The *squeeee* of selling art
Last month I went to Pedigree, an event which fosters an open discussion about art education and the relationship between art and money, and which is organized by my partner and the creator of this excellent blog on the same subject.
When I asked the panelists at Pedigree if they’d ever made money from their work—either through sales or through grants—and if that had changed their relationship to the work concerned or to their work in general, one of them gave a particularly interesting answer. She said that she hasn’t sold much of her art, so the thrill of someone giving her money in exchange for her work is still fresh because it hasn’t become an ordinary thing.
In saying so, the panelist forced me to think again about the best possible art-money relationship.
I’m nearing in on a decade of supporting myself entirely with my work. In that sense, being paid to make my art has become an ordinary thing, but that doesn’t mean it has lost its thrill. Getting a paycheck—and especially a fairly regular paycheck—for doing work that is meaningful is rewarding on a whole other level. It’s the funds necessary to a sustainable art career as well as the all-important validation.
In fact, if making money from my art ever becomes something not worth celebrating, I’ll be certain that the work I’m creating is no longer meaningful and I’ll know it’s time for a change.