When Your Work Is Sacred

“Quiet Agony” – 2013

I had an interesting experience just recently with a buyer, who by word of mouth had gotten wind of my work and decided to contact me in order to purchase some pieces. 

There I was, nervously excited as she listed the works she was interested in buying, when she said to me “…and that piece in the title on your website, I would like that too.”
All of my excitement came to a screeching halt. 

Me: “Uh, you mean the drawing in my logo?”

Her: “Is that what it is?”

Me: “Yes. My logo.”

Her: “Uh yeah, I would like to buy that too.”

A tinge of defensiveness begun to well up inside. At that very moment it felt as if someone was trying to reach into my soul and take something from me. 

Me: “It’s not for sale.”

Her: “Oh, it’s not?”

Me: “No, it’s my logo.”

Her: “Oh.” 😶

I could hear a bit of disappointment in her voice before she moved on to something else. When the conversation was finished and the transaction went through, I still couldn’t shake the defensiveness I felt. The piece in question that she wanted to buy was my drawing “Quiet Agony”. It’s the drawing that I use in all my online profiles related to my art as well as the image on my business cards and any promotional material. But this drawing isn’t just a part of my branding, it’s my Avatar, a visual representation of me; something I drew that represents my inner being. It’s as personal as an actual photo of myself, even though it isn’t an actual drawing of me. (I don’t have a fro hawk.) This is one of those pieces I could never part with. On the back I even have it written “NOT FOR SALE, EVER!”. I create a lot of drawings and although I may share them online, they’re not always for sale. I understand that it doesn’t hurt to ask and I know that sometimes I take down pieces from my website that may have been sitting there too long, like for a year, to make room for new works, yet are still available to be purchased but not everything is for sale. Some pieces are just sacred to me and this is one of them. I even have it in a secure safe place that if there was a fire, it would be the one piece that would survive, that’s just how sacred it is to me. 🙏

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