Remember when I told you a little while ago that I would never work for free, but I would always volunteer?
Consider this scary trend: career field choices being made depending upon how much money that field pays. In these bad economic times certain people actually think artists should consider themselves lucky that anybody will pay them to do anything at all. Perhaps the thinking goes, artists are not “necessary” like doctors or teachers(?). Artists ought to feel bad–even angry at heaven– about having such a “non-essential type talent”. They should be glad to do it for free. Therefore painters, writers, composers, musicians, librettists, song writers and graphic artists should be content to beg for a living and feel some kind of stoic honor to boot.
In my short lifetime, I have also observed something else: anything considered of little value in this culture is given to children to play with. Artistic children are “cute” and “precocious”, but artistic adults are “childish” and not to be taken seriously (they ought to put down the crayons and get a “real” job). Art in the USA is immediately relegated to “hobby” status except if it is the kind that helps convince an audience to buy a product. How many parents have convinced their artist children to “get a practical profession”. Do not write poetry. Poetry does not sell. Too many poets die in poverty. Do something “in demand”. Something people are willing to put out big bucks for.
I found this video and it changed my way of thinking about what I do forever. You see, I am a wordsmith. My Divine Mandate is inspiring, informing or educating using written and spoken English language. I no longer feel guilty or obligated to apologize for the talent-gift set I got when I arrived on earth a little over half of a century ago. I no longer feel I have to hide my real aspirations or get a “practical” career. As a professional (I have a Bachelors in Journalism and began career life as an ad copy writer) I accept my responsibility to know and to ask for fair compensation for my work without a hint of shame.
A dance is nothing without the hard work of the musicians in the band. Their talent and hard-won skill is not to be devalued. If you dance at the celidah, pay the piper; When you give a dance, pay the band!
- Do You Appreciate Art For Ads’ Sake? (bellasugar.com)