Friday, November 28, 2014

Support the artists whose work you love

As we head into the season of gift-buying, consider allocating some of your budget to artists whose works you love.  Many of them are probably doing just fine, some may even be incredibly wealthy, but it's just as likely that many of them are barely making ends meet.  Art, in whatever forms one practices it, rarely pays all that well.

I once had a client and friend say that he and his colleagues were wondering why I was still working at PT and with them when I was clearly making millions from my novels.  I assured him that if I was making millions from my novels, I would be writing full-time, but instead my sales are a couple of orders of magnitude lower.

I'm fortunate, though, to have a great job at a great company that treats me well.  Many artists are hustling all the time to make their art, and if you love their work, you should support them.

Consider, for example, Stephen Kellogg, a musician whose work I quite love.  I don't know him at all, though I've been to a few of his shows.  Perhaps he is making money hand over fist; I hope so.  The facts that he's doing a PledgeMusic drive to fund his next albums and that he's playing in the back room of Cat's Cradle this coming Tuesday suggest that he's working hard to make a good living.  If you like his music, support him.  Buy his CDs, or pick up some merch.  Come to the show Tuesday night; I'll be there. 

Or check out the work of Jain Faries, who works in fabric and found objects and other areas that rarely excite me, but who manages to produce strange, wonderful creations.  I do know Jain--she's part of my extended family--but that knowledge does not affect my opinion of her art.  She's working all day each day right now at a craft show in Greensboro, hustling with many other artists.  As far as I'm concerned, her work deserves to be in fine galleries drawing big bucks, but that's not how it's worked out for her, at least not so far. 

Aaron Vandemark, the chef and owner of Panciuto, one of my favorite restaurants, is another artist who deserves your support.  (Yes, if you haven't been paying attention to food, chefs are artists, too.)  As near as I can tell, Aaron and Panciuto are doing just fine, but at the risk of making it harder for me and my friends to get reservations, I would love more people to know and enjoy his delicious creations.  (Disclosure:  I know Aaron a tiny bit, but it's not like we hang out together.) 

I could go on and on with examples, but you get the point.  If you love an artist and want her/him to keep creating great works, support her/him as you plan your holiday spending. 

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