The Artist’s Value Manifesto (My career choice needs a talking to)

Because sometimes, people really need to know what they are doing.

The Artist’s Value Manifesto

In today’s society art in all forms is horribly undervalued.  From Music to Graphic Design, Fine Arts to Performances, art is not being valued. One hears many things like “My 3 year old could make that” or “You are just having fun, why should you get paid for it” or my personal favorite “Well, your art will only be worth something when you die”. I have one thing to say to all of you, your ENTIRE existence depends on us. Don’t believe me? Let me explain.

                Imagine one artist, maybe even me, said one day “I will not work for nothing. I demand proper payment for my experience, skills and education. You pay a doctor for that, why not me?” Your first answer will probably be, “Doctors save lives, not artists” and I would have to disagree. So, I pontificate my idea everywhere and get the attention of artists all over the world. We are all upset, we want to be valued, so we set a date (like many organizations do) to protest. On that day, the world refuses to create until they are valued more. Let me tell you what will happen. Companies who once depended on art and design for all marketing, advertising, branding, company paperwork and even right down to their business cards can no longer update or function. All companies. This means their customers won’t be able to find them (no logo or advertisements) and they won’t be able to buy anyway (someone designs the price tags, bar codes, websites, and bank accounts). So, after literally days, lay-offs will happen. Hundreds of thousands of families will lose their income and want to collect unemployment or at least get help. The government could never deal with that kind of influx and so they would stop all financial help to the people after a couple short weeks, if that. Soon, those people will come knocking on CEO’s doors, demanding payment and after they have stripped the entire upper class of everything, they will have nothing left but to steal, beg and kill for what they need. Food, clothes, anything. The entire world, in under 6 months could completely go up in flames. Total economic collapse and anarchy.

                This may seem a little drastic, but realize that everything in the world is in balance, and some things hold a higher weight than others. Doctors save lives, but artists/designers keep the entire world economy afloat. They control all marketing, advertising, labeling, the internet, anything right down to the nails used to build your house. Someone had to design it. They bring all consumers to the marketplace which gives thousands and thousands of people jobs, money and a way to live. So, I would think it unwise to undervalue artists since they are so vitally important to our entire existence. If they are so important, why shouldn’t they get paid for it?

So, I’m reaching out to the artists out there. Demand to be paid properly for your work. Not minimum wage, not what the client wants to pay and not what people tell you to be paid. You have spent years learning and perfecting your skills, spent time and money on your education and spent time, hard work and creativity just getting noticed so you can make money to begin with. Demand to be paid PROPERLY for your work and learn to value yourself.

Value yourself, value your work and help others see your value. After all, we’re balancing out so much, we should be properly valued.

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