My friends and I had been enrolled in helping with the bake sale so we, too, stood there with nothing to do. I'm not sure whose idea it was, but finally we got frustrated enough that each of us took as many cookies, pies, and cakes as we could carry and went walking door-to-door through the neighborhood ... and came back, time after time, empty handed. The bake sale was a success and we had, inadvertently, learned a lesson about marketing.
Now, many years later and like many other artists, I'm trying to figure out the marketing side of art. There seems to be a legion of us standing by our tables of lovingly baked goods on a road with too little traffic. So the question is how to take our art to the people who would be interested in buying it. It's not quite the same as taking cookies door-to-door but that may still be a metaphor to contemplate.
People like cookies and they know exactly which cookies they like, whether it's sugar cookies with sprinkles or chocolate-chunk-with-pecan cookies. Most people are far less comfortable about art. Many feel intimidated by art, unsure that what they like is "right." They hesitate about buying art, afraid of making a bad decision, afraid of looking stupid, afraid of winding up with a black-velvet Elvis on their walls. (Personally, I loved black velvet art, but that's another story!)
And, of course, cookies are far more affordable than art. They are small, inexpensive indulgences whereas art is often an investment, a commitment to beauty.
Perhaps last and least, cookies don't have to match the couch! In a few minutes they're gone, leaving only a sweet memory. We've been schooled to believe that art lasts forever, that it gets handed down to the next generation, that it has to stay on your wall even when you can't remember why you bought it ... because it's ART!
What if we thought about art in the same way we think about clothes? Beautiful things to dress our homes, offices and studios. Beauty that makes us feel beautiful, peaceful, enlivened, connected to the world. And, when it stops "fitting," we pass it along to someone else and purchase the next experience of beauty. Maybe we don't have to "collect" art; maybe it should be ok to just wear it, enjoy it, savor it and then let it go.
Food ... or should I say cookies ... for thought.