I am constantly amazed by the career longevity of artists. I am not talking about hobbyists but about those who have made the creation, proliferation and selling of art their career. To be able to make one’s art a career, an individual must have a vigilantly positive out look on life and be a able to make lemonade out of lemons, progress out of failures and sometimes, straw into gold.
Just ask any artist, tomorrow and the next year and the next show is always going to be better, richer, sunnier, better selling and more profitable. Call it idealistic optimism, blind naïveté or just a sunny outlook on life, this artistic propensity to always look beyond the next bend and know with certainty that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is what keeps most of us going and making and creating even when economics and arthritic fingers and unpaid bills tell us to do something else.
I am honored to have works by so many full time working artists and crafts people in my gallery spaces. I love getting to know their stories, what makes them tick, their inspirations and visions, the people and places and things that led them to where they are now, the journey they are currently on and what their future holds. When people ask me about my own work, one of the questions that inevitably pops out is “how long does each piece take.” It’s a question every artist cringes at, but the answer, without being sarcastic, really is that each piece takes the sum total of your years on earth, every tear, every laugh, each relationship and broken heart and every time you picked yourself up after a failure and every celebration of success. It is the culmination of every experience and dream and vision and should be valued as such. My customers love to hear the stories and places and trials and tribulations of the artists, how they got where they are and whence they might next be going. It solidifies the fact that each piece, every painting, print, piece of pottery and jewelry has upon it, the handprint of it’s maker. It reinforces the human connection that is inherent in every handmade object and the buyer is the final link in the chain of community and humanity that begins with an inspired vision born of life experience.