Lies Artists Believe: Money
One of the lies artists believe is that money is the solution to their problems. This lie is tempting because money can empower us to do things we never imagined. It can enable us to overcome hurdles, and give us traction. The illusion is that money fixes problems. The reality is money is often only a band-aid when you need stitches, or a short-term fix for a long-term problem.
The truth is this: money is not your primary problem nor the primary solution. If your artwork is selling and you are doing well financially it is often because your product, marketing and market position are spot on. If you are not making money at your art, that is a sign your product, marketing and market position are missing something. A lack of fans, customers and patrons is the sign that something isn’t working. Many of the wealthiest people I know will say the same mantra, “the problem is never money.”
What Money Really Means
Money is simply a measure of worth. If your art is valuable in the marketplace, you will be able to sell it for money. If your expertise, wisdom and insight have value, people will pay you to produce and curate. However, if your work does not resonate with an audience, or your marketing does not speak to the people you are trying to sell to, the money will always be a problem. Throwing money at something that doesn’t work simply doesn’t make sense.
The Cold Hard Truth
If you are creating art which is not selling, more money will not help you. In fact, it may only feed the illusion that your art is a legitimate business when it isn’t. If your art does not fit a need or fill a niche, the sooner you realize that the better. Then you can stop spinning your wheels and wasting time. Now you can change course and start to make money from what you create.
Ask Yourself the Tough Questions:
(These are a tiny sample of the questions my wife uses in her Catalyst Online Course
to help artists embrace the entrepreneurial mindset)
1) Is your art worth the price you are asking? (neither too high or too low)
2) Is your artwork marketed to people who can afford your art?
3) Is your artwork getting in front of people who actually spend money on your type of art?
4) Do you create art with an audience in mind?
5) Do you know why people buy your art?
Money is Measuring Tool
Money is nothing more than a form of measurement. It measures the delight, pleasure or value of experience your work provides in their life right now. In the case of live performance, it is a one-time experience. In the case of artwork on the wall it can be something providing satisfaction and meaning for years or decades.
If you create high-end art, you only need a few wealthy patrons to pay the bills. If your art is attractive to the masses, you can price your art cheaper and make up the total income on volume. This is true of musician CD’s and MP3’s, as well as greeting cards, and even movies that depend on millions of people buying tickets or renting online. As the film industry proves every year, items priced at only $15 can amount to millions if the appeal is to a broad enough audience.
Your Heart and Money
The most famous verse on this matter is of course, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(Matt 6:21) This is part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and is meant to highlight issues of the heart. God cares about our heart more than how much money we do or do not make. Our hearts will cling to the thing we love the most. If we love money, our hearts are worshiping money. If we think money is the solution to our problems, we are worshiping money instead of God. This will only lead to frustration and disappointment.
A Healthy Approach
See money as a tool. It can be used to buy food, clothing, and rent, as well as decorations and entertainment. It is not the solution, nor the problem. If you can’t make a living from your art, you may need to do art on the side, and rethink your calling. Then you can assess your creative endeavors without the pressure of providing a primary income. In my Calling Course I break down the multiple callings each of us has, as well as the various seasons that impact the outworking of our calling. If you want to watch a free masterclass on the Calling course you can access that HERE.
The heart of the matter is the matter of your heart. God wants you to focus on him, not money, not fame, or anything else. Why? Because nothing else will satisfy your soul. He wants us to keep our hearts attached to God. Only he can refresh and renew our soul. We need to see money as tool and a measure of value in society. We need to understand the value of our work and the value we expect audiences and patrons to pay. The life of an artist is still a business, and all artists are really entrepreneurs. The sooner we see it that way, the healthier we will be.
Check out the Online Catalyst Program HERE
Check out the FREE Calling Masterclass HERE
Copyright © 2020 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.