Fine Art - Coarse Art - A Modest Proposal
You see, I like to copy them. I am a derivative photographer. I base my work upon that of others, trying to emulate their style and subject matter. Of course I am never at the cutting edge of the profession, but given the fact that I take aspirin regularly, that is probably a good thing - I'd bleed all over the shop.
The best part about being a copy-cat is you can choose original artists who are long dead and whose relatives live on the other side of he world and can't sue you - then you can go to town. Thus my Dutch Masters period as per the leading image. Of course there are costs associated with this sort of thing - I had to find a Dutch girl and a handful of oranges. And the Alien Skin Art 3 program for the computer.
Can this sort of thing be made to pay? Well, it depends upon your marketing skills. Real Fine Art photographers know that it is a challenge to find the clients who will part with money for their images. Even down to the basic kittens-and-unicorns revolving nursery bed-light market, no-one wants to pay for pictures. After all, every Art Director in the world can operate a point and shoot, so where is the skill, eh...?
I have decided that it will not pay in regular terms. But the skills it teaches and the inspiration it provides means that I will be far better placed to produce work that really DOES sell. To this end I practise regularly to select, cut, blend, and smooth in Photoshop Elements 10. All one needs is to get the faces of rich people under various lighting and superimpose them onto embarrassing and scandalous situations. The threat of exposure is all that is needed. One can generate quite a decent little income, as well as some interesting conversations, by this means. It pays to collect the money in small bills.
I am still a little non-plussed at the recent client - a well-known senior official in the church - who initially expressed deep outrage and shock at the photo-blend of him with Napoleon's mistress but ended up ordering three 8 x 10's and two dozen wallet-sized copies. I think it was the pink ribbon I photoshopped onto him that did the trick.