Artist as Entrepreneur
I just read another “end of the art world” article about the ramifications of artist as entrepreneur on the world of art. It seems something or someone is always trying to kill off the art world. Lots to think about!
The article takes the position that the artist as master artisan is devolving as the wavy line that separates true artists from creatives gives way to the economic need, and that while once upon a time, artists were true craftsmen of rare and studied talent, today, everybody and his grannie can paint a picture or write a book and put it up for sale on Facebook. What was once genius, held sacred and protected, first devolved into a profession, as technique overtook inspiration. And now, that profession of art is morphing once again into the self-employed artist or creator, a jack of every trade necessary from accounting, to marketing, promotion, and sales, leaving precious little time for the great masterpiece. It’s a great article and a sad but realistic commentary on where we are headed. If Van Gogh has been alive today, he would have been just another interesting artist.
I am perhaps an example of the type of person to whom this article refers, as a writer, musician, and artist. But I didn’t “become” multitalented to fit into new markets. I do see more and more, though, that everyone is embracing their self-expression. Anyone can write a book, make a video, be an artist, write a song… Why not? I don’t know that everyone calling him or herself a writer, artist, musician, photographer, designer whatever is the end of art. On the contrary, I think humans were meant to express and create. We were meant to dream a more perfect world. No, that is not the problem.
The problem perhaps is that while we are embracing our creative natures, we aren’t changing the paradigms that rule society in terms of economy. We need an evolutionary leap. I’m not sure what that looks like. I’m not sure any of us do…yet. But I hope the possibilities make themselves apparent soon.