If you are an artist or a crafter, you have probably had conversations with well-meaning friends or family members who find just the wrong question to ask. You know, the kind of question that makes you realize that they don’t really understand your work and why it is important to you. In an hour or two, you have figured out just what to say to them to answer their question and by then it’s too late. The moment has passed.
So to help you out. Here are a few ways you might answer some common questions that artists get asked. You might need to modify these to fit your work and your feelings, but they are a place to start.
Q: I could make those. That’s not too hard right?
A: I make it look easy. I’ve had a lot of practice. Also, the difficulty of creating something does not determine its beauty or value.
Q: Do you really have time to do this?
A: My work is important to my life. It is fulfilling and sometimes pretty profitable. I have made it a priority, and I am glad I have.
Q: Why do you need artist insurance? That doesn’t sound like a real thing.
A: I need insurance to protect myself and my business, and so that I can attend art shows and fairs to sell my work. Even though I love what I do and have a lot of fun, I am running a business, and I take that business seriously, so I need the sorts of things all businesses need including insurance.
Q: How much money do you make?
A: How much money do you make?
Q: Why do you make art?
A: Picasso said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” Art helps me feel like I’m taking this precious daily life that I’ve been given and using it to create something that reaches out to others and holds us all together. Even a homemade keychain has the power to give two souls a moment of mutual understanding.
I also like to spend time designing and perfecting something. I love the feeling of heading off to a craft show or art fair knowing that I have several boxes of work that I created with my own hands. That’s not something many other people could say even once in their lives.
Why do you do what you do?
Q: Do people really buy what you make?
A: Yes, most of the time. I wouldn’t stay in business if they didn’t, but I don’t judge the worthiness of what I do by how popular every piece I create is. I’m learning everyday. We are all, after all, works in progress.