If you're an artist you've heard that line before. Possibly after your landlord helped you change an appliance light bulb or your mechanic friend looked under your car's hood. You tell them how much you appreciate their help, that they are awesome, you owe them one..and BAM they tell you not to worry, just paint them something in return. We kid you not, Dave had some one ask him for a painting after they gave him some leftover spaghetti.
Now we know this stems from total ignorance and not malice, but perhaps there's a bit of blatant disregard for the value of our time thrown in there. Bottom line is, most people have no idea what our artwork is worth, or that creating it in the first place is an actual job. They don't understand that the nanosecond art becomes your career, it ceases to be fun and begins to wither your soul like any other job. It's work. We don't have fun
doing art in the same way we have fun drinking beer, playing video games,
or even checking our mail. Art is often
boring, tedious, taxing, and above all, time consuming--just like most people's jobs. Sure, we love it, because we can work for ourselves and pursue our creative vision, but the moments of excitement are few and far between, kind of like a job in science. Scientists are willing to slog away day after day chasing the dragon of discovery so that they can briefly experience a high when they discover something. Painting is the same way. The excitement happens in the planning and completion stages of a piece, and everything in between is making stuff look like stuff. The romanticized idea of the artist who is in a state of rapture while painting is a thing of movies. Therefore, it isn't "fun" for me to make art for people, it's simply additional work.
Obviously we're taking this as an opportunity to tell people how much our work is worth. One piece of our art is worth one to four months' salary for
us. They are not commodities that can be given or traded easily. A lot of
people see our art and "have to have it." Well, if you can't afford it,
you don't get to have it, just like we can't afford a hover car, so we
don't get one (which we are sure we want way more than anyone has ever
wanted our art.) Asking someone for art for free is pretty obnoxious
when you think about it (we'll lay into the old art for charity in
another post). However, we thought we would show what could be traded
for our artwork according to its value.
Also, here are some favors that you could do for us that would actually merit a painting.
Dave gave his parents-in-law some paintings, but only after they gave him half
of the total sum of their daughters among other fabulous things (and we
should also add that they tried to buy them first before he gave them to
them). We also give our own parents work on very rare occasion because without them we wouldn't be doing a lot of existing.
And one last point: most of us artists have also heard the phrase, "if you are going to throw
that painting away, why not just give it to me?" Well, because it's a crappy piece of artwork that lowers my total average score as an artist. Having a mediocre piece of work loose in the world is an embarrassing thing. In addition, what message do we send to our collectors
by giving away something they paid good money for?
Okay, we're done ranting.
NOTE: we both wrote this post together but we had no idea how to sort out the whole 1st, 2nd, 3rd person thing.
Next installment: "Oh, just give me a painting for Christmas..."