Sunday, December 14, 2014

Art, money, and people

In a recent article in The Guardian, Amanda Palmer discusses at some length the tricky issues of making money as an artist, why artists must now more than ever try various ways to make money from their art, and the sad fact that some of the artists who have been open online about money are getting beat up for their openness.  I share Palmer's frustration at the behavior of the people giving grief to artists who dare to be open about their finances, and I generally agree with the tone of the article. 

Unfortunately, I don't believe there's anything anyone can do to stop people from behaving badly about money. 

In my experience, the moment someone talks about how much they make, other people in the discussion can't stop themselves from reacting.  Is that all?  They pay you so much money for that?  Regardless of whether they think the amount is too high or too low, most people can't have calm conversations about money.  People also often seem to feel they could manage someone else's finances better than that person can.  I just don't see any way around it.

So, though I believe it's a great thing for artists to discuss openly and honestly the various ways they're trying to make a living, I think they will have to brace themselves for the inevitable grief they will later take.  That fact saddens me, but I believe it is a fact.


David Drake said...

Dear Mark,
I don't think there's any way to prevent people from behaving badly--period. Money is just one aspect.
There are protected groups now that most people wouldn't attack publically, but in our parents' day nobody'd have thought twice at attacking an uppity black or a Jew,
There are other groups too. I'm a Nam vet. I remember 1975.
People aren't perfect. We live with it.

Mark said...

I believe people attack all groups, even today, and that is sad.

Anonymous said...

Without stupid bigotry being rubbed in our faces as we grow up it would be a lot harder to notice our own flawed views. Score one for noticeable hypocrisy


Mark said...

I apologize for probably being dumb, but I'm not sure I understand your comment, and I want to. If you're willing to explain it further, either here or in email, I'd love to understand more.

Anonymous said...

The jist is.....Seeing flaws in others can help us see flaws in ourselves. Or our views. This was more in league with your and David's comments then your post. Silver lining and what not.

Ps Imagin how bad you might be if only views you agreed with were expressed. Now that's scary. (Note: I am not referring to anyone specific with the word you. Just not the best word smith.)


Mark said...

Got it. Thanks. That makes sense.


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