Follow by Email

StatCounter

Monday, December 30, 2013

Cannot be outsourced or automated



People's jobs are getting outsourced or automated. There are some things that cannot be done away with.

The arts. No kidding.

A lot of my friends get at least part of their income from artistic endeavors. You don't have to be famous to get at least some income from the arts. A couple of friends make all their income from their creative efforts. There's an artist who's done everything from painting lessons, to painting motorcycles, to business signs, to fine art. His income is uneven and he always seems on the financial edge, but he's maintained his family, a large house, and a big downtown studio for years. It hasn't been easy, but he's still working when his classmates who used to work in factories are unemployed.

Another good friend makes his living singing and playing his guitar. There are a lot of good musicians out there and competition is stiff. He's found a niche playing on cruise ships. The pay is not all that great, but tips are good and last trip he sold out of CDs. A couple months a year on ships keeps his family household going.

Then there are those get at least a tiny income stream. A photographer I know just bought a huge projection screen TV with profits from his sales. The guy's on a small disability pension so the art sales make a big difference in his quality of life. Another friend is setting up a ceramic studio in her home as her business has expanded to the point where it's worth the investment.

I remember when another friend of mine got a royalty check from a book he wrote. It wasn't huge, but it paid for the groceries for the month. It's not exactly money to retire on, but it's real wealth. Writing is a tough gig to break into, but it is possible get at least some income from it. I make no apologies for having ads on my blog as the occasional check from Google is nice to have.

People have been discouraged from pursuing arts and told to get a real job. Guess what, those real jobs are fewer and harder to get. Artistic skill can't be outsourced or automated.

-Sixbears



14 comments:

  1. Good points made - I had not considered that. I tell my daughter who at times gets frustrated with taking guitar lesson, that knowing how to play well is a good backup skill. Opportunities for a guitar player for background music at restaurants, ceremonies are desired for example and these are often word of mouth.

    Having an artistic background definitely has some advantages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You most likely won't get rich, but it is a way to make a few bucks.

      Delete
  2. Our only has a English degree and a minor in many artistic fields, she works for film companies and does well..She lives in NYC so she must work like the dikens but she can relax too, paid for, January to Park City UT for the sundance festival there about 14 days she makes enough to take feb and march off, always something comes up and she is doing well..Without the arts where would our world be, she gets to travel on their dime and she meets interesting artistic people who have many attributes she could have taught kids and also done other English stuff, she did not want to make a living doing that..She saves like crazy as her income is up and down but mostly for her up and more up..happy new year the Chinese year of the Wooden Horse, it is finishing up the Snake the sign of our only child she is lucky and artistic and gifted, she did not want to be working in a company or teaching and then be laid off after many years of slaving away, no the artistic journey always appealed to her..ciao!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have noticed that as the economy gets tighter that people tend to spend money on food and energy rather than buy my paintings. There are always the rich who will buy art but the middle income art buyers are a big market and they are getting hammered so I wouldn't run out and get into art instead of learning a trade. Stores are trying to import Chinese made art so some people are buying that slave labor junk. A guy near hear tried to start a gallery of imported Chinese art but they found him dead beside his house with a possum eating him. I guess there is some moral to that story or a Chinese proverb maybe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The middle income folks have been getting hammered pretty badly in recent decades. That doesn't help sales, that's for sure.

      To me, that Chinese "art" is right up there with the velvet paintings we used to get out of Mexico.

      Delete
  4. If I want a painting to hang on the wall, I will paint one if I haven't already done what I am looking for. I love to paint. Haven't done any for awhile. Need to get back in the groove.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a skill I lack, but who knows? Maybe I'll take lessons in the future. Could be fun.

      Delete
  5. I do think the creative arts can be a blessing. You, Sixbears, could try boat building for others. Maybe teaching sailing to beginners!

    Some income is better than none, ya know?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tiny income streams build to a mighty river.

      Delete
  6. thank you for this vote of confidence... our plucky heroine actually gets about a quarter of my miniscule income stream from custom enameling and metalwork, making things for folks in the historical recreation subculture. About another quarter of my income comes from custom sewing for people, and some from teaching workshops in various skills I have. I am hoping over the next year or two to transition to doing more teaching, as my ability to be a housemaid (my other job) is diminishing with age and infirmity... Multiple income streams have made sense to me for many years, and having skills that are useful and not outsource-able helps...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You get it. We all do what we have to do and make our own jobs.

      Delete