Creative Commentary: Yeah, But That's Not Really ART, Is It?


A couple of weeks ago, I was "suckered" into clicking on one of those "chosen for you" sidebar items on a web site I was looking at.


Sure, it was basically clickbait, but — as an artist — I'm always curious to know what people in the creative field are doing to make ends meet. Thus "How I make $6,000+ a month as an artist" seemed worth checking out... even knowing that it would probably not be what I expected.

Now, in all fairness, this was pretty much a "regular person" sharing their approach, not some "scheme."

However, after sitting through a 20-minute video clip, I did come away with the feeling that now makes up the title of this post.


And So, The Question Remains...

Long story short, this person only was taking in about $800 a month from actually creating and selling art, and all the rest was from monetization of her YouTube channel, limited access (paywall) instructional videos on Vimeo, her Patreon account, referral income from Amazon and other such things, and channel related merch.

Not saying that doing so isn't brilliantly done, just observing that it's not really ART, but a skillful assemblage of marketing.

In fact, based on all the things she showed that she was doing every day to make her $6,000 a month, I'd hazard a guess that she fairly rarely spent much time actually being creative, and most of her time talking about being creative.


The Changing "Definitions" of Being an Artist

It made me pause and ponder what it even means to be an Artist — or other Creative — in today's world.

Without doubt, the most successful artists have often been those who are also skilled at self-marketing. At the same time, at what point does your "profession," if you will, stop being Artist and start being Internet Marketer?

That also made me pause to ponder whether your "job description" really matters, as part of the equation?


Our Creative Hopes and Dreams...

Now I find myself thinking about our hopes and dreams, and what many artists perhaps hope/dream of creating as their reality, as creative contributors here on Hive.

I know that I personally blog about my work at least in part because I hope it will supplement my income — however little — even though my initial intention was always to use Hive more as yet another "point of awareness" in the greater social marketing mix.

I wonder how many NFT creators on Hive actually are more successful POSTING about their NFTs than CREATING their NFTs? Or are the two now inseparable?

We live in an era where technology has changed the scope of art and being an artist from the hopes and dreams associated with being included in a prominent art gallery's collection and perhaps being given a "Solo Show" to where more and more of our efforts to gain exposure for our work falls to ourselves, rather than to third parties like galleries and agents.


A Different Process...

I know my own creative process has changed, as well.

These days, I always have a camera nearby... and whenever I am working on something, there's always a small part of my awareness directed to monitoring whether or not anything I am doing at any given moment might be "blog worthy."

I am also very aware of the "promise" of a venue like Hive, perhaps being able to — over an extended period of time — being able to gradually provide a growing income stream that might make it possible for me to spend more time creating, and less time on social marketing. Sure, 7 Hive a month in curation income isn't much, but it's still income I didn't have before, and it's growing. What if it could grow to 700 Hive a month? That would significantly change what I could "afford."

Being an artist — itself — is a changing process, as is perhaps the question of what IS and what it NOT art.

Thanks for stopping by! Do leave me a comment if you feel so inspired — interaction and engagement are always welcome!


If you enjoy painted rocks, do check out The Hive Rocks Project and help spread the word about Hive, while also being creative!

Because I am trying to make some semblance of income — a part time living, even — I now add this footer to all my posts, in the hope that someone, somewhere, might decide to take a further look at my work, and perhaps consider supporting independent art.

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2022.08.11 AS-TXT-116/084