I was talking to a few art mates this morning about a residency I am considering. After describing the project and how it links with Mindsettle, Trevor asked will you be paid? Excellent question, in the initial discussion there was no mention of funding for materials or art making. This doesn't mean there won't be no money, but it's a discussion that needs to happen. Though they are screeds of writing about the value of art to our culture there is often a reluctance to pay. Trevor says 30 years ago no-one would have thought of asking an artist to do work for free, though pay rates were low, these days it's almost a given that an artist can just whip something up for nothing.
How do we measure our worth? I like challenges but there's a part of me that is tired of the expectation of doing something for nothing. I need to carefully weigh all the benefits before committing to more 'volunteer' work. W. Somerset Maugham summarises my sentiments perfectly in 'Of Human Bondage':
"It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent."