Friday, December 3, 2010

Times are Tough for Everybody

When money is tight, and the economy is hurting, artwork is the last thing people think about. It was and always has been a luxury item; something people buy after food and rent.

It’s not a staple. You don’t need it to survive. When all is said and done, art is the last thing you consider buying after all your bills are paid. That is if you have any money left at the end of the month. With unemployment at an all-time high, these factors have increased ten-fold.

I shared some “starving-artist” recipes with you awhile back, and joked about how that phrase goes in and out of fashion, depending on the economy. Today it’s not a joke, and competition between artists is getting ugly.

There are many “wanna be” artists out there; people who hang up their shingle thinking they might make some extra cash when times are tough. Doodlers and drawers come out of the woodwork and offer their wares at next-to-nothing cost. People are getting hungry and desperate. The disparity between the rich and the poor is growing.

I didn’t intend to make this a doom and gloom piece, but it seems to be heading that way. Even normally successful businesses are being hurt. Government policy, unsavory business practices, and greed have brought us to our knees. Like you, I’m waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel.

Our economy needs us to go on a spending spree, but most of us are tightening our belts. After all, it was our money taken from us through taxes that got us into this mess in the first place. And now they’re asking us to give them even more by increasing taxes on gas, food, and staples.

If we managed our personal budgets the way the government manages our tax dollars, we’d all be living on the street.

This holiday season, I wish each of you cheer, blessings, and the faith in yourself necessary to get you through this. I’ll need the same. If we pull together, support one another, and help one another, somehow we’ll get through this. On the bright side: art is an investment; it can lift your spirits and define your "space" in a good way.

Photos in this blog, including my bird artwork, were taken inside the “Green ‘n Groovy” store at Bella Vista Shops off Daniel’s Parkway in Fort Myers. Owner, Lisa Boucher, has a broad array of merchandise from recycled art, funky jewelry and clothing to new and unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.