The lesson of letting go: Releasing your art into the world.

Selling an artwork is like having a piece of flesh removed.

Okay, that sounds like I’m a complete nutter, let’s perhaps tone it down a bit :

Selling an artwork is like your son leaving home to move in with their partner

Have I done the best job I can?
Is he ready to leave?
Have I prepared him enough?
What will the receiving party think?
Will they be happy with him?

I have done the best job I can with my adult children, and I do believe that one of the most valuable parenting acts that I can do is to let them go. With grace, with style, and with confidence.

And I feel the same about my artworks. In letting them go, I allow them to be enjoyed by the world, and to enjoy the world. I have also created space in my own life for new things to come in and occupy.

I find myself sitting and remembering the piece with fondness and nostalgia. Thinking of the person who has purchased it, who has wanted to bring it into their life. I think they must have a similar bon vivant, a similar discerning taste to me, because they parted with their money to bring this piece into their home.

At first I struggled with the idea of putting a price on my pieces. It felt a bit strange to be paid money for something that was an expression of my inner workings. Something that I made that appealed to me. But I know now that everything is a form of energy – I put energy in to the development of the piece, it has an energy of its own from that, and my buyers then part with their money, which they put energy into earning. So it’s all energy exchange, and that feels lovely.

Sometimes when I think of my piece as a container for all of the energy that I have put into it, I don’t want to sell it, because no amount of money could possibly be enough energy to exchange for it. All of the decisions, the time, the consideration, the effort. Colour, texture, composition, media. Layering, process, materials. If I add just one more thing will it become pedestrian? Second-guessing myself and then having a flash of confidence and conviction that this is the way it should be. That I have lived my best life whilst making this piece.

I am touched when someone sees the value, and feels a connection with a piece of mine.

It shows me that I have honoured my artistic process enough that they have connected with it and wanted to have it in their lives on a more permanent basis. Really for me that is a complete honour.

When I focus on these feelings I can let go. I will never forget you, I will never stop remembering you fondly. You aren’t just mine anymore, you belong out there. You belong to the world.

Categories Art

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