The other day, I saw a Tweet that showed an ad that Sainsbury UK had published.
It went along the lines of:
“We’re looking for an artist, to come decorate our employee dining area.
“We won’t pay you, but it’ll be fantastic exposure!”
Exposure to what… a few hundred employees?
I fail to see how that benefits the artist.
Supermarket employees… do they buy art?
Maybe some do, but I very much doubt they’ll have the financial reality to spend 500 or more on original artwork.
Besides, the entire concept of the proposal is just wrong, wrong, wrong.
And even worse: it plays directly to the still-thriving starving artist-mindset.
Art for free?
Art is not a commodity.
Making art is a public service and it can have massive impact on society.
Da Vinci’s work still inspires scientists and inventors.
Jules Verne seeded the idea of undersea travel, and now we have divers studying marine life with mini-submarines.
And that stylized b/w image of Che Guevarra we see on t-shirts?
Yep, that still has its impact on people.
Examples abound, of exactly how influential and important art is.
And yet, we’re still being sold the BS story that as an artist, you’re not meant to make a living from it.
People still think that because making art usually has little practical cost, it shouldn’t cost anything.
After all, some paper and a pencil… less than a dollar, and you can make art with it.
(Of course other kinds of art require a bigger financial outlay – studio time and instruments for a band, or buckets of paint if you do large murals, but that’s not the point).
The point is that art should be paid for not for what it costs, but for what it delivers.
And artists should get paid for the value they deliver.
And that value is much, much bigger than you can imagine.
So don’t give your art away.
Take a stand, and don’t back down.
Because what you bring to the world changes the world, and never forget that.
And when they come asking if you can do stuff for free?
Guess what my answer would be…
Now, my question to you is: what if you know this, and you do get paid, and you know your work is worth more…
… but for some reason you can’t find the way to make that happen…
… could it be that you’re holding yourself back in some way?
If you feel that maybe yes, then it could be due to inner obstacles and limiting beliefs holding you back.
Want to work on those, do inner work and change your state, your mind, and your world?
Good to hear.
Let me know when you’re ready for powerful coaching.
Also published on Medium.