Updated: Oct 21, 2020
As the founder of EVE Marketing and Events I have a deep passion for marketing for all businesses but especially women owned companies and artists. Being that I am both artist and woman -hear me roar; I find that I have unique experiences in business and in networking that must be shared! as teachable lessons. I had a great conversation with a group of women yesterday during dinner about the exploitation of artists and art. An important sentiment was expressed. When you commit to giving of your gifts and creative talents in every way that you can you don't do it with the expectation that there will be a return; but as artists it's important for us to understand that our drive to create art can not be overshadowed by our common sense and willingness to be exploited.
The phrase "starving artist" exists for a reason. Artists more often than not are defined by the concept of starvation and the struggle. We are expected by the social construct to eat the crumbs and to donate our blood in exchange for our relentless commitment to entertaining society. To the artist, art is the expression of soul. It does not get much deeper than that... While to the bystander art is often viewed as a show and means of entertainment. The attitude towards art to the entertained is not always one that revolves around the preservation of and the just investment in art because we live in a society that does not amplify respecting art. Lets think about this. When there are issues surrounding state and federal budget restrictions often one of the first places it seems we look towards tightening funds for is the arts.
I was reading an article about an artist with a belly dancing studio in San Fran who is often asked by venue owners to lower her prices for performance services, While many of these venues and businesses who desire belly dancing services don't cut corners themselves on their own pricing for services that they too have etched in stone. This article also shared information about artists who reported that companies as large as Apple have asked for in store performance services from artists, in exchange for compensation as air pods and apple t.v.'s instead.... It's laughable and plainly disrespectful. So many interesting points were made as I continued to read. There are too many "exposure in exchange for your art pitches" disguised as unpaid internships; and studies are showing that people PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR WORK in the field of art/humanitarianism are often expected to barter their services for less than its value or for free... because their passion for the love of the job is expected to be enough....
I am a creator. I had a meeting with a client who expected to call me for help with their account at leisure. I am passionate about my work. They know it. I expressed in my pitch that protecting women and providing services at fair wages is important. They took note. My compassion and integrity was later weaponized against me when the individual stormed out of the room adamantly stating forget it I am on my own -after I stated that I am happy to help; but if services exceed time allotted for consulting in the contractual agreement, we'd have to talk about revisiting the terms of the contract and adjusting the fees for my services to appropriately account for the work that is being applied to the job. Sad... but you win and lose some and until our attitude as artists, creators and humanitarians shift in respect to our willingness to be exploited in exchange for "validation and a satisfactory customer service experience" We will continue to be used, abused and exploited by a society who values being entertained and carelessly exploits the gifts of artists in the spirit of convenience and advantageousness in return.