Day 125 – Just Naive

“You should learn the value of your art.”  she says.  “You shouldn’t give paintings away for free.” says this person, an artist, I have just met and explained the project to.  Maybe I didn’t explain it right….Maybe I really am as naive as she thinks.  Maybe I should sell all of the Gift Prolific paintings.  I can’t believe that one sentence even made me question any of this.  Sigh.  I am sitting at a table in a gallery in SOMA.  I am working the door for my friends Craig and Cassandra.  They are having a party to thank people for helping to raise money for their latest project….A film.  I am considering this today’s gift.  Later on I talk to someone else about the project and my art explaining that I have been able to pay a lot of bills and rent lately with my art.  Without getting into too much detail this person, as she has in the past, belittles my art.  “I would never use acrylics because it is not true color like oils…” and “Your art is so cartoony.”  This person also rattles me a little bit inside.  I guess I needed that so I could grow some thicker skin.  No one seems to understand that my art and this project saved my life this year.  They underestimate that I sell lots of artwork and that this project is separate from that.  It seems like artists have the hardest time understanding this project.  I will not change it to fit their lives….this is my own project.  And  while they sit around hoping to be discovered or waiting to sell that one painting to pay for a new car….I will be doing what I want.  Making my art.  Giving the gifts that are my own.  And being happy working and living my art.

I like this one.  Kind of  a ‘twist’ on Barry Mcgee.  When I painted it I was thinking of how crappy tonight made me feel at first.  But now I am even more resolute that I am doing the right thing.  It scares people who don’t understand, especially a few of the people I talked to tonight.  Giving is a little bit outside of their box.  They certainly could not see giving their art away because they believe that they created something so unique and special that it must be paid for to be authentic or appreciated.  Like a weird validation through sales.  I don’t believe that.  Art has always been free.  And once I learned that, my paintings started selling….I started getting more shows….I became a true artist.  Speaking of….I have 2 shows coming up in February.  I wonder if they do?


About giftprolific

My name is Joshua Coffy and I am an artist living in San Francisco. You can see my art at as well. Thanks for your time.
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4 Responses to Day 125 – Just Naive

  1. Linda Garrity says:

    This just breaks my heart….something I’ve learned rather late in life, but which has helped me tremendously, is that when people say such critical, judgmental, insensitive things, it usually comes from some insecurity of their own where they have to demean others to make themselves feel superior. Don’t give that girl any more power to let those things she said bother you. You have a clear vision about what your project is about and how you are defining it and it’s none of anyone’s business to criticize you. From my own experience, I understand what a joy it is to find something to pull you up from the depths of despair. It’s quite sad that people can’t understand such a beautiful undertaking though……
    PS Thanks for introducing me to yet another artist I was unaware of…..I’m learning so much about art through you!

    • giftprolific says:

      Yeah it was tough but I am glad it happened. It really made me look at my own philosophy and get stronger in my own place. Thanks for always supporting me. I am glad you get to see new artists….I am putting together a cd for you tonight. Hopefully by the end of this week my box will be in the mail to you. Sorry it has taken me so long….been a touch busy. Lol. See ya.

  2. Nici says:

    Here here my friend! Well said. I ‘m glad that you were ablr to turn those negative comments and experiences into somethingstronger and positive and resolute. If I were an artist in the way that you are, I would definitely subscribe to your philosophy. “I will be doing what I want. Making my art. Giving the gifts that are my own. And being happy working and living my art.” You couldn’t be more right.

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