"Why I spent hundreds of dollars on art, and why you should too."
People who are not in tune with an art community want to boisterously contend that ‘art is dead’. The jobs are all allocated in the STEM fields, (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and unless you want to become a teacher, the arts seem useless. Well, I, and many other artists, would contend that the art community is full of uses such as marketing, project management, public relations, publishing, editing, and criticism, to name a few. Clearly someone outside the looking glass cannot understand, as to a neo-classical poet when quantifying physics (but hey, I may be wrong).
People say that buying art is strictly for hanging up, grinning once, and frowning twice; resting it permanently on a coffee table to be buried in dust. Again, we contend that this is not the case. Within every piece of art, be it visual or textual, there is a value. It may not become apparent to one today, or tomorrow, or forever, but subjectively, another may, within the time it takes for eyelashes to kiss. One cannot denounce what one cannot comprehend. Clearly, the best option is to simply do not get involved. Being on the outside looking in, and the ensuing comments (in this case negative) that follow, will nine times out of ten, become banal and absolutely pointless. In short, leave the art for the artists.
Now that I’ve got that transgression out of my system, and to elucidate on the title of this blog, I will begin to tell you why you should do what I’ve done: purchase hundreds of dollars’ worth of art. It will take a few minutes to fully emerge, but bear with me, for a frustrated artist and publisher has volumes of opinion condensed into a succinct one thousand word essay. When I finally decided that I was to solidify an interest in the arts two years ago, I had to also assess many factors: who to read, who to ‘model’ my own aesthetic off of, and lastly, who are my like-minded contemporaries. With a sturdy foundation, I’ve grown into something my twelve-thirteen year old self couldn’t have possibly imagined: becoming a published author. Indie, yes, but still a published author. There are levels to art, as to any organization, and so far, I’m climbing high, now the owner of a micro-press. Yet, to know art, one must immerse in said art of whichever discipline of one’s choosing. More power to you if you can bridge a diverse portfolio. There are some gifted individuals that can create in multiple ways. However, and ironically so, one cannot discover said artist if his/her work is left without an adopted owner.
I’ve studied the trends of this strange phenomenon that is the publishing world for these past two years and reluctantly say that there are people that simply do not want to pay for art. Whatever they can read during a hectic day, for free on social media, will suffice just enough to make it to the proceeding day. However, when a monetary figure emerges—and these figures tend to range from modest to exorbitant—one is forced to decide if this monetary item supersedes what is readily available for free. Sadly, the switch of desire can immediately be turned off and the artist is left fumbling blind in the dark. Doubling down on this, once encapsulated in dark, a berating remark may hit them at random, like a switchblade to the gut. Demands of a cheaper or a free product litter the void, thus turning the artist into a state of implosion, in which motivation, self-confidence, and sanity become encroached upon with haste. “How can my work, in which I’ve been toiling over for X amount of time, be simultaneously denied and suggested to be more cost effective?” Clearly, this is a longwinded monologue, but you should get the gist by now. It sounds like torture, no? Well, believe it or not, it is.
I feel it as an obligation to delve into my contemporaries’ work. I want to not only experience whatever slice of life they are trying to interpret, but to aid them morally, financially, and spiritually. Feedback is crucial for anyone, not just an artist. I’ve tried my best, over these past two years—and nearing 100 reviews—to give pertinent feedback that is similar to a rounded sword: enough to jab with attention, but lacking a skewering point to dig deep. But, of course, one cannot turn the budding critic into a boogeyman. If one is to publish, one must be able to accept any and all that may come their way, be it positive and negative. At the end of the day, if someone has purchased a piece of art, they, as a connoisseur, should feel equally elated as the artist who can now use royalties to fund their next project; to also make it to the next day with a full stomach or quenched thirst. Indulge in the creative gift. Absorb the labors that one inscribed within the pages or easel. If they plea for honesty and forethought, grant them it, without question. It is then, where the artist can feel the knob of existence and turn it without hesitation. Only the damned should be locked in darkness, anyways.
In closing, I highly implore you to reevaluate how you view the arts. What budget can you devise to divert—even a meager fund—towards artwork? There is no shame with funding someone that is pressing their passions to the very edge of their rib-cage, whilst expecting little in return. They say “art is dead”, but express no remorse for their brutalized wallet when a high dollar electronic product walks gaily out the big box’s door; when the complicated morning/afternoon beverage with four adjectives slides deeply into the waste bin, to never be seen again. Realize that the light from within an elated artist after a successful purchase, is akin to stardust. Believe me, I’ve read it in paragraphs and seen it in their eyes, even experienced the sublimity myself. Paying it forward seems to be a popular social activity, so why can’t one also pay art forward?