OK, it's December 1st, it's a few days after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it's about the time when everyone begins to think about the Holiday ahead. I know, we all know, that things have been tough the last couple of years with economic woes, lost jobs, lost houses, lost hope. For many, it's really hard to try and put oneself into a cheery and festive mood for the upcoming Christmas/New Year celebrations, not least of which yours truly.
As I have talked about many times before, being an artist is not really something I have much control over. It's just something that I have to do. It's something that gets me out of bed in the morning. Thinking about and creating a new work of art is what gives a feeling of accomplishment in my life on a daily basis. I think, from conversations I have had with any number of other artists, sculptors and creative sorts, we all share the same take on our lives. We all basically accept that no matter what is going on around us we have to constantly, as all those who came before us did, strive to make our art something that not only reflects our view of the world but that resonates with us first, and with great hope, others too.
Over the last couple of years considering a work of art, a piece of sculpture, a beautiful one-of-a-kind handmade piece of craft to add to one's personal world has not been the primary concern for many who might otherwise, in better times, have made a small purchase. When one has to consider putting food on the table and keeping a roof over one's head, buying a work of art somehow does not really come into the picture.
If one is to believe what the talking heads on TV are saying of late, that things are beginning to look brighter on the economic horizon and people are once again beginning to consider the purchase of non-essential items, then I can only hope that this be true. My personal journey of the last couple of years, as I know has been that of many of my artist friends as well, has been on occasion, one close to having to make uncomfortable financial decisions. For those of us who rely upon generating income through the sale of our works of art, when the pool of possible collectors/purchasers/interested parties begins to shrink . . . well, you get the picture.
Rethinking, resizing, reenergizing and trying to find new and unique ways to continue to make our works appealing and available to an ever smaller number who still want or are able to support the arts and all creative souls even in these recent hard times, is certainly something I know I have worked hard to do. As I said before, I don't have much choice in the matter as making art is what I do, being an artist is who I am, following the creative path wherever it takes me is what I must do.
With every single work that I have been fortunate enough to have sold in the last couple of years, and knowing that in some cases the consideration for the purchase of that particular work has been mulled over for a great length of time or has been paid off over many months in small increments, I have found solace in the fact that still, for many, owning an original work of art is something that, even in these financially hard times, must find a way of happening.
So, when you are thinking about those who are on your short list for gifts this year, or those who you would like to share a bit of joy with at Christmas, why not consider a work of original art or craft? Small or large, the size makes no difference. It is the appreciation for those of us who must create, that counts. It is the tacit approval of our personal creative view of the world around us, that counts. It is the unspoken understanding that even a small work of original creativity can bring so much joy into one's life, that counts. It is the acceptance that the art of the handmade still has a place in this world of ever increasing mediocrity and duplication, that counts. It is, in the end, a small yet very important way to continue to say that we need art and artists in our world and have to find ways of continuing to support creativity, individuality and uniqueness, that counts.