I had an interesting comment from a visitor at the Banner Elk Art Show. She said that she envied my talent but didn’t envy me at the same time because it must be hard selling pieces that are so much a part of you. It was a quick comment. I said, “No it’s more sharing than losing a piece.” She nodded and the conversation was over. But it made me revisit a pathway of thought I had gone down a few years ago. I had been thinking about the relationship between an artist and the pieces of art that they sold. The lady at the art show had one point right. Each piece is a little piece of my soul. It is a common art cliche, but cliches usually have their basis in fact. So what does that make an artist, make me, if a living is made from selling pieces of their soul? Wouldn’t this eventually leave an artist empty, hollow and even worse than a common lady of the night. They only sell their bodies but we sell pieces of our soul.
This line of reasoning however doesn’t match the feelings of fulfillment, acceptance and affirmation that come when I sell a piece. So I began to think about what selling art actually means to both parties involved. Humans are social creatures. We are meant to interact. I think the pieces of the artist that go into each work of art are the ideas, lessons, perspectives, and parts of their soul that need to be shared with others. They are the parts that yearn for a connection with someone outside themselves. So when a piece of art is bought it is an affirmation that the part of ourselves has found the other soul it was meant to touch. So that is why I quickly told the woman it was more like sharing. Because it is so much more than simply selling a piece. It is about knowing that the piece of your soul resonated so much with someone elses that they are willing to give what they have worked hard to earn in order to continue to experience it. The artist lets a piece of themself communicate with anothers life, while the purchaser has been touched enough to exchange their time (counted in money) for what the artist has to share.