Unknowingly we might contribute to how other people value our efforts by how we treat our own paintings. Do we treat our paintings with respect, store them in a safe place, handle them with care, or frequently give them away?
The artists who film with us treat their work with respect. Their artworks are shipped in sturdy, well padded boxes with the paintings in cellophane sleeves or large plastic bags. When they handle their work, it is with care. Their professional behavior shows they value what they do and that others should value it as well.
All artists sometimes donate their work as part of a larger marketing scheme, to get their name "out there". Additionally, they may choose to donate some of their work in support of a cause. However, I think there is a danger of donating one's work too often. The general public needs to understand that art, like the efforts of an architect, accountant or teacher, is the result of study and focus. It is the basis of one's livelihood.
Recently, I heard of a renowned artist that was asked to donate a significant work to mark the opening of a new art museum. The painting was to be the focus of a major fund raising drive. The artist declined. He suggested that a donor buy his painting and donate it to the institution. That way the donor receives a tax write-off and social recognition for his efforts, the organization has the painting and the artist gets paid. This may seem a bit selfish of the artist until one remembers that the architect, builder, and museum director are all paid. And, to add insult to injury, the artist can only write off the price of materials, unlike the donor, who can write off the full amount of his purchase.
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