Posts Tagged 'art business'

More on working for free

On a listserv I receive a member posted these guidelines from a blog she subscribes to: http://www.shouldiworkforfree.com. Good for a laugh, and though specific to designers also true and good for helping you think through both your choices and what you are being asked to do in any kind of creative field. Members on this listserv have been in discussion for several days on the topic of working for free, the assumptions behind some art calls for entry, donating work for fundraisers, and the general  business of being an artist. If you haven’t been thinking about art as a small business in which you are the CEO, CFO, advertising department, writer, editor, typist, accountant and the entire creative team, WHY NOT? Does your plumber work “on spec”? How about your doctor? Grocer? You get it, don’t you?

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Are you getting paid for your art?

How many times have you shown your artwork at a  venue where you bore all of the costs of framing and publicizing your show, in addition to all of the costs and labor to produce the work? Non-profit venues get state money through their State arts boards, but most have no particular incentive or expertise that will help further your career. When you show in their spaces (and alternative venues, such as coffee shops and restaurants), you are enhancing their reputations or businesses, but often only adding a line to your resume. How frequently have your shows in these sorts of venues resulted in sales, introductions to prominent critics or collectors, or in some other way given you more than the “privilege” of gracing someone else’s walls at your expense? Our “Art Culture” asks us to compete for the honor and to feel grateful when it is bestowed on us. Is there another way? I think it is an important issue, one that many of us have pondered, often with increasing anger and feelings of helplessness. Go to http://hyperallergic.com/75549/how-are-artists-getting-paid/ to read a very informative (with additional links) article on Hyperallergic on ways that artists – visual and performing –  are attempting to change the pervasiveness practice of artists not being paid for their work or the use of their work. If you find this interesting, you can sign up to receive Hyperallergic’s newsletter with artist-centered news and information. I’d love to get your comments on their article and any relevant experiences you’d like to share!


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