A long time ago, sometime after I started this blog, I discovered Hans Abbing and his book Why are artists poor? A short while later Don Thompson came out with The $12 million dollar stuffed shark. It seemed the world was turning its attention, finally, to the complicated financial realities of creative people.
I learned, not surprisingly, from Statistics Canada that artists were among the lowest of the low paid. And among artists the lowest of the low were the potters and the poets, my favourites.
I started to write a bit about Abbing and Thompson. The economics or economy of the arts was a good topic, a worthy pursuit, but still… I couldn’t quite muster my time or focus. Like a lot of creative people, I am moved to act at certain times and it’s not systematic. At the same time, certain people of my acquaintance, got hold of this topic or idea too, and sort of wrestled it away from me. I don’t quite understand to this day what happened, but it’s a not uncommon circumstance in the arts, where people can be gossipy, bitter, jealous and vindictive and cripple others out of fear, suspicion, insecurity, and ambition. Whatever.
That leaves us here, today, a million years later, after years of too little too late, thinking about whether it might be possible to pickup the thread, and do it justice this time.