Friday, September 16, 2011

The Value of Art

"Why is art so expensive?"

Ever heard that one before? This is typically what you hear from people who haven't thought of art as an investment; who aren't seeing the art for what it is - a valuable, one of a kind commodity.

I know a lot of artists and photographers and it’s also one of the biggest frustrations for them, too. Until you are well-known and established, you will probably spend years hearing the same dreaded words: “You should lower your price. You’d probably sell more of your work.”

This may seem like good advice on the surface – but if we dig a little deeper, we might discover there’s a lot more to art than the price tag.

Take hiring an interior designer, for example. Naturally, we would consider how much it will cost us for their design. They are providing a similar service as an artist; they are going to spend valuable hours creating a beautiful product that you will have the benefit of enjoying every day as you look around your home.

Still, when you hire an interior designer, you may think it is expensive, but you don’t ask yourself “is it really worth as much as I’m going to pay them?”

Of course it is! You know it is because you recognize how much time and effort goes into the design – not just the hours they spend designing it now, but also the years they spent in school or training.

You recognize that you are not just paying them for their service, but also for their ability to create something unique to their talents. You are supporting their career and celebrating their creativity. You are paying for the years that you are going to spend in this beautiful environment, and the people you love that are going to share that space with you. You are buying how good it makes you feel to wake up every morning and love where you live.

So why is it often different with artists and photographers?

They spent just as much time training and practicing, honing their skills and putting in the necessary effort to be good. They are likely just as passionate about what they do.  Each creative person in this world provides something that others can't; they have the ability to express what they feel and think and see in new ways.

When you hang something on your wall that you love – something that feeds your soul – it will be there for years. You can pass it on to your children. Supporting yourself spiritually with an environment that feeds your soul does arguably more for your well-being than the food you eat.

If you have ever fallen in love with a piece of art (of any kind) you know exactly what I'm talking about! 

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