Do Sales Affect My Creativity? YES!
In my 30+ year career, I’ve had many ups and downs. There have been periods of great sales, good business connections and feelings of euphoria that have been followed by periods of slow sales and the worry that the world has forgotten about me.
I have recently suffered through a long period of slow sales, and that has in turn affected my creativity. The international “economy” bullet that was September, 2008 seemed to have missed me, until mid 2010 when it hit me – hard.
The rational thing to do in periods of slow sales is to take the time to build up inventory of sculptures and to accelerate one’s marketing and promotion. I did use the time to make more connections with prospective customers, but as the months passed with little sales, I began to loath going to the studio to carve.
I look back on the ebb and flow of my career and note that when sales are good, my creative desire increases. During periods of sluggish sales, I lose my desire to create.
My perception has been that as my patrons’ interest in purchasing my work slows, my talents are not being appreciated, and so why should I make more art? My ego is feeling crushed, and it says “Why bother carving things that people do not want?” It feels logical, and I am certain every other artist encounters the same reaction to slow sales having a negative effect on their creativity.
The great spiritualists of today tout that we should do our very best to quiet our ego, to not take it “personally”. I have tried to adjust my thought process in many aspects of my life, but I believe that an artist must let his ego in when it comes to creativity. However, I am still working at disassociating my creative ego from being affected by sales. It is a constant battle and thankfully Michelle is my pillar of strength during the slow periods, encouraging me to press on and reminding me that things will change. But the tender ego always doubts – will it change?
In 30 years, things have always changed, and I have to trust that with the continued hard work that we do, we will succeed. Thankfully, the last half of 2011 has seen a rejuvenated interest in the sale of my work, and I’m hoping it will continue into the New Year. I am already feeling my creative mood is again on the rise.
Have faith, fellow artists!