Through someone’s recent post, I have been contemplating the commodity of art. The question that it raises in my mind is this…..Does it cheapen our self worth or the value of our art if we create with the expressed intent to sell? This, for me, stimulates both sides of my brain.
The left side of my brain speaks to the facts – that we simply must live in the real world. We all have bills to pay, a living to make and a life to lead. All of those things are made gracefully easier with money in the bank. Everyone, including yours truly, offers fee for service in some way, shape or form. I have a massage practice during the day that keeps me in clay and sawdust. I had a friend once tell me that everyone is prostituting themselves all of the time in exchange for a living, some forms of prostitution are just more legal than others.
The right side of my brain pipes up and says…….Hey! Wait a minute!! How can you put a value on creating? If creation comes from a “source point”, a higher self or a higher universe, is it really ours to sell? Artists get stuck in this conundrum more often then they would like to admit. It’s hard to put a value on something that just flows out of us like water. I know, for myself, that if I didn’t sell another piece of my work, my husband would simply have to build more shelves in our home…….and our garage……..and maybe a shed or two in the backyard. I create mostly for myself – because it makes me a better person and because, if I didn’t, my life wouldn’t be nearly as rich in passion and creativity.
But, in this time and place, artists must use both sides of their brain if they have the intention of living from the proceeds of their art. I personally don’t think that it devalues the work if you choose to sell what you create. Here’s the bottom line for me……..if joy visits you while you are thinking about, talking about or creating art why wouldn’t you want to do that every day, all day long, for as long as you live and breath here in this lovely place we call home? By creating beauty, we, as artists, are making this world a richer, more vibrant, glorious place to be. By purchasing art, collectors are causing this cycle of Joy, Creation and Beauty to continue. If all of this puts a smile on your face, by all means, delve in and participate in this life affirming action. I don’t know of a single person that doesn’t want or need more of the good stuff in their lives.
See Art…..Love Art…..Buy Art