Why is it so important for an artist to sell their work? Is it the money? That’s certainly not the driving force for most of us. Artists tend to create whether or not their work ever sells. For most of us, money simply buys more art supplies.
Is it fame? Hardly. Most artists are introverts and don’t care for attention or fame. They simply desire time to themselves to create.
So, why is a sale so important? I can only answer for myself. For me, it means: you heard me. I was telling a story and someone was listening. Someone heard my voice and answered me with a resounding. “Yes!”
My heart breaks every time I think about Vincent Van Gogh, selling only one painting during his life. Never knowing that a day would come when the whole would be listening to his voice.
We all have a deep desire, not just to be heard, but to be listened to and understood. Within every painting I paint, with every brush stoke, with every color chosen, my heart is whispering, “listen”. We’re not just throwing paint on a canvas or clay on a wheel. We’re pouring out our deepest emotions, our most precious memories, and our deepest secrets. The essence of who we are ends up in our creation. So I think when we hear that a painting has sold, there comes a deep sense of satisfaction, and a sigh of relief–someone is listening to me.
I know art is expensive and not everyone can afford to buy. But if you can, save a little, and invest in an emerging artist, someone who’s work isn’t too pricey. You’ll be doing something amazing in the life of that artist…you’ll be listening.