By Carolyn Edlund
Recently, I had a conversation with an artist who felt she would never be able to make a good living from her fiber art.
What she loved was the process of making her art. She didn’t want to compromise the time and effort she put into each piece, even though she couldn’t command high enough prices to pay herself well. She claimed that the market would not bear the prices she would have to charge.
She also realized that she didn’t want to pursue a lot of the activities necessary to market her work to a higher-end audience to increase those prices.
Somewhere along the line, she had started to believe that making sales of her work and making money was her goal. But that didn’t make her happy, and the more she focused on the money the more unhappy she became.
Although she didn’t need the income, she had placed a very high value on selling because she felt that it validated her work. But it wasn’t working for her.
“Maybe I need to rethink my goals,” she said.
There aren’t many artists I know who are creating work just for the money. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. They are doing what they love, and money isn’t the main priority. Marketing and selling becomes a matter of finding the sweet spot where you love what you do, and your collectors do, too – making purchases that result in a profitable business for you.
There is nothing wrong with having other goals besides making money. Happiness often comes from doing something meaningful rather than just making an income.
How is your work meaningful to you? How much does making an income from your art matter to you? Have you revised goals that didn’t make you happy?