Most people have no idea what it takes to make good art, whether it’s music, film, painting or anything else. They don’t know how much training and study has gone into building the artist’s skills, and how much practice of that skill it took to allow them to make something, especially if it’s great. A lot of people take it for granted.
Most artists have other jobs that sustains their artistic habit. But time is a finite resource. The more time you spend at another job, the less time you have for practicing, studying, marketing and, most importantly, Making your work. The less time you have to make work, the less income you could possibly make from it. The less you make from it, the more likely you’ll continue to work in another job, keeping you further from practicing, studying and making. Over the course of 10 years, working another job that keeps you from practicing your art will keep you from becoming great at it. (This doesn’t even take into account when you reach a time in your life where you might want to have kids.)
This is a vicious cycle, a catch-22.
This is why I believe many successful artists got in most of their 10,000 hours of training before they left home and had to start paying rent.
This misunderstanding about the time and skills required to make art makes the audience less likely to pay for it. (So does how relevant they think it is to their own lives, but that’s a whole other story.)
As new technology has taken hold, many of the middle-men who used to be the ones asking for the audience’s money (publishers, record labels, magazines, promoters, distributors, stores, studios) are disappearing. The artist is the one who’s now asking for money to live from, and some of the audience isn’t used to it, and doesn’t like it. It doesn’t help that as distribution becomes cheaper and cheaper, internet culture at large wants everything for free.
Amanda Palmer, artist best known as the lead of The Dresden Dolls, says:
artists need to make money to eat and to continue to make art.
artists used to rely on middlemen to collect their money on their behalf, thereby rendering themselves innocent of cash-handling in the public eye.
artists will now be coming straight to you (yes YOU, you who want their music, their films, their books) for their paychecks…
dead serious: this is the way shit is going to work from now on and it will work best if we all embrace it and don’t fight it…
it’s also not a matter of whether an artist is starving or cruising on a yacht.
i would hate to see my fans turn on me once i actually have money in the bank with a “well, i would support you if you were starving, but now that you’re eating, no way.”
feel ok about giving your money directly to paul mccartney. he may be rich, but he still rocks. show you care.
feel ok about giving it to fucking lady gaga if you’ve been guiltily downloading her dance tracks for free.
rejoice in the fact that you are directly responsible for several threads in her new spandex spacesuit.
it shouldn’t matter.
it’s about empowerment and it’s about SIMPLICITY: fan loves art, artist needs money, fan gives artist money, artist says thank you.
She is experimenting with ways to make a living, from paid live video to auctioning her artwork. What are other new ways artists are making a living from their work?
Do you feel ok helping to pay their rent?
Read the entire post from Amanda Palmer – Why I Am Not Afraid To Take Your Money
Get the work of Amanda Palmer.
Everybody’s Gotta Live, from Who Killed Amanda Palmer
- Thank you Richard Florida for giving The Bohemians so much power. Now please tell us – when will we ever benefit from it?
posted by Trout Monfalco