I have no idea how to start this. I don’t have a fancy introduction. No history lesson about artists long past. I don’t have a fluffy lure that half of you would turn back at because you just don’t have the time for that. What I do have is a goal. A desire to impart on you a thought. I just want to sow a seed that you will unwittingly nourish into strong thoughts. It’s a radical idea by today’s standards, but it could literally be world changing.
What if artists were supported by the government?
I could cite statistics, but to be honest, most of you would never go look at them. When you think of artist, the term “starving artist” comes to mind (which is actually not as proliferate as if used to be, thanks to the internet). I always think of a painter or sculptor in a big city that is months behind on rent and on the verge of being homeless, empty stomach and emptier cupboards, and instead of choosing to give up on their heart and just get a traditional job and eat, they choose to fight to create in the hope that someone will finally recognize what they have to offer.
So maybe they’re aren’t many artists that are in this situation (though I’m sure there are some), but what puts people in this position is the passion to create. As an artist, I can say that it is a strong desire to create and share for others that drives us. We generally don’t care about massive amounts of money (though it would be nice!), and we don’t usually want fancy things (except for those fancy art supplies though). We care about making a statement and expressing what we feel and connecting with the people around us. We just want to move people.
In society today, money rules. We cannot do much of anything if we do not have the funds. Big corporations are filthy rich, and the government is dirt poor. Money has infested our politics and our homes. But what if society was different? What if we had a culture that revolved around, well culture.
Culture is what defines us. It is the collection of everything that adds to us and defines us in a new way. Music. Painting. Sculptures. Knowledge. Ideas. Values. Each of these things, and more, come together to make up our culture. These are the good things. The ideas that push us to be better and the finer things that pull us in and change us. A society that revolves around its culture would be a much better society than one that is based on greed and deceit.
So think about it. Artists that produce things of value to society would not be in danger of dying or being homeless. Now they wouldn’t be wealthy or even middle class unless they earned that from what they did, but they would be taken care of. Old apartment buildings or run down factories converted into huge living spaces and studios full of creativity. Homeless people could have a home and food and clean water, they would just have to create.
The world would change. If we put our energy into caring for the people who can change the world with their ideas and spirit and creativity, the world would be a happier, brighter, and more peaceful place. So just sit on that. I’ve planted a seed, and now it is time for you to choose to water it, or let it sit in the ground, wasted potential.