Monday, October 13, 2008
WE MAKE ART FOR OURSELVES!
When I started this blog in March of this year, I just wanted to document my artistic journey by posting pictures of my work. I didn't really want to use this platform for anything other than that, but something has been on my mind and I can't help but post about it.
As you know (If you are a regular reader of my blog), I was recently involved in an awesome workshop with the amazing and inspiring Suzi Blu. I met a wonderful group of women in this workshop. We had a private forum where we could share our work and chit chat etc. Everyone was so encouraging and helpful towards one another. Really, it was just an awesome experience. I highly recommend taking one of Suzi's workshops! Anyway, by the time class completed, I painted about 4 girlies and recently listed some of them for sale in my Etsy shop. I also posted the pictures to some blog groups I belong. Well I was contacted by one of the group's blog moderators that someone made a comment that she felt she should delete and wanted me to see it. Someone made a nasty comment about my work and said that basically I was riding the coattails of Suzi and that it was pathetic (oh, this person took the time to set up a whole new blogger name with no contact information just to make this comment about my work). This really through me for a loop! Here I just came from this loving and nurturing environment to this nastiness!! The moderator ended up deleting the comment.
I sent Suzi an E-mail about the situation. She (of course) was super cool and sweet about it. She basically reminded me that I don't do art for others, that I do it for myself. Wow, I almost forgot that! I love getting sweet comments about how much people like my art, but honestly, I paint because it satisfies something in my soul! It relaxes me and takes me to another world where everything is beautiful and happy! And yes, I do want to sell my art. Why? Well for a few reasons: 1. It brings me great joy that my art may speak to someone enough for them to want it for their own. 2. For extra money for more art supplies and so I can join workshops like Suzi's (knowledge is power). And, 3. Because frankly, I don't have the room in my house for all of them (LOL).
Well, what does Suzi think about her students selling artwork that has all of the techniques she uses in her artwork you ask? This is what she said: "I'm a teacher it doesn't bother me if girls are selling art that looks like mine. I am okay with that. I'm happy to help women make an income off their creative voice! I don't want to just make art for a living Id rather inspire others." I already knew she felt this way because I asked her at the beginning of the class. If she was NOT OK with it, I would have never listed them in my shop to begin with.
She is so inspiring and is the person that helped me get the nerve almost a year ago to pick up a paintbrush in the first place. Personally, I really don't see that much of a similarity to my girls and hers, but I'm flattered in a way that "nasty-chick" thinks so. I mean seriously, if someone is a fan of Suzi then they are going to buy HER art. No matter how many others have a similar style.
SO, the main reason I decided to write about this is for the other 500+ people that took Suzi's workshop. You may encounter the same thing if you (God Forbid) try and sell art that looks similar to Suzi's. I guess we should learn the techniques she taught us, but do nothing with that knowledge. Just remember that Suzi is OK with you selling the art you made from the techniques she taught you and most importantly, don't forget ..."We make art for ourselves!!"