Thoughts About Gift Art

While preparing the post about the Yeariversary busts that I made as gifts, I felt the need to write a little about something I've struggled with for as long as I can remember; how I've so often gotten hung up about drawing gifted artwork for friends. I'm only one person and a flawed one at that, too, and I wish I had the time and energy to do this for everyone who's contributed to and supported me at some point during this crazy journey of mine. Limitations unfortunately dictate that whenever I do, I have to start with someone and stop somewhere thereafter, and not long afterwards, too.

To cut to the heart of the matter, picking a subject when making artwork has always seemed to me like it comes at the expense of all others. I never want to give the impression of being deliberate in the latter way (i.e. excluding others) especially when doing these sorts of things for people, but it feels as though it's all too easy to come across that way, even if unintentionally. Surprising folks with art has always been the best thing about my job, but when unsolicited, it gives me pause for thought that it might upset someone else I care about or give the impression that I forgot about them - especially in situations where group projects are involved.

Some would say that I'm well within my right to choose what and who to draw art of. While I don't disagree with that, it's always been a persistent dilemma as part of my work that I'm very conscious of and I felt like it was worth addressing, or at the very least, giving a voice to my own concerns.


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