It seems every time i do this, i lose a few followers, at least on FB! Please remember that small businesses/artists need support too–especially since i myself am temporarily no longer a “floral arranger”/”employee” by day. Some/most of us do not work for conventional employers, whether by choice, or because of need for childcare that necessitates someone staying home, or living in a place where jobs are few and far between, or that geography says it’s too far to commute to! You get one of a kind items this way, made with skill and care, unique viewpoints and representations, often created with original to the maker supplies too, and passion and intent. We can’t just show you what we’re doing: it has to pay for itself, pull its own weight, fly out into the world. Some of us are not just artists, but WORKING artists–and working artists make art/things for sale, not just to pretty up a blog or Instagram.
An artist/maker spends time not only making the product, but developing the skills sometimes for years, doing the initial sketches or design work, gathering the supplies, setting up a work space, photography and editing after, listing the product, packaging when sales are made, schlepping them to the post office, buying special envelopes for some work, and has to pay fees as well to keep the business going, from shop fees, to financing charges, more supply buying and a host of little things that are peculiar to each artist. I don’t mean any of this to offend anyone, am not begging, and certainly am grateful when someone appreciates what i do by opening their wallet. BUT things, “products”, Art, stuff, never spring magically from “a sweated brow”on to a for sale page with no thought or effort beforehand 🙂 It doesn’t just get THUNK into existence: there’s WORK first. I keep my prices low, given the amount of effort/skill/vision that goes into them, and having seen some sell smaller less involved bits for more coin, it sometimes really depresses me, when they’re shocked that i would have the Audacity to actually want good coin, not a token of “faith” in my pocket. There are times when i just want to give up, quite honestly.
On the other hand, i’ve had well meaning friends and family say some of my prices are too “low”, and yes, i’ve always subscribed to the “some bucks is better’n no bucks” theory, but i know what has gone into those particular efforts, and am comfortable with what i asked for 🙂
I’ve had queries about specific pieces that i have shown in my galleries here, things i *might* like to sell to a good home, but have not actively pursued a sale, or even a hint of one, and after a few back and forth emails, when they find out the price–because my bigger pieces, my more involved pieces are more expensive because they were a hell of a lot more work, not only in size, but in execution and skill — *cricket noises*, no further communication, not even a “thanks for answering, but regretfully, no thanks” response. I get that you thought because you bought a piece 6 years ago for $75, that you might figure one of my massive works is only double that now, but that’s not how it works. I know too that active, dedicated, supporters of textile art don’t always have money, and that too, some figure because they have supported someone before, that they should get a deal. I’m happy to work out a payment plan for something already produced, and have on occasion happily done commissioned work on a payment plan as well.
Do you want something that lasts? Are you the kind of shopper that only buys things that *immediately* gratify you? Are you making an investment in your own happiness, or just to fill your belly, impress someone else, keep up with a trend? I’m constantly remembering customers at the flower mines who would decry that “flowers are so expensive for something that doesn’t last”–well, honey, how’s that steak you had last night, keepin’ on? Those flowers that lasted “only” a week made someone happy every *single* day of that week. That’s a lasting impression.
So is art, Art. Big statement piece, small joy as a present for you or a friend, something to make something else with, it’s all in the shop. Thank you for listening to the end of the commercial, not muting it while you go for a pee and a snack 🙂