There is this belief out there that an artist with a lot of sales is a better artist than someone who hasn’t sold a thing in years. Many amateur artists equate a high volume of sales with being more talented, more successful because after all, we can all agree that any business selling a lot of product is more successful than one that is not. At amateur art exhibitions, everyone speaks in hushed tones about those who are selling and those who aren’t. Jealousy and competition make it so that the next amateur exhibition is populated with simular paintings that sold the previous show.
But fine art doesn’t work that way.
There are many artists who have spent a lifetime in obscurity and poverty only to be discovered and revered after their death. Vincent Van Gogh is one of the best examples of this. His work now fetches astronomical prices yet he personally never saw a penny for his work.