My mom posted this on her blog yesterday and it really resonates with me. As a musician, I’ve been asked countless times to play for free, since it will give me “good exposure.” There are only so many times you can play for free before you start feeling like people are taking advantage of you! Ironically, people start taking your music or art more seriously once you start charging for it. Has anyone else experienced this as well?

Elizabeth Johnson

I’m really not a negative or stingy person, but there is one very popular fund-raising trend that evokes some violently negative and Scrooge-like reactions in me.   That is when well-meaning people and organizations ask me to donate a painting to be auctioned off for their community event or charity.  It is when businesses invite me to decorate the walls of their offices or cafés with my paintings, free of charge, of course.  In both cases, I am supposed to be grateful for the “exposure” it gives my work.  Frankly, I am furious.  There is, however, something other than art that I would like to expose in this blog.  It’s just a few alarming facts.

“The bottom line for artists is dismal, with the typical artist losing $556 in 2007 on their practice. (Other income sources bring median total earnings to $20,000 – not starving, but certainly not affluent.)”  (Waging Culture: …

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