Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Little Rambling about Value

I sit to write tonight thinking about the word, value.  Value is a diverse word with many meanings such as monetary worth, price, the things we treasure such as friendships, and our personal belief system.  It can also be defined as our worth to other people.  How do other people value you?  How do you value yourself?  

Due to the fact that I'm pretty much self centered.  I'll be talking about myself once again.  If you know me at all, you are quite aware that I hold myself in high regard.  I have a dream that I'm chasing and will continue to do so until I leave this earth.  I am on a journey that I will not deviate from at any cost.  I value that dream immensely.  Nothing or no one will stop me.  I also value myself as a decent person.  I have my many faults that most will point out rather quickly if you ask around, but I do try to help and be an encouragement to others whenever I can.  I also know from my own experiences, that the hardest thing to find when you need one is a friend.  I'll be that friend for anyone, whenever they need one.  

The hard part of life is finding people who value you in return.  They may value you, except in different ways than you value yourself.  As I've wandered through the galaxy lost, valuing myself as an artist, it seems that many of the people closest to me value me more for my other skills.  The fact that when I'm broke, I'm a halfway decent cheap handyman, for instance.  Many also value me for the fact that I'm capable of heavy lifting.  Few of those close to me value me for what I am, and what I love, and that is art.  

I'm not going to go into art, and it's value.  The monetary value of art is so different to many people.  One person may tell you it's not worth the price and her kid can make one for free, while another may say you should be asking more.  I rarely have prices on my work.  The monetary value of art to me isn't important, although I would like to be compensated as well as I can, like anyone else who works.  Many times, my prices are set by how much I feel my work is valued by the customer.  

I've told this story many times.  I was at a show several years ago in Chattanooga, TN.  A very well dressed couple came into my booth.  It was apparent that they were rather wealthy.  The gentleman in particular was rather rude, his wife didn't get to speak much.  She liked one of my paintings, and had her husband ask the price.  I wanted $100 for the painting, but tacked on a $50 asshole surcharge, just for him and told him $150.  He comes back with "I'll give you $75."  I said, "No sir, it's $150."  While I was talking to them, a young girl comes in my booth telling me how much she loves my art, and asks the price on the same piece.  I also tell her $150.  She looks sad, and says she wishes that she could afford it, because it was well worth $150.  I looked at her and told her that she could have it.  She tried to say she couldn't accept it, but i insisted.  The gentleman standing there in disbelief, says "I was going to give you $75 for that!!!"  I looked him in the eye, and said, "No hell you weren't either!!!"  The girl thanked me for the painting and I gave her a hug and she left excited.  The man and his wife were still standing there.  As he started to rant, I cut him off.  I told him that she valued my art, and thought it was worth the price that I was asking.  He only thought it was worth half of my asking price.  Had i sold it to him, he would have walked away thinking he had pulled one over on me.  I told him, the biggest difference is..... she's happy and going home with a painting that she will hopefully treasure... and you're going home with a mad wife!!!  As they walked away, she turned and smiled and gave me a wink and a thumbs up....  that was payment enough!!!  

Focus on people who value you, and what you want to be valued for... the rest of them will just want you to lift heavy shit.  

Art... Love... Perfect TV Hair