For some time now, the idea presented in this article has been on my mind: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/jul/29/artists-day-job-feature
It’s a problem that all artists- writers, painters, filmmakers, musicians, ect, ect, ect- have experienced for centuries: we want to share our work with as many people as possible, but we also need to eat. It’s easy to forget, when a person watches a great film, hears a beautiful song, or reads an amazing novel, that the work of art that you have just consumed was created by another human being, another person who needs to pay just as many bills as you pay, whose family is just as challenging to support as yours is, and who deserves a paycheck for their work just as much as you do.
This is not to say that I am against the awesome literary revolution that is free books. I, like every other
reader on the planet, adore free books (“e” or otherwise). When I browse through all the free content on Wattpad, and other websites with a similar philosophy, I get excited. But, I can’t help thinking: while the artists, those hard-working souls who have shared their beautiful gifts with the world, gain nothing (except exposure, and perhaps, writing practice) from sites such as these, the CEO Fatcats who are running them are
making millions of dollars. Once again, it seems like the artist is getting the short end of the stick
Money, as usual, messes everything up.
Providing artists with a grant to fund their project while they are working on it might be an excellent solution to this dilemma. (sure, it goes against the capitalist ideal, but it ensures, at least that artists will be provided with some monetary compensation for their hard work, unlike the current model we use, which seems to rely strongly on luck and relentless marketing).
It is, methinks, worth a try.