People have been "pimping" this article for a while now, but for those of you who haven't heard or read it, here's an excerpt:
When you're an artist, people try and take advantage of you in ways they wouldn't if you had a conservative career (though whenever you're self-employed, people will generally try and take advantage of your skills).

They don't know they're doing it, because in a society that doesn't value art for the most part; it's normal not to value artists. And artists often don't know it's happening, because they're part of that society and the trend of devaluing their own work. [...]

That is the culture of art and artists in Western society. People on my friends list are guilty of it. People I meet and hardly know, and people I know very very well are guilty of it. I'M guilty of allowing it (though you can probably tell I'm getting reaaaaaally sick of it now). Friends of mine who are artists participate in this 'I will sell myself short because I'm an artist and you expect me to sell myself short' culture.

It's the expectation that bothers me. It's not like I don't freely give my art as gifts, occasional pro-bono book covers, or haven't sent pictures in the past. I do and have. I genuinely want to.

It's the expectation that because I'm an artist, I exist to do art for others, for free, or for nothing more than a 'gee, you're so talented' (I know that, that's why art costs money, because it's a rare and desirable skill that not everyone can do - even with training). It's the assumption that I am some bohemian who basically wants to spend her entire life sharing my creativity with others, but never making money off it - because bohemians live on tea and noodles and tuna and don't want for anything more than that if they have art in their lives. Right? Wrong. Or at least, certainly wrong in my case. Doctor's appointments, art supplies and a mortgage aint cheap.
Full post:

It's a universal problem, probably more so where I live. If you've got 90% of the population that's barely scraping over the poverty line, who's gonna care about your sketch or painting? Nearly everything here's either pirated or shown for free, so paying for a drawing or even a painting seems ludicrous and a tad hedonistic.

Of course, there's hope. One reply referred to an interesting book you probably should seek out and read:
"... It (the post) reminds me of a book called The Talent Code that proposes that it's not so much about raw talent but passion, drive, opportunity, etc. Without those, even the most talented individual may get nowhere. Worth a read, especially if you see it on sale."
Agreed, you need passion, skill, but most importantly exceptionally wealthy parents / spouse to back your career up. I've met a few successful artists who got where they are because of these benefactors. The rest are probably slaving away at some dull, demeaning desk job staring at the office clock.


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