July 30, 2012 • Podcasts
Continued from page 3
I know our culture puts them together but I work with a lot of artists who you know – one guy makes all his money from graphic design and his passion is music. And if you ask him what he does he is a musician. And I agree, he is a musician, he hates graphic design. It just happens to pay him eighty grand. So, it’s a bit of a drag in this life that we can’t just do what we want. Like, there was a book ‘Do What You Like and The Money Will Follow.’ It’s not my experience that that’s true, not at all. But “do you want you like and figure it out,” that’s a motto that works well. And I think one of the things that happens to people that sacrifice their entire career for money – cuz I see the career as more what do you want to give to the world? Why are you here? What are you here for? What are your attributes? Like, what can you give? That’s what I see a career as being.
Moneymaking is something else, it may blend with that career but it may not. We work with maybe three hundred visual artists here and I would say maybe twenty of them live by the sale of their paintings. Does that mean they’re less of an artist? No. In fact the famous ones are not in the twenty, the famous ones are doing something else so can experiment with their work because they don’t have to rely on making money at it. The person in the corporate world is often working on a model where step one is work, and step two is that you’re trying to secure your existence from your work so that step three, you can do what you want. Now, since we cannot secure our existence, it can’t be done! A meteorite could fall on us right now, you cannot secure your existence. Money is an element of security but it’s not security. So since they never actually build enough security to feel safe, they never get to do what they want. So, it’s a very soulless model, and its one that most people are caught up in. The artist usually doesn’t have that model. They have “do what you want” first, and second, “figure it out.” There’s no security in there, but it’s also not a model based on something unreal, which is that security is something that you can actually guarantee because you can’t.
AM: So with you and your quest for security..., I was going to ask you, do you have any savings right now?
SF: Umm, ok, technically yes, but because of the kind of work that I do it’s a matter of often doing, you know, whatever I can, making whatever money is available to me, taking whatever contracts I can and building up a bunch of money, and then there's a dry spell and then I live off of that money. So I don't know whether I can genuinely call it savings but yes, I do have money in the bank.
AM: Yes, I do call it savings. Ok, can I ask how much?
SF: Yes, right now I have about four thousand dollars.
AM: Ok, and do you know what it costs you to live in a month?
SF: Yep, generally it costs I'd say, no more than twelve hundred dollars. That would be my maximum .