Money vs Art

Does money corrupt art?

If you are paid to create, is it really your art or is it influenced or corrupted by your compensation? Does compensation make your art less than pure?

I've been around the music business for long enough to know that the mark of a great recording artist is not their first album. It's their second. If an artist can manage a sophomore record, then they might stick. Why? Because they used all their best material on the first album--the stuff they wrote when they weren't getting paid to write...when they were still waiting tables or tending bar or working at UPS for money and writing songs in their down time. By the time the second album rolls around, the artist is being paid to write, no longer in search of the big break, riding the wave of the first album.

Similarly, does compensation--whether money or product--make scrapbooking less than straight from the heart? If a company is paying you to use their product, is your vision skewed by the promise of compensation? Does the fact that your heart art is being manufactured to fit into the mold of a company's product like mean anything? Does it enter into your thinking when you are creating? Does that make it less than personal soul-filled art?

When I have been employed by design teams, I felt squished. I felt pressure to do certain things, use certain things and be innovative past my own comfort level. Beyond my stylistic preferences. By crossing these lines, was I being untrue to the art of what it is I do?

I wish money wasn't part of scrapbooking. I wish there was a magazine that didn't face pressure from advertisers to select layouts that feature their newest products (and lots of them). I wish there was a purity in our art. I wish there was a way to encourage everyone to create without the influences of money and fame and pea praise. At the end of the day, if you don't love your scrapbook...what have you really gained?

I have seen many scrapbookers make a splash on-line, in magazines, in books, in classes, or whatever but I have noticed that not so many get a sophomore run. A few. But not many. It is my feeling that art created for the sake of selling leaves the soul hollow. Especially if that soul knows the joy of success with heart-filled art that was created before the influence of consumerism set in.

Do scrap magazine editors really think that we don't know that their articles that endorse products aren't bought and paid for? You know the ones--"See Becky's favorite pair of scissors! Inside!" or "See what we discovered at CHA that you can't live without!" Please. Give us some credit.

I feel like we are on the verge of a breaking of the waves in scrapbooking. I have been feeling rumblings inside myself and reading of similar feelings from others. Terms like "back to the basics" and "a return to simplicity" are becoming commonplace. I look around me and I see shelves of product, boatloads of supplies and embellishments, pounds of paper and yet, I am most content with the pages I have created recently that don't involve items from 6 different companies and the hardware store.

I think the tide is turning.
One can hope, right.


Carla said...

I would agree with you that the tides are turning and I think it's a good thing... but what will I do with all my STUFF??!!

Tyggereye said...

This is so true. I enjoy selling my art. I dislike selling it before I have made it because I feel that it has been "tainted" in someway. I love making something then sell it. It has less stress go into the art and usually turns out better.

Scrapbooking makes me feel the same way.

Michele said...

I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO hope you are accurate on the tide returning to simple. I too think my favorite personal pages are those without a thousand embellishments and 14 different patterned papers. Ick. Just WHAT were we thinking?!