If you want a successful career as a photographer, you have to dismiss one toxic term that damaged our industry: "starving artist." It has caused more damage and more self-doubt to artists across the globe than probably anything else.
Before photographers can get on the case of non-paying photography clients, we have to recalibrate how we present ourselves. What does starving artist, mean or better yet, what does it do? It normalizes the struggle that artists have had for centuries: that they must barely make ends meet if they would like to be considered a serious artist.
It normalizes taking advantage of creatives and the work that they produce. We must keep them starving to appreciate them, and when they pass away, we'll honor them. It normalizes prejudice within our community because if a creative is making a lucrative salary, then they must be a sellout, right?
Who Benefits From This Phrase?
Who do you think benefits from this phrase? Who benefits from us having internal fighting and judging each other? Who do you think pushes this concept? I think it's the people who would hire you, the wealthy, the big corporations, the media. Watch the video to get a full understanding of this statement and why all of us should work towards eliminating these two words.
All of them benefit from our work. And if we understand our pure value, they would be paying a whole lot more. It does not matter what type of art you make, charge for it. You should never starve! In many cases, you ought to be doing better than the customers hiring you.
Artists Contribute So Much!
We build television shows and music videos, songs and photographs, commercials, and book covers. We cover ugly and beautiful city walls with our work, giving it texture and stories. We could even make the darkest alleys relevant. We share stories with the world and build incredible dating profiles that get the ring on the finger. We, as creative artists launch brand after brand. We are the brand shapers, we are the brand makers, and they could not do what they do without us.