---Winter Ornaments ---
Should we be thought of by the subject matter we choose to photograph or paint? No! But, we always will be. Simply because it is an easy system of classification that has been around since our ancestors first drew on the walls of their cave.
It is a workable and well respected system. Which, to some degree inhibits our creativity. When we become known for a certain subject matter and/or style it is sometimes difficult for our collectors to move along with us if we start to explore new and different ideas. So the financial pressure to stay where the $$'s are is certainly a consideration if not a hindrance to artistic growth.
On the plus side, it tends to narrow our focus and refine our ideas and techniques. If something is popular and selling well, we want to keep doing it. At least until we have enough financial stability to allow us to experiment with other ideas.
I have approached the question in my usual pragmatic manner. I re-prioritized my time. I usually spend 40 -50 hours a week at my work. Of that time: 75% is spent producing my best selling work. This was a natural evolution due to the fact that when a image or a group of images is selling well I need to take the time to produce those images. That has always amounted to around 50% of my time. So. it was an easy step for me to allot more time to the production of my best selling group of work. The remaining 25% is allocated to the creation of images that are outside of my "established" norm. They are the play images that I love to do but usually do not sell as well.
The interesting thing is that as I do more of them, they are beginning to get collectors of their own. People who would not purchase my more traditional work, but just love my experimental things.
This world is a funny place.