In reading Joanne Mattera’s blog today on “Who is a Professional Artist?” I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend a few years back. I was telling her that I hadn’t had any sales in a while, but I was okay with that as sales are not my primary issue.
In response she said something along the lines of, “If you aren’t selling, why do it?”
I like this person very much and really respect her opinion, so her question did not offend me in any way, though at times I think she thinks she did.
Nope. Not at all. But she did give me much to think about.
Exactly why don’t I care about sales? And why do I keep doing it if I am not selling?
It is a subject I have come back to from time to time in the years since our conversation. Both at times when I am not selling, to times like now, when I am.
After all the pondering, I arrive at the same answer time and time again.
I make art because I have to. It’s not a choice, but a passion.
Yes, a bit cliché, but I’m okay with that too.
Here’s what I think:
• Sales don’t make you an artist.
• Gallery representation doesn’t make you an artist.
• It is consistently working towards a body of work and your belief in what you are doing that makes you an artist.
It took me years to believe in myself and my work. But I kept putting one foot in front of the other and wah-lah, at some point I was comfortable calling myself an artist. The rest just falls in place.
I think titles are nice, don’t get me wrong, but I think it is more important to believe in your journey.
So if you are doubting yourself, just forge ahead. It takes time and determination, but eventually you’ll get there. I promise, I’ve been in your shoes.
Until the next time, may your day be a creative one!