Steel Ice & Stone is a multi-media interactive installation.
Nine suspended LED panels and sensor-triggered sound create an environment for memory recall.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Balancing the Heart with the Mind

Following the post Sincerity in All You Do (, a writer acquaintance, Jack Chen replied:

"I'm struggling with finding a similar balance with my core writing—novels, stories and the work that subsidizes it—magazine writing, startup consulting, advertising work. My rule thus far has been that whatever it is, it shouldn't detract from my morning writing routine, that the time I devote to my art is sacred and must be protected at all costs. 

"I think that as long as you have the will to prevent the subsidizing work from taking over the real work (and this can be very hard for someone who is naturally interested in a lot of different things) then work in related fields is one of the best things you can do as you can apply the learning to your craft. It reminds me of what a friend told me about the restaurant business: the main reason that a lot of restaurants have a bar attached is because they don't make much money on the food. But they do make  it on alcohol. The bar subsidizes the restaurant so that the chefs can make the food they want to make. It feeds into the art without dominating it."

My question is: Are creative endeavors ever appropriately compensated? Everyone knows the answer to that one. So, here's another question: Why not?

The continuous conflict of what is and what is not a creative endeavor is the battle that even artists dish up among themselves. Often, artists have a hard time understanding that great works of art don't make it without a driving, calculated force that culls an audience. Yes, the artist's energy is essential, but often, as stated on this blog before, the artist is too busy working to subsidize their art and living expenses and, oh yeah, making the art itself.  A person dedicated to its successful completion and dissemination is necessary and must somehow be compensated. 

However, on the other side of the coin are the carnivorous recording and motion picture studios; publishers and producers of all kinds; the galleries, art dealers and auctioneers; and sometimes even the museums. Yes, these organized entities are the vehicles for getting the art out there, but sharing the wealth with those who created it becomes a joke. And this mentality trickles all the way down to goobers who are just getting their feet wet.

Amanda Palmer, the rocker who started
 out as a living statue and went
on to raise $1M on Kickstarter with
little more than a wireless connection
and a kind-hearted attitude.
I've read enough musician biographies and heard enough gallery stories to back this up. Has crowd funding—another consuming endeavor, let me tell you—become the only way to realize art work?

I believe the reason artists are truly humbled when their projects are funded by strangers is that they often receive so much strife from those they trusted. That $5 or $10 from someone on the other side of the Tweet piles up to bring an idea into reality without much lost on either side.  That true leap of faith, that nod of approval, that electronic shot in the arm that, drop by drop, stone by stone, helps an artist realize a project is what sweeps up all the words written above and exhilarates the creator and patron alike.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. I like it a lot. Please let me know when it is installed.


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