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A Rose By Any Other Name... - Jessie T. Wolf
February 4th, 2004
05:45 pm

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A Rose By Any Other Name...
Today Raptor and I got into a discussion about art… not too surprising. We were talking about the value of art based off of appreciation of style versus the artist’s recognition. I’m sure this is an old topic, but it’s one that just seems to pop up every now and then. This time in particular because I came across a few pieces on FurBid that managed to sell for like… LOTS of money, and my jaw just dropped in awe. Just one of those things that makes your brain wanna explode from the sheer shock value.

You know, I’ve always wondered just WHY things are based off of fame. It doesn’t matter if you draw like shit, just because as long as you have a name to back yourself up with, your artwork will sell regardless. That’s been proven with that whole “Stick Vixen” thing ages ago, and it just makes me wanna cry. Although given, most well known artists don’t sell crap, otherwise they wouldn’t be well known. They’ve worked hard to get to where they are, and they deserve the attention that they get.

But it makes me sad when I see other artists, and their work is AMAZINGLY good, yet will sell for so very little, if even at all, and all because they’re not well known. Granted, FurBid is not the best place to try to auction off artwork, especially if you’re not well known. But it’s SO sad! I’ve seen greatly detailed, beautiful pieces of artwork sell for like $10, when it should have gone for like $40. I’ve seen bigger named artists sell drawings that even I could do about as equally well for a couple hundred dollars, and it just baffles my mind. O.o

Now, I don’t get annoyed so much with the artists, as I do with the buyers. A lot of artists start off at fairly reasonable prices, and their work is worth every penny, if not a bit more. For some reason tho, I can’t help but go “Blah!” when I see buyers bidwar like mad over certain pieces, getting up to crazy prices, simply because of the artists’ name. Soon it’s not even about the appreciation value of the artwork, and it turns into an outright fight over who wins. Sometimes I wonder if the people even really HAVE that money to spend. O.o When I heard about that painting of Goldenwolf’s that sold for $10,000, I just about had a heart attack, thinking, “Good GRIEF! How on earth can anyone afford that?? That’s like, a down payment on a house, for goodness sake!”

And it’s not just Furry Artists either. I was watching Ripley’s one day, and they had a blurb on this one restaurant where they uses an “art form” of serving their food. They basically get these model women to lay on a table in the nude, and then place the food on her in creative ways. They charge up to $1000 a plate just to eat off of some nekkid chick! X.x I can’t help but think that money like that could SO be going to other things, like, I dunno... feeding the hungry or something. Doing SOMEthing to make this world a better place anyway. Or maybe I’m just really naive like that.

But anyway, the purpose of this rant isn’t to badmouth artists at all, considering I have a lot of fellow artist friends who are very good at what they do and should be damn proud of their work. I’m not bitching about artists that make a lot of money. I’m simply saying that it seems a bit unfair that the value of artwork is usually based off of weather or not the artist has a name, rather than the actual work and talent that an individual puts into their work. Honestly, if I ever become one of those well-known artists, I am never going to let it go to my head. In fact, I’m going to try my damnest to support and advertise the talented lesser knowns. It’s just something I think about every now and then.

Current Mood: thoughtful

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:firesplace
Date:February 4th, 2004 03:16 pm (UTC)
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I dunno - generally, when I see art selling for those prices, my response is more 'How can *I* get a piece of that action?' than 'what did they do to deserve that?' ...But I'm just greedy! ;)
I agree, tho, it's not a fair system. When I hear about pictures hanging in museums that were valued at millions of dollars and are suddenly considered worthless when it turns out they're not actually a Van Gough, Degas, etc., but a brilliant forgery, it makes me wonder. If it's so darn good that you can't even tell, doesn't that mean it's still good art? It's a conspiracy, I tell ya. ;)
I agree that a lot of furry artists are underpriced, too - I got yelled at last year at Conifur for that very problem, actually! I think the problem is balancing the price for the time spent working on the picture, and the fact that your target audience isn't known for being independantly wealthy!
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From:blackwingdragon
Date:February 4th, 2004 11:17 pm (UTC)
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Heh!I'd have to agree, actually.

I mean, lookit this.
I know an artist who did a very good quality picture for like $10 or something.That, in my currency, is ridicilously high.However there, it can't even feed you for much more than 2 large fries, if I count right.

Given, there might not be enough clients or the prices may be low.Something should be worked out for artists, who *need* the money.The ones who truly need it, not ones who just sidetrack with their high skills for easy $$$.
A home inspection or something (Done by furs to avoid problems of course), where they would value the items and such, to see if furs are eligable.

Then everyone donates now and then, and based on like, 5-20 judge's opinions, the fur would get XY part of that money.

Well that's just my idea.Feeding the hungry is a good thing too, but I'd rather invest in a damn huge van that goes around handing dogs home, food or the necessary vaccine.
Seriously.They are animals, and can't even defend themselves properly like a human would.Plus, if a pup is out on the street, it's a lot more liable for people to kick that than a HUMAN kid.
That's shocking, I know, but it's also the truth :-\.

That's what people should focus on.Animal healthcare.Not something stupid.
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From:volkai
Date:February 4th, 2004 11:40 pm (UTC)

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Just remember that, as members of our species, we are obligated to have a bias towards of species. That's to our species as a whole, mind you... I'm all for taking most of the world's rich's money, and using it first to feed and house the world's human hungry and homeless, then using the rest for healthcare for all other animals.
But we do, you know, have a duty to our species. Just as other animals have duties as being members of their species.

And if my aim is off with this, then feel free to ignore it. No need to respond saying as much.
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From:iron_raptor
Date:February 5th, 2004 01:02 am (UTC)

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What the.. @_o.. What does animal welfare have anything to do with this post? The point that is made here is the simple fact that artists with a name, get more money and recognition than those with equal, if not more talent that don't have a name. She was basically saying that $10K is a LOT of money for a picture, and that the money could be used for something else. You just went TOTALLY off on a tangent with this.

The focus of Jessie's post was the unfairness in general that seems to happen to artists who have no name, and how that some artists with a name, can get away with doing a sub-par job, and still get more money than what Bill Gates uses to wipe his ass with after a brief shit.

Now, let me respond to Jessie's post itself: I agree with this. Artistic funding should be designated to the many other unknown talented artists out there who do amazing, if not inspiring pieces of work. I mean.. I've seen pieces that would make Michaelangelo piss his undead pants with envy going for $10, while other pieces done by big name artists go for hundreds, if not, THOUSANDS of dollars. I'm not being jealous when I say this. If they earn that money fairly, then fine. I'm just saying that the money the artists make should be based off their artwork quality, not the name that they've made for themselves.

An example of this is Jackson Pollock. He's a really good artist, and he has the capabilities to spin off great art pieces. What does he do? He splatters paint on a massive wad of canvas, and it sells for MILLIONS of dollars, for fucking paint splatters on canvas!!!! It's utter bullshit.

And THAT'S MY 2 CANADIAN cents. :)

Quote of the Day: "I give you permission to spank my puppy!"

And don't you think I won't! :D *brandishes ye whip*
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From:blackwingdragon
Date:February 5th, 2004 04:32 am (UTC)

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*thwaps*

I haaaaaaaaate being bashed like that after P.E when I WAS on topic.

The idea is that people don't give a crossbred crap about animals.There ARE more important things (Not to me.I place animals in a higher priority, but I'm going by votes on average here) out there, or there might be.I'm just saying that the money those artists get could be well spent on other things, specifically highlighting animal health.

The name of an artist doesn't matter if someone out of the darkness without a name but with twice the skill comes and blows the previous "Holder" out of the sky.The sad thing is, people are smart and try to gain influence where they know it'll pay off.

Besides.I also had a hidden third reason for posting, and I'm not gonna tell you :-P.But since I've heard lots about you from everywhere, why not keep contact somehow?You can E-mail me if you wish (Yours isn't in your profile), or just plain write and such.*yaaaaaaaaaawnhugs*

I gotta go now, I'm having a pain in my gut, and I have no idea why >_<.
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From:wlfdog
Date:February 5th, 2004 12:01 pm (UTC)

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Relax hon, you're not being bashed. :-P But he's kinda right... you did kind of go way off topic and it just *seemed* like you totally missed the point of the post. So he was just pointing you in the right direction. Don't take it personally though. We understand what you meant now.

Please forgive me for not writing, but I'm extremely bad with e-mail and can barely keep up with the friends I have already. My e-mail address is on my Furnation website if you want it. But I get a lot of random people who'll e-mail me and then get all upset if I don't get back to them right away. Please understand that I get busy, so if you're the type of person who gets impatient like that, then you might not want to e-mail me. I don't mind posts on my LJ tho.
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From:blackwingdragon
Date:February 5th, 2004 12:59 pm (UTC)

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*Giggle* it's not that.I just don't handle pressure (Or any sort of disagreement, actually) that well.I either kinda lunge or just curl up ^_^;.
Sorry about that....

Yeah, I'm an impatient person, but hey.If what they say about good things being worth the wait being true, I can wait.Besides, time passes dang fast when you do what I do (nothing, ironically).

Perhaps when I get the addy, I can tell you why ^-^.
You're a very kind person, I can tell you that in advance already.
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From:theregaltigress
Date:February 7th, 2004 03:01 pm (UTC)

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For many artists, they support themselves on money that comes from their artwork just as with any other "profession." While I do indeed support animal rescue and health, I'm really not into putting them "first" because if I did, I would starve, or not have money to commute, or a roof over my head, etc. Most freelance artists don't have an excess of money sitting around, really. :-/

Just my 2 cents.

-Kymba
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From:wlfdog
Date:February 5th, 2004 12:11 pm (UTC)

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Actually, while Raptor and I were talking about it, we kinda came up with the idea of maybe putting a website together where some lesser knowns who would like to get there stuff out there could show some samples of their work. Like a small online portfolio. They can post like maybe 5 samples of their artwork say, and add a link to their site, if they have one. And if not, then just leave their e-mail address if they'd like, so that people can e-mail them if they like their art. And have some tips up on the site that can help them get their artwork noticed a bit more. *shrugs* Just an idea, and it would be easy enough for Raptor and I to get graphics and text together. But we'd need to find someone that would be willing to donate the webspace and put the site together, since neither of us know html. I guess we'll see... was thinking of talking to a few friends of mine to see if they think it's a good idea.
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From:theregaltigress
Date:February 5th, 2004 10:12 am (UTC)
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I like your insight and thoughts! I do hope you don't mind if I friend you. :)

-Kymba
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From:wlfdog
Date:February 5th, 2004 12:12 pm (UTC)

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I don't mind at all! Go right ahead, and thank you! ^^
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From:auradeva
Date:February 5th, 2004 11:22 am (UTC)
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They don't call it a fandom for nothing, hee hee. I've found furbid to be the best places to advertise out side of going to cons and running around at maniac speed. I think any artist can build up to being popular if they want to be. It just takes time and effort... creativity helps alot, too.
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From:wlfdog
Date:February 5th, 2004 12:41 pm (UTC)

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"I've found furbid to be the best places to advertise out side of going to cons and running around at maniac speed."

Once again, this is what I'm talking about. It's easy for you to advertize and sell on FurBid, because you *do* have a name (not to mention years of animation experience). People usually go onto FurBid specifically to look for artwork done by artists with names. Even Wookiee has told me this. It's one of the easiest outlets for anyone with a recognizable name.

Now, I am by no means bashing you or any other artist out there with a name. Like I said, you've worked hard to get where you are now, your artwork is brilliant, and you should be damned pround of what you do. I'm simply saying that it's a shame that other artists, with JUST as much skill, tend to be overlooked because no one knows them. Some artists can also draw and advertize for years and still not become even a bit famous, because a lot of it has to do with taste and style as well.

But I dunno... I don't feel people should work on their art simply for the desire of becoming popular, either. *I* draw because I love it. And well, if others just happen to like my work, and I can make a couple bucks here and there, then that's not so bad either. :)

But anyway, it's a dead topic anyway. It's just something I was thinking about at the time.
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