On Speaking Out About Artists Being Paid For Their Work
When I talk about artists getting paid for their work, that does not mean I think the entire world or even people who enjoy my work owe me money just because I make artwork. I think this is really clear but judging from some messages I get it is not for some people.
When people want to own the work I have made, commission me to make new work, or have me perform a service, I (or any artist) need to be compensated fairly, not in exposure; not in promises of future work. This is what I’m talking about when I talk about paying artists.
It does not mean that I am demanding some random person send me money because I am an artist. I am specifically talking about people who see the value in my work and want to own or use it, but don’t think they need to pay money for it.
I rarely ever ask people who are fans of my work for money; I’ve had some emergency show situations where I asked for help and I never will do that again. I never even ask people to follow me! I give people the info and say “If you’re interested in seeing my work online, this is where you can see it.” I never ask people for Likes, or to comment on things so that I can beat “the algorithms”; I never ask people to share things (I appreciate when people do it on their own initiative, but I would never expect it or ask people to do it).
I have never asked for people to just give me money; there is a link on my website because people do ask from time to time where they can give money (and I appreciate it!). I have shared the link before and said that IF SOMEONE wants to give me money, here is where they can do it, but I don't make a habit of posting that information regularly; or asking people to support me; there are so many people asking for money for very serious medical problems and it makes me feel weird to put my art practice alongside that.
I ask that when people want my work that they pay me money. That is it.
I get a lot of messages from people saying that they like my work but can’t afford it. I totally understand and I am not offended by people not buying my work; it doesn't matter what the reason, whether it's lack of funds or whatever. People can follow me (or not follow me) and never ever buy a piece of my work, for whatever reason, and this does not offend me at all.
Money is incredibly tight for me—-so I understand having priorities, and there is no way I would ever think that anyone should prioritize buying my art over things that you truly need to live. In no way do I think that someone's appreciation of my work is directly correlated to how much of my work they buy. None. Zero. I am also a person who has loved art and I am also broke; I understand wanting to buy these things but being unable. I would never hold it against a person that they have never bought a piece of my work. It is not a thing to me.
Again, I don’t understand the misinterpretation because I think I’m very clear, and I never ask for anything from people. I am not in any way, by any stretch of the imagination, screaming into the void that people should give me money for no reason just because I make art; I am stating that my work has value and if you want to have it for yourself, I need to be compensated.