In this week’s lecture, we had guest lecturer Julie Robinson, a performance artist who had really seemed to exemplify what the reading suggested.

From attending Robinson’s lecture, I learnt many things about using creativity in a career; such as the fact that problems always arise in some form or another, regardless if you work with the people you hate or love. There will always be a difference in each of our aims in life, in Robinson’s case, their art group depended on each to have the same mentality and involvement but as one becomes more concerned with work and less interested in the creative lifestyle, the group falls apart and each goes their own way. This leads to another point that the creative mind is not always heavily rewarded financially.

In one of this week’s readings, the statistics show that artists were generally low-income earners, with approximately half of the surveyed creative workers earning less that $7300 in the financial year of 2000-2001 (Bott, 2003). If this didn’t ruin your perception of the glamorous artist life already; it was found that over the previous 15 years that the survey had been conducted, the overall financial disadvantage in comparison to other careers had seemed to be worsening, this seems to explain the fact that a majority of creative workers have jobs in other disciplines; the need for funding a project usually requires an outside source of income, mainly being that it takes money to make money. If we take for example St Helen’s ‘Dream’ sculpture which cost £1.88 million to construct, a structure that stands at 60 feet and is made of a pre-cast concrete and spanish dolomite aggregate (apparently the whitest marble available), we see that it takes quite alot of money to construct such an artwork (Gavaghan, 2009), if we direct our attention to where most of the money was distributed, which is centred around actually building the sculpture, it becomes interesting to find that it would be more financially advantageous to be a construction worker rather than a designer as the contruction business is constantly in demand, as is apparent in this ‘Dream’ scuplture where an estimated 6160 hours of man-made construction occured (“Drea-St. Helens: Dream Facts & Figures,” n.d.), the creative minds that designed this artwork may get paid more than the average construction worker, but opportunities like this do not always come frequently; the design career is unusual and many things happen unexpectedly, which may make it interesting but also leaves it as a constant struggle to find an opportunity to work (Throsby & Hollister, 2003) and also in most cases there is an inequality in the amount of money put into the work in reference to the financial return (Fly, 2011, April 30), thus becoming an established professional in the creative discipline must involve a certain degree of mental strength as there will always be elements that dissuade.

Money is not the only factor that restricts an artist to a non-creative career, although it is a major part and can be linked to other elements such as food & shelter which cost money. There are many decisions we have to make and we are constantly influenced by outside sources; it is interesting to find that the second restraint of a creative career is the factor of time (Throsby & Hollister, 2003). We are constantly reminded that we have to be somewhere, that there is not enough time, that you need the services of fast food: it seems to me that the modern world we live in now is governed by the idea of immediate satisfaction, you need the job to be done now, you need a coffee to keep your energy going throughout the night, your life becomes a constant strive to finish the next challenge. It is difficult to keep up with the idea of time, and it may dissuade you away from your chosen creative path, but time will always be something that has been decided: while life on the other hand, is something that will always be your decision.

References:

Bott, J. (2003). Commentary on Dont give up your day job. Retrieved from http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/ __data/assets/pdf_file/0019/32518/ commentary.pdf

Dream Facts & Figures. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dreamsthelens.com/site.do?id=1021

Fly, T. (2011, April 30). The true cost of creating art [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://taraflyart.com/2011/04/the-true-cost-of-creating-art/

Gavaghan, J. (2009). Huge folly or amazing work of art? Giant 60ft head costing taxpayers £2m nears completion. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1172147/Huge-folly-amazing-work-art-Giant-60ft-head-costing-taxpayers-2m-nears-completion.html

Throsby, D. Hollister, V. (2003). Dont give up your day job : an economic study of professional artists in Australia (pp. 33-36). Sydney: Australia Council.

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