Lambs Chopped: The Official Blog Of U.R. Sheep

Because You Need To Be Told

On Creativity: For Art Or Money?


drawing-34553_640You sheep throw the word “art” around, pretty readily these days, so much so that you have stripped it of any useful meaning. Anything can be art apparently and if anything can be art then “to be art” says absolutely nothing of significance. Everyone is an “artist’ of this or that medium it seems, whether producing precious photographs the takers will sue over copying but who never paid a cent for the object they photographed, or Aunt Nellie and her blog of cooking recipes she knows good and well she got from a book her grandma gave her. Intellectual property has reached new heights of retardedom and I fully and soon expect some weasel to try and patent the letter “H” or “number 7” since some lawyer found out they are so far unaccounted for, as is done routinely today for old unattributed books and movies.

Though there are good both scientific and metaphysical reasons not to (consider a “world mind” or Weltgeist” etc.), I do believe in the rights to intellectual property. To me this means that while  I am alive you cannot make any money off my book/picture/video. After I am dead, if my material remains alive, what rights do my heirs have to my creative expressions? It is the power of the art’s appeal that only can keep its memory alive. Nobody should be rewarded for that. Along the same lines – and let’s stay with just the written word for now – neither does this mean people cannot quote my work, or talk about it, which require at least paraphrasing it and its ideas. You can’t be against that. Most people know what real plagiarism is and what it means, essentially trying to pass of another’s work as your own. Today this has been trivialized, not unlike the treatment of more heinous crimes.

It’s ironic, somewhat, that most plagiarism on the internet today concerns material that has no artistic or original content to it at all. At the same time, rewards and incentives are given for spreading the same mediocre mumbo-jumbo as far and as wide as this internet will allow. What you will likely see is not the best, but what someone paid to have you believe is the best. The top search results on Google or Yahoo, the top blogs on the biggest blogging websites, the “best of” lists and “hot now” links…nearly all of them are buying their way into your psyche.  If that’s not bad enough, you are being told, by editors and half-assed writers and “thinkers” – who really shouldn’t even be allowed a pencil and who can’t think their ways out of a one-door room – what THEY think you should be hearing and seeing. All this, and covered by copyright. Remember nonsense can be and has often been copyrighted.

An artist cannot declare himself one, rather this must come from others. The work produced must be recognized as unique, creative, expressive, original, and beautifully rendered. The recognition must come not from the bullayer-brautrock-56231_640common gourd, but from those knowledgeable of and familiar with the history of the particular art. Today, the common sheep are allowed to determine what art is, and as a result we get the garbage masquerading as art all around us. Where one sheep finds the grass to its liking, soon there will be more sheep.

So, and finally to my point, one who would fancy himself an artist candidate today faces for different reasons the same dilemma he has faced forever. Namely, do I write for the public or do I write for those who matter? The path I have chosen, as you can see, is the path of throwing my arms up and letting the chips fall where they may. Many things which have been suggested to me, just some of them here for a taste:

1. Write children’s books. Easy and unobjectionable.

2. Write Christian books, go for a market.

3. Self-promote myself. I can link you to hundreds of “self-promotion” websites that are really about, well, SELF-promotion.

4. Pay to rise. Get noticed by buying my way to the top of the Google ranks and Yahoo pages.

5. Do porn, Well, not do porn, but…well you get the idea.

Yes there are thousands of blogs and writers seeking to get noticed. But I will do none of these things. This website and my writings I will give as I feel like giving. Since I have been on the internet writing, contributing, debating, and so on, I have been doing just that. Though it has been more like 40%, somewhat surprising for me, it is also just fine for me if 90% of you give me “a thumbs-down” since it is what I expect. In short, I write what I want, when I want, in the style I want, however I want. The spell-check on this very post has made 4 suggestions I will refuse. Do I need money like everyone else? You better believe it, this is why I go to work in the real world. Just don’t expect me to abuse the muses and make demands on them for the sake of a few virtual dollars.

2 thoughts on “On Creativity: For Art Or Money?

  1. I’m a painter and ‘believe’ myself to be what is whimsically determined to be an ‘artist’, but, like yourself, I don’t give a hoot about what some people think. I only paint because I like to paint… simple as that. It’s the experience that counts for me and, if I never sell anything, I can live with that because I have lived with it for over 40 years. Working a day job put a roof over my head and fed the family.

    Reading your blog-bytes above had my emoticons going from 😦 to 🙂 and that’s a good thing, isn’t it? Nothing like mixed responses.

    Art is really only meaningful to the one creating it, isn’t it? I mean, if someone else gets a kick out of viewing it, that’s really just an add-on bonus. Hanging my stuff in galleries and then listening to a viewer’s take on them is often painfully embarrassing or surprisingly tedious. It’s hard to answer their questions about the subject portrayed when I can’t even wrap my head around all the possible meanings behind such subjectivity. “Oh, that’s just so iconic…”, I’ve heard more than once. (lulz abound)

    A very well-known faux-food artist I know once told me never to try to describe what I paint. “Leave it up to them to figure it out. You’ll only make yourself look like an idiot if you try.” she said. I respect that advice even if I often fail to follow it.

    Anyways… thanks for this post. I enjoyed it very much.

  2. Great post with great points. Like you, writing is not driven by money. It is more internal. I fully expect to rely on other jobs as a source of income. If others want to write for a living, that is fine, but it is just not my path.

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