This article is by Moshe Mikanovsky, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. An emerging artist searching his way in the art world, he loves to share what he learns. With over 20 years of technology experience, Moshe combines his technological background and his passion for the arts with the goal of "working his dream". You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
Last time I wrote and quoted some of Seth Godin’s wisdom about art and artists from his bestseller book Linchpin. There is so much I have learned from that one book, and I completely understand why and how this amazing entrepreneur-writer-blogger-artist is so influential in this time and age. Today, I want to share with you a very simple concept about gift giving.
The Circles of the Gift System
Godin brings an example from the art world, mentioning Monet as an example, but it works for any known artist out there.
There are three circles for each of us. The first is our close friends and family. We give them true gifts from our heart. We don’t care about bottom-lines and income when it comes to this circle. Monet gave paintings to his friends. We all do to ours.
The second circle is the commerce circle. We paint one-time commissions or sell original paintings (or even prints) to our collectors. Monet sold his paintings as well to his contemporary collectors. This circle can grow in time, but is quite limited in number.
The third circle is the rest of the world. The vast exposure of an artist via international museums, books of art etc. There is a real gift to be able to enter an art museum for the price of lunch and coffee, and enjoy all the gifts given to us by the masters of far and near. And similarly to that, in our days, the exposure of artwork on websites is available for the entire world to see!
And here is the magic, per Godin – in the third circle. The same way that museum exposure to the public, the third circle, increases the price of artwork, and creates demand by collectors who “have to have it” – once you give freely to the third circle, people will want to have what you have and will buy what you have. So the larger the third circle becomes, the second circle (remember – commerce, collectors, paying clients) will also grow.
And here is where it becomes so simple. Godin’s argument is that you don’t have to worry about the second circle at all. Just give your gifts to the first and the third circles, and the second one will take care of its own.
Think About Your Circles
So who is in your circle? The first one should be easy. It’s our families. Our friends. I have given many times artwork to them. And it is a true gift. Priceless.
It is pretty easy, but requires some work, to enlarge your third circle by giving gifts. And the gifts do not need to be pieces of art. Here are some examples:
- Share your artwork online, on your site, Flickr, Facebook or WetCanvas. There are so many places you can do it!
- Donate artwork to worthy charities that you believe in and are close to your heart.
- Volunteer in your local art group. Being just a member is only taking. When you give your time, you are giving and gifting.
- Write guest blog posts to other blogs. Many are looking for guest writers, and your one-time post is a gift to the blog owner and its readers.
- Participate in group art shows. Even if they cost few bucks for registration or jurying, this is your gift to promote local shows, art appreciation and community connections.
- Work with your kids, even their friends or school classes on art projects and initiative. Why not help their teacher paint the set for the next class’ show? All the parents and teachers will hear about it (I know, from experience)
- And many more ways…
Would the second circle come through?
Or in other world, would my sales increase? Will I be able to live from my art?
I would say – don’t worry about this at all! Don’t make art with the goal of making money. Make art with the goal of making a gift. The money will come.
Do you agree? If you do, let us know of situations that you saw how this concept works. If you don’t agree, tell us why. I would love to hear from you all.