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March Blog: To Sell or Not ot Sell, That is a Good Question

Updated: Mar 1, 2020


Karin Phifer

Several times lately I’ve seen Facebook posts reminding readers that just because you are pursuing art or a craft, does not mean that you should now automatically make this activity become an added stream of income.

I agree. In principle.

Of course, not every “thing” we do should be monetized immediately. There’s a lot of benefit in doodling, knitting, playing music just because we enjoy it, for fun, for our family, for our sanity, for relaxation, for balance in our everyday lives.

That being said, I love love love selling my art work, and here are some of the reasons why. Number One has to be observing some person coming into my gallery or to my booth at an art fair and fall in love. It’s a thrill that will never get old. It’s why I make things, after all. So that someone will love them, whether it’s a painting, a drawing, a quilt, a scarf, a pillow. All of them I create with one goal in mind, namely to make someone’s life a little more colorful and just a tiny bit happier and/or more fun.

Nothing pleases me more than reading an email like the one I received the other day: “Dear Karin, the knitted scarf I bought at your gallery last summer is my favorite….. I’ve lost the little fish that made me smile every time I looked at it. It was the cherry on top. Could you send me another one?”

Reading this excerpt, I’m sure you understand what I mean. Needless to say, I sent her TWO of the fish! Just in case. I feel at moments like that, the love I put into the work bouncing back and forth in the universe.

Reason Two for selling my work: it frees up studio space. I have no idea whatsoever what I might be doing at this point if all of my paintings, drawings and other stuff I’ve made over the years were still in my house. I’d have no room to do anything at all. I’ve given a lot of it away, donated, gifted it. But mostly, I’ve sold it. That open space enables me to put new, virginal canvases, additional bottles and tubes of paint and glue, pencils and brushes in the studio. The new stuff seems to have more inspirational power than what’s already lived there for a while.

Last but not at all least, reason Three is the money in my pocket. When I was not selling much of my fiber art, back in Tucson, AZ, it became awfully difficult to justify straining our not so ample budget in order to buy more paint, brushes …. (see the list above). Now that I’ve been selling fairly well, I feel like I’m in hog heaven. The UPS and FedEx men know me and occasionally thank me for the job security I provide for them, haha. Jerry’s Artarama, Michael’s and of course Amazon are on my computer’s favorites list. I have a friend in Portland, OR now: the manager of the Dick Blick Art Supply store in the Pearl.

For me, selling my work has propelled me to completely stupendous productivity. I have heard of but yet to experience artist block. I cannot wait to get in my studio every day and make more wonderful, weird and fun “stuff”, so I can get it out there for someone who doesn’t make art to fall in love with in front of my very eyes, take it home remember the enthusiastic artist lady at the gallery they discovered in out-of-the-way Pacific Beach.

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