Money talks in our world of *broken? Buy another* doesn’t it?
Or so I thought. When I first found out about pay as you feel, the idea just felt so right. Paying what you feel an item is worth to *you* is so revolutionary and yet so ancient. The part of my soul that belongs a few thousand years ago in a time of trading goods instead of hoarding metallic discs, really connected with it. Paying what *you can*. That a person could fall in love with something I’ve made and NOT be priced out of having it and using it and passing it on to their children seemed like a foolish romantic notion to being with, but that spark of possibility just wouldn’t go out.
That’s not to say that it’s been an easy ride, the whole *not pricing my goods* thing. When you’ve worn out a whole packet of thimbles and have a bit of a cross-eyed glaze after squinting until the wee hours too many nights in a row hand quilting or hand embroidering an heirloom piece, it’s hard to stop yourself adding up the time it’s taken to make it. It’s hard to not put a price tag on your creations. Mostly, with art, it’s just hard to Let It Go. On account of it being almost an extension of who you are and all. But we artists still have to feed our babies and pay our rent. So my business plan evolved to incorporate pay as you feel as part of my strategy for taking my work out into the world, and I think I’m beginning to see a happy balance.
It’s taken some time to get this balance. For me, pay as you feel has been a bumpy ride, but one I’ve been committed to persevering with. I’ve felt challenged by people who have offered less for an item than the materials cost me to make it. I’ve felt challenged by people who have wanted to offer me more money that I felt an item was worth *to me* and mostly, constantly, I’ve felt challenged by the notion that in order to have space in my heart and mind and home to create more, I must find ways to let the things I’ve already made out into the world to begin new stories.
Pay as you feel offers the chance for art to be accessible to all. And at the very centre of my commitment to the process is just that one concept. That art is not for those who can afford it, it is for everyone. And as artists there is a duty I feel, for us to ensure that somewhere in the history of our creative practice, this principle can have space to return. And to make our art all the better for not having a set price tag.
My latest #payasyoufeel event is running the evening of 29th February here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1762815197280012/
Maybe see you there. Kate.