Monday, January 27, 2014

Thought for The Day - Picking Up Supplies

Went out Saturday to pick up art supplies and nearly forgot what I needed when I walked in the store. I'm not one for shopping these days; the thrill of buying items, getting home and realizing I've spent too much and finding out the money I just spent could have gone on a bill or the car which just broke down...that got old. Life, you can be funny at times! Anyway, I was excited to be in the store, aisle after aisle of paints, brushes, papers, canvases, etc, the type of stuff artists get excited about. I reigned in my "oooos' and "ahhhhs" and remembered I was there for pastel sticks, a brush and "something else." Just could not remember the last thing.

I generally like to keep a tight schedule when I go to a store; that also keeps me from 'browsing' and picking up unnecessary items. If I know I have a few minutes to shop - not as long as I like 'cause "I'm grown" - I find the items I came to buy and I'm out. No time for idle wandering and dreaming...sad life for an artist, that you aren't permitted time to wander. Really sad!

I narrowed my search to a handful of pastel sticks and another handful of oil pastel crayons. I also picked up a non-toxic bottle of fixative, used to prevent work from being smeared - very important for pastels. I'm standing at the counter, the cashier, completing the sell and applying my "preferred customer" discount, she gives me the total. The guy next to me hears the total and says "you should have picked a cheaper medium, to work in." Besides wanting to tell him to mind his business, I thought of snappy repartee to say like "the medium chose me," but instead I chose not to say anything. I sort of smiled, handed the lady my debit card and waited for her to package everything.

That comment stayed with me for the entire weekend and I'm sure I'll go over it for a while. I thought about the relatives and friends who want to "support" you by "allowing" you to give them art for free, declaring their poverty. I thought of the many people who tell me "I love your work, but it's too expensive!" I thought of the many people out there who steal other artists work with a camera or simply going to your website and hitting the "print screen" button on their pc. You know, we aren't permitted to walk in a store and simply pick up supplies, food, etc, just because we are related to the owner. And we can't walk onto a car lot and get a car for $25 because "I love your Jaguars, but there just too expensive." Hear me folks, any artist doing work from his heart and soul, isn't considering the cost of supplies before he does the work, but he has to be careful in what he spends. He cares about the work and the message and as a result, what it will do for you, the audience. Cost, value, cheap and expensive; words we toss around, but I think we get their definitions confused.