September 28, 2010 § 2 Comments
September 28, 2010
People are always curious about my life as an artist.
One of the first questions they ask is what type of art I do. The second if I make a living doing it or if I have a “day job”. That question always reminds me that to many, my art career is often viewed as either not real work or part of a duplicitous second life . While I wouldn’t discount someone’s vocation because they are getting paid to do what they love, I can understand why other people would. It’s easy to romanticize a career where you follow your interests and creativity; think of any movie about any artist made in the last 20 years. I’m not arguing that there isn’t a certain truth to those movies. I’m arguing that being an artist is real work and I’ve got a spread sheet to prove it. I’m not going to deny or confirm having a secret second life, though. Let’s just say I read a lot of comic books.
The third question people always ask me is how I sell my work. I always think that this question is about whether or not I’m represented by a gallery (I’m not) or if I’m involved in some sort of pyramid scheme (no comment). This question is actually about how I can part with my artwork after I’ve spent so much time making it. Some guy on the bus once told me that making art is part of my soul and therefore selling my art was selling my soul. My argument was that if I do have a soul (unconfirmed) that it wouldn’t belong to me anyway so I wouldn’t be able sell it anyway (void where prohibited).
How I really feel about selling my work is simple:
In general my work doesn’t cost a lot in materials to produce. I use a lot of reclaimed materials, materials given to me or that I find at the thrift store. I have minimal waste for the materials I do use – no string is too short to save! I probably don’t have to explain that the real cost behind my work is the work itself – the hours I spend embroidering a single applique or hand quilting the back ground of a piece.
So when some one comes along and offers to buy my work it’s a validation of that time. Its an investment in my future as an artist, because I do have costs that can’t be discounted by shopping at Value Village. Most importantly, its a wonderful complement that someone enjoys a piece so much that they would like to look at it everyday in their home. To share it with family & friends for years to come and it make it apart of their life the way it was a part of my life while I was creating it.
While some random guy on the bus may consider it pilfering away my soul, I consider it giving away a little bit of my love.
To my two loyal patrons who recently purchased the works featured in this post – Thank You!
❤ Grace Willard