In these unsettling times I find more than ever it is necessary to infuse myself with things that inspire me on a daily basis. Otherwise it is easy to fall into a funk about the state of the world. It’s not like sticking your head in the sand, it’s like adding some positive tonic to the bad news that comes to us globally and in our own communities and personal lives. A friend and I discussed this as we walked down a forested, autumn road near our homes.
Bad news seems easy to come by. Inspirational news feed, not so plentiful. I just finished watching a lovely video series on conscious business (by Pedram Shojai). It’s about businesses that are making the world a better place and making a profit at the same time. These businesses care about the people who work for them (and compensate them well), the environment and making a sustainable living. It’s called a triple bottom line, a term I was unfamiliar with.
As a painter I wear a couple of hats (oh oh, you caught me in tired cliche mode). One is of creator, a fully engaging role on it’s own. But I can’t stop there, though I sometimes try. The other hat, slightly askew perhaps, is that of business person, a seller of my work. I have chosen to focus on selling my work online for a variety of reasons, one is to keep it affordable, but also to retain control over how little or how much I create, the size of pieces and direction of the work. Sales can seem like such a mysterious world to creatives.
In the effort to “market” my work I recently watched an awesome video from business coach, Rebecca Tracey of The Uncaged Life who’s honest and slightly renegade style I loved. After watching it I realized I don’t really know who my potential clients are and what motivates them to buy original abstract art. Kind of a humbling realization. Especially when Rebecca wisely let us know that if you don’t know who your potential client is and what problem you are helping them solve, you are unlikely to know what to do next.
So I thought I would reach out to you dear reader, as some of you have in fact purchased my work. If you have bought original, abstract art, would you be willing to tell me WHY? If you’ve purchased it from someone in particular, (not necessarily me) what motivated you to buy from that particular artist? And if you don’t buy original art, would you be willing to share the reasons why. All of it would be a lovely conversation to have.
I know some of you are fellow artists and once I have gathered this information I will happily share it with you if you’re interested. Just let me know.
And while this may feel a little distant from the dharma of daily life that I usually share with you, I assure you it isn’t. I think we are all finding our way or as Ram Das says “we are all just walking each other home.” Making a conscious living, doing what we love while benefiting others is in fact the essence of the dharma. Not only do we do no harm (one of the first precepts), but we bring joy to the world in some way. I feel like together, dear reader, we are part of this conscious community that has set out to live a life that contributes to solutions rather than problems.
In one of the videos I watched recently, author and pro-activist Lynne Twist said we are simply the hospice workers to an old dying system and mid-wives of a new one (this is part of the turmoil we’re seeing in our world that unsettles us). What a lovely gentle way to see what’s happening in this world. We are winding our way through a tangle of old ways of seeing and doing, moving toward a new, more conscious, inclusive world where the dollar is not the bottom line for how people and businesses behave.
Please share your thoughts with me in the comments, if you feel so inclined. Happy crisp days of fall!