The Helper Arts Festival is over for this year.
I had a booth at the show and a number of people stopped by my booth and admired my paintings and etched glasses. Some even bought some stuff. I didn't sell much and that was alright. Mainly I wanted people to see why I left the Family Support Center to become an artist. I did not retire.
I left to start a new career. If I had left and took a job at a different agency, no one would have said that I had retired. This new job does not have regular hours or even a steady paycheck, but it is a full time occupation for me. The attitude of people that being an artist is not a real job is one that most of us endure.
As I strolled through the festival this year and previous years I have heard comments about the price of the art that is displayed.
"I love that painting, but I won't pay that price for it."
Art is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but it takes time and money to produce and sell it. Even though there is the romantic side of someone producing art, the reality of it is that artists have a business to support as well.
Artists have to purchase supplies. They have production time and expenses. There are marketing costs.
When you think about it it sounds like the same things that any business person must deal with.
And then we must then compete with other artists for people's business.
All these factors add to the price of art. Even though artists do this as their passion, they also want to make a profit. Profit is not a bad word. I know with my profit, I spend money in stores and businesses. With their and others profits, I hope they will buy some art.
I use the term art very loosely. I speak for the musicians, writers, poets, painters, sculptors and others who create. No, we don't need those things to live. But the quality they add to our lives every day is immeasurable.
The festival committee put on a great show this year and they should be commended for that.
As an aritst it takes courage to lay your soul on the line. I am still working on my identity.
I no longer answer the question of what I do with the answer, "I used to be the director ofÃ¯Â¿Â½" and now I answer, "I am an artist"
Celebrate the artists you know. Celebrate the artist within you.