Why I choose to work in the gift

Last year I made the statement that I would officially change my "business" or "living" to gift-economy, and I have since wanted to write a post about the reasons, and I will now try to see if I can get down just how much I believe in this new movement!

First shortly - what is gift-economy?

Basically it means the the buyer chooses the price of an item. That the maker gives her work as a gift and the receiver gives in turn what feels right for him. The maker may give a suggested price or just explain her own costs and time spend on the item.

Why choose to work in the gift?

Like most feelings, the first reasons were more shallow, but then it got deeper and deeper. It started with, that I never liked putting a price on my work! 
First of all, putting a price on creativity is like caging it. When I had an already set price on a commission, I realized that I rarely gave my full creative ability to it. That the frames were set and the work was less enjoyable. 
And when I had to set a price on an already finished piece of art, it always somehow took the magic away. A low price made it cheap and a high price made it feel out of my own reach, made me feel pretentious and it didn't feel like me. 

It took away the gift, the freedom.

Furthermore - art leaves a different impressions on different people, how can it ever mean the same for all? - and thereby, how can it be the same price for all? 
And as people have different tastes, so do they have different economic situations. 10 € for one person may feel the same as 200 € for another person. 
People should be able to give according to what they can afford.

I got more into the ideas of gift economy and I realized that this is not just a comfortable solution for me, that takes away the task of choosing a price. 
It is actually a whole movement for a better, more beautiful and fair world that benefits the poor, the planet, the communities and goodness for all! Gift-economy is a step into the future and has the ability to change the world for the better!

How and why?

 Shortly - I do not believe any more in our current economic system. With what is happening in the world today, we are finally seeing its limits and, I believe, its end.

A quote by John D. Liu summons up quite well what I believe to be the root problem in our economic system and why we are seeing so much environmental destruction in the world today:

"The source of wealth is the functional ecosystems. The products and services that we derive from those are derivatives. It's impossible for the derivatives to be more valuable than the source. And yet in our economy now as it stands, the products and services has monetary value, but the source, the functional ecosystems, are zero! So this cannot be true. It' false! We have created a global institution of economic theory based on a flaw in logic. So if we carry that flaw in logic from generation to generation, we compund the mistake" - John D. Liu from the "Green Gold" Documentary

Our current economic system is not in line what is best for the planet or the people. It does not serve us any more. What it serves is the economy itself and the few richest people on the planet.

How come that so many people are not doing what they really want to do? 
Because they do not have time, because they have to work a job, for someone else, to make money. To live.
How many people would actually like to do more for the environment, for their community, for their family, but cannot afford it?

How come that today, what is best for the planet and ourselves, healthy food, forests, mountains and helping each other, is not affordable, does not make income and economic growth? 
Why do we accept an economic system that is based on the idea of scarcity, that stops our natural impulse for generosity and goodness, when, think about it, sharing resources equally, growing organic food, using sustainable energy and so on is indeed affordable for humanity and the planet, is working for a better future and is beneficial for all, but the economic growth itself.

How many solutions taken by companies and down to individual people are in the end based on economy?

Can we not change this? 
Can we not change the economy to benefit ourselves and the world?

I am not an economist and I do not have a plan for a new global economic system, but I do believe that all changes has to start within ourselves, with our perception of what we can do and what is possible. 
All changes start small, as seeds that, if we water care for, will grow to spread more seeds.

My seed is the gift. The seed came to me from a bigger movement of more and more people believing in the gift.

The basic change of gift-economy from our current economy is actually not that big. I still make my art and people still pay for it, more or less the same as before. It is more the feeling of creating and of exchanging. Of giving and receiving.
Where it does change things is important though.

The thought of the gift has the ability to change the direction of wealth downwards instead of up.
As it is now, the ones who have most gain most. The ones who have little has little to gain.
Money is so in love with itself that it always goes where there is more!
More money attracts more money!

The gift, instead, is attracted to needs.

In the spirit of the gift, more often will a gift go towards the hungry receiving food. 
When people have the same amount of money, but can choose how to distribute them, much more will go to where it is needed.

I feel like explaining about the ideas of negative interest and other economic possibilities, where it is less affordable to keep and hoard money, but more affordable to give and loan, but I am afraid that I am moving into a field where I am not the expert - being an artist and not an economist - and I will probably make mistakes!
So I should probably keep my angle as the artist here and I have already written more than I wanted.

And now my baby is waking up, so I will stop here for now, but probably write more about my personal experiences and so on.

If you are interested in reading more about gift-economy I advise everyone to read some of Charles Eisensteins writings - one of the pioneers in gift-economy - to be inspired and enlightened! Here 

And if you feel gifty you are always welcome to support me on Patreon!

Thank you for reading and then lets go out and be the change we want to see in the world ;)