...serenity in motion
Vendor, artist, craftsman….. What is the difference?
You want to start a fight on a pastel facebook page? Ask if they draw or paint. If you want to start a fight on an artist’s page, ask this question, Vendor or Artist? It gets volatile pretty fast.
How do I see myself? Depends on where I am standing at the time. I will always be an “Artist” but if I am doing a big artshow, I am a vendor. Why? Because I am selling something. I am in the act of sales (well, I hope) and for the organizational pyramid at an artshow, I am a vendor.
Big artshows like the Edmonds Art Festival in Washington State; have artists who are selling out of a display, artists competing in a gallery show, performers on stage, people selling food, student artists, volunteers, show directors, assistant directors, parking assistants, bus drivers….. By labeling the artists in the booths “vendors”, they know who they are and what they are doing at the show. There isn’t resale items, crocheted salad forks, or fund-raising organizations there and being a vendor, you are understood to be “Artist who is selling out of a booth”. It isn’t an insult or degradation, it’s efficiency.
There are artists who will call themselves an artist no matter what. They think that being a vendor throws them into the huge pool of people who sell anything. In a recent discussion on facebook, I mentioned why I was not upset with the vendor designation and got the response, “A vendor sells kettle corn and buy and sell crap. And what do you offer the art show patron?” As a reply I posted the link to my website. The poster was very complimentary after looking. This poster has been in the industry for several years and won’t refer to himself in any other way but “Artist”. It is a choice and I understand why they feel that way.
I am proud of what I do and I am not going to worry about needing to label myself because my work speaks for itself. Using the title of artist isn’t always the way to promote yourself either. I was telling a lady about my mom who at the time was selling her bronze sculptures, I used to just say, “She is an artists.” When she saw my mother’s work, she exclaimed; “You didn’t tell me she was an Artist!” Well, yes Judy, I did. When it comes down to it, until you see the work; you don’t know what caliber an artist might be.
I don’t mind being a vendor, my art speaks for itself.