I've heard this over and over lately, "stop giving your art away." Why do I do it?
I'm not Ms Moneybags. I wish I were. I'd be a great philanthropist, but I'm not. Yes, I volunteer my time at a local soup kitchen, and I feel lucky if I can give more. If a piece of art can bring in money to help someone in need, how can I not jump at the opportunity?
It's impossible to help everyone, so I've focused on what is most important to me. Growing up, I never went hungry or worried about where I would sleep. My parents were farmers. They struggled like all the other farmers. I remember the many times when mom would come home from the grocery store and dad couldn't understand how she had possibly spent over $100 for a family of six for 2 weeks. Mind you, this would have been in the mid 70's. Years later I learned that they went through some very hard times, but did I ever feel it? No. I was always fed and aways had a warm bed to climb into at night.
Today, children are going hungry without a safe place to sleep. I'm not going to get into the hows and whys, or if their parents are drug addicts, etc. I'm focused on the children. Near and dear to my heart is Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton. There mission is to work in partnership with people from all walks of life to develop communities with people in need by building, renovating, and remodeling houses so that there are decent and affordable homes in safe communities where families can live and grow.
Habitat works with families and teaches them how to save for home ownership. They teach them how to build a home. These families put in the time to own their own home. It's truly "a community barn building."
Yet, I'm still told to stop giving my artwork away for free. It devalues it. I understand, and I'm sorry, but please understand that I will only give it to those that I know can use it - to those that are reputable and to those that show how they use their funds.
Yes, I would never expect an architect to draw plans and only be paid if the client likes or decides to use their plans. I would never design a logo on spec. Or what about a magazine telling a writer that you are getting payment through "prestige and exposure." I get it. Everyone needs to be paid.
The last thing in the world that I want is my artwork to be devalued because it's just craft. Seriously, don't every tell an artist that you love how crafty they are... Art is not a hobby. It's a profession like all else.
Yes, art has real value. So if you have the opportunity to win a piece of art in an auction, that's great, but please continue to go out and buy real art from real artists. That stuff that you see at Target, TJ Maxx, Walmart - it's not REAL ART.
It looks like tickets to the event or still available. CLICK HERE
If you can't attend, the Habitat auction is live. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE AUCTION ITEMS AND TO BID.
Green Craspedia Blue Field #2, 12" x 12"