On a burning hot afternoon towards the end of the Summer holidays, with the cicadas buzzing incessantly, Jonathan with his faithful sister Michelle by his side, sat on the grass outside their home. They were selling not the ubiquitous lemonade that was being plied on many front lawns of this suburban American neighborhood, but a treasure trove of his artwork that he had created this year in kindergarten.
“Art for sale. Art for sale”. His strong voice called out to an assortment of passing cars, dog walkers and joggers. There were over 20 pieces laid out on the grass beside them. There was also a book that he had written and illustrated to show how multi-talented he is. Equipped with drinks, snacks and the occasional ice-pop supplied by his grandmother, they were there for the long haul.
The artwork was laid out neatly in rows on the grass, on either side of their seats. The prices ranged from one to two dollars depending on size, a format used by many artists. This was giving him the opportunity to practice addition and giving change, studying his market, interacting with customers. He was quick to jump up and hold up any piece that a potential buyer showed any interest in, while explaining the work and its merits. Understanding what it takes to sell his art will stand him in good stead as he matures and continues to sell his work through self-promotion or through a gallery. It’s information that many grown-up artists could benefit from.
His mother who stood by keeping an eye on them said that he didn’t put all his work out for sale. Some of his paintings meant a lot to him and he was keeping those. For all those parents whose refrigerators are covered with their children’s artwork, what a wonderful solution to finding a home for the priceless creations which ends up either very unfortunately in the garbage or boxed away in a dusty corner of an attic, never to see the light of day again. Jonathan’s mother is very diligent and photographs much of his work to ensure that they can be accessed easily and in perpetuity.
Jonathan loves to paint he says, but he also loves (electronic) games, football, tennis, soccer, baseball and basketball. He is a busy man. However, his large collection of work shows his strong interest in the arts supported by a school system and parents that still encourages the arts. Jonathan’s entrepreneurial spirit and artist’s drive are strong. He is an artist already. It will be interesting to see where his interests and creative talents take him. Keep up the good work Jonathan! We all support you.