It was through chatting that I got a bit closer to the heart of why I'm so uncomfortable putting a price tag on my work. Or even calling the paintings I do, "my work" for that matter.
We all identify with certain labels in our life. I, for example, call myself a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, cook, vegan, runner, hiker, writer, reader...I think you get the idea. I feel like I can own those labels, rock them, if you will.
I see a person who sells their art and has their art on display as an artist. Up until a week ago I did neither of those things. So clearly, I wasn't an artist. I kept my creations in the high shelf of my closet, not entirely sure why I was amassing them but sure that I wanted to continue making yet another. A few weeks ago I was pretty proud of a painting I had done, I posted it on facebook (eek!) and the compliments came rolling in. Not only that, but talk of selling the dang thing were swirling and I was a bit in shock.
Imaginary conversations like, "Oh, no-no-no-no-no. You don't understand, I not an artist" where the person would reply, "Oh, I see. Thank you for telling me! I'll be on my way" would happen and I'd be relieved that I hadn't perpetrated a fraud on some poor confused soul.
As a result of my conversation yesterday, I realized that it's not up to me what art is to someone else. Nothing special has to happen to a person for them to be an artist. The space I put up between myself and "artists" is just that- an empty, meaningless (except I gave it meaning) space.
Consider that space gone.
Artists don't get dressed up to go to work....do they?