Now that we are in a new decade, the artists and their field is going to play a crucial role in helping us see and manifest a more fair world. I have always felt like an artists, I haven’t developed skills for another field of work. I have been employed at retail or food jobs to make ends meet, but I haven’t ever stopped studying and perfecting my artistic skill set. I’m infatuated with developing my process and making visions come to be. Art has given me purpose in life as a creative person because I know that deep down everyone needs art. This has been true through out history, and art has been valued consistently as a trait. I know art is my trait in society and I want to keep perfecting it, but I’m having a tough time finding the means and time to make it work. It’s hard to see a future where I can afford my strive to be an economically stable working artist into old age. I haven’t given it up yet because I still have the energy and time in my life to find value and meaning in releasing, exhibiting or performing my work without a profit because of the healing and positive effects it has on people and my community. The love I feel when someone is paying attention or is touched by my art is worth the difficulty. Even though it can feel like a sacrifice I’m willing to make, considering I don’t make any profit from art and spend all the money I work for at food or retail jobs to make it, I sometimes fear that I won’t be able to sacrifice what little I have anymore, yet I have hope and if you feel where I’m coming from, I believe there could be a new market where regular consumers see the positive benefits of sustaining artists and their practice.
I’m writing to encourage you to keep making art, despite a hostile climate towards the arts, artists, and their material well being. As it stands now, arts programs are being cut, there are no subsidies for artists and, it seems, there is a dry market for up and coming talent. These are among the many reasons musicians, poets, designers, etc. are finding a rough time paying bills or seeing a future in the arts. If there was a market where consumers worked to find community or seek belonging in buying and sharing original artists artworks for a fair price instead of, say, buying expensive consumer goods, we could develop a new demand for up and coming art. In contemplating what art to purchase you are making a deliberate decision that could affect your life and community. Bringing the motives, concepts, colors, sounds, texture, etc. in a piece of art can bring about lots of joy and serenity to your life. Let’s say general consumers could set aside $500 dollars to buy from an artist, if only once in their life, we could maybe pull enough money for dedicated artists to materially support themselves.
While thinking about this idea, I mainly asked myself: should you keep making art, and why would someone buy it? As artists, it is our job to be dedicated creatives to hold a mirror up to society. We do not merely love to create we are in the field of grabbing the attention of audiences in a very personal, artistic way. This attention allows people to see our most crafted perspectives. This craft is a lifetime of sacrifice, practice, and investment in hopes that there will be a trade off for your art making, which is being able to continue to be impactful and creative in your artistic field —and, of course, to pay the bills. The art market and its consumers as it stands are very closed to traditional forms of exhibitions, expensive pricing, and a small group of buyers able to afford and invest in art. This may seem intimidating to both artists and consumers but we as consumers should buy from up and coming artists at affordable prices to invest in their well being and pursuit to be creative in society. I believe the trade off of buying art with the money you work for is that art plays a crucial role in helping heal people psychologically/physically, solving problems in society, and being an asset to our economy. When you buy an artists work, and have a personal perspective of someone else, you are encouraged to build empathy towards them, other people and maybe even the larger world. Your investing the money you work for in to something that plays a crucial role in the lives of people in a fair and thriving social system.
To sum up my idea: the consumer buys art, the artists makes money to create an economy for their creative field, stabilizing their livelihood as an artist, art will encourage empathy and help lives, and this will lead to a society making more fair, humanistic, and moral/ethical decisions. Hopefully enough consumers set aside money for art and art will become more affordable/accesible, leading to enough money consistently rolling in for dedicated up and coming artists to continue their work and have greater audience to exhibit to. Up and coming artists could then hire and buy more to meet their demands, employ/mentor other artist in the business of their traits, which will mean more exhibits and performances will be in demand for curation in a variety of settings, and hopefully we can begin to see more programs, governments, and businesses begin to invest in and subsidize our artists as well.
So, I urge all you artists and those in the field of art, keep going and for everyone to buy a piece from an up and coming artist at least once. It’s really fun to go to exhibits looking for a piece or experience, you learn a lot about different artists and their perspectives as you go. Don’t feel intimidated by the big money art world, there are more walls and spaces to show or perform in than the traditional settings that can be greatly meaningful to the audience. Make zines, create websites, find empty spaces and walls in your community to exhibit or perform in, there are many different ways to curate and exhibit for profit! Budget, collaborate, trade, perform, practice and be yourself, truly, there is no one who can make your art; that’s why your an artist, and that’s why it’s important for you and us to create a thriving field for you. Buy art, it’ll make you a more happy and open person because behind every artist is the power to manifest love, compassion, thought, creativity and all the essentials for a thriving, innovative, peaceful, fair, and trusting future for yourself and others.
Edited by Will Meyer