Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Creating... Because I Can...

I have been thinking a lot lately about art and business in general.  I know several local artists who are very successful selling their work and are able to have it be their livelihood.  I know several who want to be in that category.  I watch them work hard to grow their skills, stretch their boundaries and get the word out to their market.  I know they put in far more hours than I see and that it is a labor of love for them.  It is not easy to be an artist and sell your work. 

I would love for making art to be a good livelihood for me.  But it is not a requirement for me.  It is a requirement for me to create and have art in my life in lots of different ways.  I know that my business does not pay the bills and that I probably need to step up my marketing game if I want it to do that.  However, I also know that it is more important to me that I enjoy the creative process and do the business "stuff" in my own way that fits me. 

I might not do many shows this year and then again I might decide to do a whole bunch of them.  I go with my gut on shows and events.  There are some I will always do because I love the people who set them up and the people that show up there.  A lot of my repeat customers find me at these events and I truly enjoy seeing them there.  I never do a show or an event just for the sales. (If I never sell anything at a show or event, I still enjoy it - the people especially - and look at it as a way to connect with people.)  It is really transparent to me when I see someone there just for the sales and I tend not to buy from them, even if I love what they have.  I need to feel some kind of a connection from people when I buy something at an event or show.  I am sure that I am not alone in needing that.

I create because I can and feel driven to create.  I may never make a lot of money selling what I create but that is not my goal.  My goal is to create something I love and something another person will fall in love with hopefully.  I feel rich being able to create - having the funds to get the supplies I need, a place to create, and a network of other creative people that support me when I feel not so great about where I am or something I have made. 

If I was told not to create anymore, I don't think I would live very well.  These ideas have to get out and breathe.  I crave the creative process and all the shiny (and not so shiny) things I use to create art.  I need to see an idea that was in my head be made real.  Yep, I am driven to create.  I know lots of people that are and am so glad I get to watch their creative process.

If there is something you do just because you can and it brings you joy, keep doing it.  Don't let anyone tell you that you have to do it for any other reason or purpose.  It is really easy to get bogged down by expectations others have.  Do yours.  Stick with it.  Because you can.

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