Unbelievable! Things are happening at lightning speed that I had to take a step back and reassess my entire business structure. I only have a handful of pieces available from my studio, LA Contemporary (www.lacontemporary.com) has three pieces in their consignment, and New Gallery (www.newgallery.net) in Houston has a few pieces. But other than that, we are really close to selling out. My business team and I are completely restructuring everything in the next month or so, with a new website coming, and we are raising prices for sure. And also reevaluating how discounts are given.
Please don't get me wrong....I totally appreciate all my collectors, supporters, and friends who have been so giving and who believe in me. Without them and their support, I wouldn't have the fuel underneath my ass as I do. Because in working hard, and upping my standards, I am protecting their aesthetic investment. Whether its a cultural or monetary investment for them or not, my best interest is to make sure what they bought has value in both its progressive innovation, and their monetary interests. And that it will continue to rise as my development as an artist grows. We are all in this thing together.
But I am putting my foot down because I remember talking to someone and when I felt like I was being nice in offering a generous discount, he came back with, "Well I could get it for 30% discount from _______" And I remember thinking, WTF? Do I no longer have control over my work anymore? Look, I'm not begging for people to buy my art at ANY COST. That's not how it's gonna go down. The price is set after careful consideration of costs, labor, marketing, etc. And the point is, "No, I'm sorry, I cannot discount 30% because I refuse to bill myself below minimum wage for labor."
So I am upping my standards, period. I AM COMPLIANCE. I have control over distribution, how much new work is put out on the market, branding, pricing, etc. And I've made another decision. I really don't want to compromise my own dignity as an artist, in any sense. I'm just really fed up with how the gallery world works, the status quo, so fuck it y'all, I'm taking my career by the fucking horns, and we're gonna set some new ground rules. And that's another thing...if I'm gonna work with a gallery, I need full contact information. Name, address, phone number, email. That's it. If I can't get the name of the collector for tracking purposes for decades to come to make sure my art doesn't end up in someone's garage sale, then hey, they don't have to buy it. The point is, my shit is gonna be in a MOMA retrospective someday and I want to ensure for history's sake, and for any historian's sake,that the shit is easy to track down and we will have an easier time tracking it down when we do borrow it for the retrospective. You gotta have the end in mind, baby!
I'm gonna step up my game. I've always had a vision for my art and where my art career is going, and really fed up with the under-representation of female artists in the art world. Women are behind in the art game. Most galleries represent more male artists than female artists, and most museums also have more men in their permanent collections. WHAT THE FUCK? Ladies, this is what's happening if we play by the rules. If we stick with the status quo. Fuck the rules. Bunny's making her own.
And you know what? I have one life to live, with only a limited amount of time to make a damn difference in this world. And I don't wanna follow. I wanna set a new standard for everyone. For artists, and especially ladies in the art world. Move over, cause I'm making myself some damn room for us. I heard from one of my dear female artist friends, that a well-known female dealer once told her, "Look, you're a woman. What do you expect?" WHAT THE FUCK? Are you serious?
I've always had respect for my art, and had a vision for it. But this is the time, to implement those standards. I've waited too long. And I've had too many people tell me my work isn't selling because they're priced too high, or that I'm crazy to do certain things, or whatever. I'm glad I followed my gut and raised prices when I did. Because they really have been moving....and the point of this blog entry is to believe in yourself, believe in your vision, and don't compromise your worth. Because if I did, and didn't fight to raise my prices, it wouldn't have set the new standard. And we're raising the bar again. Let's put it this way.....I take BIG RISKS. And I'm just gonna FLY. Cause I'm tired of feeling like my wings are clipped.
With that said, I must look myself in the eye and say, "Yun, did you, yourself, play at peak performance today? Did you, yourself, play at a level 10 if not more?"
As one of my favorite mentors taught me, "Yun if you do anything casually, you'll only get casual results".