Are you deserving?

We are in a creative field where “deserving” is a dirty word. Deserving is one word in which no one, as an artist (visual, performing or otherwise) in their right mind would ever admit out loud is part of their vocabulary when referring to themselves. People who work in other industries such as the financial or medical or litigation worlds, for example, would have no problem saying “I deserve that raise!” and likely get it, simply for standing up for themselves and making their needs known.

Providing these can be substantiated either with education or experience or ability, artists deserve the prices they put on their original works. I am not going to get in to mechanical reproductions here aka giclees and/or prints*, because I do not believe the prints* are worth the paper they are printed on. (You either agree with what I am saying and understand what I am saying, or you don’t. Quite frankly, I don’t care either way. I am not looking for a cheering section and if you agree with me, you already understand that too.)

This concept is important enough that I need to repeat it: Providing these can be substantiated either with education or experience or ability, artists deserve the prices they put on their original works. It doesn’t matter if it took me 5 minutes to create the work, 5 hours, 5 weeks or 5 months. The artwork is done when it says it is done, it is my soul speaking, my heart, my mind and my body creating it. A work that took 5 months could be seriously overworked, and a work that took 5 minutes could be overworked as well.  There is a departing point where the artist is in control and then when the artwork takes over. Part of the skill of being an artist or even a creative being is knowing when that point is, when the point of the artwork being its own being has occurred. An actor can overact. A singer can over sing. A writer can go on and on and on… much like I am doing right now….. 😀

An original artwork is an individual. Because of this individuality, the artwork deserves respect as its own being. Part of this respect includes giving it the recognition and honour in the outside world. Are you independently wealthy? Are you a bored housewife (as I was once accused of being – can you imagine me ever bored? I didn’t think so, and Suzy Homemaker I am not), or someone who doesn’t need a job because their other half is supporting them? Then anything you get for your work is a bonus, right?

Now I need to be completely blunt as this wishy-washy beating around the bush is driving me crazy. As a professional artist, you make the artwork, you put a price on it –  those people who say “artworks from the heart have no price” do not need to make any money from their art to pay their bills, they are either independently wealthy, bored housewives, or have a secondary source of income where they do not need to rely on the sales of their work to survive. These people are not professional artists, they are hobbyists.**

And, if the artwork is priceless, then by all means, pay me a million dollars for my work, because aren’t you getting a great deal!

part 2 continues here.

*prints refers to anything mass produced, not original prints from methods such as authentic handpulled lithography, intaglio, silkscreen etc.
**I’m not going to get in to the discussion about artists on grants, that’s a separate blog post.

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