The Business Side of Art by Karl Saar
Karl Saar is a sculptor working predominately in steel, aluminum, and bronze. He has been a self-employed sculptor and furniture builder since 1998. Karl says “I don’t really have a cohesive reason for why I make what I make. I believe my subject matter is driven by experimenting with techniques in the shop which leads to an idea. Sometimes a found object, pop culture, or even a client requesting specific criteria in a piece can inform what I produce.”
- The three faces of art: illusion, delusion, and authentic self
- Stay true to who you are. This is where greatness lives
- Art is all about evoking emotions within others
Karl Saar is introduced as the first artist to appear on the podcast. He discusses the challenges of balancing the creative and business aspects of art.
The Business Side of Art
Karl shares his struggles with transitioning from commercial jobs, like creating handrails for the National Aquarium, to focusing more on his passion for sculpture and art. He mentions the challenges of setting up his shop more as an artist than a tradesperson.
Umar recalls how he met Karl at a garage sale and bought a unique chair designed by Karl. This leads to a discussion on the subjective nature of beauty and how different people perceive art.
The Artist's Mindset
Karl delves into the self-doubt many artists face, especially when comparing their work to others on platforms like Instagram. He also touches on the challenges of pricing art and the internal battles artists face regarding their self-worth.
The Three Faces of an Individual
Umar introduces a concept where individuals have three faces: the illusion they show to the world, the delusion of who they think they are, and the authentic self. He believes that great art emerges when artists tap into their authentic selves.
Karl's Artistic Journey
Karl agrees with Umar's perspective and shares his journey of trying to create art that resonates with his true self, despite external judgments and self-imposed stigmas.
The Value of Art
The conversation shifts to the commercial aspect of art, where Umar emphasizes the need for artists to separate their creative process from the valuation of their work.
Karl shares his upbringing in Factoryville, Pennsylvania, a blue-collar town. He speaks about his parents' support for his artistic pursuits, especially his father, who encouraged him to attend art school instead of joining the Marine Corps.
Karl recounts a memorable sale from an antique automobile show in Hershey, where a customer deeply connected with one of his pieces, leading to a significant sale.
Breaking Through Limiting Beliefs
Umar discusses the power of understanding the mind and how beliefs from childhood can shape an individual's life. He introduces techniques to identify and overcome limiting beliefs.
Karl's Creative Process
Karl admits that he often faces creative blocks and shares how he overcomes them by sometimes setting projects aside and returning to them later with fresh insights.
Umar guides Karl through an exercise to connect with the spiritual side of his heart, emphasizing the importance of combining both logic and emotion in the creative process.
The podcast concludes with Umar thanking Karl for the insightful conversation, likening it to a therapeutic session.
Questions & Answers
What is the main theme of the "Artist’s Dilemma" podcast episode with Karl Saar?
In the "Artist’s Dilemma" episode, Karl Saar, a renowned sculptor and artist, delves deep into the challenges artists face when balancing their passion for art with the practicalities of business. The episode touches on the emotional and financial struggles, the journey of self-discovery, and the importance of staying true to one's artistic vision.
How does Karl Saar describe the business side of art?
Karl Saar candidly shares his struggles with transitioning his business more towards sculpture and art. He mentions how, for the majority of his career, he took on commercial jobs, such as creating handrails for the National Aquarium, which many wouldn't associate with an artist's work. He emphasizes the challenge of setting up his shop with an artist's mindset while trying to cater to commercial demands.
What insights does Umar Hameed provide about the human psyche and art?
Umar Hameed discusses the three faces of humans: the illusion we show others, the delusion of who we think we are, and the authentic self. He believes that great art emerges when artists tap into their authentic selves. He also introduces the concept of connecting with one's heart for deeper insights and understanding.
How did Karl Saar's upbringing influence his perspective on art and business?
Karl hails from Factoryville, Pennsylvania, a blue-collar town. His mother was artistic and became the town barber, while his father managed a paper mill. Despite the blue-collar background, Karl received immense support from his parents, especially his father, to pursue art. However, this upbringing also led him to sometimes treat his artistry like a blue-collar job, causing internal conflicts.
What was Karl Saar's most memorable sale, as discussed in the podcast?
Karl recounts an experience from the Antique Automobile Club show in Hershey, where he sold a piece named "Billy Brain Bucket" for $7,000. What made this sale memorable wasn't just the price but the connection the buyer felt with the artwork. The buyer deeply appreciated and understood the intricacies and emotions embedded in the piece.
How can artists differentiate between a mere idea and a genuine sense of knowing?
Umar Hameed introduces an exercise where individuals can connect with their heart to distinguish between a mere thought and a profound sense of knowing. By naming this spiritual side of the heart and seeking its perspective, artists can gain deeper insights and clarity on their work and decisions.
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