It was a risk but with the uncertainly of the jobs market we decided at the beginning of the year to see if we could make it this year working together as a team full-time as HarmstonArts. We both have always had other jobs in addition to this and my corporate life had been a big part of our income. So what did we learn this year? First and foremost that after more than thirty years of knowing each other we really could stand to be around each other 24 hours a day. We learned that we were really happy doing this full-time, knowing that our successes and our failures were ours alone both to cherish and to resolve. We learned that what we were offering in the marketplace was not for everyone and that there simply were parts of the country that we were better off leaving off our list in 2012.
Best of all this year we found out that there are people from our distant past who decided to go to an awful lot of trouble to find us. We were reacquainted with childhood friends, cherished coworkers, dearly loved family members. We had moments when we were able to make a sale to someone that included a connection that surpassed much more than an exchange of art for money and for that we will always feel blessed. Finding confirmation that what we put on the walls could mean as much to someone else as it meant when it was created is the reason that all artists decide to put themselves in such a vulnerable position and this year we were fortunate to have some very special moments.
We also learned rejection when we had times when no one seemed to like what we had to share. Was it the images, was it the prices? We probably won't ever know but it definitely was a sign this year that the economy has hit the independent artist hard. How do you explain the change in customer's perception of worth in the art world? Does original art mean very much in a world of bargains? As we struggle with our all original artwork we will continue to appreciate the many clients that have supported us and what we do.
The economy has made many people artists these days and there are so many people looking to quickly put something out there for people to buy. We also search for other ways to create new items to sell so I certainly can't fault the industriousness in anyone. Yet will people stop appreciating original artwork that takes months to make?
Time will tell but for now we will continue on the road ...together
Bonnie Harmston works side by side with her husband Steve and travels the art show circuit with him.