Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thoughtful Blog Post from Lisa Call

"Welcome Complexities #1" (detail)

Back in September I wrote a post on art quilter Lisa Call's gallery talk about her show at The ArtQuilt Gallery. Since then I have greatly enjoyed following her blog, in which she offers thoughtful insights about making beautiful work, pursuing an art career and living a fulfilled life.  A while ago she wrote a post entitled "How and Why I Grow and Share Wealth with Every Textile Painting I Sell," and I was struck by her thoughts on how an artist can bring positive changes to her own life and the larger world using the flow of wealth (whether it be great or tiny) from her artistic practice. 

Here is a small piece of the article explaining her concept: 
"Each month, I calculate my gross income from art sales for the month and then take 2 actions that I believe are 2 of the most important things I do each month for my art business: 
1) I transfer 10% of my gross art income into a savings account. When this account builds up to a reasonable sum, I transfer it to a brokerage account, where I then purchase individual company stock.
2) I select people, causes and institutions that have inspired me during the past month, and then give 10% of my gross art income to those selected. The giving I do each month is not always deductible, as this is not about taxes, it’s about recognizing the abundance in my life and sharing it with others.
Even if my art income for the month is only $30, I still donate $3. And I save $3. 
I consciously take these actions each month, recognizing that through my art, I am able to both share what I have and also build a future for myself."

The post also contains all kinds of other excellent insights, which you should go check out. 

I absolutely plan to adopt this practice, and I think that at this very early stage in my career I could also add a third category: setting aside an additional 10% of my gross income from each piece to be used for covering the expense of applying to future shows. This can be very costly, but it is a necessary part of building an art career. Contributing money during times of success can help to prevent this annoying ongoing expense from becoming a barrier to future growth. 

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