery and the gallery artist.  But I’ll continue to make my own waves (Thanks Cudi).  

With Love,
Doree x DORK