When Isn’t It About the Money?

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Money. The single biggest factor that motivates almost every action undertaken by people. Also one of the biggest enemies of many artistic endeavors on a small scale – either there isn’t enough and the artist has to take on a side gig as a beggar, or there’s too much of it and the art becomes an extension of money. Either way, one of the biggest struggles for the art community is obtaining money. As a result most of the help in a creative project isn’t quite compensated enough monetarily.

I’ve had my hand in trying to get projects going for the longest time. However instead of trying to get qualified professionals for any of them, I sought the cheaper route to benefit me. My strategy was just to find people with too much time on their hand  (regardless of skill) and employ them to my endeavors so I wouldn’t have to worry about paying them. Throughout several of my propositions, I have attempted this and it has had the same outcome – people are initially interested (“What a cool idea!) but that soon turns to apathy because in the end there’s nothing for them to gain. In each of these projects, I was just thinking of what I would gain from this. Exposure, experience, tangible marketable product for my own reel. However, there are always people who also want these same sets of outcomes. If I just stepped back and looked at the idea of aiding other people while aiding myself I could of actually had something up and running, with the potential of getting money in the future to also repay their help. Now this may sound like basic knowledge (get an actor for an acting position), but there was always the fear of adding to the stack of nonpayment. The dreaded stack of opportunities that encapsulate the arts world and cause the field to be considered a hobby pursuit.

The reality is even though I don’t want to add to this pile, I should at least take into consideration that I still should try and help other artists display their work. People who don’t have a reel to market themselves with, people who don’t have displays that show what they are capable of (much like me). Instead of trying to find people who were in the same boat as me and can use the experience and had the time, I was just going after the people who just had the time, but didn’t need the experience. Which leads to people who are put into roles they may not actually feel right with, causing them to become disinterested in the actual project.

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