Created: Tuesday, 01 May 2001 08:00
[Ed] There are many reasons why artists create: To express themselves, to bring joy to others, to help make sense of their experiences, to heal themselves and others, for the sheer joy of creating, and so on. I was talking recently with a fellow artist, a painter, who also uses her art to help raise funds for several charitable and conservation organizations. I’ve wanted to do this but had no clue how to begin. I asked what she would recommend as some first steps to take to be able to contribute to organizations of one’s choice. Here’s are some brief and, I found, helpful, steps to take:
“As far as helping with various organizations, my best suggestion is that you write to the one(s) that you would like to help and include pictures of your work. Sometimes they are looking for new artists to represent a specific project. I have found that the best and easiest way to help out is to donate a piece (or part of the proceeds from a piece) to the organization.
An example: I wanted to help the San Francisco Zoo, so I painted a piece that I then had made into posters. Then I turned the posters over to the Zoo to sell and keep all the profits. Then I told them that when I sold the original painting, that I would donate 1/2 of the sale price to them.
Be careful about donating your work though as far as tax write-offs go. You can’t claim anything except for the materials that you use (in my case, paint, canvas, brushes and frame). This seems so unfair, but it’s a law that they really stand by.
Many times, if I donate a piece to a fundraising auction, I make arrangements early on to keep the minimum bid. For example they set the minimum bid for a piece at $500.00. This they give to me at the end of the auction and anything they receive over that they keep. I just keep enough to cover my expenses and a tiny bit of time and they usually make a large profit (hopefully!)
It’s probably good to start with smaller local organizations and work your way up. Use the smaller organizations as part of your “resume” for the larger ones. Always keep publicity clippings etc. to send along also.
Created: Sunday, 01 April 2001 09:00
Once in a while you read something worth passing on. I wrote this statement in an e-mail I sent to Elaine McKay the other day: “Getting reved already about Camp B. and 2 1/2 months to go (my life’s pathetic I know).” I thought others in NWSSA who love Camp B. might enjoy reading her response (not about my pathetic life). I asked, she said to go ahead and send it in, and with a few minor adjustments ([ ] is my addition), here it is.
“I have to agree with you, looking forward to Camp B. is my highlight also. Does that really make us pathetic??? I prefer to think of us like that bunch of romantic poets; the Shelley’s, Keats’, Byron’s, etc., who would get together in a very select coterie. That is why we look forward so much to the coming of Camp B. We do not go in search of good food, good beds or partners to go with (well maybe some people do), what we CRAVE is that [emotional] orgasm that lasts for days and we are spent when we come back to our real worlds. It is for me the same, and the opposite emotions, of post traumatic syndrome suffered by vets who come back from war. So intense an experience that leaving is always to leave a great portion of yourself. Someone who does not share your experience cannot understand, nor can they give you more than 15 minutes of polite listening, no matter how much they care for you, and thus the standard for your next 365 days of survival comes down to the next Camp B. Symposium and the memories you go to bed with at night to sustain.”