Sunday, November 28, 2010

Earning their keep

My quest for a new approach, a questioning of the current models and greater support for artists continues. A recent conversation with a prolific Tasmanian artist reinforced the need to look differently at the current situation in Australia.
Her comments in response to the need to develop her presence on the internet and learn the associated skills were...
'It's just too hard and so I freeze. I do nothing.'
She has already attempted an e-connect course through Tourism Tasmania. This is a great option for those who have the skills, resources and motivation. But if you are a practicing artist who contributes to the community, volunteers, runs workshops, produces work, plans exhibitions and strives to get something on the table at the end of the day, I wonder if there is another way of doing this better.
Imagine if we could connect them with a person with those skills.
'I have spent far too much time doing the business rather than doing my work'.
'I don't want to do it. I spend hours and it's still not working'.
It's tough asking these individual artists to pay for my services, as they are already earning so little. Part of my work is about exploring the options and perhaps the best option is for us as a culture to better support individual artists by investing in what they do well.
My work for Tasmanian Regional Arts has supported this approach, with minimal investment gaining excellent outcomes for the individuals and groups involved.
Let's see if any of this ripples through to the art funding bodies-I do hope so.

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