Blog organization

OK, so below this are random answers and details about the Prodigal Art movement - if this is your first time here, you might want to check out The Art Caretaking Concept, or the Q&A post first.

(***you may not notice the change, but clicking an above link changes the blog post just below this....)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A New Vision for Prodigal Art

Shared Royalties is the process by which artists and collectors may earn income from the lifetime of an art’s movements. Artists request royalties from the sales of their original artwork, and share those royalties with their collectors.

Gone is the idea of an artist making money on a piece all at one time, with one person. It is replaced now with the idea of artwork earning money over it’s lifetime - not before its lifetime begins.

This is an idea I have had for the sales of my own artwork for more than 5 years now. And for five years, I have been sharing this concept with others. Many people have resonated with this concept, and have joined me in the vision. And yet, I have been hesitant to produce an extensive body of work to put out in this way. It is now, in this evening, that I have realized two important reasons why I have not been able to propel this concept as I had originally envisioned. For one - my vision of the compensation was complicated. I had one foot in the idea of a gift giving society, and the other in one of expected compensation. I could not move forward with this vision, without letting go of the old paradigm. Now that I have done this, I have realized how simple this vision can be. And as a result, I now have a simple way to portray this concept to others.

I have also realized the importance of receiving some compensation up front. I realize that part of my hesitancy in fully implementing this vision myself, was the fact that I would pay so much for materials to produce artwork, and could go potentially forever without receiving compensation. So I have now decided to charge a materials fee for each piece I put out.... so it is only my time in the creation of the art itself, which I am giving "before compensation". In this way, I am free to continue, because I will always have consistent support of my materials needed for the creation of new artwork.

I can imagine a lot of people suggesting that I simply SELL the work - and I would then be compensated for the materials, and THEN some. But, I can tell you from my recent experience, when selling traditionally, then that money is STILL not being replenished, as art is displayed in galleries and restaurants all over, with the public ADORING some pieces, but not buying them, because they cannot AFFORD that large amount needed to cover the cost of materials and time and marketing and everything else we are putting into original art these days. And as the economy falls further into a recession - selling artwork will only become more difficult - if we continue to do it in this old WAY.

And along these lines, one "no no" I have heard, is in the pricing of original artwork: it is never a good idea for an artist to reduce their prices. So tell me, how is that supposed to work for an artist who is selling during a recession? Suddenly, the artist becomes the one the collectors are criticizing, because he or she has devalued the art THEY own by reducing their own prices to create sales.

In this way, Shared Royalties eases this burden for the artists and the collectors. Because when the artist relinquishes the "pricing" of their own artwork, and leaves it up to the public market to create, then the prices can more naturally move in rhythm with the prosperity of its environment. And this fluctuation in price will more clearly be recognized as a product of economic conditions, rather than a possibly "languishing" artist.

So with Shared Royalties, gone is the pricing of one’s own art - often said to be the most difficult thing for an artist to do....

Instead, trust is given to the collective of people who are now the collectors of your art. The more art you can produce, and get into the public, the greater your chance of earning income in the future. And - the more desirable your pieces are, again, the greater your chance of earning income in the future. And, the larger your body of work becomes, the greater your chance becomes that you will be producing desirable artwork.

To help illustrate this concept, I’d like to share a story. It is of a ceramics class instructor, who divided a class into two groups. One group was to be given a grade based on the number of pieces created by the end of the semester. The more pieces created, the higher the grade. The second group only had to produce one piece by the end of the semester, and they would be graded on the quality of that single piece.

At the end of the semester, the most beautiful pieces, were of course, produced by the group which was only being judged only on the number of pieces they were creating. Through their efforts to produce more, they had perfected their technique, and were able to produce far superior pieces than the people who had been struggling to produce perfection in only one.

And this is precisely the type of creative "stagnation" I believe our current process of selling art has imposed on our society. We have many artists who seek perfection, and wish to sell X number of pieces in order to recoup costs of materials and time, before they can move forward and continue to produce more. We also have the idea that you must be quite obviously talented at producing something beautiful or realistic in order to be "an artist" - and have "reason" to participate in the creative arts at all. This is a sham, as we are all creative beings, and we are ALL meant to express ourselves. And when we recognize this, and begin to support each other in our creative expressions, and reward each other for the beauty we do create, then we will open the flow of our creativity. We have been dormant for decades. It is time for us to awaken to our creative potential, and to allow ourselves to create our own "perfect" pieces.

Again, the more art you can produce, and get into the public, the greater your chance of earning income in the future. And - the more desirable your pieces are, the greater your chance of earning income in the future. And, the larger your body of work becomes, the greater your chance becomes that you will be producing desirable artwork.

So start producing - sell your art for the materials fee - trust in the process........

If this idea resonates with you - help to create this - write to me - let’s join together.


***("Shared Royalties" was previously called "art caretaking")

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