Respect for Artists, Buying vs. Gifting, thoughts on sales

It never ceases to amaze me the attitudes folks have toward artists. You would not hear someone suggest, for example, that a dr. Be allowed to practice in that hallway ” for exposure” and no pay. People who allow artists to hang artwork are appreciated to be sure, libraries, galleries, and so forth, but that concept of giving the artist exposure as a favor is thought provoking. Why shouldn’t artists charge a rental fee for a collection that will be in essence, loaned to a place to show for a period of time? Things are sometimes stolen, damaged, and often the place has a form to sign absolving it of any responsibility to the artist for such. Artists need to eat and pay bills just like everybody else. We don’t eat air.

Recently, a friend of mine, who has never bought anything from me, commented that it would be “much cooler” to hear the ” priceless stories” that I sometimes gather when a piece of my work is purchased by someone for whom it has a special meaning, than to hear of “sales” of works. Should I decide to collect the stories in a manuscript and be lucky enough to publish it, my advice is ” Buy the Book.”

I like being respected enough for my skill to be paid. Relatives, friends, all sorts of people can assume an entitlement and many reasons why they should not purchase your work, be it books or visual art. When I like someone’s work, that of a photographer friend comes to mind, I never just ask for a copy of it even though in these technological days I could even save it to my device aka steal it.
I ask the photographer how much for an 8 x 10 print of it? Whether the artist supports him or herself by artwork or not, it doesn’t matter. Hours of labor went into that piece and studious thought process. Respect that before you assume you are entitled to a gift of it.

It rests solely on the shoulders of the maker to decide what is going to be gifted to someone and why. It is very uncool to tell an artist to give a third party a painting the artist spent hours/days/weeks at work on. Better would be the person suggesting purchase the piece to give to the third party. You would never consider walking into a restaurant and ordering food that takes time and skill to prepare and then not pay for it? Or never would you tell the chef to make a certain dish to give to another customer because that customer loves certain foods.
That is my Friday offering.

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