Friday, June 21, 2013

Now What?

It happens that the two projects I have been working on for the last two years are coming to an apex at the same time.  The film of "Jay Johnson: The Two and Only" is in the final-final stages.  Should have the final-final long version film done next week. 
My partner Zan and I also finished our screenplay. It is very satisfying to hold a script in your hands and see it in printed form. God bless the digital age, but until I can have a story in the form of a book or a script, it really doesn't exist.
Art is thought (dreams) expressed in Form.
Now comes the time in any artist career when he jumps head first into an area where he is least comfortable, delivering work to the audience. 
An artist is a creator. Creation is not Capitalism. Capitalism is often the exploitation of creativity for money.  I know very few artists that make art simply for the money. Most are driven to the process. So marketing the work is never as satisfying to an artist.  There have been so many projects in my past that have stalled at this level.  Mainly because the act of creating is so addictive; the desire is to start a new one is more appealing than promoting one that is finished. 
I have determined that these projects will not ripen on the vine for lack of harvest.  That said I am totally out of my element. 
I have always had a cross between admiration and envy for artists who can easily capitalize on their work. Peter Max and Andy Worhol come to mind. Wayland with his whales and Kinkade with his lit houses even found niche markets that were profitable. Writers like, J K Rawling, Stephen King, Anne Rice and Sandra Brown have been able to get their work to pay for itself many times over. They have managed to capitalize on their artistic creativity.
Of course, the artist who isn't selling as well will imply that these successful artists are only creating "commercial" stuff. Commercialism and Capitalism are sides of the same coin. To be commercial you must reach the masses. Their work must appeal to an audience with less sophisticated appreciation.  Logic being - "my" stuff is not selling because it is just too good for the common person.  
Capitalism assumes that everything of value has a price. History testifies to this idea of value. Van Gough and Mozart did not see the income from their art, they died poor.  They were not commercial in their own time. Today capitalism considers their work extremely valuable, hence,  commercial and pricy.
What Now?  What value do my two projects have?  The one thing for sure is I can not use a monetary gage for their worth or artfulness.  As an artist what value do I give them regardless of bottom line return?  Tough questions for any artist.
There are two ways I can look at entertainment projects. The capitalistic way is this: What can I do that the MOST people will be willing to pay the most money to experience?
Or the artistic way:  What would I like to see, hear or experience. I want to make physical the dreams that I see in my mind.  How can I get the money to create that show going on in my imagination. 
I am proud of the work on both these projects.  They are entirely different and completely unrelated. At this point they are first graders sent to school for the first time.  Will they get along with others or will people dislike them?  Both outcomes are quantum possibilities at this moment. 
Therefore in the quantum moment I am really excited and really terrified.  Perhaps the quantum universe is Bi-Polar. My kind of place.
As you were,


Paulette G said...

Best of luck as you go through the processi. I am sure the ART and you will prevail!!

P. Grecian said...

Like you, I make my art because I must...but then I make money from it so I may continue. "Ars gratia artis," for sure...but "Ars gratia pecuniae" so as to afford to continue eating. :-)