If you haven't seen this TED talk by Amanda Palmer, you absolutely must. Okay, you don't have to but I swear, your missing something if you don't. Especially if you're an artist because she plays with the concept of how an artist makes a living. By happenstance and personal awareness Amanda fell into a relationship of "trust" and "asking" with her audience. She found that the people who loved her music were willing to support her in a monetary way, especially when her record label cut her for selling the small sum of 25,000 records. So now she gives away her music and asks people to support her, 2 separate acts, instead of the one that we usually associate with making a living in the arts: you buy something and pay for it. She's raised a million bucks this way! Awesome, yes?
But that got me thinking about visual art and if somehow her brilliant paradigm could translate into offering visual art to audiences in the same way? So I'm tossing this question out into the stratosphere. Is there a way this might work for visual art? What are your thoughts on the subject? Really, I want to know. Because I love this idea.
First my little mind goes, well there's the material and the shipping. But you know Amanda Palmer had to invest a huge wack of money to record her music, and then there's the hours of creation that went into it. It's a big leap, believing in yourself and trusting that others will also believe in you enough that you can continue to do your creative work.
I love the idea of doing something that goes against how our consumer culture is structured. I love the idea of trusting people. I love the idea of connection with our audience, whatever the medium. I love the idea of feeling that people support each other. Is that fairy tale stuff, people? Am I related to Peter Pan or some other ethereal character with wings?? Or perhaps that's Polyanna leaning over my left shoulder?
|Journey 6"x6" on etsy|
There is a lovely young man who does some heavier work for us around our property and when we first met him we asked what do you charge. He said, well you pay what you think it's worth. And you know, we probably always pay more than the going hourly rate. And we think fondly of him, we think of him as generous and trustworthy. We know that we are supporting him and his family and it makes us feel good at the end of the day when we hand over a little pile of bills! We never imagine that he isn't working hard enough or that he's adding in a little time here and there, or that we aren't getting our money's worth. It's weird, but then so is the way our minds work. There is something about this "trust" that makes us all feel good and empowered.
|oil, cold wax on paper, 8"x10" on etsy|
I am working on it and if I wake up with any fully hatched brilliance I will let you know. Last night I woke up from a dream where I'd been bitten by a small copper coloured reptile. But that's another story. I'll save it for next time.