Jimmy bonded with my dad almost instantly through antiques and collectibles. It didn't take him long to love and value things made in the past. He would later work side by side with my dad refinishing and repairing antique furniture. We spent a lot of years together with my parents hitting the road in search of long neglected pieces to restore or renew. Each piece we found would gain in value just because we could see the gem through the rust, the layers of dust, the peeling paint or the battered appearance that other's couldn't always see. We invested our money in broken down pieces of furniture and almost always turned a profit with a little bit or a lot of sweat equity.
We considered the antique items we collected personally as part of our savings account. We counted on them gaining or retaining their value through the years...some did and some didn't. We were and still are "purists" and often would turn down a piece even if the price was right because it had been made from two different pieces of furniture, commonly referred to as "married furniture". There was more value in "original" than in completeness. We thought the missing piece or the wear from daily use added character...and value.
I never thought of my art in that way. In the way of thinking that it may have value to other people. The way of thinking that if I invested in myself and my art that there would be people out there, total strangers that would purchase my art and feel that they had gotten a bargain because they saw greater value in my work than the price I had placed upon it. Or that they saw something in my work that moved them. Something that led them to want to buy it to have as their own. I often found myself, for the most part, thinking just the opposite.
Too many times through the years I would talk myself out of buying supplies or tools to create my art. I didn't think my budget would allow it. There was no "investment" in those kinds of tools or supplies that would lead to a possible profit like there was with antiques and collectibles. Once I even sent my art electronically to a company to have prints made but the estimated cost scared me so much I never pursued it...until now.
It's been a slow start but I've had some prints and greeting cards made of my original two dimensional art. I have found that both friends and strangers like my work well enough to purchase my images. It is both flattering and humbling to sell art. Whether it be my drawings or my jewelry, I'm both flattered and humbled to know there are people who get my work. They see the importance my work has to me. Some of them I think even feel why I do it. Those are the people that touch and humble my soul...to know there are others that feel the same way I do. Kindred spirits.
In the end, just maybe, maybe...my art is my true savings account. For all of the years I have hidden it away because it wasn't "cost effective" to invest dollars into it, all the while solely investing only my heart into it. So could it be the part of me that was most valuable all along...?