The Cost of Art: It’s More Expensive Than You Think

by | Apr 2, 2023 | Uncategorized

A filmmaker may say, “Making a film is not like choosing to become a visual artist. You can’t just pick up a pencil and paper and start drawing.”

True, but if a visual artist wants to do professional work, they’re going to require professional implements. Have you looked at the cost of a professional Copic marker set lately?

A photographer may say, “Taking professional photos isn’t like becoming a musician. You can’t just pick up a guitar and record in your bedroom.”

True, but if a musician wants to do professional work, there is a bare minimum setup they’re going to require, and that includes a professional set of headphones. Have you looked at the cost of Neumann mixing headphones lately?

(Links were added so you can check the price for yourself, not so I can monetize this article.)

There are two things to glean from this.

One, there is a cost to making art. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to do what you do, and it is more affordable than it’s ever been. But there are nuances to every type of artistry that make them more expensive than they first appear.

A filmmaker may be able to film entirely on their iPhone, but there are still costs associated with actors, sets, music, and more.

A photographer may also be able to take photos entirely on their iPhone, but there are still costs associated with lighting, tripod stands, wardrobe, and more.

A musician may be able to make music from their bedroom, but there are still costs associated with session musicians, distribution, graphic design, and more.

Two, the comparisons we draw from one artistic endeavor to another are often unproductive. We have unconfirmed assumptions around how much it costs to be an artist in different disciplines.

Diminishing another artform for being “easier” or “cheaper” or “less work” is fruitless, and often untrue. In an ideal world, we would show respect for every artform, knowing that there is a price to pay to be an artist in any capacity, let alone a professional artist. Instead of singling out different artforms, we should seek to find and understand the commonalities, and work harder to “keep the money in the family.”

Diminishing another artform for being “easier” or “cheaper” or “less work” is fruitless, and often untrue. Click To Tweet