Wednesday, August 10, 2011

selling vs giving away

The Marketplace has never really been my thing.
I tend to just give things away -- mail art, artist trading cards, images and words about journaling here on this blog, the internet is a place where we can all share our work - for free. I have loved watching various on-line videos about art journaling, and I know there are many places where one can sign up, pay money, and see lots of great teaching videos about art journaling.
(This one Really Really tempted me, but don't have the budget right now to pay:

But you see, right now I am not making any money with my art. I have some books (sold a few), have had a few paintings hanging in galleries this year (sold one), have sold a handful of cards on Etsy, yet, here I am -- making art every day because it is what I feel called to do, giving it away for free here; the checks are simply not pouring in.
This does make me wonder.
In our materialistic world, we need shelter, food, clothes, gas for the car, change for the meter.
I can only imagine ten thousand years ago, when suddenly someone had a bunch of extra meat from a successful hunt, and instead of giving it away to all their friends, they had the idea of trading it for something else they didn't have that they needed. The marketplace was born.
Somewhere in my mind, I prefer the Gift Economy.
The idea that we all share freely and trust the Universe to give us just what we need.
Our Unitarian Church is totally free.
In some ways it is the center of our lives here, I found my friends there, my art contacts there, show my art work there, meet in circle there, enjoy potluck dinners there.
and it is FREE.
yes, we donate.
but to me, many of the most important and blessed things in my life do not have a pricetag attached.
I am very very lucky to have a supportive spouse, who understands that what my life work is does not earn us a living.
(and by the way, he has a job interview next week in are welcome to send good thoughts our way for that.)
So, just some thoughts today about why I am here.
I love to share my work with the world, I love when the world sends me encouragement back, either with comments or purchases of books, cards, etc. from the Etsy shop.
but for some reason, that does not happen often.
Money is not the measure of our value.
so I will still be here.
participating in a Gift Economy.
Think about doing the same.

"When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss Art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money." --Oscar Wilde

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