I just don’t understand anything anymore.
Wealthy musician Amanda Palmer, who last year raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter to produce and release a record, recently used a TED talk to expand on the idea that artists should be willing to work for free. After relaying a story about how she used to be a street performer, Palmer, who is married to a very successful author named Neil Gaiman, told an audience of people who’d paid $7,500 apiece to be there that musicians shouldn’t “make” people pay for their work, but rather “let” people pay for their work. She also explained that she found it virtuous when a family of undocumented immigrants huddled together on their couch for a night so that she and her band could have their beds, because her music and presence was a fair exchange for the family’s comfort. After about 13 minutes of explaining why she is content with people giving her things, Palmer received a standing ovation.
[I know that visual artists are very vocal about this issue. My experience is that they have more concerns about this than others seem to. Maybe they get more requests for free work? I’m not sure. But I disagree with the analysis above. I don’t think Ms. Palmer was asking anyone to work for free. She was suggesting as many do, that you need to flip the model, and use that in your attempt to cut through the clutter and noise. Offer people the opportunity to purchase your art… a model that works for some people and not others, and some cases and not others. In short there’s a difference between “talent for hire” and “art”. And a lot of folks think of their work for hire as art. It’s not for me to say, but I think the distinction I’m trying to draw is important when it comes to “free”.]
Source: Luc Latulippe