Art and Money

Everyday we should be growing and looking for the lessons in our life experiences.

Today’s lesson:  You never know when you’re going to meet a billionaire and what you will learn from that encounter.

The above is a picture of a piece that I sold at an art show yesterday.  It was a piece that I worked on over several months…on and off…adding here and there. It was one of those pieces that would get a reaction from most people…usually a nod in agreement to the statement or outright laughter –  but it was one of the more expensive pieces at my booth.

Yesterday I sold  it to a man worth $2.4 billion according to Google.

It was an interesting exchange of art and money…both just energy…as my guru Joseph Campbell says:

“Money is congealed energy and releasing it releases life possibilities.”

The exchange encounter:

  • At first all I saw was the man, not the others who were with him.
  • Right away I noticed the monogrammed cuffs of his shirt sleeves.
  • I also noticed he was very elderly but looked incredibly healthy.
  • He spotted the “Look Like A” plaque right way.  He slowly read it out loud and nodded in agreement (like most everyone else has done since I’ve shown this piece).
  • Then a group of women who were apparently with him came up to the booth and started reading some of the signs. One lady also read the “Look Like A” plaque sign and said to the monogrammed cuffed man…”this is you”; she flipped it over and saw the price $15. He said that he had seen it and liked it.  He said that he’d take it and asked how much it was.  The lady said it was $15 and then he said; “Why so much?”  She said: “Well it is all handmade.”
  • As the man pulls out his wallet (pictured above) the other two women who were with him spotted these fans that I had and picked them up and wanted them.  The fans were only $2 each. So as the man was handing me the $20 I asked if the picture was all for him or was he also going to buy the fans.  There was some hesitation from the man, so one of the women said she could pay for the fans, then the billionaire man said no, he would pay for the fans as well.  So I took the $20 and gave him back a $1 bill.
  • I asked the lady holding the piece if I could take a picture of it since I wouldn’t see it again.  She held it up for me and told me that this piece was going to end up in California.
  • After that exchange they continued to read the signs on the other side of my booth and discussed some of them…the young lady pointed out the “Just Hold On…” sign and said to  the billionaire man: “This is what you always tell me.”
  • I couldn’t figure out what the relationship was between the young lady and this man (who I didn’t know was a billionaire at the time).  They were so kind to each other as though there was a special bond between the two of them.  I asked the young lady if he were her father.  She hesitated for a moment and said quietly; “No”.  Then she moved away from him and leaned into me and told me his name and who he was.  She mentioned that he was like a father to her and she had known him since she was young.
  • So when I noted the sale in my little sells book I jotted down his name to look him up later.

He was David Murdock – CEO and Chairman of Dole Foods and he has a fascinating self-made billionaire story, but I didn’t have to look him up on Google to learn the below lessons and take-aways from the encounter:

1. You can’t hide health – he was the picture of health. There was vitality in his walk and the energy that came from him.

2. You can’t hide wealth – it wasn’t overt, but it was there.  The monogram shirt, the neatness, the well-dressed women with manicured nails that were with him.

3. Use Money Wisely – As the proverb goes: the fool and his money will soon part ways.  Not so here.  It was clear to me why this man is still a billionaire.  He used the trick I learned to use while working in purchasing: NO MATTER whatever price they give you always act like it’s too much.  Do it whether it’s a fair price or not.  Do it just to see how they will react.  The moment he questioned the price I remained silent, which is the other trick I learned in purchasing.  Be the one to remain silent and the other will not want the pregnant pause and will start talking…he would talks too much loses in the deal.

Also what I found fascinatingly is that as soon as he pulled out his wallet to pay for the picture he wanted the other two women who were with him quickly picked up the two fans. He did not immediately agree to pay for their purchases.  It was a deliberate decision that he made. Another interesting point was that the three items together cost $19 and I gave him back $1 as change and he took it….leaving nothing on the table…even exchange of art for money.

I took the picture of the piece because it was one of those pieces that I’ll NEVER be able to make again.  I could try, but it won’t be the same and I guess that is how art is supposed to be.  In exchange for that piece I have a $20 bill from a man worth $2.4 billion dollars.

Next Step:  Meditating on what this means

I was almost not going to go to this art show. I had been up until 3 a.m. with family travelling through town so I only had about six hours of sleep.  I laid there in bed thinking how sleepy I was and started negotiating with myself that at best I would make $100 and was that worth it.  That didn’t last long because  the universal voice that I now recognize (call it what you want…intuition…the knower behind the thinking mind…God…The Source) it spoke and told me that I HAD to get up and go.

I didn’t know why but I knew I HAD to go because I  was being guided by that invisible hand and the thread that connects those destined to meet.

So all day while I was there people-watching I was looking for the reason I HAD to be there. So…now…was it the chance encounter and exchange with the man who happened to be a billionaire; or was it the little girls who came to my booth wide-eyed and expressed their love for what they saw; or was it the father who was reading all the rocks to his autistic twin boys; or maybe it was the many exchanged glances I had with older people with canes and in wheelchairs who were getting out of the house trying to enjoy a beautiful day.   Honestly I think it was ALL of those encounters…because we are all connected.

I will however take this opportunity to ponder how the exchange of money for art relates to Joseph Campbell’s quote about money being congealed energy.

What does it mean that I have a $20 bill from a billionaire and what will happen with the “Look Like A” plaque that is now in his care?

p.s. 7/16/14

I decided to give the$20 bill to my son.  I put it inside of his copy of “Just Quit” & Live the book…he said he was going to keep it there as the bookmark.  Let’s see what happens….let’s see…

Also..I pulled out my juicer and started juicing…wow…I forgot what I was missing…