search  current discussion  categories  business - money 

getting paid (4)

updated fri 16 mar 01


Terrance Lazaroff on thu 15 mar 01

I am almost finished with this part of the debate.

Images of our work are all that we have after the objects are sold. We went
to great lengths to create the work and yet we are being told that it is not
worth the effort to try to protect it. We are in a no-win situation; but
are we?

There are times that I wish that I could produce the images of the pots
without all the drudgery, stress, financial burdens and failures that
accompany the joy of working with clay. This is not possible. The only way
the image can be created is if the artist makes it. This is an important
point in this discussion. Why? It is important because others want to
produce the images but they cannot do it themselves. So they solicit us to
supply them with what they seek, free of charge.

I am talking about exploitation of the artist, the uninformed, the egoists,
and the exploitation of the Naivete. We allow our individuality and our
innocence to get in the way of realistic thinking. We are told that that we
must go along with the order or we will not make it. We follow because we
are trustful. We accept being exploited by everyone in the food chain of
selling art because we feel that there is no other recourse.

The point has been reached in my region where the artist are now being asked
to cover the cost of the gallery overhead throughout the show period and to
give 50% of the returns. The new emerging artists accept the offer because
the older and more aware artists, such as us, do not stand up and try to
stop the machine. The cost of doing business for the artist is getting to a
level where we will not be able to make our art. The same stands true for
the scenario of expending time, money and creativity in order to be
published. Both plots are being sold to the artist as the only way to gain
entrance to the world of art worth.

Vince; When you say that people will see my work. I ask, What people? My
peers? The public? The museums? It is likely that most viewers of work in
ceramic books are ceramists who are just looking for ideas or seeking
technical information to assist with their work. They may also be students
who are told which book to read because the Prof. knows the author or is in
fact the author. Who gains? The greater public? I do not think so.
Besides, 5000 books equate to 5000 people. Not many in a world of a couple
of a billion.

Which brings me to the attention of museums? Artists themselves donated
many of the contemporary ceramic works found in museums today. I am sure
that if you canvassed the members of the International Ceramics Academy, you
would find that almost all those presented in last years catalogue gave a
piece to the museum.

The myth stating that there is a need to publish in order to increase sales
is wrong. The myth of asking for images from artists without compensation is
wrong. I may not have my pictures in any books especially those who will not
give me my fair share. I will not worry about it. I will however encourage
every artist that I meet to not give away his creativity without some
return. I have been published little during my art career but I sell
almost everything that I make and I have fun doing it.

For what it is worth