Blog / 2021 / Venture Café Philadelphia: The Art Business Isn’t Like Any Other Business

May 27, 2021

People often say that art is a luxury. It can sound a bit like a compliment—luxury items are, after all, well-made and valuable—but it’s actually quite the opposite. When people say that art is a luxury, what they mean is that it’s nonessential.

This idea is clearly garbage, as anyone who’s ever tried to do without music, books, television, or visual art can attest. Still, the concept maintains its nasty grip on our collective consciousness, creating a culture in which it’s nearly impossible to make money with art.

Some of the difficulty of earning a living with art comes from people who accept this garbage idea and relish receiving well-made valuable things for free. But mostly it comes from the artists themselves. The “art = luxury” paradigm has penetrated into their heart of hearts, and creatives have stopped believing in what they do.

This half hour talk begins to chip away at the “art = luxury” idea, providing practical tips for making money with art while also giving a wider view of how art functions in our world.

I started off the month of May giving this talk through Venture Café Philadelphia, and I’m ending it by opening a show at the Princeton Public Library!

Princeton Public Library
65 Witherspoon
Princeton, NJ 08542

Open: June 1st through August 31st
Hours: open most days, check PPL site for specifics
Pride Artist Talk: online June 23rd at 7p EDT
Artist Talk with Mic Boekelmann: online July 20th at 7:30p EDT

I guess it’s safe to say that things really are opening up in the US, though I’m pleased to report that the library is keeping the show events online. I know it’s supposed to be okay for vaccinated people to do just about anything, but the idea of being indoors and unmasked with people who may not have been inoculated bothers me, so I’m happy to err on the side of caution.


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