Tag Archives: Drawing

Paying for art

Recently I’ve been discussing monetary value of things. I was discussing how we price art but I think there is a wider issue about how people value art in general.

I am what some term as an amateur artist, I make art in my spare time. I don’t have to spend a lot of my time marketing my work to make sure I sell it to keep body and soul together. Many artists do. I exhibit my work and do commissions. I normally charge a small amount for these since if I charged a living wage for them (currently £7.85 in the UK) no one would buy one. For instance an A4 single colour drawing takes about 24 hours (spread over a couple of weeks) to do, so that is about £190. One of the A2 ones is anything from a month to 6 months.

Many artists have faced this issue how much do you charge for your work. I think very few of them charge a living wage for them, and like me are afraid that if they did no one would buy it. So we undervalue what we create often or just give it away.

One of the artists I greatly admire Amanda Palmer has talked about this a lot, yesterday she announced on Facebook that she had started a Patreon page

It works like this:
The artist puts together a package like Kickstarter, but the sponsorship is per item over the long term. Since yesterday 1,496 patrons are willing to give her $13,507.19 per thing. Which is pretty amazing. You can also put a cap on your sponsorship. So for instance I’ve set it at $3 per item to a max of $15 per month. Which means I control how much cash I pay out and the beauty of it is that I still get the material. There is no guarantee but also no money will be taken if she never creates another thing. And I trust her.

I think it is a pretty liberating thing to do. So every time she creates a piece of art we get it. The artist is free to create and do their magic and knows that at the end of it they will get a sum of money which will allow them to pay for their electric or phone bills, staff, food, etc. Does it sound familiar? It should it is how doing a job and being paid a salary works. You agree with your company to do work they pay you a sum of money for it.

Most artists don’t work like that. Most struggle day to day from commission to commission. Many have to have a paid job as well to keep themselves going while they create their art. Isn’t it time we recognised Artist as a legitimate job just like school teacher or administrator.

This way when Amanda creates a thing, she can push it straight out to the fans and won’t have to spend all her time pushing it out into the public domain, so she can create more art for more people.

I’ve read a few comments on people being negative about this approach but who said artists (whatever their art) have to live on the poverty line and live in a garret. Why shouldn’t they be paid enough money to live a decent life.

Since I last checked her page is now 1,527 patrons $13,680.19 per thing. I for one am very happy for her.

I wonder how it would work for an unknown, for instance what would happen if I did it? I wouldn’t expect anyone to give anything like this to me. But could I be paid a sum of money to create art to legitimise (if I need to) what I do? To give myself hope that my art is worth something? On the other hand do I care? I’d still do it without the payment.

What do you think?

Have a look at the other Patreon stories.

 

 

 

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Not quite a Ammonoidea

A4 sketch on red paper, I have brought a lot of different coloured paper to try and expand my colour use. I don’t often work in colour, not sure why. This one reminds me of paper clips

National Exhibition

The Ood

Inspired by Dr Who

I have been busy since last posting here, I have a picture in a National Exhibition. I’m really happy and rather surprised. I saw an invite from the National Media Museum  asking for contributions to its Dr Who 50th anniversary show. So having created this picture loosely based on the Ood from the show I thought why not and sent them a speculative email.

I wasn’t really expecting an email back but I got one and they were interested! I was happy but cautious as nothing is set. I got it framed and then waited to see if it was still needed. After a couple of agonising weeks I got the email to send it to Bradford for inclusion in the exhibition.

One of my humble doodles will be in the Dr Who and Me: 50 years of Dr Who fans exhibition 23 November 2013 to 9 February 2014 and I am over the moon.

I have had a lot of encouragement to do this from Sam and The Art House who have made me realise that other people might want to see my scribbles.

So now the problem is how do I get to Bradford to see it in place!

Why do we do it?

Someone yesterday asked me why I draw, I couldn’t give him a sensible answer. Why do we do anything? I have always drawn things. My parents encouraged myself and my sisters to do what we thought was important, this paid off very well for my sister Harriet who is now the president of the SWLA

I went down a different route. I started out as an Archaeologist, I am now a socio economic researcher for  Southampton City Council. It’s a bit of a change but I always say its a dryer form of archaeology, it is still digging up facts. It may not be a glamorous job but it pays for my other passions drawing, computers and gaming.

The drawing below was created on the only piece of paper I had while in hospital for a day. I think it was a drinks ticket from a bar, now it is a piece of art.

Image

Thinking

My art is inspired by all sorts of things I don’t often think before I start but I normally like the results. Occasionally I do something get to the end and think ummm no doesn’t work.