The Business of ART

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. ”        Andy Warhol

This is a tricky, even emotional, subject for me.  That’s why, encouraged by my husband (who totally “gets” this), I decided to write about the business of art.

I’ve had a difficult time putting a “fair price” on my artwork.  By fair, I mean a price based not only on my talent, but my experience, time, and materials?  Somehow, putting a dollar amount on my art, gets all tangled up with putting a price on me, and that gets deep.

Of course I have value, but like many, I struggle to step back, objectively on this subject.  One of the voices I wrote about yesterday is relentless:  “No one will pay for your art, who do you think you are?”, or “You’re not good enough because you didn’t get an MA (Master of Art degree)”  Blah….blah….blah

Brief background:  I met my husband, Lyle, in Nov, 2001, my art was on hold since 1997.  I’m sure that Lyle asked me out because of sheer curiosity;  a widowed, ordained, psychic/medium and reiki healer.  (hold on to your seat:  I assisted others as a bridge between the physical and the spirit world.)
 

I’ve had a broken link between talent/gifts and the right to ask a fair price.  Over the years, this has brought about countless, long discussions with Lyle where I’d start by saying, “I just want to help people find peace, happiness and to feel better about themselves, I’d be grateful if I could earn a living as a result”.

He finally said something that stuck, “It’s wonderful that you want to help others, but don’t you think you can help more people if you have more money?”  Of course, he is correct!  That was the start of a new thought process within me.  I only wish I could say, “I am healed”, but the old programming runs deep, I have made progress.  Lyle also made clear, the line between vocation (where you make money) and avocation (a hobby, where you don’t).  Up to this point, other than my employee/employer days, I was busy dreaming about a real business with an avocation mindset.

Only recently have I returned to my life-long passion of painting, and I’m determined to understand and accept that it is OK to get paid for what I do.  As I end today’s blog, I am certain there are so many creatives who struggle with this issue.

“YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH, YOU ARE SMART ENOUGH, AND DOG-GONE IT, PEOPLE LIKE YOU!”

(Saturday Night Live, Stuart Smalley, character of Al Franken, first aired 2/9/1991)