Thursday, April 12, 2012
This is Somewhat of Crossover Interest for Visual and Musical Artists.
It happened again...another of my images went viral. When this happened with the Poe Boy image I was somewhat heartbroken, so to speak. I felt like I was bleeding potential money. While I do not consider myself a greedy person, I do need to live. Living on less than 12 thousand a year is quite frankly Bullshit. Not only is it bullshit but nearly unfathomable to most.
Anyone familiar with my work throughout the years and my start as a Neo-Pop artist could easily & rightfully say that I have no right to bemoan the rapid assimilation of my work back into the creative pool.
The problem with the way that I am forced to work now means that much of my work is P.O.D. (print on demand) and this means a few different things as far as the sales and execution of my work goes. First it means that my work yields little profit to begin with. The sites that offer print on demand work are rather greedy with their profit margins for the artists. It also means that the images on these P.O.D. sites are set up so that the image that you see is the image that you get. There is no real way to watermark or protect the images.
IF and that is a big IF, I had the upfront capital to produce the works (be that plates, shoes, t-shirts ect.) in larger quantity then I would be able to realize better returns on my work BUT this also means that I would have to maintain my own website, shopping carts, shipping and build the web traffic from the ground up. I do at the moment have my own site but that still relies heavily on the print on demand market.
A few well spent dollars tossed into the Chinese economy would certainly mean more profit but much, much more work on my part. I am not afraid of an increase in the workload but it still does not eradicate the fact that with working capital I would fair much better in the economical and profit realization fronts.
Putting this all into one easy to swallow pill is a real task. I am trying to think of this in terms of "Free Promotion" and yet that is buying into the same line of reasoning that every artist has nearly come to believe themselves due to the proliferation of the game of "Screw the Artist". The standard line is "It's good exposure". If you have created anything as an artist beyond your coloring book phase at 8 years old then you have likely heard this before. I tend to reply, "I live in the Midwest, people die of exposure in the winter".
I do not want anyone to mistake this as bitterness but rather I am trying to find my way in this new paradigm where every thought can instantaneously be shared. The age of electronic interconnectedness. Musicians full well have had to adapt and perhaps have even felt the sting of this phenomena called the internet. It is, at once, a blessing and a curse at best. This means that an artist can look forward to sharing their latest creations with the push of a button quite literally but this also means that, in essence that work is no longer the property of the creator with the same push of said button.
As I said, this is not intended to be a bitter diatribe but rather an admission that I am grappling with this amazingly brutal behemoth called the internet and trying to find a way to finally enjoy at least a few of the benefits of a lifetime of creativity along the way. Until I finally figure this out, enjoy the work.
End Notes: Thanks for giving this a look/see. It was reposted from my FACEBOOK page and seemed to have struck a nerve with many of my friends.