why does art cost so much?
Ha! So true. And taxes are a hot and heavy topic as we close out another year.
I feel very fortunate. No one has ever questioned the value of my work. Well, no one, that is, except for me. I remember feeling a big sense of relief when Swoon shared that if she wanted to purchase her own work, she wouldn't be able to afford it. She quickly stated, though, that because she sold her work (to MoMa, nonetheless), it freed her up TO MAKE MORE.
This reminds me of a quote I read from Juliana Force, Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art (in the early 1930s):
When buying a picture, you cannot imagine how you are keeping the artist alive and working! ... you cannot imagine what that does for the artist! They do not even spend the money or celebrate! They get that faraway look; they cannot hear what you say even. Their only thought is, "I think I will go home now quick! and paint another one!"
THIS! Me too! I get this starry eyed look as well! And...I DO celebrate. I've learned to do this. I try to celebrate every transaction.
And I DO spend the money. I find continuing education to be very important (even when it's regarding the topic of business). I think it's important to remember that when I receive any income, thirty percent of this income IMMEDIATELY gets paid or set aside for federal and state taxes. Yeah, you betcha, I claim EVERY penny! So, when you're considering the price of art or a service, think 70%. The artist or service provider you are paying works with the 70% they receive to pay for expenses and then pay themselves.
I really appreciate posts like THIS. They remind me I am not alone.
I also feel SO FORTUNATE to be able to call myself self employed. I am reminded over and over again that being an artist is NOT for the faint of heart. It is SO easy (and tempting) to get 100% distracted by obsession and worry. Not only does creating the work require a different kind of depth than I've ever known, but the BUSINESS of being an artist requires SO MUCH TRUST in the unknown.
p.s. I feel completely indebted to my clients: for their belief in me, my work and for their willingness to invest in it. If I've lost all the wind in my sail, these people keep me in the game. They motivate me to continue to work! To develop and evolve so that their investment continues to appreciate.