QUALITY VS QUANTITY – Which one has greater value for YOU?

Can we talk about QUALITY for a moment?

If one creates a piece of art and it is admired by you, then you give it
VALUE, yes?

If artwork is considered “beautiful”, does it have more VALUE and if so, who decides this?

When ART becomes popular, there is sometimes pressure for the artist to produce more, to meet a demand and to fulfill the publics’ desire to own and appreciate their works.  Why do some artists feel the need to mass-produce what might have been started as one piece of ART?

If a piece of ART has been replicated, simulated, duplicated, re-engineered, re-manufactured and thousands of COPIES of this work are available to the public, does it now have more or less VALUE than the original?

PRODUCTION OF ART – One of a kind VS Limited Run VS mass production

Perhaps the secret to creating value for a piece of art is the simple SUPPLY vs DEMAND challenge. Limited supply of any product or experience often equals greater demand and then the unit price of the work rises. Does this apply for all works of ART?

Many pieces of ART (IE: sculptures, illustrations, paintings, performances such as film, dance, songs and other musical compositions, etc) that become popular in the mainstream are NOT always created with the intent to be available to the masses. In fact, there are many examples of artists producing ART because of their “need and desire to create”. We have all heard of songs that the musician “was compelled to write” or “had to get them out”; and have seen INUIT carvings that the artist said “were already in the stone and I carved until the polar bear revealed itself”.

Are these examples of “Art for art’s sake”, the notion that art has its own value and should be judged separately from anything else? The phrase, Art for art’s sake is intended to remind us that judgements of aesthetic value should not be confused with other aspects of life.

When an artist is focused on QUALITY, the work / product will most often be pure and honest. This does not guarantee that it will be beautiful, unique or creative, nor does it guarantee that it will be popular and be reproduced in any quantity.

Many pieces of art are created with the intent to be “One of a Kind”, others with a “limited run” or “time limited offer” and then other pieces for mass production.

Is more better?
QUANTITY refers to a NUMERICAL value, which one cannot dispute.
Simple math says that if an artist creates a product that would retails for $100 a unit and he/she produces and sells 500 of them, then they (and their bank manager) is probably very happy because they would have just deposited $50,000.  No one is disputing that!

QUANTITY has it’s “place” but a warning that if all creators put an emphasis on producing works that focus on QUANTITY, they run the risk of creating more “widgets” than pieces of ART.

What the heck are WIDGETS?

No, these widgets are not the kind you hear about in web design or PD applications.

If you have ever taken sales, marketing or business courses, then the term “WIDGET” will be familiar to you. A WIDGET is an object OR abstract unit of production that is manufactured and SOLD, especially in quantity. For many businesses, “More is better” ie: the more widgets sold, the better!

Does this mean that the mass produced piece of ART you purchased have less value because yours is one of thousands of the same WIDGET?


What and who determines arts VALUE?


Whether we are artists, art lovers, patrons, sceptics or critics, we ALL determine the value of art.

THE GOOD NEWS – Art is subjective

The main difference between quality and quantity is that QUALITY refers to a creative aspect of the piece of ART and is subjective for the artist / owner or purchaser. The QUALITY of a product is based more on characteristics and harder to measure as they are personal to each recipient.

You may not be surprised that ART often has a higher VALUE to the person that receives, owns OR experiences it, than the artist who created it.

Remember BEAUTY is “in the eye of the beholder”

Don – The Den Team