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Makes me wonder - are there any initiatives around to make the field of art /less/ competitive? Any pages that are specifically trying to weed out the commodification of art, or the attitude that it should be cheap, or that amateur artists can be fooled and deceived into giving away cheap work? I know of antispec.com, but no others. It might be a whole thread on it's own.
I know I've helped in some small way, because lecturers and recruiters advertise cheap work, experience or exposure to students through my College so I proceeded to print out copies of the 'Should I work for Free' page and put them up on every level of the building next to the Elevator. Maybe slightly off topic but I feel like it can and certainly should be done.
Fascinating article arenhaus, thanks for posting.
It's what made me start this thread:
I remember a couple of years back standing in an enormous magazine shop and spending some time seeing how many magazines used illustrations. After an hour I was holding just four magazines in my hand, one of them National Geographic, and non of them contained more than one or two illustrations each, most of which were little more than thumbnails.
The money right now is with Apps icons.
I hope I'm wrong, but aside from the fantasy industry (god bless it!) and children's books the busniness is practically dead.
Well at least if you do it your following your dreams. That must be worth something as well.
Even though it doesn't pay that well I dream of being able to make money with art. Even if it means I need a job next to it I still really want to do this. I'll need quite some years for it though before I'm a little good but one must have dreams right. And ever since I found out I love working on concept art I really feel happy. My life actually became better because of art (sorry, for the probably being a little to happy >_< Please say so if I annoy people)
Are any people around here really having problems with keeping there head up because of the amount of money you get for your work?
Working as hard as I can to become a better artist
An average painting of mine sits on the wall for about £3,000.
The gallery take half minus the VAT - that means when I sell a painting I make about £1,300.
The frame cost, packaging, materials and fuel to deliver was about, say, £150
Therefore, all told, I only make £1,150 for a painting that sells for £3,000.
Now, it takes me about 3 weeks on average to produce a painting. So assuming I was selling EVERYTHING I paint, I'm still making well below the average wage by selling paintings.
Commissions in general and commissions for porttraits is where I can make any decent money because only 30% of the fee (About £7,000 for a group portrait) is taken by the agent.
But it ain't a picnic. In this economic climate I have to pedal literally 3 times harder to just about make the same as I did 3 years ago. And even then I'm still falling short.
No need to get too pessimistic. There are still plenty of wealthy illustrators out there. They're just not getting rich off of magazine spots and advertising. I bet guys like Alex Ross and James Jean are raking in the dough. The creator owned market didn't exist back then, so we are in a more fortunate position from that angle. Hell concept artists can get some pretty fat checks too. Especially if you're working in Hollywood. Sure serious wealth is rare, but it's still just as possible as the old days. On top of that you don't have to uproot to New York like the old days. NYC has always been 20 years ahead in inflation. So there is plenty to be optimistic about.
Editorial/advertising illustration certainly isn't what it used to be. On the bright side, we have video games, animation, feature films, CCGs, etc.. all industries that didn't exist (or were in their infancy) in Al Dorne's day.
I love Leif's blog, but I don't always agree with the tone.
This is still true today! Depending on how broadly you define illustrator, you might find more commercial artists making that kind of living (per capita).its easy to imagine that the equivalent of modern day six-figure income was well within reach for many a mid-century illustrator.
We don't have illustrators becoming household names anymore, but art still decorates every corner of our lives. And it still pays.
Last edited by Cicinimo; October 13th, 2011 at 08:27 PM.
Working as hard as I can to become a better artist
To give you an idea of what these people are like you only have to look at how someone like Grayson Perry is feted to realise what a stinking, corrupt cartel for the post modern mutual protection society the Arts Council has become. It is a self interested vampire given enconomic blood by cluless government pen pushers and those in a position to flatter them.
Plastic artists, painters and sculpters are subsisting on peddling their wares to a tiny minority of buyers who have enough money and enough interst to buy paintings. And only a tiny minority of those have sufficient taste to consider anything that isn't JUST a wall decoration. The food has become scarce outside the castle walls.
So to answer your last question Ms Happygirl, (and thanks for your concern BTW!) I am fortunate enough to have had some very good years before these times took hold and therefore have a pretty decent roof over my head and enjoy a good standard of living because my wife also works - she's a freelance translator in the games industry of all things! But I hate not pulling my weight as much as I used to and have looked to another creative outlet... One that is not contingent on technology and is geared to micro payment...
Hence I am increasingly turning to writing for an income.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; October 17th, 2011 at 06:28 PM.
Our art buying public is also not too sophisticated, and buys mostly blandly decorative stuff to go with the curtains. In most galleries, art is typically priced according to size rather than based on how much work went into it. Thus a highly detailed realistic landscape that took two weeks to paint will sell at the same price as a very abstracted one that took two hours. The result of this is that there is high pressure on artists to churn out the same generic painting over and over, just to be able to survive.
And then of course we have the same problem here that you point out in your other post in this thread: a small clique of postmodernist nuts that, in cahoots with clueless "academics" and critics, control "the art world," quite deliberately confusing the public about what kind of art is or is not valuable. So you have a bunch of talentless jerks who cannot draw a stick figure feted (and paid) like royalty, while the real artists frequently simply cannot make a living out of it and have to hold down jobs while painting part-time.
But then, I'm not sure this situation is all that new - history is littered with great artists who lived in penury. I also suspect that the situation is changing. The fad for crappy stuff like pickled sheep and Jesus swimming in piss was to some extent an expression of the decadence of people with too much money and too little between the ears. After recent economic developments in the west, the money stream that kept the madness going might be running dry.
My sketchbook thread:
The whole conceptual/process art thing started in the 70s so I reckon it will be around for another 10 to 20 years at least.
But here are signs that it is going from rotten to putrid (compare Grayson Perry to Gilbert and George and you have some idea what I mean).
So things can only get better... because, as far as our culture goes and what we value, they can't get too much worse.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; October 19th, 2011 at 03:53 AM.
Reminds me of this video - Skip to 5:32 - It's kind of relevant.