Selling Art and Letting Go
I sold my favorite painting last week. I was happy to release it to someone who loved it so much, but it was still a little sad for me. I wasn’t expecting to let it go at that time; the buyer and I had previously discussed a different painting, but he ended up changing his mind. This one was more money than the one I’d expected him to buy, so that was nice, but that blank spot on my wall is still a little sad looking.
As I drove home from delivering the painting, I thought about the weeks I spent working on that piece. I made it in October and I spent the whole time either listening to the Muppets Green Album or watching Soul Art TV. I remembered each stage of that painting; laying on the paint and peeling it back back off with an old library card, spreading the paint around the sky, dabbing the jewel red leaves, wondering what the figure should be doing and watching the piece change under my brush.
I then realized that I already had what I needed from that painting. I got my value from making it, and from seeing its new owner light up when he hung it on his office wall. I now have some money to put toward my business and an empty spot on my wall for the painting I’m currently working on.
Being the dork I am, I thought of the Doozers from my favorite show, Fraggle Rock, who live to build.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, get thee to Youtube.
They don’t mind that the Fraggles eat their towers (because the buildings are made from radishes, the Fraggles’ favorite food) or when Sprocket the dog accidentally wound up in Fraggle Rock and knocked them all down. They were happy because now they had more room to build! Their joy was in the process, not the end product. Building made them happy. They also loved to see their buildings make the Fraggles happy as they ate them. One of the doozers once watched a Fraggle munching on a piece of the roof and he sighed and said “Ah, does my heart good. Architecture is meant to be enjoyed.”
As an artist, this is something I’ll have to get used to, but I don’t imagine that letting go will always be easy. I just have to remember where the joy comes from, and where it goes. It’s a beautiful exchange.