What’s with pay what you decide drawings, Kat?

So, I tell you what I am thinking, what I have been thinking.

Context. Let me give you some context. Context one – I really want my work to be accessible. I draw a lot, constantly and some of those drawings I think are worthy of hanging on other people’s walls. I would love my work to be enjoyed by others and I really love it when that happens. I know that people who mostly buy my work are people who are in my network. Most of these people are happy people on low incomes. Context two – to me, art is like food – I need it. I need to look at it, in books, on my walls, at friends houses walls, in galleries and museums and online. It feeds me. It feeds me ideas and thoughts and that is really great. So, if my art feeds others, I want my art to be price point accessible. Context three – I really don’t want to be one of those bastards that says shit like…art has value and mine is high. Art does have value and part of the value of my art is that I am interested in engaging in a dialogue, a conversation about that value. Please, don’t be afraid to make an offer. The worst that would happen is that I might say no to your offer. That would be ok, you will be ok. It’s not like a rejection in a relationship – it’s more like – not now, not for this drawing or not at this time- that’s not a no, that is a maybe another time. If it helps you – imagine me in a market where talking money is ok. Context four – I send money home. This is the money I send home – every sold drawing is food on a table, the gas and electric bills for my family. I am proud of where and who I come from and this is my thank you, this is my care. I see no shame in this, and if you do- I’d find that very disappointing. Context five – I wonder what the western world would look like if art was not seen by many as elitist? I wonder if having access to images, texts, theatre, film was more accessible – what would that society look like? I want to be a part of that more inclusive picture. Perhaps what I am doing is still inaccessible- it’s not free, I’m inviting people to partake in the capitalist system still, and I am hoping that the way I am doing it may be a little more nuanced. Context six – when the world changed in March 2020, I started offering my drawings on a pay what you decide basis, like this now. In 2020, I sold over twenty drawings and the average offer was £87. I had emails from unknown to me people telling me this is not how the art world works, I wrote back to say that I knew little of how the art world works and what I am doing here is my way of doing things and I believe it’s harmless to others. Some things I found quite interesting – drawings with sexual content were the most popular, so were drawings directly addressing the situation we found ourselves, then were drawings that loosely showed my theatre aesthetic. Context seven – I am interested in what happens in 2022 and I will blog about it at the end of the year. Context eight – pass this to a friend, please help me spread my thinking and the experiment to others. It might sound a bit mad, but why not change just a little how the art world works. Context nine – this is not a joke. My work is serious, I take it seriously, very seriously. Context ten – this whole thing may fail. It probably will. That would be ok because I would learn from it and when I learn, new ideas come along so it may appear as a failure to capitalism but not to engage in new ways of thinking and making art more accessible. Ok, enough contexts for now. Thank you for reading, I hope wherever you are, you are happy, Kat x