Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Making a living from art

I feel like I would rather make my living from acting and writing, but that's not a sound economic plan. It's my art, not my trade, and most people can't make a living from their art, for a variety of reasons. It begins with a saturated marketplace: too many artists for the level of demand, therefore the natural price point is negative. If you want people to see your art, you'd better be prepared to pay them, rather than the other way around. It's simply unreasonable to expect to be noticed in that kind of environment. The other consideration is quality. If most artists are amateurs, then most art is going to be amateurish and not worth paying for even if it does get noticed. There's plenty of art of all forms, and there's no rush to see it all. Every cent spent on art is discretionary and non-vital. Nobody *needs* to spend a dollar on your painting, drawing, sculpture, novel, play, interpretive dance performance. They could just as easily spend that dollar on food or clothes or any other basic need. Art is never going to be a need, essential for survival, so convincing people to spend any money on art at all is going to be a bit of an uphill battle from the start.

In addition to all that, it's not even a matter of being good at what you do. Plenty of artists are good at what they do, but they aren't going to get far because they don't have the right connections. Does every single blockbuster movie draw from the same pool of 50 different actors because they're the only ones available and suitable for the roles? Of course not. They do it because they're the ones the top five Hollywood directors have worked with before, and learning to work with new people is really hard, you guys, like seriously. It's easier to stick with the club you know rather than give newbies a shot, so that's what you get.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - Well, that plus big names have drawing power.
PPS - Which is another way of saying fame makes money which means more fame.

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