So I had an interesting week! It all has to do with the fact that I have very tentatively started to dip my toes into the online art market. I feel like I have a saleable product, but I’m also aware that it’s a niche market. In fact, when I really think about it, what I’ve really got is art for niche markets within niche markets, but I digress…

Groovy Baby! and Evil Doctor

Anyway, I recently found out about a Facebook group called Sell your Art. It’s free, so last week I posted my paintings of Austin Powers and Dr. Evil at $300.00 or $500.00 for both. I didn’t sell them, but I got a good response.

But then things got a bit weird. The other day a random Facebooker very strangely created a group called Evil Doctor and Groovy Baby (the titles of the paintings) with him as its only member! He then direct messaged me to say “500 for the ugliest paintings I’ve ever seen.” So I decided to engage him. I said: “Great when are you sending it.” He then left the group! Weird, right?

The next day I posted my paintings of Blackadder and Baldrick from the British TV show Blackadder. I got quite a few positive comments, which is all I can really expect at this point. But then Friday morning I woke up to this comment from another stranger on Facebook: “Sorry I hate these.” Who woulda thunk it? There’s someone out there who doesn’t like my work! Anyway, I decided to

The Black Vegetable and He’s Got a Cunning Plan

engage him, even though he was actually breaking the rules of the group–you are not allowed to make negative comments on people’s posts. I thought I’d share the conversation, because I’m proud of myself for resisting the urge to be a smart-ass. I also want to thank my first and second year drawing professor (who’s now a good friend and fellow member of the Frost Shield Kerfuffle collective) for teaching me that getting any kind of response to your work is a good thing, even if it’s negative. Striking a nerve is never a bad thing. Here is the exchange:

Random Stranger: Sorry I hate these

Chris Simonite: Thanks for letting me know!

Random Stranger: It’s the first time I’ve ever felt compelled to make such a comment.

Chris Simonite: I like to get a reaction with my work. Strong ones are even better!

Random Stranger: I think it’s because I like the original characters so much.

Chris Simonite: I love those characters. These paintings are tributes to the show, in many ways.

Random Stranger: I understand but I still hate them. Sorry.

Chris Simonite: One thing any artist learns pretty quickly is that some people will like your work, some people might even love your work, but you can’t please everyone. But strong reactions such as yours convince me that I’m absolutely on to something. So thanks again!😎

Addendum: Random Stranger and I are now friends on Facebook. He really appreciated my response and I was happy to accept his friend request. Who knows, maybe I can convert him! Maybe he’ll be my first sale on Sell your Art. Nah… I wonder what he thinks of this one?

Buzz Aldrin