"You should sell that...."

Have you ever noticed that when you make something and people really like it, the highest compliment they can pay you is "you should really sell that"? This was a very interesting observation made by artist/creator Sarah Bush during a fascinating conversation we had recently about commerce and art.  As someone who has always been into making things, I've experienced this often.  In college, I made a lot of my clothes and when someone liked a dress that I made they would tell me I should really be a clothing designer (forget the fact that if these items were observed close up, even by the untrained eye, you would know that I have no business making and selling clothes)  Since then, whether it's a delicious batch of macaroons (mom's recipe, I just execute!) or the dance show I put on for Precision Dance Company NYC (which, given the incredible amount of work to produce it, would not be a sane business move) everyone's highest compliment is that you should sell that, you should make that a business, people would pay money for that it's so good, etc...

So why is that the compliment?  Are we really so obsessed with money that we can't see the value in creating just for the sake of creating? Don't we value art the most when it was created completely free from the idea of it being sold at a later date? And yet the second that is created, it is validated by saying that someone would actually buy that.  It, and therefore the artist, arguably only has that value if the art is sold!

-Pia