Let’s make no bones about it, no artist worth their salt makes work with the express intent of profiting financially from it. M***y is absolutely not the raison d’être or driving force behind my creative work, and I’m sure the same is true of my peers. It is however a necessity, it always has been and perhaps always will be.
The prevailing attitude seems to be that to make money from the work you do as an artist somehow diminishes its cultural significance; this does not have to be the case. From my point of view, entrepreneurship in art is all about circumvention, a wholly positive attitude. Finding other ways to get your work to people. If what you produce is going to make any real difference to people then it has to be ‘consumed’ – it is entirely reasonable to expect some financial recompense for what you have made. How else are you going to make more work, pay the rent? Or eat? Maybe it’s time for us to adopt a more entrepreneurial attitude. Not to ‘sell out’, but to find other ways through which creative practices can be maintained; critically, intellectually and financially.
I’m not talking about tapping into the diamond encrusted contemporary art market, what I mean is affording artists the ability to earn an honest living through the work they produce – and why can’t artists actively seek out and develop methods through which to do this? Is that too idealistic? Some would say “yes” I’m sure, but from the comfort of the family BMW on the way to an unpaid Internship, that’s quite easy to do.