“We can’t pay you!”
“Will you speak at my school for free?”
“Its not in the budget!”
“That’s not a real job!”
“You’re a writer? That’s a nice hobby!”
“You’re a writer? I have a great story, you should write my book!”
“I want to pursue writing. Do you think you can read my work and offer your feedback?”
“Can I get a copy for free?”
“How much do you charge? Can I get a discount?”
I cannot begin to tell you how many countless conversations I’ve had with artists, writers, performers, or with my inner circle about my own artistic career on the ways people have not valued my work! Translation: The ways people have not valued me…
For as long as I can remember, from the moment I picked up the pen and claimed the title, WRITER it was met with criticism, judgment and questioning from family members and people who just didn’t respect me as an artist. They certainly didn’t respect my decision to leave Corporate America (7) years ago – and never look back!
It must be hard to be working at a job you hate, convinced that the artist’s life is just not for you and easily get frustrated by people who are doing what they love.
What is the price of pursuing “THE DREAM,” pursing “OUR ART,” risking everything to “LIVE OUR PASSION?”
Join me this Saturday, April 18, 2015 for a candid conversation about
AN ARTIST’S WORTH @ 7:00PM EST!
Wordup Community Bookshop
2113 Amsterdam Avenue (at the corner of 165th Street)
New York, NY 10032
Here are some of the talking points for our conversation this Saturday and please bring your own:
- Undervaluing the work of artists
- Artists shouldn’t be paid for their work
- Expecting artist to do everything for free
- Stealing our work
- Not giving artists credit for their work
- Please add to this list
Here is what I have been meditating on… and by meditating I mean I’ve had it, been infuriated, and have felt offended by some peoples complete disregard for artists and writers as valuable contributors to the world we live in.
Writers, artists, painters, and all creative beings… our art contributes greatly to society. As a writer, the art I create is intended to heal, bring joy, anger, question, build, destroy, love, hate, bring up issues, inspire, motivate, discuss, make the all too comfortable uncomfortable and celebrate all that we are.
Artists make the world a better place, yet we are paid scraps and some of us are in fact starving, some of us live in constant fear and at risk of losing it all—all in the name of pursuing what we love. And I won’t apologize for that! Nor do I want your pity.
Despite all the adversity we might face we still muster the energy to create, inspire, push past, live up to our potential, find strength oftentimes in places we had no idea we had strength, we solves problems and question the status quo. We take our art seriously and demand to be taken just as seriously.
Artists make the world a better place! Being paid for our work allows us to create greater and lasting contributions to society. Pay us what we are worth!
Please spread the word. This is the first in a three-part series of conversations where we can encourage one another, hear feedback and offer suggestions that support and celebrate Artist’s on this journey of not only KNOWING OUR WORTH… but getting paid for it!
This conversation is long over due. We will be live tweeting the conversation using the hashtag: #artistsworth (Follow @diosadominicana and @nyclwg)
With love and in solidarity!
3 thoughts on “An Artist’s Worth! The Artist Series Part 1 of 3”
What’s really annoying is when they think you should be flattered to have been asked…
Thank you for this! Just wonderful.
The element of doing it for one’s “community” is particularly insidious. Some would lord your very integrity over your head…the idea that you are not community-oriented if you don’t do something for free. That kind of emotional blackmail to cover up financial blackmail…man…