Saturday, July 11, 2015

How to Support Artists by Janette Miller

How to support Artists?

I try to do this but being an artist myself I have never had the means to do this in a substantial way. Only rich patrons can indulge in true patronage. At least I can appreciate the work of other artists.  I am a good audience and in my day an employer, although sometimes those   I employed could make my life very difficult. I know what went into their creation, hours and hours of rehearsal, thought and angst. Today social media gives many artists like me an outlet  and Like on FB and YouTube can be the only reward.

This small act costs nothing, you do not have to like the work but it shows the artist you have looked and appreciate it and yet this tiny action that costs nothing is so often withheld. I suppose it gives that feeling of power. I do notice when I put up a Lieder video that I have spent weeks on and I get not one Like from my friends. It tells me something I suppose,  it tells me what I do is so useless even my friends cannot bother to look and if they do look they do not Like what they see.. Fortunately artists just soldier on. It is not my fault that my friends do not like Lieder  the same way as they love other topic, sensitivity prevents me from naming them but a bit of encouragement along the way would help. They might get to Like Leider. Leider is super.

When I bought my Tony Fomisons, he was destitute. I was hard up. Today his oil paintings are sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars and grace the walls of art galleries and company board rooms. He knew he was great and carried on regardless. Pity public recognition came a bit late but because of me BNZ and Auckland Art Gallery possess works that would never have been if I had not commissioned them and recognised his genius when nobody else did. Only 600 came to our opera  Fidelio  Beethoven's music with his mise en scene based on his experience of  life Paris prisons where he was sent for being an unlicensed pavement Artist with no money to pay the fine.

There are many ways to support artists without actually buying anything by sharing their work on FB and YouTube so they get known to wider audiences. A feedback, a comment would do and by comment I do not mean acid criticism even if you do hate it.  Artists get enough of that already. We need artists to enrich our lives and broaden our horizons. Artists can say what ordinary mortals cannot through their art. We are usually sensitive creatures and well aware of our limitations.

Lastly I think society is too hard on artists. People want art for nothing and it is the artists who pays the price. The music industry today is being slowly killed because musicians and singers have difficulty in getting paid a living wage for what they do. Downloading too instead of buying DVDs is great for the buyer and Amazon but not the artist who gets little if any payment.

Message is be kind to your artist and grateful that they have the guts to do it and show appreciation in anyway you can. Here endth the lesson for today!

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