This is an interesting day and age for being a professional artist. Or craftsperson that sells their work. I’ve written about our changing art market before and I think about it a lot because it interests me. I know. I’m weird.
Recently, I’m feeling called to give more. I’m not talking about upcoming contests I have planned but FREE information. This is the internet age. It is a time when you can find almost anything you want on the internet and often times, for free. In one way I feel like, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” But of course, I want to do it better and more uniquely and with purpose.
I was having a discussion with a few other artists and we kicked around the idea of why would someone want to pay for information (i.e., books, magazines, etc.) when almost everything, in some form, can be found on You Tube or elsewhere for free? Well, I will tell you.
1. The free stuff is usually not as good as the stuff you pay for. And if it is, the person putting it out there is either independently wealthy or is missing out on an opportunity. It would be great if we could all do our best work and give it away. But life doesn’t work that way…for long.
2. Free stuff usually whets your whistle for the good stuff. If you liked what you saw then you would probably be safe paying for more of it.
3. The free stuff is usually pretty basic. Don’t get me wrong though. There are some really good tutorials out there and great information. So no offense to those of you out there that have written some juicy articles. (I’m one of them: Digital Imaging for Glass Beads). The information that costs a little moolah is probably beyond basic (unless it says otherwise).
4. The extent of the good free stuff won’t last long. If it’s good stuff the author will eventually realize that they have something to offer and if they like writing they will find a way to make it their vocation rather than their avocation.
5. Support the Artist. If you like what they write and you want more of it, buy it. If you support them they will be able to continue on. If they can’t make a living at it they will have to quit and all of that information will be stuck in their head, never to reach you and others.