The Profits of Art

I’ve sold 10 of my fruit and body prints so far. Officially, I’ve made a small prof­it, with the mon­ey being used to pay off the debt incurred from the pur­chase of much pho­to gear.

When Dan did my read­ing two years ago, he men­tioned that I see colours dif­fer­ent­ly from oth­er peo­ple, and that I should try mak­ing mon­ey off my art.

Back then, I was far from con­sid­er­ing myself an “artist”. I used my cam­era to express myself in cap­tur­ing mem­o­ries, not in deliv­er­ing mes­sages. At the first Emergence Exposition, Nisha would intro­duce me to peo­ple as a pho­tog­ra­ph­er. I would add the word ama­teur as a pre­fix, but Nisha would cor­rect me and say aspir­ing. I sup­pose I’m more inclined to agree with her now. Being able to sup­port myself like this (albeit in a small way) makes a big dif­fer­ence.

It’s a great feel­ing when some­one hands me a cheque, and on the lit­tle memo line is writ­ten “art”.

The best part of the entire process though, is meet­ing peo­ple. Not just meet­ing peo­ple I ask to mod­el for me, but when I’m deliv­er­ing prints as well. I get to see where they’re going to hang the pic­tures, and I get to meet their kids, their par­ents, their pets, their friends.

Most recent­ly, it was Tiana, who has two dogs, a cat, and a hus­band. I did­n’t get to meet Brent (or the cat) but I’m sure the oppor­tu­ni­ty will present itself at some time in the future.

No solicitors sign

Tiana feeds her dogs some treats.



Bernie roots


  1. That sign out front real­ly does work! Only rarely do peo­ple not respect it.;

    -Jehovah’s wit­ness­es (about half the time, but I’m at work and Brent likes to talk to them any­way)
    ‑Jerky secu­ri­ty sales guys []
    ‑lit­tle kids doing bot­tle dri­ves (I’d give them some, but appar­ent­ly we hoard them. We haven’t returned any since we moved to our house! You should see our garage… They are as neat­ly orga­nized as 2 years worth of beer and wine can be)

    Surprisingly, I haven’t got­ten many offers of treats…maybe some peo­ple don’t find their treats to be deli­cious enough? Just a few of those ‘world’s best’ choco­late bars. I was real­ly hop­ing for some girl scout cook­ies.

    On anoth­er note, I haven’t put up my print yet but it will go in my new­ly paint­ed stair­well (once con­struc­tion is done and the pos­si­bil­i­ty of it get­ting smashed is great­ly reduced). I had it out on my din­ing room table and my father in law saw it. He thought your series would make a great cal­en­dar… I don’t know if that’s too ‘sell out’ for you, but peo­ple do love a real­ly beau­ti­ful cal­en­dar… and the hot pep­per one would be PERFECT for February…

  2. Really? I’m a lit­tle skep­ti­cal myself; I used to have a lit­tle stick­er about no solic­i­tors but it relies on peo­ple’s good natures. In my expe­ri­ence, this does­n’t include politi­cians, and the Watchtower Society (also Jehovah’s wit­ness­es).

    And where I live, I’ve had absolute­ly no offers of treats ever since they changed our mail­box­es and got rid of the stick­ers. I would­n’t mind a box of choco­late cov­ered almonds every now and then.

    I con­sid­ered the cal­en­dar thing (co-inci­den­tal­ly enough, there are 12 pic­tures in the series), but I’d rather not be mass-pro­duced like Anne Geddes. I’d def­i­nite­ly get a kick out of see­ing peo­ple with Pepper Penis up on Valentine’s Day though.

  3. I for­tu­nate­ly get Jehovah’s Witnesses in Spanish. I get to say “Sorry, no habla Espanol” and away they go.…

    Congrats on the suc­cess. It’s an inter­est­ing feel­ing.

    I had a sculp­ture teacher who does huge civic plaza pieces now in bronze, is very suc­cess­ful. But when she began and was lit­tle more than a starv­ing artist/teacher, she said her typ­i­cal­ly Jewish moth­er would answer her every phone call with:

    Nu, D’ja sell any­thing?!?” (::pause::).

    She said this, for all its sting, was exact­ly the rea­son she val­ued art, because it made no sense with this line of thought. She nev­er approached it that way and told us not to. And of course, now her mom does­n’t need to ask.

  4. The Jehovah’s Witnesses around here have some kind of accent, but I can’t place it.

    It’s sur­pris­ing how so many peo­ple don’t under­stand that sell­ing pieces isn’t the point of cre­at­ing art. It helps to break even, how­ev­er, so that one can keep express­ing one­self in such a sat­is­fy­ing way.

  5. You are an aspri­ing pho­tog­ra­ph­er! You’re very tal­ent­ed and I’m glad that it’s pay­ing off, slow­ly but sure­ly. The best part about being an artist is the artis­tic reward, I love see­ing my stuff in print more than actu­al­ly see­ing the pay­cheque. Paycheque is def­i­nite­ly worth see­ing, don’t get me wrong :p

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