Anyone ever read the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand? It’s a book about what it means to have artistic integrity. Is there such a thing and does it matter? What does artistic integrity mean to you as an artist?
I think artistic integrity is developing and working in your own style. I think a lack of artistic integrity is working in another living artist’s style for money or as a cheaper replacement. I also believe that I am not just a wrist for hire to people without art skills. Clients need to colaborate not just dictate. This has nothing to do with what you charge for your work, or what genre of work you do, this is about how you work and what part of you are you willing to sell to make a living.
I’m not talking about student work or practice. I'm also not talking about large projects like movies or games or large ad campaigns where a consistent look is necessary and the work needs to be done by large groups of artists in collaboration towards a single cohesive style. I’m talking about when a client comes to you and says 'I want this piece of art or a series of paintings but I want you to copy someone else’s style.' Do you do it or pass it up?
It seems as the economy has deteriorated people are willing to do anything artistically to make money. I think everyone has to decide this for themselves and it defines you as an artist and it can define your career. Where do you draw a line in the sand when it comes to your work, if at all?