Many artists say they love working in the studio but hate the "business" side of the art business. I have certainly said it and I know many artists who have said it too. And while it is true that it all starts in the mind and soul of the artist, the moment he chooses to sell his work it is a business. Like it or not, art is a commodity like any other.
But we artists need to adjust our thinking about art as business. Commodity isn't a dirty word any more than knife, or fire...or even dirt. Money is not evil. Money is just a tool. And like any tool, it can be used for good or bad.
Lisa and I have chosen to sell our work. But we know it is honest work...and we know we charge an honest price. The work still contains all the love and integrity we put into each piece. And, when one of our customers wears one of our designs with pride, when we see the sparkle in her eyes, we can see first hand the true value of our work.
My point is that art is meant to be shared, to be in the world, not merely in the artists world. And making a reasonable profit from one's labor is not merely acceptable...it is honorable.
I have been slow to arrive at this understanding. I spent decades making art that no one except a few friends and family ever saw. But now I am embracing honest capitalism. Lisa and I have much to learn in order to grow our business, but I know this much for certain: our art is made with love and skill and yes...it has value.