I seem to be in a mood. I’ve been working on this piece and I’m torn about the best way to make the mold for it. And I did 3 materials tests before I got what I wanted.
Art is hard.
It’s work. It’s time consuming. It’s exhausting. It’s not ‘what I do’ as much ‘who I am’ but if you know me, you know I do not mean that in the glitter covered, non-personal responsibility way it could be interpreted.
Truthfully, if I didn’t have my art I wouldn’t be a very good person. And it would SUCK to know me.
When I see artisans or small businesses post the treacle of ‘when you buy small you’re paying a a little girl to get dance lessons’, I shudder. Guess what-when you buy big you’re paying for that too, maybe you just don’t get to look the specific kid in the eye. SOMEBODY is benefitting from commerce no matter what.
When you tell me or another artist that our work is ‘too much’ or ‘ I can find that on Pinterest and do it’, I used to get so mad I’ve cracked teeth. But I don’t anymore. You can’t fix stupid. And that is exactly what that mentality is. Stupid.
When you buy a hand crafted work of ANY sort, wanna know what you are really paying for? Years of education. Internships. Shitty jobs so to buy art supplies. Years of living on Jolt Cola and Snickers bars to make deadlines. Learning how to paint with both hands. Burns from a torch. Cuts from machinery. Years taken off a life from lack of sleep because the project JUST WON’T FUCKING TURN OUT THE WAY I WANT IT. Lonliness. No one awake at 2 am when something goes wrong. No one awake at 2 am to celebrate when something goes right. Trial and error. Learning curves. Arthritis. Missed school recitals. Marketing plans we have no business writing on our own. Learning Quick Books and Excel. Legal Fees. Exposing yourself openly on social media. Therapy. A spouse’s forgiveness. Unwalked dogs. Being able to let go of something you created and hope that someone will treat it as lovingly as you did.
In other words. A life. An artist is allowing you-asking you to share a moment with them-to share a feeling. ALL the feelings and work and ups and downs it took to complete that piece. And they want to share it with YOU. Hope that you get as much from it as they did.
So if that all seems a little weighty to consider every time you look to buy some hand made earrings, or clothing or a painting or resin collectable-it is. And both you and the artist deserve the consideration.