Fire Starter.


Well its with great regret, that the way things currently stand, I am winding up being an artist. I can't seem to make it work and being relied upon more than ever financially I need a reliable income...this isn't it! It's been a very long time since I posted anything here at all, as time has been better applied to actually painting **TRYING** to make it work.

All artwork has been taken off sale on my website. Some will go for auction and some to Buy It Now with Best Offer, with a lower limit automatic rejection price of less than £5.00 per hour I worked on it.

I gave it my very best shot, tried LOADS of different ways to make being an artist work as a job, but with everything increasing in price, folk don't have the money for original artwork it seems, or want it for much less than £3.00 per hour, or my stuff is just pants...granted, my chosen genres are not mainstream, but have painted loads of genres now and none work for a reliable bill paying income.

Of course there have been some fantastic people over the years that have been utterly brilliant to work for, some wonderful support from some magic people I met along the way.... there have been scoundrels that nick my stuff, snipers that like to passive aggressively slag off what I do publicly, some don't pay, and then theres some awkward chuffs that make commissions something of a complete has really put me off generally and this swinging between feeling like I am hanging on by a thread, and jacking it in has meant not committing to big commissions, its unfair not to feel like I can give my best....because despite everything whenever I put pen/brush to paper I give it my all, no fobbing it off, just not the way I am wired!

Essentially the grief and pressure, long hours for silly money, no going out anywhere as ONLY just managing to make the bills, let alone go Northern Soul dancing (my VERY favourite thing to do, and its been 6 months now since I went), has now got the better of me...I need to find some actual QUALITY of life, try and find a job that is valued and see where my next chapter takes me.

A HUGE unequivocal THANK YOU to all that have been magic and lovely, those that see value, experience and skill in an artists work...I couldn't have gone this long without you!


Of course there may be a last minute reprieve, my circumstances may change, a stroke of luck for once, or a Fairy Gothmother riding a Unicorn with a solution just for me may appear, but I think I have pretty much resigned myself now to the inevitable. I will probably put up on my website all the artwork I have not catalogued there yet since I stopped posting them to my blog, just until the website domains expire. Least folk can see what I did do whilst I try to secure employment.

I am currently sorting all left over artwork, again, some will go on auction/buy it now here over the next couple of weeks or so whilst I wind things up. I will still need to keep painting in the interim too probably, try make the bills, but will most likely be of a genre that has possibly a wider audience, my Etsy shop will remain open for now, but no originals as I need to flog em on eBay..

Then see about selling up my studio, probably in pieces as the job lot ones only go for just shy of £200, and I don't think I can part with most of my artists life for that...I'd rather burn it, a bit sparks flying send off (in the garden, I haven't lost the plot entirely)...I don't think I can work at a normal job and have my studio sat looking at me, if am honest, it will be too gutting, as I still have SO much more to paint inside me...and the actual painting itself without all the baggage of sales, I still LOVE to do!

So...its TARRRAAA (in my best Cilla voice) from me, thank you for EVERYTHING and I hope those that bought my artwork over the years enjoy it for many years to come...ktf xxx

05/02/17 additional note: So today I went in my studio and theres a letter (now at the bottom of this post, published with permission) from my son (14), telling me not to give up no matter how hard it gets, because I always encourage him to follow his dreams....made me cry, it was a long, considered and beautiful the best I can commit to, given I only sold one painting last night for £37.32 (I am grateful to that chap though...out of that I get around £29 after fees, materials, packaging and postage...not even enough to cover the food bill at weeks see if I can make this 6-8 week transition period, whilst I try selling stuff off and look for part time or full time employment, make it turn around? NO IDEA HOW!

I have genuinely tried all I can think of:

  • Small paintings
  • Inbetween paintings
  • Large paintings
  • Framed paintings
  • Mounted paintings
  • Recycling paintings
  • Prints
  • Linos
  • ACEOs
  • Huge amounts of genres
  • Loose paintings
  • Detailed paintings
  • Variety of styles
  • Starting auctions really cheap, then folk buying them and selling em on for 5/6 times the price...I am not out to charge more than the time I spend on them!
  • Buy It Nows
  • Bread and butter paintings
  • Niche Paintings
  • Selling on Satchi, Folksy, Etsy, Zazzle, Red Bubble, privately, on my website, thro social media
  • Gotten help with PR and Promo, paid to 'BOOST' (BS) posts
  • Working in excess of 80hrs a week, can't remember barring a bad back at Christmas last time I had a day off
  • Free work in exchange for promo by bands/individuals...taken for a ride! No promo once they got the work.
  • Found as many ways to speed up all processes as possible to reduce time spent on a painting.
  • Try my best to find the best prices possible on materials, I even cut open paint tubes to use the last skerrit of paint.

Maybe doing 'F*ck It' paintings, ie paintings for a F*ck it price, where I literally F*ck It off, that reflect what some folk want to pay, maybe spend an hour on em? Then they will be available for £7.83 plus £2.00 postage, 90.8p eBay fees (they charge 10% of both the final value and shipping whether you add postage after the sale or included in the final price), 30p Pay pal fees, £1.20 of £12.23...or maybe draw up two identical paintings? one I can put up for cheap, and one I can paint as I would? Just to illustrate what the value of time means? Probably lost on most though!

Maybe folk don't really understand, but this is the reality of my work, or maybe society as a whole is just as rotten as its portrayed, some folk don't care, and its fine for me to work for silly an hour even though they wouldn't themselves? So long as its cheap, cheap, cheap?

Maybe I sound bitter and angry, I am about this and it needs voicing. I am not the only one it affects, there's plenty of us out there, from car body repairers who are asked to do a job that should cost £300 for £60, other artists and crafters, even welders expected to do a decent job for next to nothing that may just hold your building together....some want it all for nothing, or as little as possible, but hold value and quality as if it no longer exists...its a very slippery slope! A world of F*ck It off...every job, is a pretty horrible way forward, and eventually WILL bite us on the arse, maybe not painting, but allot will, like cheap multi story, cheap, cheap...till it catches up!

Pretty much lost the faith sons letter and how he thinks of me matters FAR more though, and him saying 'you never give up Mum, a 9-5 ISN'T my Mum' between a rock and a hard place of not wanting him to see me as a quitter, but also needing to provide for him....answers on a postcard please! 

BUT YOU LOVE WHAT YOU DO! ...this is the stock answer I get from many I have this discussion with, that because I love it is a perfectly good reason to accept anything from 75p per hour this REALLY acceptable?

I DO get it though...allot of us are squeezed to breaking point financially, I am NOT saving lives, my paintings are luxury items...but somewhere hidden deep away, gnawed at, bruised and battered, I still think artists and others that make this world a more beautiful place STILL MATTERS...and so does doing a QUALITY JOB of whatever you do, it matters, integrity matters.

Cheers, Nik xx

My sons letter to me (I dated it) published with permission.

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