A fellow just left our gallery and wants to sell me his equipment. He sandblasts kitchy kokepeli and other images from Southwest petroglyphs into stone tiles and I guess he has been successful until recently. He mentioned that he used to "bid against me" for some of the St. George Parade of Homes and that I used to frustrate his ambitions. It was kind of amusing because I don't really "bid". I just make objects that I enjoy making and if someone likes it, then they buy it. He discribed for me how they displayed my tiles since I didn't attend the home show.
Anyway, he's getting out of "the business" because he's not making any money. I have complete sympathy, our sales are down too, but I'm not getting out of art making. My studio practice is evolving in response to the down turn, in fact, I'm making objects that are more time consuming, more expensive and less marketable, but this isn't something I do just for money. When the times are good, everyone is an "artist", but when they're tough, the fair weather "artists" find something else to do. I told him he has to make what he makes for the right reasons, not just for money.
So this makes me wonder, why would anyone want to spend money and live with an object made by a guy that is only pandering to the market place? Instead, wouldn't it be more enriching to own work made by someone that makes their art because they have something to say, something to contribute to the overall conversation and because they just like making art?