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Capitalism and Art



There are numerous stereo-types in the world, and as much as I will be the first to say that it's inherently wrong to assume that every person in a group that has a stereo-type fits the stereo-type because they belong to the group I'll also be the first person to say that the stereo-types did come from somewhere. The stereo-type I'm addressing right now is about artists hating capitalism, I don't know how many people reading this have heard this stereo-type or how many artists would say it's true of them but like I said, there is a reason I've heard of it even if the number of artists it's true of is something like 1% of 1% of all artists than that just tells me artists who this isn't true of haven't done a good enough job openly setting themselves apart from this stereo-type.

I'd like to start off by saying I'm not only an artist but I'm writing these words as young artist. Right about the same time most people would have graduated from college I started my art career with no higher education, and I'm openly capitalist, and my capitalist values didn't start recently I've been a capitalist since I was a child. So don't tell me I'm selling out as an artist to make money off my artwork, it doesn't matter if it's one person who liked a little something on the wall or a business big or small that wanted me to do some artwork for the as long as I'm never using my artwork to say something I believe to be untrue then I'm proud to do that business as an artist. As for those who'd like to say me being a capitalist makes me any less of an artist, nobody is forcing them to by my artwork they are free to spend money on artwork they think they will enjoy more.

Now that you have proof that not every artist fits the stereo-type of anti-capitalist without even mentioning the fact that I'm by no means the only capitalist artist I know, here is some other important information:

I don't care how you want to slice it, capitalism is very friendly to the arts. The private market is a very competitive place, and that leads to needing constant improvement or at least a way to set yourself apart. It's not enough that something function well, or be priced right, it's got to look good, artists are an important part of that process. It doesn't matter if it's a coffee cup, a pillow, shower curtain, a t-shirt, a mouse pad, a clip board, a flash drive, a cover for your favorite gadget, a flash drive, for goodness sake in today’s society it's easier to list things that couldn't be sold with an artists design no them (and anyone who assumes that people won't figure out how to put a fun colorful design on anything that can be produced and sold to meet any demand that might come up in the future is probably crazy). Anyone with an artistic talent has a valuable skill that can help companies big and small set themselves apart from their competition.

Don't believe me, when cars were first starting to be sold in whatever color you might want (and there was a time when you didn't have options) Ford lost business to at least one other car company because that company started selling cars in colors other than black before he did. If just a simple option for a different color decided who made the sale in the days when cars were still fairly new, imagine how valuable making something look good is today.

I haven't even touched the subject of starting your own business by putting your artwork on products, or the importance of artists in advertising, arts and entertainment for the sake of nothing more than arts and entertainment because some people do like a nice piece of art on the wall for no other reason than it looks good, or all the other ways an artists skills can be valuable. Like I said for a capitalist to do well a good price and high quality product are great but looking good has its own value.

It's true not every company or product is necessarily in a situation where the talents of an artist are going to be worth the money they would spend, but that doesn't change the fact that there are plenty of good capitalists who's bottom line would be helped by paying for the talents that an artist has to offer. And it's also true that not every artist is right for art related job, it doesn't change the fact that if an artist wants to make a living from their artwork maybe they should start taking a hard look at capitalism and what it means for them professionally. As for the artists who blame capitalism because their artwork didn't sell, I say it's not capitalism fault that's the fault of either bad marketing, bad artwork or both and if you want to sell more artwork then change your artwork, and/or your marketing.
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