Link #5 — On art as a career choice

10 12 2008

My dad sent a really interesting article on art and making money from the New York Times, Transforming Art Into a More Lucrative Career Choice:

Some artists have begun to figure out ways to make money and make art — aiming to end the notion that “starving” and “artist” are necessarily linked.

Rather than seeing art as something to pursue in the hours when they are not earning a living, these artists are developing businesses around their talents. These artists are part of a growing movement that has caught the attention of business experts and is being nudged along by both art and business schools.

It’s an interesting article and thought provoking article. When you look at the world through the lense of promoting your skills in engaging and creative ways, there are a lot of possibilities that show up.

I’m interested in what you do with your art. What is your art — writing, drawing, painting, fabric, sculpture, music, circus, cooking? Do you promote it as a business, or is it a hobby? How do you incorporate it into your life — do you share it with friends, do you practice it in the company of others or by yourself?

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3 responses

10 12 2008
tara

thaqt’s funny, my mom forwarded me that article too :)

10 12 2008
Jacob

Your mom is pretty awesome. Did the article inspire you in any way or did it say things you already knew?

15 12 2008
tarapeze

Mostly, it said things I’ve already heard: ‘How to Turn You Hobby Into $$$$!’. It’s not a new idea to modify what you do a bit, either in content or in application, in order to sell it more easily. A lot of artists would call that ‘selling out.’ The romantic notion of art is that you’re creating it for its own sake, and in that case you should be making the things you are inspired to make, even if it’s .

But to me art is an activity, and a process. There’s personal art, which is for the creator, as therapy, as hobby, as necessity. There’s radical art, which is to provoke and disturb and question perceptions and status quos. And there’s commercial art, which can *sometimes* be the other two, but rarely as it panders to what others want more than what the creator wants. Think the corporate-ization of Cirque du Soleil, with $100 tickets, versus Circus Amok and Bread and Puppet’s cheap, political activist shows, versus Criss Cross Circus’ Circapocalypse.

So, yes, it is possible to re-work what you do artistically so that you can make money off it. But would you make those same changes if you weren’t making money off them? It’s like painters doing paid portraits of the rich to pay their rent, and in their spare time painting the subjects they really want to paint.

That’s my take!

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