TIME and again artists continue to stress about not being fully remunerated for various artistic services rendered in the arts and culture realm.
Other times, institutions or individuals ask artists to volunteer their services for free and regard it as “EXPOSURE” Many artists have heard this phrase plenty of times and doing it for “EXPOSURE” basically means that your work will be seen by a new audience, but you will not get paid for it.
This says a lot about how we value our arts and culture industry. Why would people who hire artists think that they do not have the responsibility to remunerate an artist for their work?
Only few very well established artists receive their fair share of what is due to them after gigs, however, many talents in Namibia, especially in the music industry have taken their grief to the media and most of the time little to nothing is done about their plights.
The artist is left to ponder how they will ever get paid for the time they spent entertaining people and receiving close to nothing in return. Imagine sending an artist home without paying them.
How would you ever expect their friends or family members to take them serious? This will never happen until the time the artist starts making money.
Artist should also note that they function like small businesses, and by working for free, they perpetuate a culture in which creative work goes unpaid, making it even more difficult for younger and most probably more creative individuals to get paid for work done.
As much as it may seem that artists have fun or have more free time than regular working class people, they work harder and put their blood, sweat and tears in producing a product that evokes emotion for the masses. If institutions, event managers or individuals cannot see the need for artist to be paid then they should not ask for their services in the first place.
In an industry that is seemingly on its knees and crying out for help, it strikes a nerve to see creatives not appreciated for their work. The state of the economy should not be an excuse to consume art and not value the artist, in fact paying artist more will suggest healthy competition in the arts industry.
This will in turn produce a galore of talented creatives, who can then better expose themselves to international markets.
Artist should in return adhere to conducting themselves professionally, like being on time for rehearsals and performances or having their artwork in time for exhibitions, so that those entities in charge of paying them do not find excuses not to pay them. Ultimately it is the artist decision to work for free, but it is the responsibility of the consumer to pay for their work in the first place.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015