Early in his career, James Yarker (of Stan’s Cafe) had a theory about everything as fashion; you can make yourself a brand, put forth wafer thin ideas, and get the monetary gain and the slick clothes. Or you can be poor, have a bad haircut, and stand by your true artistic vision.
He now conceeds that his theory is for times when you’re less happy and less successful.
The theory, however, does bring up this question; how does an artist maintain the integrity of their work and be professionally successful?
At the Creative Cities chat on Monday, an impressive panel of local educators, artists, businessmen, and politicians convened to discuss what a creative city should look like. They agreed, in their own ways and words, that creative people are good for a city, and that artists need support to make their work.
It got sticky once the subject of money was brought up. Some members of the panel felt that artists and businesses should collaborate, forming symbiotic relationships. Others felt that artists should be able to work at their own speed outside of the economy.
How should art & artists interact with money & business?
Would collaborations between artists and businesses mean that artists would get funding to do their work, or would it just mean that businesses sap artists’ creativity for their own gain?
Besides working with businesses, what options do artists have?
We can either make our work outside the system and have a day job (I skipped out on mine to go to the chat) or we can push our way into the system, and work within its confines.
If we work outside the system, we have the freedom to create as we like, and find our own resources. We don’t have to play by the rules. We just have to come up with the rent.
If we get into the system, we operate on other people’s terms. There is heavy competition to get in, and if we do, we follow the requirements and structures of the institutions.
Then there’s Matthew Stadler’s idea:
Use what’s available to create temporary institutions. They serve their purpose, then fade back into the environment. Stadler advocates finding new patterns of creating culture rather than replicating other models.
But what about the money? Well, in Stadler’s world, that would become irrelevant.
posted by amber bell