Saturday, August 30, 2008

The number one question I've seen asked lately by the herding masses, is "how can I make money through my art?". Well now it's time to take this question from both sides (ooo, kinky *wink*). Why it can be a good thing, and why it can be a horrible one that you'll look back on years later while sobbing into a bottle of jack daniels.

Now I know what you're thinking, "but lycao, you athosian sex god (point for the stargate reference), how can making money from something you love to do
possibly be a bad thing?!". Well if you'd stop thinking so much and keep reading, I'll tell you (everyone hit "off" on your brain switch, until further notice).

I really don't understand why so many people are hell bent on making a few scraps of money off their art work. I mean sure it's nice to have some extra spending cash in your pocket, and lord knows you need it these days with costs of everything rising faster then the phoenix after being cut down, as if to say "Fuck you, I can't be killed, so just go away and stop trying". But in the end, its not like you'll make very much from it. Lets face it, regardless of how good you are, in the art world there's always about 50,000 people more
experienced, and thus, will inevitably get the job over you. But hey, that's how it works when you have millions of people all fighting over the few scraps of jobs there are out there, like ally cats fighting over a mouse that made a very poor life choice and decided those furry giants didn't look all THAT threatening.

To be fair, I can't really say it's a "horrible idea". I mean, if you love to do it, and the fact that your fun loving hobby has now become the thing that you depend upon for every crumb of cheese in your fridge, then good on you. In most cases however it's nothing more then a very bad idea spawned from that part of some artists brain that says "hey, if they can make a living from this, why can't I?", then do an about-face, take a right down "this will all end in tears avenue" and start selling nothing but half assed fan art then wonder why they aren't swimming in a solid gold pool filled with more gold. Realistically, selling fan art tends to do far more harm then good. While it does succeed in giving the artist some exposure to what working with/through your art is like. At the same time, it instills a false truth that they can simply rest on their laurels and have no need to study or further advance in their chosen field, as they're already making money, and since they already posses the skills necessary to begin pouring the foundation for that gold pool, there's no need to bother trying anything

Now I've kinda dragged my self into a sticky situation. Not unlike when I went to use a tube of super glue with a loose lid, and shortly there after found my self trying to part my palms with my feet. On the one hand, if you truly love doing art as a job, and thrive on deadlines and wages that more often then not are the equivalent to being paid in bits of string (yes, most art based jobs don't pay all that well), then seeking out employment in your chosen field is a fantastic idea and I truly hope you succeed. On the other hand, if you simply want to do art as a hobby, and make some extra money on the side through selling fan art, original art work or even just a couple things here and there to friends and family or something like that, then you too have my full support (slightly making my
previous few paragraphs seem like nothing more than long winded pointless rants. Yay hypocrisy!). On the other other hand (I'm assuming you're an octopus at this point) if you're one of those people who simply do art as a means to potentially make money, then I'd suggest you stop now, as your lack of legitimate interest in the art form will prove to be nothing more than a waste of time.

Personally, I don't want what I love to do to get to a point where how good my next drawing is, will determine whether or not I get to eat tomorrow. That being said, I do personally sell prints of my artwork (Yay hypocrisy 2.0). But I fall into that second category of people who want to do it as a hobby, and make some video game money on the side (I'd say gas money, but hell, you could sell that golden pool with the gold still in it, and you STILL would only get
half a tank for it).

In the end, making money from art, or making art your job aren't truly bad ideas. That all depends on your intentions/goals for it. If you have a legitimate interest in art, and money is just a by product of that, then great. But if you couldn't care less about art, and are simply trying to join the "making small amounts of money from art" club, then stop now, or you'll quickly find your self in a harsh reality known as the "art world". Where everyone is a fickle prick, and if you don't take it seriously and put genuine emotion into your work, they'll throw you out faster then the sober Irish guy in the bar on st. Patricks day.

P.S. I'm not trying to perpetuate the stereotype that drunk Irish people enjoy a good sober toss now and again. I'm perpetuating the stereo type that there's no such thing as a sober Irishmen on st. Patricks day.
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