Friday, March 28, 2008

Money & Art

Money.......I can speak for my own experience, I started making things for fun, because I wanted to try it, experience it, I was making with no thoughts of who would like it, what color they would buy etc., just for the pleasure. Then someone said why don`t I make them one, why don`t I sell them at........where ever it might have been . Now there was a shift at that point, I started creating with someone else in my mind, no longer for myself only, for the fun, experience etc. , as mention above. But the point is, someone wanted what I made at the beginning, what I made without a customer or shop in mind. How many of us started that way?
Then I worked at it more, using patterns, then no patterns, trying to create what I thought would bring financial success. I was no longer doing it for the experience, it was now my job, I needed to pay the car payment, the rent, things for my kids. I was the good mother making money for my children. I now demanded of this work to keep me happy financially, and when it didn`t meet the expectations, it was what??? because someone copied me, because I couldn`t get into a certain show, because I couldn`t get enough of a certain thing made, not having a clue which thing would sell well. Trying to come up with the right concoction of merchandise , display , and location. Maybe it rained that day, it was the rains fault, maybe it was 95 degrees that day, the weather kept them away. If it was nice , they stayed home and did gardening, and on and on this went as to why I wasn`t making enough. It will never be enough, because I am doing it for the wrong reasons. To make me feel good financially will make me feel stable, appear successful, temporarily feel happier, until it doesn`t anymore. Now I don`t mean this as bragging just so you know for this story, but before my creative breakdown, I had lists ,pages of orders to fill, I had gotten lots of work, I got what I was trying for, and it didn`t feel like I thought it would. I couldn`t do it anymore.
It was a thought from a group I have on Yahoo that changed my whole life, to make what I want to make, not what customers want. This started me on a journey that really has brought me back to the beginning, where I lost my way, where I did what others were doing at the time. This brought me temporary happiness, then came the unhappiness of it.
This is why I can have no ill feelings for those who copy, they won`t find true happiness this way. They will be pleased temporarily , but in the long run, they will have to keep looking at others for their work. They don`t see they have inside of them the work that could bring them joy and peace. Just as I didn`t see that I should have stayed with making things I liked and wanted to make. They don`t know each of us has this greatness inside of us, but there is so much negativity that keeps us from seeing it. Advertising tells us we need this to be better, if we buy it we will be better, this is how we were taught, to get something from the outside to make us better, obscuring our own light shining inside. They have us color inside lines of what we should be making pictures of, they teach us to draw and they fix it, or criticize it, and make it small, judge one better than another. Others were kept down, so they keep us down, but we must try another way. To not link money to our work. I sell antiques for an income now, I needed time to build up some stock and find my way. I`m still finding my way, as far as my work is concerned. I needed to separate my work and money. To think of something and make it come out through my hands, and then don`t judge it, let it be. If I love it, I don`t want to let it go. These are all new experiences for me. I was a one woman production line turning out pears, apples, rabbits ,etc. ,until I broke. I couldn`t do it anymore. I spent countless hours thinking what others would possibly buy, I was meant to try another way of being. Like the idea, if you are meant to move on to another job, you get those thoughts in your head and you` re too scared to leave, you`ll get fired! No matter what, you are meant to do something else, that was me.
I can`t tell you what happens after I build up an inventory of work that I`m ready to sell. I tried to sell a piece on Ebay, I asked $125. for it. Was in my store for awhile, gave it a good chance. I ended up donating it to the library silent auction, guess what it brought? $125. I felt it was a indication that I was right, it was worth that, but that`s not where I`ll be selling.
I just am telling you what I have learned through the years of doing this kind of work. For me,to put my work together with expectations of where it will be sold and to whom, was a financial success, that left me unhappy.
To protect your work , again is the act of owning, you don`t own it, it is a gift from God, it is bigger than us, it is more than us, we should be happy we get to participate in it. If we are inspired, we are" in spirit". It is from the universe, coming into the world through us, but not ours. Fear may be keeping you from being fully in your work, fear when you make something good , someone will steal it.
Nothing will stop copying , as long as there are people who don`t know enough or believe or encouraged to look within for their own work, who haven`t been told they could get great joy from finding their own greatness, but this may be a harder way to go for some, and if you have no confidence, no self worth, or value, you`ll think it`s better to copy someone else. They keep doing things the same way, and like they see others doing . How much energy are we willing to give something we can`t change? How much time ,thought, energy can you spare to be upset ,offended, be a victim of?
If you have fear about your money, not enough, lack, it has a lot more to do with you than your work. But it has no voice and can`t say , it`s not it`s fault. I hope these thougts are some help to those who read them.


Nancy in MT said...

Your comments hit me like a nail in the head, I've reread many times over and will remember your experience and advice as I move forward in my own work, glad to have found you blog thru Diary of a Rugmaker, true heartfelt love in both of your works, Nancy

tj said...


...Blessings to you... :o)

Coppermouse Dolls said...

Wow, thank you for sharing this. It is very, very dear to my heart.


Terry and Jackie said...

A very thoughtful post. Many of the same thoughts that I have had myself. Sometimes I worry that my work won't sell and I have to remind myself to relax, enjoy the process of creating and everything works out in the end.
I went back and read some of your earlier posts...really enjoyed the one about copying.
Love the whole blog...wonderful pictures of your creations. I am linking you to my blog.
Jackie at The Door

Jo James said...

Great post, Mel.
Thank you.

Hugs- Joee