I gave away for free a small print of the image in this post to a good friend of mine who voiced a special connection to the subject matter. I do that kind of thing from time to time, and as the creator of these images, I’m happy to be in a position to do so.
However, it’s the exception, not the rule. I do price my work and if people want to acquire it, I generally expect them to pay for it.
It’s not that I’m after the money per se. I sincerely appreciate it when people take an interest in my work, and part of me would like to provide everyone who sincerely enjoys one of my pieces with a print to enjoy.
But I just can’t do that. Why? Put simply, it’s because I value my work. Whatever other functions it may serve, a price at least demands some level of acknowledgement of the value of the work. If I were to give my work away for free, or even for less than I think it’s worth, that would be tantamount to me saying my work has no value. And if I signal that I don’t think my work has value, how can I expect anyone else to think it does?