Turbulence

Blue Skies. Greenwood Base, Nova Scotia. Acrylic on Canvas. K. Cameron

Airplanes are  fascinating things. They can remain  suspended on basically nothing but certain laws of physics . I’ve always loved airplanes; doesn’t matter if they were super fighter jets or just ordinary (ish) passenger jets. Then there’s those old vintage aircraft that pop up on movies or in airshows like the Douglas DC-3. You gotta’ just love those silver winged ships that were built for sepia adventure in lost jungle lands.

Well I’ve never been on a plane. I’ve stood next to them; photographed them and touched them. I don’t feel at a loss but perhaps that can be chalked up to my latent anxiety of confined social situations.

We all know that turbulence is a word that scares the crap out of most people except perhaps those of some elite RAF or US Navy Seals that almost relish the challenge. Bring it on bitch! That kind of attitude for I which am grateful some of those trained men and women can have.

I don’t believe in spreading  the starving artist myth. To do so is just to  perpetuate this fictional dragon. Artists don’t have to be poor just because they are artists. The reasons for poverty are many but in a money-based society artists can suffer for lack of business acumen. In a western, democratized society I truly believe the reason for starving artists is simply because they have not *yet mastered the business side of art And/Or they do not have access to sound business counsel. To admit that there can be an art business that does not interfere with the creation of said art could be  the first step away from an empty cupboard.

One has to do what must be done. Selling is not copping out. Getting a part time job  is not selling out. The problem here is that the artist (photographer, musician, etc) has to have two heads upon one neck! Yes back to those sepia adventures. Unknown lands of two headed cyclops’s ( can there be such a thing?).  Y’know like the ones we saw in the matinee that introduced the main flick. Ah the good ole days when we spun flattened popcorn boxes like frisbees at the silver screen.

One head must only be thinking of creating art and dwelling in an abstract dream-like-land. The other twin head must be focused on marketing, selling, the books…the cupboard!

Why I almost did not post this.

I will confess to you if you ever followed this blog you will see that I have always been an advocate for not allowing money to determine what gets created. I still believe that. However although  I may have , ” slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings…” in the process of creation I have ignored the necessity of money’s place in the grounding of our current lives. I do believe in some future world that money will mean nothing.

A caveat:  You can do art without selling it. More power to you. But you must be prepared to do something else for a living or make some kind of arrangement the likes of a  Tom Selleck TV series where you get a Ferrari and lodging in exchange for your skills.

Personally this past year or so has been particularly hard financially for my wife and I. As I said poverty or poverty-like situations can come to anyone. It’s when a series of events i.e. illness, job loss, car problems, confusion -all come calling on horseback like some biblical epic.

I think we are coming through the turbulence now. Nothing but blue skies from now on…, I hope.

Let it be said if you want to make a living from art then, for sure, for damn sure make it your living. Money is not surly. It is not good or evil. It is just a note of trade that will put food in your belly, a coat on your back and if  you wish– silver wings to carry you away!

*This includes myself as well.

Thing to be added: I wrote this. Hesitated a couple days. Then got weak knees, so to speak. This is because I did not want to make it sound like making money from art is an easy thing. It’s not. The best minds in the world can see that. What I am saying is that Selling art has to do more with selling than Making, in most cases. It means that the better you are at marketing and sales in anything , given the right conditions,consumer demand, network,etc., then the better you will be at selling your creations.

Often this is why extremely talented artists struggle financially. Conversely some poorly gifted or unskilled artists are successfully wealthy. This was meant to be more of a get out there and do it, rah-rah post than I just solved your life post.

Thanks for reading!

2 comments on “Turbulence

  1. Kevin, I think this is a good assessment of some of the factors that make art and commerce seem incompatible. I wish you and your wife fair skies from now on, and don’t forget to keep your seatbelts on, just in case! 🙂 Sarah

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