After a good period of new work and posts, life gets in the way once again. Unexpected things happened to my house and car so my time and energy had to go elsewhere for a while. Hopefully all that’s behind me now and I’m eager to dive back into more art.
I checked back on DeviantArt after being gone for a while and saw this big bombshell of a journal entry. Looks like Brad Rigney, a respected and well-known artist who also goes by cryptcrawler, has just went public with the accusation that The Art Department and ConceptArt.Org have not paid what was owed to him for his work on his video tutorial A Hostile Takeover.
The sad thing is, I paid for and watched that tutorial. Not only is Brad an amazing and unique artist, he also has a very fresh perspective as someone who was completely self-taught and was very honest about his struggles and obstacles. I felt touched by his story, and in many ways felt my life was similar. So it hits me even harder that he was taken advantage of. Also, just from what I’ve read, it seems that he is not the only artist that has allegations against TAD and CA.
As many people have come to Brad’s defense, others are sharing their stories about their trials and tribulations. We all know how hard it is to be paid a fair price for art, because so many people consider it something that does not have an intrinsic value. Things like cars and tools have a specific range of financial value, and its easy to price them. Art can go from worthless to priceless, based purely on the buyer and seller. Plus there is so much talk about doing art simply for the passion and love of art, that it has become easy for people to act unprofessional and prey upon artists to do art for free.
Many years ago I had lots of similar experiences where I was paid little to nothing for my art. Not to say I always deserved to be paid lots of money, but there were many instances of complete unprofessionalism. Once my contract was unceremoniously canceled at the last minute by an editor who didn’t know art from bathroom stains, and soured me from working with companies for a very long time. Luckily I had the last laugh because just a few short months later that same editor was selling me tickets at a local movie theater, as an usher.
I guess my advice would be to always value yourself and your art; stand up for yourself if you feel that you’ve been wronged, and never give things away because people will take advantage of you. We will all have war stories to tell about the time that we were not treated professionally, but if we can all stand up for ourselves, then collectively we can continue to better the situation of honest artists pursuing their livelihood.
Just so this post doesn’t end on a downer, here is a great post from Levi Peterffy about overcoming obstacles, myths about talent, and reaching your goals as an artist. He goes over the same territory as my Myths of Art posts but in a much more succinct way.