...serenity in motion

Keeping it in the family, Do you follow in your parent's footsteps?

Your parent does art, you have been schlepping their display and inventory most of your life.  Sooner or later, you might try doing something creative.  You might end up following in their steps but how does that conversation go? You may decide to do a 9 to 5, are you a dissapointment or are your mom and dad relieved?

Most of you know that I was raised in the business.  From 6 years of age, I was bored sitting behind the table.  I would beg my mother for money so I could go shop instead of sell.  It would never work, She was there to make money, not spend it.  As time went on, I would eventually begin to understand that.  It did take me over 8 years to figure that out.  Eventually, she would hand me several prints and say, "See if you can make a trade."  Thus was the begining of my entreprenuership.  Time went on and mediums change, eventually my mother went on to create what she referred to as boat anchors and door stops.  The last thing we delivered was and anchor worthy of a sailing vessel but I'm sure the collector would have been appalled to see her lifesized horse sculpture sitting on the ocean floor.

What all of this taught me was that; in this business it will never be enough to create art, you need to be adept at displaying and selling. Creating art that you are happy with, with is hard enough.  Trying to let it go to strangers is another lesson that can be painful in the begining, let alone trying to talk others into buying it. If you are considering making this a family business, you have the right to decide to do it differently than they did or even, not at all.  

One of the nice things about this business is that other artists tend to be supportive and willing to share what they themselves have learned.  Take advantage of their knowledge and what ever help they can give.  If you don't feel discussing it with your family, get over it.  They need to know where you stand and how you want to proceed.  This business is scary enough so, do your best to make sure that the family has a clear picture of what you are thinking. 

In the end, be honest with yourself.  If you love the business but don't want to try to make a living at it, be honest there too.  Getting a steady paycheck is a real alternative and you can always volunteer to help at a show or two.  Art is in your blood, it doesn't matter if you make it, buy it or even sell it.  You are ahead of most people because you can appreciate it.