As an artist, I am immersed in a community that chronically undervalues itself. Just pop onto Etsy and check out the prices of beautiful handcrafted paintings and products. Take jewelry as an example. I used to make jewelry and I know how much materials cost and the labour involved. My fellow artisans weren’t even recouping the cost of their supplies, let alone making any money for their labour. Forget about any value placed on their creativity!
As a business woman, this would certainly frustrate me. It was impossible to sell my pieces for what they were legitimately worth, when as a community we were training our customers to ‘go for cheap’. More so though, I was greatly saddened. Why were all these Creatives placing so little value on themselves?
This mind set is certainly not the sole realm of artisans. So many times I hear “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”. “Oh, I am not creative. I just knit” … or garden, or cook, or whatever the person does that IS in fact creative. These statements are generally accompanied with a physical and metaphysical ‘pulling into oneself’. In other words, the person makes herself smaller, invisible even.
Oh, I am just as guilty! Just today a friend of mine insisted that I “step into my value”, when I undervalued a creative service I am offering. I tried to explain it away by saying I was used to the lack mentality of working with government departments. I have to call bull-poopies on myself! I was afraid of rejection if I placed a true value on my services.
That’s what it is all about, isn’t it? By stepping into our value as Creatives, we open ourselves up to judgement.
“I am an artist.” “Really? Have you sold any of your pieces?”
“I am a great cook.” “Anyone call follow a recipe.”
“I am totally addicted to adult colouring books.” “So you colour someone else’s illustrations. Big deal.”
To save ourselves the discomfort of someone devaluing us, we do a preemptive strike and do our own devaluing.
Well, I say “Screw that noise, sisters!” We don’t need anyone’s validation. We love to doodle, colour, cook, garden, knit, write poetry. We do it from our soul and with passion, and we have something tangible to show for it. That, my lovelies, is being a Creative. It makes us happy, and that has big time Value.
I know it, you know it, and we really don’t give a rat’s patootie if anyone else acknowledges it! Now go forth and create!
Lilith Phone Accessories