“We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” — Walt Disney
Print available on Storenvy.
There are two major mistakes artists make about money. The first is, they believe in the myth of the starving artist. The second is, they believe they shouldn’t need to make money from their art.
The starving artist myth is prevalent in society. We believe artists must suffer to create great work. We believe you have to live at end’s meet. We believe you can’t be a prosperous artist.
I’m not sure why this myth has prevailed. There is so much evidence to the contrary. Artists of all kinds are able to make a living from their work. Are they all rich? No, but they aren’t starving either. There are musicians, illustrators, actors, writers, and artists of all kinds creating great work and making a living from doing it.
The second mistake artists make, is believing we shouldn’t have to make money from our art. While it’s true that we don’t have to sell our work to be artists. It’s also true that if you want to make a sustainable living as an artist, you have to sell your work.
Walt Disney was one of the greatest visionaries of his time. He completely revolutionized animated films. Why did he do it? He wasn’t interested in making movies to become rich. He did it because he had a vision and story to tell.
While making his first full-length animated film, Snow White, Disney went far above the initial budget of the film. He could have released a cheaper version of the film to make more money, but he wanted to make it as perfect as possible. He wanted people to be so entranced by the film that they would forget they were watching an animated movie. And it worked unbelievably well!
If you want to be a successful artist, you can’t be afraid to make money for your work. You can’t fall victim to the myth of a starving artist. You have to be willing to make money from your art. Not because you want to become rich, but because you want to make more art.
The best way to become a thriving artist is to get over your insecurities over money. Money is just a means to create a sustainable living. It allows you to live comfortably while also creating art. Don’t create art to make money. Make money so you can create more art.
For more great info on this topic, check out my review for Elizabeth Hyde Stevens’ Make Art Make Money.
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Photo by Michael Saechang
H/T quote via Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work!