In the modern world it’s easy to believe that when we create art we should hold onto it and save it for the moment somebody notices our work and pays the respected price it deserves. Yes, but why should people notice it let alone pay for our art in the first place?
No matter how amazing our art actually is, expecting attention and money from people who don’t know us is like a stranger coming up to us on the street saying ‘Hey you, I’ve got the best music here can you pay me a 10’er for it? I promise it’s some of the best stuff you’ll ever hear, I spent months making it!’.
Comparatively if a stranger came up to us on the street and said ‘Hey you, I’d like to give you a present I spent months working on, I hope it makes you feel something’ it has a completely different intention behind it. It’s with this intention people are more inclined towards opening their minds, hearts, eyes and ears to our work.
If with our gift we prove our art is of quality, love and talent we build a small slice of trust in their already full minds. That piece of trust is more valuable than any short-term financial benefit. They now know who we are and what we do so the next time we want to give a present they are slightly more willing to open it. Trust is something that can’t be purchased; it’s something that’s earned through hard and well-intentioned work.
If we constantly give quality gifts we act as a lighthouse to the people around us representing what we believe in. We are not trying to sell things down other people’s throats; we are instead sharing what we love with others. The people who resonate with this love will naturally come forward, we don’t have to run around trying to sell anything to anyone who doesn’t want to hear it.
The interesting thing about art is that once we start giving it away people who like it will be happy to start paying for it, the next time we have an art gallery opening more people will want to come check our work out and quite possibly buy our work because we have involved them with our passion from start to finish. It’s more than just a piece of art on the wall it’s a story they can tell their friends. People are connected, they feel valued and a part of the story, it’s not an empty inpersonal gallery opening trying to sell, it’s so much more.
In today’s Internet shared generation there isn’t much point holding onto things for ourselves. The longer we spend wanting X for Y the longer we close ourselves off to the world. Countless new opportunities present themselves if we are open to giving without expectation of taking. The artists who can continue giving what they love without expectation of anything in return gain permission to build the respect, reputation and trust they deserve, the financial rewards will come soon enough.
So if you’re an artist I’d like to ask if you’re hiding your work or sharing your work?