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Re: "what's it fer?"



Here, here.  You put it so well, Barbara.  It's always a tightwire act to
take care of finances and honor the creative surge.
As for selling the work, it seems to me that taking time to consider the
view point of a client/viewer/ passerby who may not understand the work and
yet is drawn to it and wants to know more, opens the opportunity for
compassionate education and (often, possibly, happily) a sale!
-----Original Message-----
From: Barbara Harman <ArtSurvive@AOL.COM>
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 1999 12:46 AM
Subject: Re: "what's it fer?"


>In a message dated 09/28/99 7:05:25 PM, malcolm@UPTONS.NET writes:
>
><< Some have talked about how their art is valuable even if no
>one understands it.  Sorry, value is in the eye of the consumer.  If your
>audience doesn't understand it, if they don't know what to do with it, if
>they don't think it is valuable, it is worth less than the materials it is
>made from.  >>
>
>The issue of sale to a consumer is quite separate from the motivation to
>create. The fact that someone on this list can make the above statement in
>utter confidence (arrogance?) that he/she is right only illustrates the
>success of a market "culture" in which art is no longer taught in the
>schools, even highly educated people can remain abyssmally ignorant about
the
>"purpose" of art, and artists are beset with doubts about the value of
their
>calling. While I enjoy it when my work sells (and I certainly can use the
>money when it does), the desire to make work that WILL sell is insufficient
>motivation for making it. In fact, during periods of my creative life when
>that was my primary focus, the ability to go on creating nearly died. While
I
>can't speak for what motivates others, I have found that an enjoyment in
the
>process itself, without worrying about the end product or its possible
>"value" or usefulness, is what fires my imagination and makes me want to
make
>more. Art is the only thing I have ever done (and I use the term to include
>all forms of art) that truly nourishes me, enlarging my life and my soul.
Art
>is the only thing I give my energy to that, reliably, always gives back
more
>than I have given it. This is not, nor will it ever be, an act of mere
>commerce. Barbara Harman
>
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>            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
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             ***********************************************
            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
                  <http://www.dreamscape.com/pdverhey>
             ***********************************************


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