Sunday, October 11, 2015

Internet Age Double Edge Sword: Why True Artists Can’t Make A Living Off Of Their Art Anymore

The internet and social media now allows everyone to make their voice heard to the world for free, and that means artists too. More than ever before, people can make music and art and showcase it to the world. That means it must be easier than ever to become a professional artist…right?

No, not really. While it may be true that it has become easier than ever to broadcast your art, that also comes at a hefty price. You see, when just anyone can now make art and music and claim to be professional, art can more easily be devalued in monetary terms.

People don’t want to pay for their music or graphic design work when there is such a large pool of musicians and artists who do work for free. People aren’t used to having to pay for their art, and so artists are now not making as much off of their work.

You can be a writer if you have a blog or write an ebook and sell it online. You can be a musician if you buy a microphone and a laptop. You can become a graphic designer if you have Photoshop. You can be a photographer if you have a smart phone and an Instagram account. You can be a DJ if you have a laptop with a large playlist. You can be a videographer once you have a smartphone and video editing software.

It’s easy to see why artists, musicians and anyone in the creative industry can’t make a living off of their art. Because “everyone else” can do it. No one in their right mind will purchase anything that is easily accessible. Anyone with no talent can do all of the things mentioned above and pass themselves off as a “professional.” Hiding behind online anonymity is the nail in the coffin too. Unfortunately the tools of art creation and distribution are cheaper than ever, and consequently, so is the art.

This comes at a serious price for those in the creative industry. Such a fundamental part of the human experience, our capacity to create and interpret art, is now going without proper payment. Perhaps everyone’s art can now be appreciated, but people who are professional and true to their craft are unable to make a living despite the fact they are bringing so many people joy.

Indie singers and great indie bands are going uncompensated for the important work they do bringing music to our culture. Music marketing companies only work with the biggest names, while everyone else is forced to make their music free to download online.

The internet is, then, a double edged sword. A huge part of the satisfaction of being an artist comes from being able to express yourself and show that part of yourself to others, and for them to genuinely enjoy it. This ability to share ourselves through self expression, thanks to social media marketing for music artists, is now easier than ever.

But the capability for artists, who are important workers in our society, to make a living as they should off of their ability to create, is now crippled. When new indie songs come out, they often go unheard until they’re on some free streaming platform.

As artists, these are obviously some serious challenges we’re facing in this day and age. Fans aren’t just fans anymore, they’re actually participating by flooding the market with their art. This not only brings down the value of what true artists are doing, but it creates a culture of people who feel entitled to receive works of art for free. Because of this, artists are now forced to come up with creative ways to monetize their efforts and ultimately make a living doing what they love.

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