Sunday, January 27, 2013

On art and money

Today I’m only going to ask questions.  Does it make sense to struggle to make your art a business?  What happens when you have to find a way to make a profit?  Do you fall less in-love with your art?  Or do you have to look at it more closely, understand what it’s saying, what it’s doing, how much power it has to grab someone’s attention and emotions?  Do you need to ask what it’s worth?  Not only financially, but emotionally, and in effort—yours to create it, and someone’s time to experience it?  Is an element of art the process of thinking ahead to sell it? 
     Obviously there are degrees to this question, and “art” can be interpreted in many ways.  Some may argue that commercial art is not “their” kind of art.  But I've met a few authors who produce what I might term commercial art, and they believe themselves artists, as much as I believe that about myself.  They talk about character.  They talk about place.  They talk about their writing.  They talk about their love of the process (along with their despair about the difficulties).  Who am I to draw a line?  I either appreciate their end result, or not.  Or waver, seeing it’s power and its flaws.  The same can be said of any novel I might read.  Any painting I might look at. 
     Artists need to support themselves.  But how does that change us, and change what we create?

1 comment:

Rae said...

This is such a difficult subject. To get paid for doing the things that don't matter (but eat your time) and not paid for doing the things that do. I hate it. And I hate the trend of pushing writers to be salesmen and publicists and Barnum & Bailey promoters. The skill sets are, for me, incompatible. How do you deal with it?