Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Why Give Away All This Stuff - and About Eliphante Village!


Eliphante Village Interior

At the same seminar where I was talking about social media and copyright, the topic of blogging came up.  Since 2005, I've written over 700 posts, many of which are about painting technique and other useful subjects for the working artist.  Someone in the audience asked, "And you give this information away for free?"  Yes, I do.

Why?  It's so easy to "monetize" things these days, thanks to the twin engines of consumerism and capitalism, you'd think I'd at least stick a Paypal "donate" button on the blog.   But I don't charge for this information.  There's a  long history of "paying it forward" among artists, and I like to think I'm part of that.  I've had many excellent teachers and mentors over the years, many of whom gave their advice freely.  I'm sure you've had people like that in your life, too.  One way of paying them back is by "paying it forward."  It's a nice gesture.

Of course, we all have to make a living.  That's why I paint, teach workshops and write articles and books.  The free information I give out in the blog hopefully results in people buying my paintings, taking my workshops, purchasing the magazines I write for and buying my books and videos.  The information in the blogs is useful, but it's only the start.  There's a lot more where that came from.

If you're a working artist who has something to share, I hope you do.  It feels good to share, and you'll be helping somebody else who can return the favor - by paying it forward.

By the way, yesterday Trina and I paid a visit to Eliphante Village.   You have to take a little boat across Oak Creek to get to it.  Crossing the creek to the Village feels very symbolic, and if you make the trip, you'll understand why.  The crossing is a passage to another world.  Eliphante is a little like Hobbiton - filled with strange-shaped buildings, glittery mosaics, colorful stained glass and sculpture.  It was built by artists Michael and Lida Kahn over a period of 30 years or so.  Eliphante was having an Open House and a potluck.  We were served mesquite bean pancakes, among other vegan delicacies.  I'm thinking it might be a fun place to paint.  You can see one of the building interiors at the top of this post.  Here's a link where you can find out more about this magical place and its history:  http://www.eliphante.org/

Another Eliphante Building

2 comments:

Marsha Hamby Savage said...

Michael, this is a wonderful post. Wish I had known about the Eliphante Village while I was there. I'll look for it when there next time. Yes, paying it forward is a wonderful thing to do ... and I try to do it as often as possible! Glad you mentioned it, so others can do the same. We are a family ... all of us artists!

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Next time you come, I'll take you there!