my enjoyment...not for sale!
October 3, 2014 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Another word for work that is for enjoyment, not for sale.

Sometimes I do paintings that are for my own enjoyment but aren't intended to be sold.
The word is not 'spec', it's another which I've completely forgotten...any ideas?
posted by artdrectr to Writing & Language (38 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hobby
posted by kinddieserzeit at 9:28 AM on October 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


It's hobby.
posted by bleep at 9:29 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Vocation vs Avocation
posted by GuyZero at 9:34 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have a hazy sense of the phrase/word you're looking for, but can't think of it. Personal project? It seems like there should be some equivalent of pro bono (pro...something that means pleasure or personal satisfaction) even though that's not what I'm trying to think of...
posted by three_red_balloons at 9:43 AM on October 3, 2014


I wasn't very clear. It's not hobby, I make a living painting. These are different, I might put them on my site for people to see apart from my gallery art, but they're NFS.

three_red_balloons is very much on the right track.
posted by artdrectr at 9:47 AM on October 3, 2014


Labor of love?

I don't think there's really "a term" for what you are describing. It sounds like you mostly paint for sale, but occasionally paint works you do not intend to sell--is that right? It's not a "hobby" then, because you do it professionally. There is the term "busman's holiday" which refers to doing something you usually get paid for "for fun" but it implies you're unhappy about it to some extent, which doesn't fit your case. There are phrases like "pet project" or "personal project" but they don't completely preclude eventual sale. When you see works in a show which the artist does not want to sell it usually just says "Not for sale: property of the artist" or some such.
posted by yoink at 9:52 AM on October 3, 2014


Personal endeavor/undertaking/pursuit/venture/pastime.
leisure project/activity/pursuit
you're "working on your craft" or craft project/pursuit or personal craft

You could sub the word "recreation" or "recreational" for any of those adjectives above.
posted by barchan at 10:03 AM on October 3, 2014


To help: I see graphic designers put work on their sites that were not commissioned or paid for, just for reference of their style or capabilities. The word I'm looking for may be similar to that.

Sorry, will avoid the threadsit.
posted by artdrectr at 10:03 AM on October 3, 2014


I think I generally see this as "personal work."

BTW, the paintings on your site are really great.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:06 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Designers often put up portfolio work, not sure if that's what you're thinking of. Portfolios have some independent work and some commissioned work.
posted by GuyZero at 10:11 AM on October 3, 2014


To help: I see graphic designers put work on their sites that were not commissioned or paid for, just for reference of their style or capabilities.

"On spec" is a term used in the movie (and other) businesses that means it was done on your own initiative, as distinct from work you were hired for. However, people often try to sell their spec work after the fact, so it might not be 100% what you're thinking of.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:14 AM on October 3, 2014


"Portfolio work," though, is more like "spec work" than like work done which you know you aren't going to sell. I mean, it may well be that it's unlikely for any of it to be used, but there's no implication that the designer will be profoundly reluctant to sell it if it happens to be exactly what you want.
posted by yoink at 10:16 AM on October 3, 2014


"Portfolio piece" is the concept that you created it to demonstrate to people that you are capable of work like this and would like to be paid to do more such.
"study" is when you're preparing a draft of something or testing out a layout or practicing a technique in preparation for making a large time-consuming work that you may or may not be paid for. I can't think of a word for a piece that you make when you, a professional painter, want to work on your use of color by doing a practice painting that follows some particular rule, like only 3 tubes of paint, or when an expert in one medium is experimenting with a different medium, but I think there might be a word/phrase for that.
posted by aimedwander at 10:35 AM on October 3, 2014


"On spec" implies that you are going to try to sell it, but that you don't have a buyer up front.
posted by alms at 10:42 AM on October 3, 2014


Working on speculation, or "on spec" for short.
posted by travelwithcats at 10:45 AM on October 3, 2014


"amateur" means for love, yes, it has a negative connotation, but the smart people will overlook that.
posted by bruce at 10:46 AM on October 3, 2014


"amateur" means for love, yes, it has a negative connotation, but the smart people will overlook that.


But he's not an amateur, he's a professional who is making occasional pieces which are not for sale.
posted by yoink at 11:00 AM on October 3, 2014


Well, the website example you use sounds like a portfolio. Maybe spec work. Paid hobby is another way to describe your initial post. Maybe you could call it a freelance hobby -- freelance denotes pay, hobby denotes you choose to do it.

I have a hobby I do get paid for but is not my main source of income. It'd be great if it could be one day, but it's a bit of a dream at this point. I do have a full-time, salaried career but I fit in this other work because I love it. I call it my "side job I do for fun/because I am crazy."
posted by AppleTurnover at 11:03 AM on October 3, 2014


"Non-commissioned works," perhaps?
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:08 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


How about "indulgence"?
posted by MsMolly at 11:09 AM on October 3, 2014


Why not simply "not for sale"?
posted by doctor tough love at 11:10 AM on October 3, 2014


It's part of your personal collection.

The implication is that instead of being intended to be sold for someone else's collection, you plan to keep it indefinitely.

I don't think it works as well for non-tangible items, but it's perfect for paintings.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:10 AM on October 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


("Private collection" might also work. The problem with both terms is that they don't specify whether it's your work or someone else's.)
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:16 AM on October 3, 2014


Non-commercial work?
posted by release the hardwoods! at 11:30 AM on October 3, 2014


NFS or Not For Sale.
posted by ottereroticist at 11:32 AM on October 3, 2014


I think people focusing on the sale aspect are missing the point. It's not that the OP wouldn't ever sell these works, it's that they weren't created with the intention of selling them, they were done out of pure enjoyment. That's why I think something like indulgence is what you're looking for.

"I paint for a living, but this particular work was a pure indulgence."
posted by MsMolly at 11:37 AM on October 3, 2014


Diversions
posted by Rob Rockets at 12:35 PM on October 3, 2014


Ok. Now you're a logo designer. You put logos in your portfolio you've created for no one, just in order to show the different styles of work you're capable of.
Obviously they're NFS, and this is not spec work.

How do you label this group, logo man?
posted by artdrectr at 12:36 PM on October 3, 2014


Prototype, sample, proof-of-concept?
posted by methroach at 12:45 PM on October 3, 2014


How about from your personal "archive"
posted by Middlemarch at 1:12 PM on October 3, 2014


An exhibition work

A studio piece

A study

The logo example is a Portfolio Piece.
posted by saradarlin at 1:24 PM on October 3, 2014


Side project?
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:15 PM on October 3, 2014


saradarlin has it; however, these don't necessarily make it obvious to people that the work is not for sale.

You'll have to actually state that the work is "not for sale" or "sold" to get that across, and you'll still have people who think it doesn't apply to them somehow. You'll still get people who will ask you to sell the work, but if you are doing this for a living you probably get offers that you don't want to accept periodically, so I'm guessing you won't find this terribly distressing.
posted by yohko at 2:55 PM on October 3, 2014


Maybe showcase, or showcase piece? But that doesn't necessarily imply that it's not for sale.

Now this is bothering me, I too feel like there is a specific term for this that is at the tip of my tongue, maybe even specifically referring to art, but I can't think of it.
posted by catatethebird at 4:35 PM on October 3, 2014


Perhaps calling it recreational work, or a labor of love. I also like divertissement, but that seems less serious. "A recreational work for my personal collection" gets the idea across, but doesn't have the elegance and satisfaction of a single term.
posted by catatethebird at 4:43 PM on October 3, 2014


Busman's holiday? Someone who does in their spare time what they do for a living?
posted by Grumpy old geek at 5:00 PM on October 3, 2014


You put logos in your portfolio you've created for no one, just in order to show the different styles of work you're capable of.
How do you label this group, logo man?


"Exercise" / "Exercise in corporate identity"

"Experimental" / "Experiment in corporate identity"

(or "Study", as above)
posted by anonymisc at 5:15 PM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Even with all your replies, I still think it would be called a portfolio. Portfolios include work that was sold and work that wasn't. The whole idea of a portfolio is showing what you are capable of doing. You may not like the answer, but this is it. You could call it a lookbook, if you wanted, or an artfolio. You could refer to the collection as "demos."
posted by AppleTurnover at 6:05 PM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


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