On Giving

     Be generous with what you know. This is not just for artists, but I have known artists (even those who profess to be teachers) who hoard knowledge that they perceive to have been hard-won. I try very hard not to do this for several reasons.
     The best reason is that I have been so grateful to artists who have shared the simple gifts of tips and tricks, great products or services they use, and their time. This is not a criticism of charging for teaching or time as part of your livelihood. I gladly pay artists for teaching multiple times a year. And I often share knowledge I have paid dearly to learn for free with others. Because I can.
     Examine your reluctance to be generous with your expertise. If someone is taking advantage of your time, or trying to bypass necessary steps to copy your work, that is not acceptable. If you spent months finding a great vendor, however, you should help them out by recommending them. Helping a friend get business or a quality product takes nothing away from your own time or work.
     I am fortunate to have wonderful friends who have opened their studios and homes to show me techniques, let me test supplies and try out equipment. Having a network of generous and supportive artists is part of the community component of the practice. I also share gallery and venue information to help others with showing opportunities, and often recommend seminars and workshops. Make contributions to the careers of artists who follow you, and show gratitude to those who have blazed a trail. Be a living tribute to the master/apprentice tradition of artistic learning.

This painting was made using borrowed paints, borrowed tools and in a borrowed studio. Share all you can!

This painting was made using borrowed paints, borrowed tools and in a borrowed studio. Share all you can!

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One Response to “On Giving”

  1. Jen Knoedl December 10, 2015 at 1:11 am #

    This is a really great attitude. I have so many people to thank along my own journey- thanks for the reminder.

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