Don’t Undervalue Your Art

Mass-produced hamburgers.

Mass-produced hamburgers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Would you sell your soul for a penny?  I think most of us would answer NO to that question.  To me, Art comes from the soul, whether it is a novel, a painting, a handmade piece.  When an artist creates a piece, he/she pours soul into it.  I wrote artist, because there is a difference between someone making something for commercial purposes, mass-produced, rushed, or repetitive, and someone who pours his/her soul into creating something.  I can see this in the self-publishing industry, were writers are taking advantage of the boom, and writing quantity, many times, priced very low, hoping to get momentum and creating a stream of constant flow of income.  There is nothing wrong with that, if that is what someone wants to do; however, when you love the craft and pour your soul into it, most likely, quantity will not matter.

That is the difference between product and art, the soul’s passion that goes into it.  Of course, eventually, an art piece/novel becomes a product in the market and will generate income, however, for the artist, the rewards go deeper than that.  It is the satisfaction of presenting art to the public, knowing that it is a part of him/her and has been crafted in due time – when it is ready and perfect enough in his/her eyes, to be released.

A hobby can be easily commercialized, mass-produced if you want; art is beyond that, bigger than money, however of value, extending from the inner self of the artist and going as far as it can reach the souls of others, and therefore, not disposable, but becoming immortal in the souls of those who appreciate it.

Ask yourself, am I an artist or a production leader?


Pride of Workmanship, a Ghost of the Past

This morning, while answering a comment, the same comment prompted this post.  I love vintage items.  To me, they speak of the pride in workmanship, which is hard to find in mass-produced items today.  Even the vintage Made in Japan items are full of detail if compared, and they were the laughing-stock in those days.  So when I am looking for something, first I look for vintage and then I search for handmade items.  Handmade items have that pride of workmanship that reflects in the object – same as yesteryear charm.  In the process I am helping the planet.

To put this into perspective, lets take luggage as an example.  I am a fan of vintage luggage, especially the old Samsonite.  It was strong, beautiful, and lasted forever.  You can still find this type of luggage from the 40’s in great shape.  Now, compare this to today’s luggage and you get my point – It rips easily, it is plain ugly, the zippers don’t last, and if you travel often, it can get expensive.  Today’s luggage lacks charm, detail, and quality.  It is true that we carry more stuff with us when we travel, and there are more pockets and compartments in today’s luggage; however, it seems as is functionality killed beauty and attention to detail.  Everything is so mass-marketed today, that it has lost enchantment – even books.

With all the technology we have today, things should be better, right?  Well, the opposite seems true.  I see it in many items – clothes, housewares ….  Let’s take books as an example.  Everyone is such in a rush to produce their books and put them out there (whether you self-publish or not) that the story is being sacrificed.  Now, it is all about what is selling in the current market.  So, before the crowds of readers ($$$) go into some other mode, we have to rush to get that story out.  Rush, Rush, Rush – it is all about Rush to get there first, before the market gets cold.  This is how we live today, how we teach our children to live, and how we promote living.  I for once am tired of it.  How do you feel about it?