Go Ahead, Try This at Home

16 05 2012

FOREWORD: This post is dedicated to my fine artisan friends who’ve separated me from my money in exchange for beautiful, useful, comforting, and stunning works of their imagination and hard work.  They enrich my life and bring me joy.

Buying work directly from the hands of the artist who made it is like buying fresh tomatoes from the farmer who grew them; the taste is far sweeter than any you could pick up at the grocery store.

Oh, yeah?  Well, I can grow my own tomatoes! 

Okay, so can I, but I choose to get them from a local farmer, instead, because growing tomatoes is hard work for someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy farming.

Have you ever heard someone, blundering around a fine craft show, say, “Well, I could do that.”  Okay, assuming the speaker was adept enough to actually make the object, would they make it?  Would they have the studio space, the equipment, the raw materials, the time, the patience, and – most important – the creativity and inventiveness to think of making such an object had a real artist not displayed it at a fine show?  If the answer is “yes,” I would bet the words would never have been uttered.

At a juried fine craft show, some years ago, a fellow picked up one of my small enameled dishes and said loudly, “I used to do this in Boy Scouts – we called ‘em ashtrays.”  The customers in my booth grew suddenly silent.  I smiled and said, “Of course, and I like to take black and white landscape photos on the weekends, but it does not make me Ansel Adams.”

Don’t get me wrong; I am all for dabbling.  I love to try lots of media, some with success, most with a glorious mess.  I would just like to see us all give the same respect to the talented professional artists among us as we do other professionals in our lives.

Hey Doc, Why should I pay you to stitch up my kid’s busted head? I can embroider. 

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8 responses

16 05 2012
Wendy Edsall-Kerwin (@wtek)

You totally crack me up Paula, I could see you saying that.
That happened last week at the Guild store. A customer was walking around saying, I have a friend who does glass, I know a woodworker that could do that, I could make that and that. It was driving me crazy. Eventually she did buy something. I guess she didn’t know any leather workers ;^)

16 05 2012
Christine

Paula. This is especially happening in photography because when some folks buy a prosumer digicam, they fancy themselves the latest hot wonder to fine art photography. When I hear “Oh,I can do that,” I say “Oh, then you absolutely should.” And then, I like to have a little fun. So, I’ll say something like “Hey, do you have a favorite aperture for backlighting trees on water in the fall at the magic hour?” And that usually leaves them mouth agape!

16 05 2012
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Photographers have it rough nowadays, but I love this quote from Paul Grecian, a fine professional art photographer, like you. “Lots of people have word processing programs, too, but it does not make them poets.”

17 05 2012
lindabillet

As a mosaic artisan, I frequently get the my-kid-can-do-that (blindfolded) line. It doesn’t matter whether they meant that as a compliment to their kid or as a jab for me. I immediately undestand that this person is not my market anyway. I try to squeeze out a little extra love for them in case they meant it in a mean-spirited way because I know that the universe will have some lessons on the way for them. I know I can always use a little extra love when I am experiencing my growing pains so I give it to them. I don’t even need to say anything.

Besides, maybe their kid CAN mosaic as good as me! There’s room for both of us and I wish them well.

17 05 2012
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Billlet, as for my own work, had there not been others who were obviously uncomfortable about the man’s chutzpah, I would have ignored it. What I can’t do is just listen to people minimize the ability, desire, sweat, and courage of my dizzyingly brilliant friends – like you!

17 05 2012
Librada Vagnozzi

Yes, I had that happened to me, some people would say something like they can get some beads at the local store and just strand them, MAYBE they could , but do they have the inclination? Can they think of form, color, balance,movement? Yes anyone can strand beads, what not everyone can do is design. I leave it here, but I could probably come up with a book about this.

27 05 2012
Arsonette Artworks

Reblogged this on arsonetteartworks and commented:
Related to my ‘Living in the art orchard and Belated Feature Artist Friday’ (posted 19/05) here is the inspiring post! Although my use of metaphors seems to have been greatly mistaken seeing as she describes art to tomatoes not apples!
Beyond that although I have to admit to being one of those people who hates art which ‘I could do myself’ I do greatly enjoy the rest of this post and it does make a very valid point. Just because I ‘could’ do something myself doesn’t mean I would. I suppose if I was going to further analyze my opinion on art I would cut it down to disliking art which I could do myself…in five minutes. I appreciate (at the very least) when there is obvious effort in art. Which is why I love buying straight from artists! I don’t know why but it just feels like I am rewarding them for their effort in a more personal and effective way.
Either way I love this blog! And hope you guys do too. Why not follow them?

27 05 2012
scorchedeyebrowstudio

Thanks for the reblog, Arsonete!

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