So if you haven’t read Iggy Pop’s recent speech, and you are an artist, you should. It’s a bleak but true analysis of the current world for musicians, but not just for musicians, its true for artists.
This weekend, my friend and I packed out bags for a local comic book convention. It was our first time as vendors. And after eight hours of selling our hand made goods, I have a mixed feeling about the whole experience.
Not because we didn’t sell as much as we would have liked, which we didn’t, but because of how we were treated by the consumer who bartered and belittled our prices again and again. I understand that a little good-natured bartering is a part of every con, but there become a point at which it is, well, insulting.
People offering you half and even less of the price you are selling at. What was worse, some of these people were fellow artist, fellow vendors.
And worse, if I rejected the price, there was an indignant rage? Why wouldn’t I take it? Wouldn’t I want to sell something at any cost?
No, honestly, if it means I’m going to lose half my cost, I’ll save my art for later, thank you.
Yes I understand that Walmart and china cheapies exist.
But why and how do they exist? Because other countries have awful labor laws. They exploit people, children, ect.
It saves you money. I get that. As someone who has been dirt poor, I understand limited funds. But if that is the case. If you don’t have that much money to spend at my both, just come over, say hi, and admire my work. Don’t try to barter and then get annoyed when I say, “no I can’t do that.”
No I don’t do this to make a living. And it’s a good thing because if I did I would be hosed.But I put money and time into making each of these crafts, and I find it ridiculous that people expect to pay cents on the dollar for crafts.
Torrid Literature published my poem, We is, this summer and is now having a contest for their literary hall of fame. If you would be so kind to vote for me, that would be awesome. I’m on page three, Rachael Stanford, We is. You can vote
We is by Rachael Stanford
Laughing at linguists who
could never comprehend
though the space between our
is wider than the Grand Canyon
the barren plains punctuating
I forge, unashamedly naked
The bitter November winds
lick my flesh
Enveloped in blurred realities
Of your memories, warmed by the linger
Touch of your flesh, a permanent tattoo
I run, unwavering by demons of doubt
A happy toddler, each step in you
Thanks again for the vote, I’m happy to return the favor!
Ruth Graham’s new article on why adults should be ashamed to read YA literature seems to have brought all the literary snobs out of the wood work. You know the type, your friend who only read Joyce in public or lament much to loud and publicly about poetry that rhymes. Of course this tends to be an issue, that comes to surface again and again and again. It isn’t enough to read, you have to read the right work.
When I was a child, the devil was Goosebumps. How could kids waste their time on this, there was no literary value…blah blah blah blah blah.
I was one of those kids wasting my time reading these poorly written crap, which they were, no moral, no plot development and frankly about half way through the book, I could tell you how it was going to end. But to my third grade self, there was nothing more exciting than getting my next book-order in with my new Goosebumps book.
Mind you, before those books I HATED reading. I’d only read what was required in school. And eventually I became bored with them and moved on to the classics (Fahrenheit 451, Tom Sawyer, etc).
Here is something to think about (from 2013): 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read:million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read.
We do not need to be shaming people on their literary choices. Yes, there are more engaging and mind boggling works than YA (though some are pretty darn powerful like 13 Reason’s Why), but frankly as long as something keeps you reading, that is something.
And let’s talk about some of the classics, with a plot break down:
Old man and the sea: Old man goes fishing. Has a lot of regret. Finally catches his giant fish. Sharks eat it. He is defeated. Dreams of lions (dies).
The Catcher in the Rye: A whiny boy whines for way too long.
Need I go on? (Don’t get me started on Pamela.)
In all, Graham’s article seems to forget:
Reading is a personal choice and what is engaging or deep to someone is completely person.
Frankly, I challenge all of you to go reread Dr. Seuss’s work, there’s some deep social complementary in it.
And there is an art in simplicity in the ability to expound deep thoughts to younger audiences.
So go out, read what you want. Be it a magazine, a best seller or a classic and don’t let anyone give you crap for it.
An amazing woman who lived an an amazing life as she wrote beautiful poetry. RIP
….because you sucked all the fun out of it poets and magazine editors in your pretentious quest to make poetry some higher more grand form of art…..
I was reminded of the fact that so many poets (and many artists in general) are pretentious, stuck-up and just rude to new writers. A “friend”of mine a few weeks ago had a status mocking someone that she had rejected for the online journal she started. The sheer joy that she took in mocking another individual was outrageous, especially the other artist friends of hers that joined in.
And I grew angry.
What right did she have to mock another writer? Is she any more qualified to say what is good art and what is bad than anyone else? So what, she paid a few bucks to throw up a website. Anyone could do that. She had a few poems published. Oh well, most writers do at some point right, especially if you are friends with the editors.
And I was reminded of all of the horrible experiences that I have had over the years: the journals who couldn’t even send me a form letter of response, the instructors and other artist who I met that shamed my publications for not being in “good” magazines but then when published in the same or similar journals acted like they were God’s gift to poetry, the professors who told me good poetry can’t rhyme, the journals that said they would accept my work if I paid for their editing services first, the critique sessions I went through where people just tore into each other instead of saying anything productive……
And I was reminded how I hate this part of the art world.
So, as a some-what successful artist, I’d like to say, just stop.
Art is beautiful. Even crappy art. It’s beautiful because someone took the time to make it. And while it may not be amazing, there is always something you can take from it and room to improve.
And art is practice. Most people don’t start off amazing. Give support. Give advice.
Stop making art this grad excessive mountain to summit and focus of the beautiful journey it is.
Also stay tune, this rouge artist just had two more poems accepted for publication…..but I’m sure my artist friends would not be fond of the journal ( 🙂 )