Art for Sale

Art for Sale

Last week we took a bit of time off to go to a beautiful part of Cape Town called Camps Bay. The beaches are legendary and it has what is arguably the most beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean you can find. We rented a cottage about 300 meters from the beach and we set off to explore our Mother City. Our cottage had a little porch with chairs that basically ended right on the walkway of the street.

My son is quite an avid artist – he calls himself “a creator” – and the week before, he made a couple of pieces of art. He brought his art pieces and his poster signed by Will Linley and he was putting everything on display in his room. One moment he was sitting with his art and the next he blurted out: “Somebody must be willing to buy my art”.

My husband and I looked at each other (a bit puzzled), and we continued with our business. But the next minute we heard the front door open and we hear him shouting: “Art for sale, art for sale! Does anybody want to buy my art?”. We chuckle – off course he would not sell his art – they were stick drawings on colored paper!

Or would he?

We went on with our business – almost sure that he will grow tired at some point and find something else to keep himself busy with.
“Art for sale, art for sale! Does anybody want to buy my art!” Some people come walking by.

“Do you want to buy my art?”

“Art for sale, art for sale! R20, R50 or even R100!” he shouts. (another lesson that he is not scared to charge his worth!)

We watch him through the window and my heart shrinks to see my little innocent boy rejected time and time again. He starts to get disheartened. “Nobody wants to buy my art! There must be somebody who will buy my art!” he says. The anticipation on his face as he watches everyone walk up to him, and then the disappointment when they walk past, some not even acknowledging him. We are faced with a choice – do we let him proof to himself (and us!) that he can do it? Or do we intervene?

A friendly couple of people come by, but say that they didn’t have money, but next time they will buy. They laugh and engage with him – this gives him hope.

At this point we realise that he was not going to quit, and I tell my husband that we should probably find someone who will do us a special favour. We would give them the cash, so that they can go buy it off him.

My husband finds two very friendly gentleman who agrees to the plot. They walk up to him and start to haggle. They do a brilliant job of playing the part. I am so grateful to them and so sad that I didn’t get their details to thank them. Watching him deal with these total strangers brought such a lump to my throat. They were so kind and they end up buying two pieces of his art.

He jumps off the fence with a big “Yes!!!! Let’s GOOOOOOOO!” and he runs to us with his first profits! The biggest smile ever!

My husband and I smile (obviously teared up) and he goes back to getting on the fence.

“Art for sale, art for sale, does anybody want to buy my art?” He had new vigour!

I start to feel guilty for tricking him into this. Did I do the right thing? Did we enable him – take away his opportunity to do it for himself – because we didn’t think someone would buy his art on their own (out of goodwill or not?) or did we help a young impressionable mind believe that anything is possible if you put your head to it?

Another couple comes by – they are very friendly but they don’t have money with them. In the meantime I didn’t realise – but my husband went to secretly find another volunteer. He bumps into this couple and they are just too happy to help! In fact, they were so impressed with my son’s initiative, they were on their way to go and draw cash – specifically so that they could support his venture! They come back up the pathway and continues to purchase the second last artwork he has left. The chat to him and ask many super questions. My son is ALIVE!! He chats, explains and he is just too cute to watch!

With the transaction sealed – he jumps of the fence with another massive “yessssssssss”! So loud the couple can hear it and they laugh – you can see they also gained some inspiration from the experience!

“Look at all the money I made selling my art!!” He waves his money with the biggest smile ever!

My husband tells me the story about the couple who really wanted to support him in any case. This makes me feel better about our choice to intervene.

So many people played along with this initiative and I think we all were touched by his entrepreneurship in some way or the other.

For me the lesson were:

  1. If you can dream it, you can do it!
  2. Everything (and anything!) is possible! You just have to make it happen!
  3. Enthusiasm and passion is the thing that will touch people’s hearts!
  4. Let him do it for himself – he can do it. He is not a little baby anymore.
  5. I wish everyone on earth can believe in themselves (including me) as much as my son believes in himself!
  6. Don’t be scared of rejection. One “no” means you are one more “no” closer to a “yes”.
  7. Rejection doesn’t kill you. You don’t have to take it on emotionally – move on and work towards achieving your target.
  8. There is someone who wants what you have to offer.
  9. If you work hard and continue to hustle, you will achieve your dreams.
  10. No need to sit around and complain because your kind of “art” is not selling, get out there and get yourself and your art in front of people!
  11. There are good people in the world who will not do your child harm.

The last is significant – because just the Monday before someone pick pocketed my phone from my husband’s clothes. So we were on high alert the whole week around the kids. These kind people restored a bit of my faith in humanity.

My question becomes – what is your art (talent) that you are hiding from the world? Is your fear of rejection stopping you from bringing your kind of creativity to the world? Are you sitting on something great, but your fear of rejection, your apathy, your lack of self belief is stopping you from getting it out there?

If my 7 year old son has the courage to do it – I can too! And I for sure believe that you can too. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. What you set your mind to, will happen. In The Modern Mystery School we have a saying: “it is by Will alone that I set my mind in motion”. Which means, it is not with your mind only that you can create. It is sometimes by your sheer will, that you create the most profound things in life. In fact, if you create from your will and not your subconsciousness (the mind is 90% subconscious), you will be much more purposeful in your creation (your life) and you will start to live differently.

If you are curious about how you can learn to create differently (more purposefully), contact me to attend a class called Empower Thyself. It’s a game changer! Twelve years ago it changed my life! For the better!

Love and Moonlight,


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