Posts Tagged ‘working’

"Work", CC by Billy Wilson on Flickr

Ta-Nehisi Coates had an interesting article recently in the Atlantic about being asked, as an emerging journalist, to write for free. He got his leg up in the industry that way, and he makes the argument that there’s no ethical problem with asking people to write without paying them (as in, for the exposure). Obviously, there are strong feelings on both sides of this issue, and I found myself pondering the question anew in relationship to composing, though really it holds true for any artistic endeavor.

The more I think about it, it seems you can make an ethical argument on either side of the debate depending on if you see yourself primarily as an entrepreneur or a professional. That’s because the arts are neither businesses nor professions in the true sense of either word, and neither model fits that well—whatever path you choose, it’s going to be a compromise. In my own case, I always try to get paid and I usually succeed, but if it’s a project I really care about, I don’t let a failed grant application stop me. (more…)

Photo CC by Vratislav Darmek on Flickr

A few weeks ago, a friend’s link to a rant about a rant about the Hype Machine, a music blog aggregator, got me thinking about the issue of whether it’s better to do art full time or part time. The short answer to that question, of course, has to do with what better means to you. But I still think there are meaningful distinctions that can be made between the kinds of art that get made in either situation.

The question of better can be addressed to a large extent using economic scenarios, though not by relying on classical economics. Basic economic theory would say that the more reward you get for your work, the more devoted you will be to it, hence ensuring value. Also, we would expect the best artists to receive the most money because their work is in the highest demand. So full-time artists, by this definition, should always be better artists. (more…)