Some of what I draw or create gets lost in the shuffle deep in the recesseses of my studio or sells before I get a chance to publish it to my blog. Mia is an illustration I created last year with india ink and watercolor on Canson paper. The original sold earlier this year with three other large originals, a handmade box of mini prints and a set of four seasons.
It was the largest single sale I ever made on Etsy and the second largest art sale in my life in regards to art sales and prompted the writing of a rather poignant post. The largest I ever made was the sale of the original Grace acrylic painting which sold for $1250CAD.
Art is worth money. It is worth the investment. And I guess that is what you need to think about when you buy art. It’s not something that you’ll likely buy and throw away in a few years. Art is something that by definition of being art should over time gain in monetary value and in the least hold it’s value long after the artist is dead. When you buy art, especially from an artist who is actively creating and alive and more importantly sustaining themselves on their art, you are in fact allowing them to continually learn, hone their skills and perhaps one day earn a living wage from their art because their skills are such that it demands a value higher than minimum wage.
I’ll be turning 36 on November 8th. I always dreampt that one day I wouldn’t need to do graphic design anymore. Sadly, it took falling down to my lowest more than once to realize this dream. I’m far from earning in Canadian Standards a living wage. But I’m getting there.
What does that feel like to earn more than $50,000 a year?
Next year I want to earn $50,000. Scratch that. I want to earn $100,000 Net.
This year will be the first year that I will earn more than poverty level income in years. I can’t count how many years I earned less than $10,000 since graduating college in 1996. I can count how many years I earned more than $20,000 but less than $25,000. TWO.
And I don’t know why Mia made me think of these things. Or maybe it’s because I’m dealing with making large monetary decisions, more than I ever had to in my life. I run two businesses; that of art and that of renting rooms and the housekeeping of those rooms.
A big chunk of money is something that for me, gives my mind rest. It gives me the fuel I need, to recuperate and create anew again. And to be honest I haven’t had a rest in months.
I plan to work my but off until next year and then, hopefully take two weeks too slow my brain down followed by another two weeks which I’ll spend in Brazil or Mexico. No, not Mexico. I want off the continent! I’ve never traveled off the continent.
If I get to earning that much money I will be hiring a bookkeeper. YAY!
I’ve carried a lot of guilt around about earning money. It’s an anxiety; a shame. Something I wrote about the other night but did not publish because it’s one big long run-on sentence. Maybe I’ll publish that secret tomorrow to let it go and move forward.
As an artist or a supporter of the arts how do you feel about an artist earning a living wage? I say a living wage as minimum wage is not a living wage by any Western standard.
Mia is now a beautiful limited edition print available in the shop