I’ve been brewing on this for a long while. Social media and online stores are the thing of the future. More and more opportunities to learn the ins and outs of perfect SEO and Facebook marketing pop up on our screens every day. The words “multiple income streams” are now part of a matter-of-fact career landscape. I’ve studied all of this; I’ve done it too. I’m dropping out of the race. Here is why.
Over the past several months, I set aside much time to build inventory and to begin to approach Vermont gift shops and galleries with my work. In the course of this process, I’ve enjoyed several heartfelt conversations with shop owners. This is having a noticeable influence on my relationship to my artwork as an end to an “income stream.”
Art stems from passion. Art gallery and gift shop owners do what they do out of passion. I cannot help but see this as a shared journey. Without them, the work I create with my mind and senses has no tangible way of touching the mind and senses of others. Without folks like me, those who choose to operate such establishments have no livelihood.
True, I could gain extra sales online; and I have. But this does not feel like the right course for me at this time. Online sales have provided much appreciated income and I am grateful, but I cannot help feeling I am robbing local businesses of live traffic in the process.
It could be argued that people who live outside of this area might not be able to purchase something from me that they really want if I do not offer it online. I would like to make a suggestion: If you happen to like my work, please go to a gift shop that is local to you and invite the owner to visit my website and to contact me if they are interested in carrying my work. This way, someone else with a passion and a brick and mortar establishment can benefit. Down-on-the-ground local.
Shops and galleries where people can explore color and creative objects with their bare hands and wide-open eyes can feed the soul in a way that is not possible from a computer screen. Part of the reason for this is that we tend to shop with others; even if those others are merely strangers who happen to be there at the same time. And, of course, there is always the opportunity for a heartfelt chat with the shop owner.
Does this mean that I think artists who sell online are wrong? Absolutely not. Selling online is, in itself, a creative process. As such, it must be embraced with heart and soul. As such, it is a matter of taste and choice, and flow. Selling online simply does not flow for me.
This being said, if you are an artist who contemplates similar thoughts from time to time, or if you feel moved to do so upon reading this, I invite you to take the plunge.
Please return to this website over time to see what’s new and to learn where to find my work. Thank you for shopping local!
Where to buy? (More locations will be added over time)
Whistle Emporium, in Hardwick, VT
Artists’ Mediums Art Shop, Cambridge, VT
Grand Isle Art Works, Grand Isle, VT
I also accept custom orders… they inspire new pieces I can then bring to shops.