Sunday, March 7, 2010

Art for Art Sake Leaves Me Hungry

Study in Pink and Green Oil

I remember when I was in art school many moons ago, all of us baby artists struggling with the idea of what it meant to be an artist. High morals and righteous attitudes were in no shortage, "art for art sake" was the mantra. The thought of selling our art for money was looked down on. Our art was an expression of ourselves, part of us, selling a painting would be like selling our children. "We're not in it for the money" we would say. Money was looked down on, true artists didn't care about cash, trust fund kids would dress the worst, grow dreadlocks and hide the fact of who they were. Easy to do and say when mom and dad are footing the bill. But in the real world there are bills to pay and would you rather sell your art or wait tables? I always looked at it from a different perspective, I felt that finding the one person who connected with my painting and wanted it in their life was the natural end of the creative process. It is an honor for someone to love a painting enough to dedicate a place in their home for it, and to compensate me for that is a privilege. So for that privilege , my obligation is to produce the highest quality most beautiful painting I can, and to help that painting find it's owner. I think a lot of artists find that selling their art and themselves to be no fun. It can't all be fun and games, when we wear all the hats in our own business there are going to be some things we need to do that aren't always fun. With the introduction of the internet it has become so much easier to reach our people, and you know, collectors like to meet artists, it furthers the connection to the art. Besides, who knows more about your art than you. I think we should embrace our customers and want to know them, after all they are buying our children.

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