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The Arts Are Undervalued in Our Culture.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ElJay370, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    To a large degree I think any who think they want to be artists when they grow up should be discouraged to avoid such a foolish life choice.
    A point has been made that lots of "artists" have no talent.
    This is true and in many cases they may have gotten naive encouragement to pursue their "passion".
    Kids may be passionate about stuff that garners praise.
    Natural talents garner praise in kids.
    I think many too easily confuse things like the ability to draw or carry a tune with being suited for the life of the artist.

    I feel like much of the commentary here is by those outside of "Art" who believe themselves to understand what art is and what being an artist "is", based on looking at art and reading art criticism.
    Of course I being human make the same assumption, that growing up mired in the arts I understand better than those who spend their lives outside the arts looking in. My naivete is not much different.

    One huge mistake I feel art viewers make is the assumption that the object for sale in the gallery or not for sale in the museum is the work of the artist.

    In society, the work of the artist is quite different from the side effect objects they sell or give away or even put in the trash.

    The mindset; the biases; the assumptions; the inability to see beyond our own narrow understanding of all we think we understand.
    Managing those things is the work of the artist, or of those artists who have talent.
    Art (at its best) changes people, frees up dogmas, guides societies, beheads bigotry, grows more heads on bigotry for all to see.

    The decorative remnants of the artists "work" are a tiny tip of the iceberg that is the arts.

    The reality for artists in the real world is actually exactly what you suggest is impossible.
    I've known many artists who worked in the trades as hobby and for income.
    The making of the product part of art is a trade.
    Many artists in the visual arts are vastly better tradespersons than most carpenters who build our homes.

    The foolishness about sports building teamwork etc etc better than the arts is an idea created by those who are simply not fully educated in the reality of the artists "work".

    During the '90s recession for example, if you needed some renovation done you ended up with artists in your NYC dwelling, because all the unions left for the South where there was money and construction due to tax breaks for business to fix the recession.
    Construction crews I worked on then were made up of painters, sculptors and musicians.
    Look into a long term artists dwelling and you'll find tools of "the trades".
    Artists go deep into stuff @JuneauMike attributed to school sports; things like as Mike said: "work ethic, delayed gratification, goal setting, constant self inventory and improvement, interpersonal cooperation, sacrifice for a shared goal" etc.
    The comment about "seeing more of a microcosm of life in a football team than in any art class" illustrates the failures of the arts.
    No point in attempting to flesh out my above statement about seeing.

    But art has successes as well.
    I have my biases and always seek doors through which to see beyond them.
    The best art opens such doors, and does so for free.

    Choosing the arts as career is a terrible idea, and every child should be discouraged from such.
    This way only the most devoted and driven will take that path, upon which they will need to work 80 hours a week instead of 40, and get 50% of the recognition for doing 200% as much work as the business professional who follows the easier road.

    Financial security is good, and we live in a system that effectively punishes those who do not devote their lives to financial security.
    So any kid encouraged to pursue the arts as career had better understand that when their school sports neighbor goes to bed for the night, they need to stay up and keep working. That will be life.
    Except for I suppose a few who stumble into the art lottery and gain random fame with only modest effort.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    +1 to all that! And be proud, use a bigger font! ;)

    My younger daughter was a band kid, played in the concert band, jazz band and jazz combo in High School, as well as the region's youth orchestra. (I don't think Canadians do "marching bands" -- not enough time during the break in the middle of the soccer game :lol:)

    I think she experienced all the things you mentioned. Plus, she made friends -- other band kids who weren't into team sports. It was good for her.
     
  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don't know what TWCTA means.

    And I suspect "we" cannot talk about the non-monetary value of art if we are those who have the most dire need for more art in their culture.
     
  4. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Afflicted

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    Here in the UK i know quite a few folk who have made a fairly good living from being in a band or doing art.

    I tried in art once and found pictures sold fairly easy if i put them in certain places, but for some reason my interest waned i felt just like a production line and loss interest in art after that for some reason.

    With playing an instrument or singing though, i have known quite a few who have made a decent living. They performed mostly at night time and some of them teached during the daytime also but all loved doing it. Maybe if i took up the guitar earlier i would of tried because it must good performing to folk, but the drive goes abit as you get older and you enjoy things as hobbies more.

    But myself i would say to anybody have ago but fined some places to put your work first if art, if in a band i would not know for sure but places where you get a fair following must be a good start.

    Anyhow i say Good Luck!! to anyone who tries.
     
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  5. Antmax

    Antmax Tele-Meister

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    Problem I see is that a lot of artists are fairly introverted and simply don't have the personality to sell themselves. I'm one of those. You need to be good at networking, marketing and have a personality that enjoys that aspect and knows how to sell themselves. You don't have to be a great artist if you can sell BS with attitude that convinces someone to back you. If you don't like that side of the business your selling yourself short and need to find an agent to do that for you. You will still get called out and have to do the rounds meeting people and putting a interesting face on your work.

    I know because I always fought with science and art. Science can be fun, but not if you specialize and focus on one thing. I always loved painting and making things. In the end I spent 10 years doing 3D art for video games when I finished college. Moved to the states and got laid off after a 3 year project finished. Did the rounds with my portfolio, got into a gallery and found that there was just way too much schmoozing with wine and dine events, small talk. Like the last guy said, you start to feel like a production line. You have to develop a style and produce the same kind of thing that punters are expecting. It gets a bit dull and feels like any other job after a while. After a few months I couldn't wait to get another game dev job with a regular pay check, ordinary working hours outside of crunch time and not feel evasive when someone asked me what do I do lol.

    I later started a small independed games company and that ended up being a lot like being an Artist. Fortunately we had a programmer that was great on ideas and concepts but not that talented in programming. But he loved networking and all the business side and was pretty good at it. In the end though, I found that doing contract work for medical simulation and training software with a couple of regular clients was the easiest way to make money with the least interaction with the public. Suits my introvert and very private personality.

    To be a successful artist requires a lot of qualities that few people have. It requires more than just talent, tenacity and a lot of hard slog, it's incredibly tough.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I try to avoid doing or saying things that hurt the artist, but it's worth noting that recreating old art like a symphony orchestra or a classical ballet troupe may not actually involve or require any living artists making their art.

    At the same time, many artists choose to work in their filed for money, doing things that appear to be art work, yet in so doing they are not being the artists they set out to be.

    I have walked with many many artists over 55 some odd years and do not see a pattern of greater fulfillment between either working in a related field like casting bronzes for a funded sculptor or doing graphic art at a job; vs waiting tables or renovating houses; to fund the artists own work and living expenses.

    While many view a sculptor who has a job in a famous sculptors workshop as being successful in their field, those art workers are a little like sex workers. Much of the time they have no love for what they embrace at their day jobs, and some even feel dirty for it.
     
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  7. Toast

    Toast Tele-Afflicted

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    Edit: Response to Antmax.

    It's high school all over really. Management is a clique. They copy each other, even across industries, but say things like "think outside the box . . ." Often they'll all read the same crap https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Welch-Way-Management-Leadership/dp/0070581045h and go on team building retreats. Lots of people dream of being a part of that clique. It never appealed to me, never got along with those clowns, so I put up with the social punishment for not conforming to the norm (student loan debt, shoddy to non-existent health care, late fees, stagnant income, regressive taxation . . .) .
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  8. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Holic

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    How many of us have paid taxes toward a football or baseball stadium or basketball arena who couldn't care less about any of them?
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Again, not wanting to hurt the artist in general, but many artists have a real bigoted disdain for the artists who choose teaching as a source of reliable income in the arts.

    Those artist teachers are called sellouts by many "artists" and it is said that artists who suck making art choose to teach art.

    This may clarify my view as not being anti-non-artist.

    Humanity without fail, fails to see the world as it is.
    Artists, philosophers, scientists, business people; all equally are limited in seeing.
     
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  10. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I'm really not. In fact, I'm pointing out the difference. I'm suggesting that systemic education is a class of implementations that are inherently limited. Education is indeed a great thing. If the education is heavily structured, you're not going to get very far on independent and expansive thought, in my opinion and experience.

    How much more clearly can I point out that I am talking about implementation and not education itself than in my opening sentence (emphasis added)?

    "To me, the problem is not the educational system's qualities, but the systemization of education itself." I'm suggesting that education is great, but that systemized education has inherent qualities that restrain thought. That effect can be mitigated in part, but not much.

    Education itself, however, has no such limitations. The idea of a system that claims to do a thing is not the thing itself.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  11. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    In this case? I've had the MODs roll up a newspaper and smack my snout for replying to a comment about ... er... sounds like "Dallas, Texas". Even though it's been mentioned in many replies in this post, it is a concept TWCTA.

    The MODS will be by again, presently, to either lock this thread or delete the posts that mention TWCTA.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  12. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've encouraged all my children to become artists, not by saying so however. I exposed them to elements. I provided the materials. We visited our other family members who are artists, we watch them do their thing. I wait for them to pick something up and do something with it. I don't expect it to occur, I just watch for the cues, when I should help open a door, help with decisions, a technical problem. Aiming to be an artist is foolish? No, not to me in the frame work of the successful community artist, one which ties together pieces that need tying together. Leads pathways others to better identify themselves. Foolish is thinking one has a community without visions like this, visionary people who can show what was and what can be. That and show some style while doing it.

    It's a given that some kids have strong visual and musical talent. It's a sad fact that some kids will squander that talent. It's a given that some kids won't make it, give up, find something else, or be outshined by peers. Those are the knocks that come with any personal pursuit. Kids I see around here are sharp, pessimistic, and more than a little jaded. A whiff of naive encouragement and it's trashed. But give a kid some honest feedback, and real knowledge, then you might have a new artist/vision person coming up on deck. I'll encourage that, but I'll never BS them about what it means.
     
  13. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    Or a new high school theater, or band equipment, or an "artist in residence" or a new performing arts center funded by local government credit cards. Yep. Kinda chaffs in all the wrong places, doesn't it?
     
  14. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Here, here. This was my son's high school experience. He graduated high school this last spring and will be starting his engineering studies this fall at his first choice university. His participation in the arts programs in our school district contributed greatly to his belief in himself. If wasn't for the parents of the community to vote in a special funding referendum every 3 years we wouldn't have the programs we do.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm sure my own biases color my ideas about this, but for one example a 30yo friend who went to art school and makes a steady living as a working artist, has a car loan etc, recently needed emergency appendix surgery.
    She is now in debt around $25k for that.

    A 30 yo professional athlete or business person might not generally go into debt that lowers their quality of continued living due to treating a common health problem.

    Of course business professionals lose their homes over health crises too, but we are looking at the general state of how society values art.

    If a professional athlete or business person only got paid when large portions of the public adored them (or when they shined the shoes of more adored peers in their respective fields), it might illustrate what society's valuation of the arts really amounts to.
     
  16. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I think music does, in fact, serve a useful function. It is excellent anti-suicide medicine. For immediate crises and to mitigate against future issues.

    In fact, there are all kinds of necessary functions that music serves.
     
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  17. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Poster Extraordinaire

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    If by adoration, you mean people's willingness to ascribe a value to their services, I guess that's pretty much how professional athletes and "business" people are paid. Come to think of it, that's exactly how artists are paid as well. Am I misreading your statement, its a bit confusing.

    You should look again. That's still pretty much the case.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  18. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    As is evident in this thread, our culture tends to measure the value of everything in dollars and cents. In that analysis the arts don't fare very well.

    But that analysis is wrong. There is value in art that goes way beyond money. We should know that. I'd bet that most of us have never made a living playing music. But I'd also bet that every single one of us would say that playing and appreciating music has made our lives better. When I was younger, lost and adrift, music saved my life. I'm not the only one.

    Exposure to, and participation in, artistic endeavors will rarely make people richer in monetary terms. But it reliably makes people richer in the ways that really matter - spiritually and intellectually. That is a worthy investment.
     
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  19. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m not sure why you quoted my post.
     
  20. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Hey!

    She's one of our best students at the Boris Bubbanov School of Dance.

    We accept anyone. We truly have no shame.
     
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