The You in Art

July 1, 2012 at 3:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Once a friend said to me that she wondered if anyone would pay for art that they themselves could do. Her comment was in response t the art that I create, and if I’m lucky, actually sell.

Shortly after that conversation, I was at a restaurant that displays art by local artists.  The pieces were all similar in that they are original items of art painted and attached to various surfaces such as cloth canvas.  I looked at one that consisted of an object attached to a canvas; it was a face, which I think, was made of clay that had been attached to stretched canvas.  I thought back to what this friend had said and wondered, “Well if that were true, and I’m thinking about trying to replicate this art – at least in materials used and technique if not in artistic prowess – what makes any art really worthy of the artists time or the consumer’s dime?”

Which brings me back to my first point: If your creation is something that is easily reproduced – everyone has access to those basic materials and can put them in the order you chose, what makes yours worth of their time and money?

Maybe it’s just that someone appreciates the effort you put in and would not do so herself. For example, I have a lamp I like and, if I were to find the right tools – which I could at the hardware store- I might be able to duplicate the shape and colors. I watched my dad go through the process of getting the hardware at the hardware store and make lamps when I was young, so I could probably make one that is very similar. The question is would I? No, I would not. I just don’t want to make lamps. If this one breaks, I’ll find a duplicate of it or one very similar to replace it. I’ll pay for that which I may be able to technically do myself because I know my lamp will not have the same look to it as the one I paid for and I don’t want to take the time to try to make a lamp.

Though I have identified some extra steps I can take to make my art unique, I really am not very worried that someone who may be thinking about buying my art is going to resist the temptation because he or she may be able to do the same thing.  I say yes strive for uniqueness but if your art is not out of this world unique or such a technical challenge that no one would ever be able to duplicate it, don’t let that keep you from creating or trying to make money off of it but try to put something in there that is essentially you because it is the you in art that no one can duplicate.


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