Vincent Van Gogh is said to have only sold two paintings in his lifetime. Emily Carr sold her pottery at craft sales, and often traded her paintings for art supplies. Fine art can be a tough sell. Why? Often because many people believe that original art is beyond their means. The truth is that affordable art is all around us. Emerging artists especially, offer reasonably priced work, often for less than mass produced prints at the mall.
Artisans create beautiful pottery, wood turning, glass, jewellery and textile art that fits any budget. The next time you see a garage sale, check out the quality of the goods on offer. Most will be mass produced, imported things that were manufactured for pennies, and sold in stores for not much less than local artisan goods. Keep in mind that the item you buy at the mall has passed from manufacturer to distributor, to wholesaler, to retailer before being sold to you; each time it changes hands, the price is marked up, usually by 100% or more.
Local art and artisan sales allow you to buy directly from the person who made the piece. You have the benefit of meeting the artist, hearing the story behind the art, and enjoying the thrill of owning something that is truly one of a kind. Selling art also gives artists more than just an income, it is a validation their work is appreciated by others.
You have probably heard the rule that the things you buy should be either useful or beautiful, or both, but I like to add that they should also bring you joy, something that stuff can’t bring you, but art can. Useful, beautiful, joyful creations don’t end up in garage sales, or landfills, they become family heirlooms.