I’ve been having conversations with fellow artists about the current state of our income, how we share our creations with people on the internet, the algorithms, the over-saturation within the creative industry, and taking on commissioned work that is often soul-crushing. The consensus has been that whatever we do for money it eventually turns on us. We either have to narrow our focus and creativity to match someone else’s vision and expectation, or we fall into redundancy, mediocrity, fear, and tacky trends. In order for an artist to make money, one has to often sell-out. Not always; but often.
I recently read that the percentage of actors who can actually make a living off of their craft is only 2 percent. That figure is not exclusive to actors though. It’s also the case with painters, musicians, photographers, models, videographers, animators, musicians, chefs, teachers, and the list goes on. This is true for the entire spectrum of freelance-working creatives (there are exceptions, for sure).
The past few days I have been thinking about turning this domain into a membership-based website and making certain pages paid-only. But the thought of trying to bribe people with photos and words to get their subscription bummed me out. I’m not a sales person, especially when what I’m selling can only be experienced online.
My feelings towards the pay-for-content model is that the content shouldn’t be held hostage. Instead, it should be made available to everyone freely, while a group of people who are comfortable enough to make a monthly contribution play the roll of supporting the artist; changing the dynamic from “paying for content” to “supporting the creation and the sharing of it”. I’d feel much better about sending someone ten dollars a month without having the feeling that they need to email me every two weeks with an update because they feel like they owe me something.
WHAT ARE YOU SUPPORTING
I’m a freelance photographer based in Los Angeles.
I picked up a camera in 2011, and In 2016 I had a change of direction and went from commercial to fine art.
Shortly after the switch in directions, I started putting together a coffee table book while diving deeper into teaching.
I still teach and am hoping to expand on it by traveling, hosting group workshops, and releasing free educational videos.
Creating material that showcase how photography can be used as a tool for meditation.
Creating a group and support system for artists who deal with mental health and financial setbacks.
Creating artwork and experiences that showcase the underlying bridge that connects light, vibration, history, mysticism, the human body, art, psychedelics, meditation, energy, psychology, social studies, with photography.
Funding for models, locations, travel expenses, material, make up and teams.
Even one contribution means that I can get one roll of film, guilt free. And that is pretty fucking awesome.
Funding for printed presentations (books, galleries).
Producing long-form conversations with artists and scientists for podcasting purposes.
Producing videos and possibly having a dedicated videographer.
Figure out, with the help of the right people, if there’s a better way to process and develop film negatives instead of using chemicals and water.
An experiment where we have one analogue camera, pointing at the same source of light and setting, and at least 50 different people who will look and feel through the viewfinder before taking the photo. I want to see if the feeling the person felt, and how that affects the light/vibration of the room, creates a photograph that has a different feeling/melody to it than the photo the person before them took of the same exact setting.
And if possible, bringing someone on to help with logistics!
If you have any thoughts on this topic I’d love to hear from you.
As an appreciation, every three months, once a quarter, a package containing photos, videos, text, playlist(s), free stuff, and updates on projects will be dropped into your email inbox as a link. My best work will go into these drops.
The photo sets will be released as a curated ebooks, online galleries, and once there’s enough funding, books and zines and galleries.
The videos will be behind the scenes footage, along with educational and experimental pieces.
The next drop will be the week of October 16th.