Shop Talk :: Mending a Relationship with Money for Art

I'm gonna be real honest here.
I don't have the easiest relationship 
with my art when it comes to money. at. all.
Mostly because I've never known anything but a lousy relationship with money,
or a lack thereof.
This one goes deep down within.

In the messed up story I've been working on re-writing, it has always gone something like this:
money either 
1) comes at a high price 
(like for the exchange of my sanity, time and life force, creative energy in a jobby-job), or 
2) I 'pay' (in lack of it) for choosing my well-being and passion 
over the conventional trade of status quo.

I don't have it figured it out yet.
But I'm sick of living with this one, so I'm re-writing and editting
and stretching into places of discomfort just to... see how it goes.
When I started this blog it was to hold myself accountable
for what I choose to embrace and discard within the life I'm creating,
the life I'm stepping up to. 

In many ways, the barriers in my relationship with money are what steered me away
from trying to live my life as an artist for some years.
Even though I used to sell pieces hanging on walls or sitting on pedastals in galleries,
I couldn't see how living my art could provide a living.

Many years later, I have learned a few things,
and I do have a newfound heartcentered conviction about my creative life,
but I'm still recovering from that sense of hopelessness and distrust.

I come from a childhood of monetary poverty
and a whole slew of shitty circumstantial instances
that led my little girl brain to pattern into self-blame and shame
for any sense of lack or hardship that surfaced.

Like I said, this is deep.
And I was hesitant to share this, but I know in my heart
that there are more people out there who can relate to this on some level than not.

It has sometimes been such a self-absorbed pattern of thought
that even when someone I knew bought my art,
I rarely let myself believe it was because they actually thought the piece was good.
(yikes, Hali, right?)

And it got so bad, that I began to hate making art 
because of the conundrum of trying to make art to sell...
I was facing the wicked barbed wire of perfectionistic, controlling expectational guesswork
that surrounded a tired soul stuck in the imagined muck of not-good-enough.

*sigh* i feel better just getting that off my chest. :)

This is deep and messed up, and it is about way more than money. 

When I began making art again, a little over a year ago,
I was doing it just for that part of me that was trapped behind walls and fences,
gasping for creative liberty without expectation or destination;
the starved part of me that Has to Make Art (you know, cuz I'm an Artist).

Intuitive art making fit perfectly into the beautiful imperfect places that make me who I am,
into the places that needed the healing and nourishment
that have helped me expand the capacity for love I bestow upon myself and my life.
There was none of the pressure of my art endeavors, imagined or real,
because money played no role.

Except that it does now,
because within the safe place of Fearless painting,
every fear and dream, every blessing and conundrum of life, eventually presents itself.

Sometimes, most often, in very personal and private ways
within the practice itself.

Sometimes in funny ways,
like when people asked me if they could purchase prints of the first Prayer Painting.
(Which I allowed, but made me feel way out of my comfort zone).

It should be no surprise to me that in this intuitive process,
(which I thought kept me safe from the 'superficial' issues of monetary exchange 
and the deeper metaphor it has for blockages within me),
the very route to living my dream of a creative, sustainable life
has me facing my wounded, tricky relationship with money and art.
Obvious, right?

There is healing to be had.

This all makes me remember something a friend once said to me, when I was much younger,
as I was wondering if art was worth the struggle and heartache.
She said something like this:
"You've been given the gift of creative talent,
straight from Creator. I mean,
Who are you to keep that energy from the world?"

As I type that, I could just kiss her if she were here. (miigwetch, Holmes)
I finally get it.
Thanks to a lot of time, hard lessons, difficult choices,
and more beautiful advice and support from loving friends along the way.

So, the healing of my relationship with money,
with allowing myself to receive the exchange of energy for my gifts and talents,
begins with this little declaration:

I paint for me. 
To connect with my Higher Power, Creative Source,
in honor of the gifts I feel and receive in doing so,
and to remain centered within my highest self
and devoted to the Creative Mystery of this amazing life.

Sometimes, I also open my heart to paint for others, 
in this same sentiment and for the power of the collective.

Some of this art, I will share.
Some of it I will make available for purchase, with no expectation, 
just openness to sharing and participating in the possibility of energetic exchange.

My worth and value do not depend upon 
the exchange of money for my art,
but I will open the doorway to the possibility of that exchange without fear,
in honor of the creative life I am opening my heart to receive.

I know that the only thing of true value to me in this
is that I continue to show up to my practice,
living my true devotion and passion as best I can.

The rest is out of my hands.
So I'm choosing to see it simply as a curious game of potential exchange,
and an opportunity to heal old patterns of thinking.

So, with all of that said,

I invite you to visit my ETSY shop,
if you feel like it -
which is quite quaint and probably will remain so!

If not, I love you still, just the same...
and you can find me in the studio, if you need me.


(UPDATE:  As this post sat as a draft waiting for editing, the painting at the top SOLD in my ETSY shop!! To a beautiful soul!!  If THAT isn't evidence of the power of this amazingly literal energetic exchange, if we just open ourselves to it, I don't know what is!!!  
Thank you, kind soul for welcoming my art into your life - and thank you, Universe, for being so freakin' awesome I can hardly stand it sometimes!!!)