Friday, November 22, 2013

a career in the arts (more $$$ stuff)

A few excerpts from recent articles about paying artists (and artists asking for payment)

Slaves of The Internet, Unite! by Tim Kreider.
"I suppose people who aren’t artists assume that being one must be fun since, after all, we do choose to do it despite the fact that no one pays us. They figure we must be flattered to have someone ask us to do our little thing we already do. I will freely admit that writing beats baling hay or going door-to-door for a living, but it’s still shockingly unenjoyable work... The first time I ever heard the word “content” used in its current context, I understood that all my artist friends and I — henceforth, “content providers” — were essentially extinct. This contemptuous coinage is predicated on the assumption that it’s the delivery system that matters, relegating what used to be called “art” — writing, music, film, photography, illustration — to the status of filler, stuff to stick between banner ads." ~read more 
What to say when you're asked to work for free by  Rhonda Abrams
"You may want or need to work for free, especially when you’re just starting out to build a resume, client list or broaden your skills. At any time, you may be happy to donate your time and talent to good causes or very good friends...But with the right response, you can turn these freeloaders into something positive." ~read more
Being An Artist Isn't Practical by Elena Sheppard
"To support a career in the arts in 2013 requires a cocktail of connections, financial support, talent and tremendous luck – and many of us just starting our professional lives are choosing more stable paths. We are not in the financial position to take on more risk. The result is a rising creative class largely determined by money." ~read more 

Don't Quit Your Day Job by Juri Koll
"Compared to other countries, such as Ireland and Denmark, where there are tax-free grants or direct subsidies with special tax benefits, the United States lags far behind in its treatment of artists. The idea of making a living as an artist will probably never appeal to the bottom line sensibilities of corporate America.  That's why almost every artist I know -- aside from some of the famous ones -- has a day job." ~read more

 If You're an Artist You Need A Support System by Nisha Asnani
"With patronage and endowments mostly a thing of the past, artists must now rely on smaller amounts of support from individual contributors. This is easier with global communication, but tougher given the current distribution of wealth; it’s mostly broke artists who are giving to other broke artists via Kickstarter campaigns...More structured organizations that empower artists and teach them about fund-raising and business skills like The Field, where I work as communications manager, are also vital for our creative culture." ~read more
Instead of Exploiting Artists, Pay Them by Paddy Johnson
"Asking whether it's too expensive to pursue the arts is a little like asking whether it's too expensive to read or write. Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t stop.Making art is not an economic decision for most artists, who are continually exploited for their ideas and labor... it’s time we spent a little more time figuring out how to support artists." ~read more 
 Being A lawyer is easier than being a Musician by Miki Navazio
"I did enjoy scoring independent films and documentaries, but these hardly paid the bills, and the commercial gigs just weren’t for me. I didn't want to be Miki Navazio Music, Inc. My fate was sealed when the National Endowment for the Arts terminated funding for individual artists in the mid 90s. For me, being a lawyer is a lot easier than being a jazz musician. In a sense, I’ve freed my art from the burden of having to support myself. And I would do it all over again." ~read more

I just realized that all of these collectively come off with a rather dim view of making a living in the arts and that wasn't really what I had in mind. But they did all resonate so here they, all assembled where I can find them again easily and, well, just keep thinking about that.

Meanwhile, here's a sketch I did the other day while sitting in the dentist office. The day after I posted it to FB, I got a notification from my 'page manager' that this post was "98% more engaging than your other posts on this page" (with an offer to help it be even more engaging if I just paid a bit of cash.) ((um......))
98% more engaging, woooo.

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