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Should an artist be selective about how they make a living?

Making a living as an artist requires talent, extreme competition, self-belief, hard work and luck. Should one, therefore, be selective about how revenue is generated or should one be grateful for any income which can be put back into creating more art? For example; while waiting to crack the ‘big time’ by being represented by a well-renowned gallery, can an artist sell their own work to retail spaces such as gift shops? Would this affect their long term goal of being taken seriously as an artist? Can they sell the rights to their images for gifts cards and the like? Should they sell open edition prints of their work at much cheaper prices than original work? Does any of that sit comfortably amidst the snobbery of the art world?

  • This is a great topic with lots of grey areas that can help with the speculative aspects of the potential piece. However, there might be dangers when it comes to take a side or play with dichotomies (i. e., right or wrong). It might be helpful to first define clearly what types of “artists” we are talking about (painters that work with/for galleries, writers who work with/for editorials, etc.) and why is it important to make such distinctions (or not). Also some contexts need to be defined (worldwide, Western world, upper class, popular, capitalist era, anti-establishment, etc.). – Teddy Palomino 6 months ago
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