My Origins of the Forest show at My Plastic heart this past September, was a bit of a personal triumph for me. It wasn't the biggest or most grandiose show I have ever done, but every piece in it was crafted amidst great internal opposition, and each one marked a success. During the time I was working on that show, I was struggling with a series of intense personal and emotional challenges, and just getting up in the morning was a victory, let alone finishing a solo show. After it was all done, and I packed them all (rather hilariously, I might add) into suitcases, and headed to New York to the gallery, I felt a real sense of accomplishment. But it was after the pieces sold - and so quickly! - that I felt my heart swell. You see, I make things all the time, because I'm an artist and it's in my nature, but my true joy, and that most pristine and pure feeling of success and contentment comes when I know that what I've made has made someone happy. That they valued what I do enough to spend a good chunk of their money to bring one of my little guys home, and have that be something that they cherish, and that they are proud to own. It's a kind of high; humbling and flattering and amazing in how it makes me feel like I'm doing something right.
So imagine how my heart sank when I began to see pieces from that show, just over a month since they shipped out, appear on eBay as "buy it now" auctions, far above their original prices.
Now before I continue, I want to make it clear that I understand that times get tough, tastes change, and sometimes you have to part with artwork you've purchased, so you sell it to fellow collectors. You and I are totally cool. That's not what this is though. This is one person buying my work with the explicit purpose of selling it immediately afterward in order to turn a profit on someone else's hard work. It's lazy, it's disrespectful to my collectors, it messes up the market, and it's totally insulting to me.
I know that flippers are nothing new, and I also know there's pretty much nothing I can do. I realize that, and I accept it. What I'm asking of you, is that you don't support these people. I realize I don't make as many pieces as people want, and I want you to know that I'm working very hard to change that. I very much want everybody who wants something of mine to be able to get one, not just because it's my livelihood, but because I find so much joy in sharing what I do.
The bottom line is, flippers are out there, and they do this all the time, to all kinds of artists. But if nobody ever buys from flippers, they will stop wasting their time trying to flip artwork. So let's all work together to make this a fruitless venture for them, and put them out of business.
To all my fans, friends, and collectors - I love you guys. YOU are the reason I do this, and the work that I make and sell is made for YOU. I'm not going to let a few bad apples spoil it all. I'm going to keep working harder, and keep making you all smile, however I can, because any of this stupid, lazy B.S. will always be outshined by the amazing connections I make with all of you awesome folks.
Amanda Louise Spayd