The red dot is the most powerful and influential symbol that artists know and respect. Its presence symbolises success, while its absence can easily arouse feelings of rejection and at times, despair.

There is so much emphasis on ‘selling’ one’s art these days as being they key to a successful career. Artists who continually sell their work are deemed to ‘have arrived’.

But what about those (many) artists who sell very little work?

If one isn’t concerned about selling, then the arrival of a red dot next to your painting should be seen as a ‘bonus’.

There is though another side to the ‘red dot saga’.

Does a red dot really mean that you are a successful artist? If 100 people like the painting next to yours and it didn’t sell, and only one person favoured yours and bought it, does it mean that your painting is the better of the two? There’s no accounting for taste. What is popular may not be good, but more often than not, opinion should be taken seriously.

The art market is very fickle. If you paint what people want, then you expect to sell. If you paint what you want, then you are taking a greater risk if you are relying on your art for your income.

Personally, on nearly all occasions I paint what I want to paint, and paint it my way.

Money isn’t everything, and neither are red dots, but they do look nice next to your paintings don’t they?


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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10 Responses to THE RED DOT

  1. Dianne Gruber says:

    I would like to get a return on my investment of supplies so I can buy more supplies. I do think when we get the red dot on our art it is a confidence builder. Right now I sure wouldn’t mind a little more confidence.

    • artkleko says:

      Confidence plays a big part in an artist’s life, Dianne. Having genuine friends is more valuable though, than a red dot, but when one appears next to one’s work it’s an extra boost!

  2. Cathy Pascoe says:

    I have only ever had one red dot, but it was an amazing one. And my pictures don’t come quickly, so I guess you could say I’m not that concerned about selling.

  3. Kate says:

    My first solo show is currently at a university gallery. At the opening reception last week, I sold a painting and they put a BLACK DOT on the tag. I’m so new to this that I didn’t know the code. I was waiting for them to put a SOLD sign on the tag! Silly me. Anyway, I was thrilled.

    Now I’m back at my easel and trying to crank out some work for a sale this weekend. When I try to guess what people would like to buy, my work stinks and I am completely unfocused. I am learning to paint what I like! I’m a slow learner.

    • artkleko says:

      Fancy a black dot, Kate! I’ve also seen yellow ones. Keep at it, be yourself and in time all will be well and dotty!

      • Kate says:

        I just finished painting a wide artsy frame for a mirror (for this upcoming show) and I strategically placed a RED DOT in the design. I think I will find a place for a red dot in every piece of work now! I have another ‘signature’ motif I tend to place in my work that is known only to me. For some reason, hiding a little secret in my work is kind of fun.

      • artkleko says:

        Love your idea, Kate. I hope it is a success for you!

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