Thursday, March 24, 2011

More Ramblings on Why we Create

I've been writing about how we can create better art, but more importantly I think I have to write about why we would create a craft or art. Through the years art has been primarily an expression of religious beliefs. There was a period in European history that even a noble-person's self portrait had to be incorporated in a religious painting. It's only been in the past few hundred years that Art has been used for self expression. We are very lucky to be living in this age.

As many of you know, I've lost my most lucrative selling venue recently. I was crushed at first, but it allowed me to look at you all and myself from a different perspective. I realized that what I was doing was spending a lot of my time promoting the venue I was selling on and not spending time, honing my craft, creating, or exploring the world outside of the venue.

I see what that venue has done to me and others. It has taken nice people and made rivals of them. It has created petty infighting, jealous rages, animosity and more importantly social (or anti-social) cliques. If you step back from what you are doing, you can see that it is the venue and your fight for exposure that has led to an unreasonable amount of stress in your life.

I, for one, am taking it easy. I plan to make money, not from my art, but other sources. I will go back to painting for creative release and maybe one day list them on Big Cartel.

Many of you are successful selling on Etsy, but if you aren't making minimum wage, after you factor in your time on your craft, photography, editing, listing, shipping, promotion, and constantly running to the Front Page or craftcult to see if you've made it. Is it really worth the stress?

I guess more than anything I would suggest that you look at your fellow artists as resources, not enemies. Relax and enjoy your craft and worry about the sales lastly. Do your craft because you love it, not because you can make money from it. You will be happier and your blood pressure and stomach pain will both reduce a bit. Say to yourself, today, I'm going to do something really different. Today I'm going to say a kind thing to someone who made me angry. I have, and it feels good.

If you choose to continue to sell on line, you do have to promote, you do have to try to get on the FP, but don't make your life revolve around it. There is a bigger world out there to live in. Success is not always counted, by the money in your bank account.


Gilded Owl Jewelry said...

Exactly right. It's not easy getting 'out there'. Artisans rarely get the $'s for the time they put in.

alexkeller said...

there IS a big world out there, isn't there? we all need that reminder!

Pesky Cat Designs said...

I know this is an older post but I just came across it. After reading your recent post on pricing I did a lot of thinking about my shop. This is an excellent post as well as it really puts things in perspective. Right now my sole income is my bags. I quit my day job almost a year ago. But if it becomes too stressful and the income I earn is not worth the effort I will consider returning to my other career on a part time basis. And YES, there are more important things in life than running to the computer to see if you made the FP. :)

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