After a lot of thought over the years, I am making changes to the way I do business with art. For a long time, I have struggled with the idea of making money from art. Perhaps this came from Alejandro Jodorowsky, for he certainly seeded the idea, but regardless, deep down, I do not believe that art is something to be sold. If there is an exchange, it should be one based on freely given support. Let me be extremely clear that I am not judging anyone who wishes to do so, rather, this is my opinion about the way I wish to do things. Many people would like to buy original art but simply cannot afford it, and many artists like myself do not have the wherewithal to mass produce the pieces they have.
Some elaborations: If you are not doing something to make the world better, even in small ways, then what are you doing? Yes, the world contains your individual ego….and healing that will help the world in its own way. Art as practice is one thing. The artist is merely honing their craft to the point of being able to express what it is they desire to express accurately. Art as expression is another thing, even if the audience interprets it differently than the artist originally intended. Placing an abstract value on expression is a strange concept to me.
Art, when sold, places the imaginary value of “money” into the head of the potential buyer. If a dozen paintings are placed on sale, each with individual prices, one buyer might not be able to purchase the piece which speaks the most to them, to their inner being, while another buyer, who might collect for more superficial reasons like status, will be able to purchase multiple pieces, none of which really mean something deep to them. Or, the buyer with less money might feel an imaginary need to purchase a piece, and since they cannot afford the piece they really want, they might settle for a piece they don’t really want. They will never feel satisfied with that piece. Of course there are many variations of this example, but in the end, the meaning is the same for me: If I make a piece that really speaks to a person, why should they be denied that piece? There is a communication from my mind/soul to theirs, and I do not see why I should deny them that.
So from here on out, I will make sales of original pieces based on a sort of donation system. You can pay me what you think it’s worth. I realize the implications of this, and can already see what many friends will be telling me about why I should not do this. The bottom line is that I like creating art for my own sake. I don’t like being a “business person,” who has to “sell themself as an artist” in order to “make it.” Yes, I would love more time to make what I love to make, but I cannot deny who I am and the way I feel.
I will not deny a sale, though I might not put everything up for sale, at least at first. I will, however, ask that any potential buyer write me a short letter explaining why they would like the piece. I don’t need an explanation for why they are paying what they are paying, rather, I would like to know what it is about the piece that they like, why it speaks to them, etc. I will also, for each piece, include a short text describing how long the piece took to create, to give potential buyers an idea of the effort required to produce these pieces.
I will also entertain the idea of trades. If you have art of your own, would like to reproduce a piece for me, make tee shirts, etc, I would be happy to give you an original piece or complete a commission. I am also a musician, and will happily entertain trades of musical instruments and gear based on what I need. Please email me with any inquiries.
I will continue to sell prints as I have the funds to make them, charging a flat rate for each various size. I have not yet worked out if or how I will deal with licensing images to people for use in band artwork, tee shirts and the like, but I will be happy to talk to you about it should you write me. To those of you who have purchased originals or prints in the past: If you feel that my shift in sales practice is unfair to you, please write to me and I will be happy to work something out for you.
Lastly, I realize there will likely be kinks that will need to be worked out as this practice progresses, and for that I ask your patience.
“All original art, unless otherwise noted, is for sale, the only price being what the buyer wishes to pay, and a short letter describing why they like the piece, and why they are buying it (in the case of purchasing it as a gift for someone else) but not why they are paying the amount they are. Commissions will be considered based upon the same criteria. Please also write with any inquiries about trades.
For more information and an explanation of this, read here:
Please email inquiries and purchase letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org