I love the quirky emails RedBubble send out when something sells on their website. Today the email was to say I’ve sold some greeting cards of a work I uploaded yesterday. Why do sales matter to me? The obvious reason is to make money from my art, to recoup some of my costs. But of course there’s much more to it that just a few dollars here and there. A sale is recognition that someone went to my site to start with, and that they actually liked what I do enough to open their wallet on my behalf. How cool is that?
Okay, good so far. Does the recognition matter, or perhaps more correctly, should the recognition matter? As artists we paint because we have to, because we have this inner drive to express ourselves and to share our vision of the world. Our vision still exists, whether other people appreciate it or not. We need to get it out onto paper or canvas, not just want to. And yet, here’s the thing, for me anyway. The recognition by other people, other artists especially if I am totally honest, does matter. Why? Because it validates the vision of the world I have. It says I’m okay and what I produce is ok. Would I change what I’m doing if it wasn’t okay? I doubt it, but the validation through sales and feedback sure don’t do my day any harm either!
How about you. Is your vision valid no matter what? Or does your day get a boost when someone posts positive feedback?
I believe that many of us are absolutely driven to ‘achieve’ in whatever our chosen field may be. While that drive is usually enough to keep us going, acknowledgement can make such a huge difference. Remember, many many people believe in us and our abilities. They watch and think about what we are doing and are there but their support and/or acknowledgement may not always be obvious to us. And sometimes it is the acknowledgement from someone unknown that makes us feel the best as they don’t ‘have’ to give it.
This year I have written out for me what success and my art means and one of the things is selling “things”. I don’t have a how plan but I am sure that will come.