036: For Commercial Consumption
The public and style
Is the thing you’re making for commercial consumption.
Or is it more of a diary or sketchbook entry. There is a difference. And while it’s often insightful and pleasing to read someone’s diary and look at their sketchbook it’s rarely that such things are suitable for public consumption.
To become a commercial artist in this era one needs to cultivate an audience. You need to take your diary and your sketchbook and edit it down to it’s best bits, and deliver it in a pleasing and uniquely recognisable form.
You need to make it for them.
There is a difference between a meal you prepare for yourself, (Cookies, last night’s coffee and and refrigerated pizza), and what you serve paying customers on Christmas Eve.
If you’re thinking of making art for money, remember who you’re making it for and the occasion they are celebrating by giving you money!
Ps: I making this newsletter for commercial consumption, if you believe it meets those standards, you can become a paid subscriber. And I’ll instantly send you a Thank You note for your discerning eye.
This idea of commercial consumption has been on my mind a lot lately. I remember reading a biography of Charles Shultz (The Peanuts cartoonist). There was a lengthy passage where he explained to someone (I forget who) that he was a commercial artist and that meant he had to make art that someone wanted to buy, not just look at.
I make illustrated haiku as a type of commercial art. I'm still at the beginning of the journey, but I already make more than many poets who only submit work to literary journals. Some poets even pay reading fees to be published in prestigious publications. The problem is the audience for those journals is other poets and poetry editors.
Everyone should create the art they want, but if you want to make a living from any type of art, you have to make stuff people want to buy.
Thanks for another great comment that provides a bit of commentary to the post!