Art And The Marketplace

November 17, 2008

in Instruction

Off Photography.alltop.com I found this interesting article about art and the marketplace.

One of the survey questions I got was, “Why would anyone want to photograph models when there is little to no chance they will make any money doing it?” It is interesting the struggle artists have with being able to make money from their art.

I do it because it is fun and fulfilling. Money is a secondary consideration. Most of the photographers doing this kind of photography do it as a hobby and want to make enough money to pay for their gear and studio.

The problem with art is that once you start doing it for the money you lose a lot of the joy of it. It goes from being something you want to do to something you have to do. Maintaining joy under those conditions is hard. Some do, but most don’t.

Challenges Of The Marketplace

There are people who make money doing art and still enjoy it. I think the key is to not create art for the money, but rather let money come to the art.

There are a number of challenges with this.

First, money rarely just finds you. Instead you have to sell yourself to it let it know where you are. Most artists have a hate/hate relationship with sales and marketing, so when they have to do it all the joy is sucked out of the process. Plus you feel time spent marketing is time you could be spent doing what you love, creating.

My only advice is to look on marketing as a creative endeavor. One of the things we do in art is communicate and create feelings. Those are the same thing we do in marketing. Think about it.

Second, artists don’t always want to create what the audience wants. They want to create what they want to create and hope it finds an audience. When it doesn’t we either feel we suck, or people suck. Neither is conductive to a positive mental health or making money.

You can’t hate the people who can buy your work.

Artists find a way to express themselves. To create we constantly have to be doing something new and different. When we become a commodity – like photographing a wedding – we are asked for the same thing over and over. But an artist can do that and find a new way to look at the same thing. It takes a really great artist, someone with a powerful grasp of their art, to let us see something old in a new way. I’ve seen wedding photography that made me go “Wow, if I could shoot a wedding like that, I’d shoot weddings.”

If you have to do it for the money, look for new ways to express yourself every time and in everything.

Previous post:

Next post: