Hey, Artist, We Don’t Appreciate Your Kind Around These Parts

And by these parts, I mean North America.  Probably further than that, too.

Today I read two (well, let’s call it three) different articles basically illustrating a fundamental problem for any artist who wants to actually make artwork.  Here are the links, to fuel your depressive tendencies:

When Iggy Pop Can’t Live Off His Art, What Chance Do the Rest Have?

It’s All But Impossible To Earn A Living As A Working Artist, New Report Shows

How Comic Conventions Came To Have So Little Room For Comics (a reach, but relevant to me)

If you didn’t feel like reading all of that, the short version is that people don’t care about anything except what they care about, and even then they’re not going to spend money even on things they do like.  People just expect things to be there, and for free, preferably optimized for their screens.  I mean, if you pay $600 for an iPad, anything you can jam on there should be free of charge, right?  People even find ways to be offended about getting something presumably of value for free.

There’s no good, simple answer to any of this.  The eternal question of art, at least from one’s parents, is “how do you expect to make a living at this?”  There are a lot of reasons to make art, to pursue it in a serious, determined manner, but few of them are “practical” ones, and it’s unlikely that one’s work will find a hospitable environment to exist in.  Even the notion of making enough money to fund future work (and not even at any kind of profit) can seem like a far-off, unreachable goal.

Then again, maybe it’s just a slow news day today, and these sites have nothing better than try to passive-aggressively pile discouragement on people who are just trying to find something interesting and meaningful to say to the people around them.  Thanks for the pep talk, guys!


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