Monday, October 20, 2014

Professional musician? Hope you got a day job.

Does creativity pay enough to live on?
  I don't know much about Iggy Pop but I do [EDITTED: too fast typing earlier. I'd written "I don admire..."  Crazy stuff.  Sorry]   admire his voice and know he's more than moderately famous and skilled at his work.  He needs to moonlight?
To keep skinny body and maverick soul together, Iggy’s become a DJ, a car-insurance pitchman and a fashion model. If he had to live off royalties, he said, he’d have to “tend bars between sets.” As I listened to his enthusiastic stoner Midwestern drawl, I thought: If Iggy Pop can’t make it, what message does that send to all the baby Iggys out there? In a society where worth is judged by price, for better or worse, what are you saying to someone when you won’t pay for the thing he’s crafted?
A few days before Iggy’s lecture, Australian novelist Richard Flanagan won the Booker Prize, the most prestigious in the literary world, for his Second World War story The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Just in time, it sounds like: Mr. Flanagan told reporters that he was making so little from his writing that he was thinking about packing it in and becoming a miner. (He comes from a small mining town in Tasmania.) The prize money of about $90,000 and the following sales bump will allow him to continue, but most of his colleagues aren’t so lucky: “Writing is a very hard life for so many writers,” he said.
The link above references a lecture by Mr Pop.  Here is a transcript.

[Added later (Oct 22)]: More on the subject:
People who graduate with a degree in the Arts generally have to deal with high debt and low prospects for earning a sustainable living as working artists.
That's the big takeaway from a new report from BFAMFAPhD, Artists Report Back: A National Study on the Lives of Arts Graduates and Working Artists [PDF]. The short version: “the fantasy of future earnings in the arts cannot justify the high cost of degrees.”
Way off topic:
Write or Die is software that offers a stick to encourage you to return to writing.  Actually, now it offers sticks (scary spider pictures) and carrots (cute puppies or the like) depending on your wriitng output.

I don't know how to use these new icons, but Google has made them freely available.

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