Plight Of The Modern Artist

As a writer who has seen media take big financial hits over the last few years, the slogan on the following t-shirt (available from The Shirt List) exemplifies how I and many of my fellow scribes feel lately, especially in light of websites that have slashed their budgets and procured young, free talent as part of their new business model. The slogan also applies to musicians, actors, filmmakers, painters and any other artists who either make a living at their craft or hope to. It’s funny how many people in the general public do not view being an artist as a real job — or at least one whose products they should have to pay a lot for, if anything, and I’m looking at you, illegal downloaders — yet they expect a lot of hard work to go into being entertained or engaged by them. Unfortunately, when economic times get tough, the arts get pummeled. But artists still deserve to be paid!

(Photo courtesy of The Shirt List.)

2 Responses

  1. Darren Bergstein

    I wholeheartedly agree, Bryan, and, in fact, just ordered the shirt! 🙂

    This has become such a widespread problem (its precedent set ages ago, and, unfortunately, written in stone by cheap hucksters in Hollywood, the publishing industry, the music industry, et al) that I am unsure as to a ‘solution’, if one even exists.

    In the short term, we must *all* be emphatic and assertive, demanding restitution for our work, deeming anything less, or any bastardization of our work (and the untold hours spent producing it) as unacceptable, and, generally, continuing to beat our collective heads against the walls until what is deserved gives way.

    I have been repeating these concepts as a multi-headed mantra to colleagues, friends, and industry types for years; one of the ironies is that many of these colleagues, either due to attrition, their own laziness or just overall malaise, don’t seem to fight for their rights, hell, even tacitly agreeing that it is essentially ‘okay’ to work for nothing. That in and of itself makes the battle even more problematic, and thus, vital to continue waging. Take the stand!


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