On an Austin artist’s facebook page this morning, I read through a thread of folks in Austin lamenting over how the SXSW phenomenon here in Austin uses musicians/artists to make money without compensating them adequately or at all. The irony exists in the fact that without the music makers, the music business wouldn’t exist. Somehow, throughout history, many artists have been given the short end of the deal financially over and over again. . . so, here was my contribution to the thread.
I am clear that as an artist, what i have been given is a gift. I am also clear that I have invested years of my life refining my tools and methods of delivering this gift. I know that what I do has value that goes beyond my capacity to understand. I know this because for years people have shared how it has transformed their lives. I agree that compensation for a lifelong investment is ideal, but “entitlement” is a vague notion and an epidemic sickness amidst our culture. We all have the opportunity to define our own boundaries in terms of what we will do for money, how much of our investment we will share at no cost and what price we put on the rest. We are creative people with gifts and creative means by which to earn a living, live, grow and share these gifts.
After a wild & wooly SXSW filled with endless conversations about how to make a living in the music biz, I feel the folks at Patronism provide one of the best new models/solutions. Where artist, patron & music exist together without commercial interruption.You can check out my patron site here if you’re curious: http://www.patronism.com/wendycolonna