“Watch the stars in their courses and imagine yourself running alongside them. Think constantly on the changes of the elements into each other, for such thoughts wash away the dust of earthly life.”– Marcus Aurelius
My morning ritual usually goes like this:
- make coffee and eggs
- play a vinyl record
- journal for 1 page about whatever I’m struggling with
- pet the cat
- read a passage from “The Daily Stoic” book by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman
Today’s “Daily Stoic” passage was fitting, considering I filmed this video about “Cosmic Wall Platters” yesterday. I shared that exact same quote, totally by coincidence (even though yes, this art was inspired by ideas surrounding stoicism that I’ve been studying for a while now).
Even in modern society, with all of our advanced technology, crafting art with our hands is more important than ever. It connects us deeply to what it means to be human.
But living as a full-time artist is extremely rare today. Too often, artists are defeated by the fact that art can’t always exist unless it’s priced and sold.
“I always say to artists, ‘Don’t to be an artist unless you really really really really really have to.’ Because 99% of artists don’t have money. They have to make an enemy out of envy. Or it will eat them alive.”– Jerry Saltz, qtd. in “The Price of Everything”
The “Art Market” can feel kind of gross.
Art becomes more valuable when famous artists die.
Some of the world’s wealthiest collectors are known for using art as trading cards of wealth, just like stocks and bonds. Stock traders have even been known to “short” the art market just like housing, automotive industry or anything else. (The Great Contemporary Art Bubble BBC Documentary)
Some galleries have even been accused of buying work from their own artists, only to prop up prices.
Museums give everyone access to society’s best art, but they only show a tiny selection of what exists. They are the gatekeepers to prestige and perception, yet overflowing with art. Most of their art lives in underground storage.
What’s the solution?
How do artists support doing what they love– making art everyday?
For me, the answer always comes back to something simple: focusing only on what you can control.
That means making as much pottery as I can (about 2,500 pots per year), pricing each piece of art appropriately, and selling it to enter the world right now.
Showing your art to the world can be terrifying. These are our babies! How do you put a price on something you poured your heart and soul into?
Figuring out your art serves people is scary, but it’s a worthy pursuit, because the need is great.
“Fear is the greatest problem for us potters. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of being accepted or rejected. If we can work without it, work for the joy of working, then we are free. Because we are no longer working for money, for fame, or for mother, but for ourself.”– Jenny Lind, The Studio Potter, 1979