I'm changing how I sell my work on this blog because I've been thinking a lot about the economics of art and the current state of the economy. Before this recent election I became convinced that my voice, power, choices and vote are expressed most honestly and clearly through how I choose to spend my MONEY. What do I want to support in this world? Art? Yes. Beauty? Yes. Local Healthy Organic Food/Farms? Yes. Local Business? Yes. People and organizations that create positivity in my community and in the world? YES!!!
So, I'm making some changes. Here are my thoughts:
I've been thinking about how to get my art out there in the world. How can I sell it and share it? How can I make it available in a way that is fair and takes into account the buyer's budget and/or skills along with my dream to earn some income using my talents?
A friend of mine from years past and I were very interested in starting a cafe that ran on the principle of "Pay What You Can" based on the idea that almost all human beings are inherently good. The idea is that those who have a padded wallet will pay equal or more than the value of the product. Those who are more financially strapped will pay equal or what they can. Those who are truly hungry and lack the ability to pay money will be fed anyway and can perhaps trade a skill in return. I know this idea is idealistic but to me there is something inherently honest about it. An economic yet energetic exchange can feel respectful from both sides.
Like Bread and Puppets states in its Why Cheap Art Manifesto, art, beauty, the food of the soul need to be available to everyone. At the same time many artists including myself want to get their ideas, images, songs, poetry out there and share them. Art requires an audience. The dynamic relationship between the artist and audience -- however difficult due to economic and social restraints -- must exist for there to be an active creative spirit threaded through society.
In case you are wondering, Bread and Puppets is a theater troupe based in Vermont. On Halloween I saw them do a political, funny, circus like performance at The Northampton Center for the Arts. I highly recommend seeing them if they come through your town.
I am taking the prices off my paintings and future creations here on this blog. Those of you who are truly interested in having a creation of mine can come to me, email me, call me and we can have a conversation. I can't give my art away, but one can make an offer that feels fair to them and that takes into account their personal budget ($$$ or barter) with the hope from my end that they see value in the time, energy and materials it takes to create something unique. My idea is that one person might pay $50 cash plus $50 worth of locally grown vegetables while another may have a skill I want to learn that they can teach me in exchange. A person might have $500 cash to pay for a painting while another person might have a piece of artwork, clothing, jewelry, furniture or other handmade item that we can exchange. I am interested in having open conversations to see how this approach can work. If you want something that I have created to have a home with you, lets talk! If you want to talk more about these ideas, let's talk!