Money. For most artists it is our least favourite topic; something we wish someone else would handle on our behalf.
We take all the courses that promise us we can become comfortable with our right to be well-paid for what we do, yet for many of us this remains the most thorniest area of our lives.
But what if there were another way?
I've been pondering deeply over these questions lately and this week the universe decided to bombard me with food for thought.
Can economics really be sacred?
First Aletta de Wal’s wonderful interview with artist Joshua Coffy landed in my inbox. In the interview Coffy talks about the very central role that gifting his work has played in developing his art business.
Then there was an email containing some enlightening information about Shamanism from another discussion group I belong to. I know nothing about Shamanism, and might have imagined I wouldn't want to until I read the email. I certainly didn't know about it's basis in the spiritual connection between every aspect of physical manifestation.
Finally there was a link in my Twitter stream to a Huffington Post article about a graphic designer who transitioned to working via the Gift Economy.
This, in turn, led me to the work of Charles Eisenstein, the author of several books including The Ascent of Humanity and Sacred Economics.
When I watched the 10 minute video created for free for Eisenstein by Ian MacKenzie in the spirit of the 'gift economy', these seemingly disparate pieces began to fall into place.
I was suddenly able to envisage a world where the kind of values I am naturally aligned with, could actually be the norm – as indeed they have been in many communities in the past and continue to be to some degree in certain communities today including those of small Spanish towns like the one where I live.
A world which, I am happy to say, I have always inhabited to some extent, and which has meant that I have benefitted from an extraordinary amount of bounty normally associated with much greater financial liquidity.
How Can Artists Pursue an Alternative Economic Model?
How, as artists or creatives of any kind, can we begin to make this a reality in out own Art-Lives? In the next post I'll be looking at Pay What You Want schemes.
Are there any systems or schemes you know of, or have experience of, that might contribute to a different kind of vision for our Art-Lives? Share in the comments!