In recent months I've been lucky enough to sell some of my works - and while it's undoubtedly a great feeling to make a sale, the moment of realisation that a piece is no longer your own is surprisingly tough. When you're busily creating works of art in the studio, it's easy to think that they will be with you forever, however keen you are to make a commercial success of your practice. And until that first piece heads out the door, never to return, the reality of what it means to say goodbye to a work that you have worked so hard to create doesn't really register.
It's an easy analogy, but the moment of final separation from a work of art is almost like the breaking of a human relationship - obviously not in the same league as losing someone close to you forever, but definitely up there with saying goodbye to a family member who's going away for a long time. At first there's denial, before the reality of the facts sink in - you really are never going to see that work again, and it belongs to someone else - and finally comes acceptance and the pleasure of knowing that your baby has gone to a (hopefully) good home.
I guess this process becomes easier as time goes by and more works head out into the world. But however many sculptures I sell, I can't believe that the pang of separation will ever completely disappear; inanimate objects they may be, but they are still born of the artist's creative mind and represent a part of the person who made them.