There are two things that I hear constantly as an artist. Judgements on the cost of a piece of artwork and always the question of, "How long did that take you to paint?"
Hopefully this does not come across as a rant, but I wanted to be able to share my thoughts on these difficult questions since I encounter them quite often.
As an artist it is amazing to me how many people tell me that they would never spend a certain amount of money on a piece of artwork (yes, they do know that they are talking to someone who creates art for a living)... And mind you this little gem of information is always given freely without any invitation from me. After hearing that type of statement on so many different occasions I have really begun to wonder at that attitude.
Now here is the thing - I understand that not everyone is an art collector/art enthusiast - and that is ok!! It's totally understandable that you might not want to drop your hard earned money on a piece of artwork.... but that does not mean you can disregard its value just because you might not pay that much yourself. The value in a piece of original art is not just the sum cost of its parts and the labor put into creating it. The value in an original piece of art is that nothing like it will EVER happen again... it is its own singular, and completely unique, event. The value in it is that is has its own voice, its own soul, and it has the ability to evoke deep and authentic emotions from the viewer.
The other thing that I get so often is the question of how long a piece took me. Here is the thing about that - the hours it takes to create a piece of art cannot be used to assign value to it - because, for an artist, that piece of work is the sum of their ENTIRE career. They did not just sit down one day, create a masterpiece and slap a price tag to it based on the hours it took them to create that one piece of art. When an artist creates a painting they are using the sum of their life's experiences and skills - skills that were honed with years and years of practice!!
I do not think that everyone has to be willing to pay for original art but I do think that it is important for people to realize the value in a piece of original artwork and not question the price tag attached. Next time you wonder at the asking price just remember that an artist poured their heart and soul into that art, and are willing to share a little piece of themselves with the world :)
Just so this is not entirely a rant I do want to say that, on the flip side, there are so many amazing people who value the time and effort put into a piece of art and that is a huge part of what makes the art community so magical! Appreciating and supporting artists (even if you would not personally collect their art) is something I really love about the art community.