The Arts Council of Ireland have published a new survey of work-life-pay and conditions for professional artists in Ireland.
It makes interesting reading, if a little bit academic in language. I note with a wry smile that many of the artists views are almost identical to mine. I wouldn't consider doing anything else, I'd do it all again- but I would not recommend the life to anyone else...
Sadly once again it is official, we suffer for our art, certainly financially compared to other careers and professionals.
In a way it is a little bit useless, in as much that the only people who will take any serious notice of the findings will be the artists. I don't believe it will have any effect on government policies, and it certainly won't convince the general public to spend more money on art. (even if it does I'm sure very little of it will come my way LOL)
In reality it is not telling us anything we don't already know, with the exeption of adding figures and statistics to the general knowledge, the facts have been known for a long time and it is a world-wide trend.
Artists are not seen as professionals. The arts are not seen as a proper career/job and while many accept the cultural and social benefit of a healthy arts culture it is not seen as having monetary value. People will not spend their money on arts, with the exeption of a few novels and popular music events. While the public in general accept educated professions outside the arts should be paid accordingly, educated artists are not seen as deserving of the same rate of enumeration for their work. The world needs plumbers, mechanics etc. and pays them quite well to fix leaks or other problems, but while art is seen as being needed in society, it is not seen as neccesary to pay artists to work.
In truth we don't do it for the money, but at the same time we cannot eat job satisfaction, nor can we pay the mechanics or plumbers with it either.
Ahhh one day my Utopia wil come... in the meantime I'll go fishing occaisionally and create my art, secure in the knowledge that there are a few patrons willing to pay the artists for their labours, even if a little too infrequently....
I'll leave the post with a quote from Pablo Picasso (thanks Molly)
I'd like to live as a poor man with lots of money