Here is an artist that I interviewed who was in the Venice Biennial twice, then he had some gallery shows but things weren’t really happening for him in the sense of enough sales to survive on, as well as other factors that made him turn away from traditional galleries.
He began a series of portraits that look like what you might make in elementary school, a shadow outline of a face with a small text underneath it. But his style was a bit different that and had a message along with it.
He sells over a thousand portraits every year now and makes his living off of it. In the interview he explains how this happened, but part of it was exhibiting his work in very commercial venues like big-box stores that sold to high-end customers, and that gave his commercial reputation a big boost. It is an unusual story but one that I thnk is inspiring in terms of other solutions to how an artist can build a lifestyle that provides income from the studio. This is not a typical story 🙂
Here is the interview – http://yourartmentor.com/interview/carterkustera.mp3
Here is website where he sells work directly – http://carterkustera.com/