A: Generally, it depends on who is doing the asking. If it’s an organization that has been supportive of my work, I am pleased to help with fundraising. If the organization and I have never connnected before, their out-of-the-blue request sometimes feels disrespectful. Artists invest decades, vast amounts of money, and plenty of blood, sweat, and tears to become the skilled creators that we are. And a New York artist’s overhead is considerable. I know of no artists who create their hard-fought work only to give it away.
Under certain conditions, however, I will participate. Here is my response to a recent donation request.
Thank you for contacting me. Certainly your organization sounds worthwhile.
However, you may be unaware that artists may deduct ONLY the cost of materials when we give our work to auctions. I suggest that you ask one of your supporters to buy a pastel painting and donate it next year (there is a one-year waiting period for collectors to take this tax deduction). Then we have a win-win-win! I get paid, the collector/donor gets to enjoy owning my beautiful work for a year AND take a tax deduction for the full amount that he/she paid for it. Plus, your organization gets to sell my painting at next year’s auction.
Don’t you agree this is a better approach for everyone involved?
Comments are welcome!
My blog turns 6 years old tomorrow! Here is the very first post from July 15, 2012. Q: What does it take to be an artist, especially one living and working in New York?
A: The three Big P’s – Patience, Persistence, and Passion. Without all three you will not have the stamina to work tirelessly for very little external reward. You can expect help from no one.
There are so many obstacles to art-making and countless reasons to just give up. When you really think about it, it’s amazing that great art gets made at all. So why do we do it? Above all it’s about making our time on earth matter, about devotion to our innate gifts and love of our hard-fought creative process.
And, my God, it even gets harder as we get older! So what do we do? We dig in that much deeper. It’s a most noble and sacred calling – you know when you have it – and that’s what separates those of us who are in it for the long haul from the wimps, fakers, and hangers-on. I say to my fellow artists who continue to work despite the endless challenges, we are all true heroes!
Lucky me to still be in the same studio! However, when you visit now, you see more tables full of pastels, more postcards on the walls, newer pastel paintings, etc. More importantly, what I wrote six years ago still rings true!
Comments are welcome!