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Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Why Don't We Value Artists?

Fresh (almost) daily from Julie Barrett


This whole Amazon kerfuffle (and the fact that my camera broke this morning. Again) got me to thinking about why artists are are not valued.

Part of it is, like any other line of work, there's always someone willing to work for less. And hey, writing is a skill I learned in school, some think, why not make an extra five bucks here and there with it?

And here's my dilemma: We all do start at the bottom to an extent. I worked pro bono for non-profits, building up my portfolio so I could charge market rates for my work. They got the benefit of materials to help their mission, and I got some experience. Now, "starting somewhere" means accepting abysmally low rates for your work.

When you start your rates at the bottom, there's no going up. It drags us all down.

What do YOU make per hour (if you're currently out of work what did you make per hour)? If you spend eight hours on a short story, four hours tweaking a photograph, what should you get paid? What is your overhead? Do you need to publicize yourself so you can sell your work? Do you need to eat?

So you tell me: Why are artists devalued?



Filed under: Writing            
2/5/2010 9:56:53 AM
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