Sunday, April 07, 2013
Not exactly No More Mr. Nice Guy, but maybe a little less of itLast year I gave away a lot of my art. Probably about 20% of the pieces I made. I gave them away to journalists who did articles on me, to friends who liked particular pieces, to friends who asked me to make pieces for them, to family members, basically to anyone who liked them.
You know what's crazy, though? I didn't even get a thank you for probably 90% of the stuff I gave away.
Like the woman I've known for probably 7 or 8 years (mostly online) who sent me a message on facebook to ask me to make a quote from a movie she liked. I made the piece, sent it out and didn't hear a damn thing until she wanted something else from me 2 months later (didn't hear from her again when I pointed her to where the item she wanted was listed in my shop).
Or my brother and sister-in-law - for the past couple years, we've only been doing Christmas gifts for kids (not the adults). Since I'm nice, last Christmas, I sent her a box containing stuff for her kids, a package of homemade gingerbread biscotti and a bottle of wine for the adults. I didn't even get an acknowledgement until a week after Christmas when I emailed her to ask if she'd gotten the package (and I know it's jackass-y to ask for acknowledgement of a present, but fuck her for not getting my kid anything). (and, yeah, I know I was talking about giving away my art and this wasn't about my art, but I still think it's fucked up since we're in April and they still never sent my kid anything for Christmas...).
Initially, I decided that I was just going to stop being nice. I mean, fuck people, they're all ungrateful fuckers, right? But then I realized that I'm not the one who needs to change the way I am. I don't give away stuff because I need a ticker tape parade, I give stuff away because I like when people like my stuff, I like to know that people want to have my stuff in their houses, I like people having my stuff in their houses (or offices). So I'm not going to stop giving my stuff away, I'm just going to put a little more effort into giving my stuff to people who aren't ungrateful jerks (although I am going to stop putting effort into getting Christmas presents for people don't find my family important enough to get presents for)
My point here is that lots of people act like they're entitled. And they're not. And neither am I, so I'm going to focus on being grateful for the stuff that comes my way - whether it's someone holding open the door for me at the post office, or the two or three people in the world who read my rambling emails or someone who likes my art enough to want it. I'm going to try to hold on to the good stuff and let the bad stuff slip through my fingers.