Monday, September 16, 2013

On Modern Culture

The economy isn't wonderful and politics are even more bleak than usual, but those are not my subjects today.

Art has never been better. We are living in the era of the greatest outpouring of creativity in the history of the human race. Everywhere the barriers to self expression have been lowered. Thanks to technology you can write a novel and publish it to the world. You can write, produce, and record a song for everyone to hear. You can design and make clothing, sculpture and drawings for little to no cost. Almost no area of the arts is untouched by this. Feel like drawing? If you have a computer and a connection you can download a very powerful free program (the GIMP) and manipulate images to your heart's delight. If you write, there are several text programs to help you.

Millions, possibly hundreds of millions, are doing so. And the potential audience is growing larger every day. You can potentially reach billions. In the old days, you had to get your vision through a battery of gatekeepers. In the visual arts, you had grant committees who heeded certain critics more than anyone else. For music and writing, you had publishing companies who selected works based upon a mixture of whim and marketability.

Those inbred cliques are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. There will always be winners and losers in the arts. A novel by a Stephen King or a James Patterson will always sell better than the latest work of Millicent Shrump or Stan Forbush. But E L James has literally made a fortune off of her fanfic. A book that never would have been published twenty years ago.

Today, record your song and either give it away through YouTube or sell via a plethora of for pay music channels. You can own the tools to do so for less than two hundred dollars. Produce a play and stream it for pay or give it away. Or do both.

Don't like how group X is over represented in comic books or how Group Y is constantly denigrated? Stop moaning and whining and do something about it. There are real live people like you and I who make money off web comics. Some even make enough to support themselves.

Here's the take away point: It will only get better.

No comments: