In Which We Wonder if There Is An Explosion of Artistic Output

January 17th, 2005 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

We’ve all heard the stories: far more books are written than published. The same goes for motion picture screenplays. Far more musicians than necessary. And probably there’s a huge surplus of poetry. So what gives? Why are so many people out there trying to get creative with it?

Seriously, is the world filled with artists or is writing, to take one aspect of the artistic life, so undervalued and undertaught that people see it as an easy way to make a fast buck (yes, yes, we all get the lovely satisfaction of watching such folk fall flat on their faces, but still…)? Or is it that creative outlets are few and far between, and all of a sudden a person says, “Hey, I just gotta get this out or I’ll explode”? Where are all these people coming from and why are they doing this?

Not rhetorical questions. We’re curious. Very curious.

P.S. — We will assume that you, like us, were perplexed by the participations paragraph. Who knew that studio overhead had risen ot 20%? We really need to get out more. We don’t quite get the point being made there, but would like to remind our Booksquare algebra enthusiasts that the various elements outlined in the paragraph are the reason why writers don’t always see much in the way pennies from a backend deal. Those are all the things that get deducted (interest being a particularly lovely aspect…trust us on this) before you get paid your paltry percentage of the net.

File Under: Square Pegs

2 responses so far ↓

  • Sanguinity // Jan 17, 2005 at 12:39 pm

    The world is full of artists. Participating in NaNoWriMo and other come-one-come-all writing projects, I see that lots of people out there have something they burn to get down on paper. Very few are interested in getting it published for a mass audience — they mostly want to show it to family, friends, and other participants. They tend to find huge satisfaction in even that modest distribution.

    Mass-distributed art hasn’t been around for that long. Writing has been mass-distributed for quite a while now, but up until recently music was something that happened mostly within a local community. So was theater. So was storytelling. Art was something you did for your neighbors.

    While mass-produced media means that we all get to enjoy much better art than we would have a century ago, it also means that we’re all far more stifled as artists — if you’re not as good as what’s being internationally distributed, the message goes, you have no business participating. Personally, I applaud whenever someone decides to create anyway. There’s joy in that act, whatever your skill level.

  • booksquare // Jan 20, 2005 at 10:26 pm

    Yes, yes. I agree on the mass-distributed art. I really think that art is being shunted to the sidelines in education and it’s exploding in adults. We need to express. You see it in a lot of different ways (I recently learned that a good friend — the last person I’d ever expect — draws in his free time).

    Now, if only art weren’t considered “easy”. It’s an outlet, but it’s also (depending on your goal) a discipline.

    Thanks for the comment (and sorry for the delayed response…seriously, the cats want their own credit cards) — it made me think (always dangerous…).