I’m an artist, not a vendor

It’s become fashionable to call artists “vendors” at shows. Excuse me, I’m raising my hand. Please don’t call me a vendor. I’m an artist. A vendor is somebody who sells their wares to the public. An artist is someone who has an idea or inspiration, creates a piece of work, creates meaning in his or her life, and takes it to an art show to see if anyone agrees.

Vendors are middlemen, they buy something at wholesale and re-sell it at retail. Artists make the things they sell.

One of the big problems today at fine craft and art show is, indeed, too many “vendors” and not enough artists. But please, give us the dignity and call us artists. It’s who we are.

–Quinn McDonald is an artist who makes journals, notecards and bowls made of handmade paper. See her work at QuinnCreative.

Hands of Time

Hands. They were the first tools, the first bowls, the first way to comfort, to fight, to feed ourselves.
Hands amaze me. The ancient image of a hand, the khamsa, is known to most ancient cultures as a protective talisman. Some have complicated, intricate designs. Some are shown with stones, generally blue ones, to indicate the eye of the almighty–the sky.
We have two of them and can use them independently or together. We clap to keep time to music, to show approval, to get attention. They make music, their shadows dance on walls. Without them we can’t write, wave, eat, brush our teeth, open doors.
Hunters and gatherers both need them. They are the artists first tools and ultimate control of the medium. The shape is familiar from petroglyphs to the spirit world. Useful, artful, sacred in prayer.
I’m grateful for my beat up, scarred, arthritic ones. I remember when I had long nails and tapered fingers. It was before I practiced my art every day. And I like these better. They’ve made art.

–Quinn McDonald is an artist and certified creativity coach who helps people through transitions and reinvention.  See her work at QuinnCreative.com
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