A question for you my readers…

Mate man has suggested that my being open and honest about why I am selling my art in this way at these prices is heavy handed. Maybe too much info? 

I am torn, I see his point, but I also feel like I have no problem with sharing a fact of life with everyone, I have no shame, never have.

I can’t control how anyone reading my words will respond to them. I think it  might make some people feel good that they are spending in total maybe 24.00 bucks, and for that they get art and they provide the money that will buy the food that four people will live on that day.

Again, I am torn.

So, I want to know what you all think, from your human sides and your business sides. How much transparency is good and how much is too much?

I’m not looking for pity, I just want to make that clear, I am also not asking for donations or charity, I am willing, able and I am currently working my butt off. I am doing 60+ hours a week at my life coaching job…I can cover rent and utilities, it’s food and car insurance/payments that I’m not able to cover so I choose to sell art to try and make that happen. I can not and don’t want to go get food stamps. I can’t get them because we have assets (two cars), when they get repossessed, then I’ll qualify…or I could leave mate man and get instant welfare. Those are my choices right this moment. The food banks are empty and for people that I know are way worse off than I am, I have a roof over my head at least. 

Mate Man spends at a minimum 4-6 hours a day looking and applying for work, he’s had one interview already. He also has signed up with temp agency’s for possible short term money making. We have filed with the EEOC and unemployment, those have waiting weeks and investigation time tables. We are doing everything that we need to do to make this work.

Just want to make that clear too.  

Now back to the question… 

Am I being heavy handed or ruining my “persona” by keeping it really real?

Anyone? This is important to me and I know a lot of really smart people (you out there), so please…how much is too much? Do I look like a fool? Do I appear to be begging? Am I hurting my art career by basically hawking my wares in this manner?

What do you think?

Please tell me the truth as you see it.

I really want to know.

With a whole heart,

Heather

http://www.badkittyartstudio.com 

9 Comments

  1. Cynthia
    March 20, 2008

    Heather, I commend you for looking for a way to support your family without resorting to welfare or for losing any of your assets. This is a temporary situation for you and will come out of this for you are a strong nurturing woman/mother. I can feel it. There’s no shame in accepting a helping hand whether it is via food stamps or the kindness of strangers. With our current economy – it could be anyone of us losing a job. How close are we really to losing the roof over our heads?

    Fire sales being what they are sort of hint at desperation and personally, I feel a bit like I would be taking advantage of you for getting your art work at a steal. I actually looked for a paypal button (you used to have it on your old blog) to flat out send you some money.

    Blogging being what it is, I feel like in a sense, I know you a bit though we’ve never met. Friends help friends – whether it’s a shoulder to cry on or giving a little bit to help you.

    I’m not sure if I really answered your question, but you are who you are and you are and your blog reflects that.

    Reply
  2. Pavel
    March 20, 2008

    Heather,
    I’m sorry I haven’t visited in a while but I see you’ve been busy with your amazing gift.
    I am so sorry your family is experiencing financial hardships right now. It’s hard to get by right now, even when you have a job, or two, because of the economic situation.

    I agree with Cynthia. First I also commend you for working for a living in order to support your family. We all work for a living, whether we go to an office or use our talents like painting or playing music. I think it’s a wise business move on your part to create some art that is more affordable to others because everyone else is having a hard time making ends meet and they may not have enough disposable income to pay you what you deserve for your art, even though they want to own your art. Later, when the economy gets better, you can raise your prices accordingly.

    It makes sense. Big companies do it. Just this morning, I heard on NPR how the CEO will try to boost sales by having a few more items on the menu with a lower price.

    I think it’s perfectly okay to tell us, your readers and friends, really, that with these sales you will be able to put food on the table. I know where you’re coming from and I’m sure many others do as well. Personally, I admire you for it.
    That being said, I also agree with Cynthia on something else. It would be nice to know that if we wanted to send you money to help you, that you would provide a way, like Paypal, or your address. I know, I’ve never met you better, but I sure have known you for a while, known about your family and kids, mate man. I know you’ve known about my life, my current struggles with my marriage/divorce, you’ve seen my kids and their stories. That’s not real different from a nearby neighbor, is it?

    In short, we’re friends. It’s okay to tell friends when you struggle. That’s what friends are for.

    Pavel (pavelplas@yahoo.com)

    Reply
  3. badkittyartstudio
    March 20, 2008

    Both of you have made really good points, I appreciate it. The reason there is no paypal buttons for the art or for the donation one I used to have on my blogger blog (which is still there and working) is because I can’t seem to get them to work on this blog. ARGH! I tried adding them to everything for hours yesterday, and didn’t get anywhere. So instead of not posting…I just added the contact me here link for something easy for people to use. It’s frustrating me to no end I tell ya.
    I think the term fire sale is a problem…and I thank you for pointing that out…I had not thought of it in that way. I need a better hook that does not smack of desperation. Got it, I really appreciate it a lot. I’m not being taken advantage of, the art is and was made for the act of selling….the supermarket won’t take it in trade for food yet, so you know…I’ll take what the market will provide at a steady rate. That’s better than no dollars. As far as the food stamps, I’ve done that when I needed too, and could qualify, no shame there either…we just don’t qualify. I know we’ll make it, we always do. I just figured out that I don’t really care about making art for fame, I just love and get really feeling good stuff from selling art…as long as I can do that….then I feel great and successful in my passions and gifts. So, I just wanna sell art so I can keep making it, and feeding my family too. I don’t know I guess I just let myself second guess the whole thing because instinctively I knew something was off about my approach. This has and is helping that refinement into my path of authentic living. Fearless and able to ask for help when I need it. I love you both for taking the time to show up in my life when I put out the call and see me. I don’t have elders or extended family to ask these questions of, and friends well…you guys are my friends, and you are real and incredibly important to me. Thanks, for real.

    Reply
  4. sara
    March 20, 2008

    Hi Heather,

    While I understand your concerns about all of this, I think you are dong everything right. You have the fire sales, but you also have other pieces going at their regular rate. I think telling us what is gong on, keeping it real is ok. I know I want to know what is going on because even though we have never met in person, I feel like I know you to some degree and I care about you. This is a temporary situation. Things will get better. In the meantime, keep doing what works for making money. I hope this helps.

    Take care my friend!

    Reply
  5. Chris O'Byrne
    March 20, 2008

    Hi, Heather.

    I also think that keeping it real is the right way to go. You’ve always connected personally with your customers and readers and there’s no reason to change now. You haven’t come across as whiny or pitiful, just matter of fact and straightforward. Let people know why you’ve lowered prices and let them know how much they are helping you by buying.

    I also agree with Pavel. Add a Donate button for those people that want to help out. In fact, you would say something just along those lines. Don’t think that everyone is feeling pity and going “poor Heather”. More often than not, they’re just picturing themselves in your shoes.

    Reply
  6. San
    March 21, 2008

    Heather, I respect your honesty. There’s not one blogger out here who hasn’t experienced setbacks, whether financial or otherwise. Why would we pity you when we’ve been through similar trials? Empathy is VERY different from pity.

    Also, I know that from selling art for lo these many years, people never buy anything out of pity. They buy because they like the product and they have the money to buy it. It’s pretty simple.

    Reply
  7. Jeannine
    March 21, 2008

    I am sorry you and your family are going through something such as this.

    In good times and bad, it is always best to be true and real. I see no problem with what you are doing.

    Reply
  8. Kalliope Amorphous
    March 21, 2008

    I really empathize with this post and agree with what others have said here.

    I am of the opinion that it is always best to be honest and do what you have to do/what works for you at the moment. No matter what or how you do it, it doesn’t change your art.

    So sorry you have to go through this….I am familiar with this sort of panic and worry. It will pass, no doubt, so my wishes are that you are able to move through this phase of life quickly.

    ~*~*blessings~*~* Kalliope

    Reply
  9. kathyholmes
    March 30, 2008

    Heather – I admire your directness. And I think it’s very difficult to sell online as an independent. So many read blogs to get information, to connect with others, to get freebies and something else I meant to say but forgot.

    It gets frustrating not to be paid for your work or to be paid what you’re worth. So I hand it to you for being blunt. Sometimes you need to just say it and people will get the idea that many of us are spending so much time on our blogs, hoping to make sales.

    I’d love to buy some art right now but we had so many expenses moving across the country and buying the house. I hate to even mention it. But I have to seriously look for more freelance writing work – book sales have stopped now – one woman even asked for a freebie – I don’t have free books sitting around.

    And so I can’t continue spending so much time blogging – I need to focus on bigger paying markets. And then I’ll be back to buy some art. In the meantime, I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Reply

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