There’s a massive difference between need and want. A lot of holiday experiences are not at all what people need in their lives and are based on pure want.
A conversation with a mum of two and she’s telling me the hundreds of pounds of debt she’ll be getting into this Christmas to give her family “the best presents” she can. A lot of what she listed seemed to be throwaway items that will be forgotten by New Year, or expensive technological goods which are what her family “needs”. Meanwhile, buying art is very much a mysterious thing and definitely not on her list.
A different discussion with a friend who said he’d spent £110 on a mad night out in the pubs and clubs around town for a friend’s birthday. He seemed to think that the hangover he’d gained from it made it money well spent. I asked him whether he thought that the money could be better spent on buying some art instead and he said “Hell no!” Again, top on the celebrations list isn’t anything tangible.
It’s a strange society that means people will spend their money on a short lived drunken experience or a mountain of cheap throwaway goods rather than supporting a local craftsperson and getting a present with more longevity. Yes my art is a luxury item to most but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t a worthwhile gift to get somebody. I have a shop. My prices are reasonable and cover my time and materials and not a lot else. I’m not sure who visits it and I haven’t had any sales yet. But nevertheless it’s there and it’s open 24 hours. Click here to have a look and please share if you know someone who would like my stuff. Someone who wants my stuff.
But then, what is the difference between want and need? I want your money and you want to have nice presents this Christmas, but what do either of us need? I have enough coming in through my education work to provide a roof over my head and food in my belly and that should be enough. Yes, I’d love for you to own one of my artworks and get pleasure from it but my world isn’t going to fall apart if you don’t.
There are many people out there who aren’t as lucky and who are struggling to get even the basics (food, housing, bills) sorted. If it’s a choice between buying my art or supporting a local homeless shelter this Christmas, I know which one I’d prefer you do. In fact screw it! Don’t buy my art! Instead click on one of the numerous links below and give to somebody who needs a roof over their head.