Sep 18, 2012

Religion, Politics, Money, and Art

They say there are three things you should never discuss at the dinner table: religion, politics, and money.

I think this is pretty much true when it comes to your art career too.

I bring up this topic because, as elections are nearing, politics has become a hot top in all sorts of places. Facebook in particular for me has been inundated with political cartoons, articles, and volatile commentary about politics. Since many of these cartoons, articles, and comments are being posted by fellow artists I thought this was a good time to talk about these things.

I respect that everyone is entitled to their own ideas and opinions about these topics. I have no problem with that. But I do think it's a bad idea do associate your opinions on these topics with your art.


Your art collectors, buyers, and fans want to know you and like you! Art collectors like to learn about the artist whose paintings they buy. They want to know things about your daily life, what makes you tick, what kind of person you are. As artists, by them doing these things, we hope they like us. If they find us interesting and likeable it will be more enjoyable for them to own our art and they'll want more of it.

Keep that in mind when sharing your political or religious views. No matter how right you think you are, there's always going to be the other side. Some of that other half will be your collectors and fans. You really don't want to turn them off with offensive political remarks.

I have several artist "friends" on Facebook whose political views oppose mine. They've made it obvious their stance on things. Good for them. But what bothers me is they are not doing this just amongst family and friends. They are making such statements from the professional art pages. I "Liked" their pages because I respect them as artists and want to see their work. I like seeing new art being posted on their pages. But when they start flooding those pages with politically offensive cartoons, jokes, etc., I have to filter them out at some point. Of course they have the right to post their views, but I don't have to read it. When it becomes bothersome, I filter them out.

This is unfortunate. Not only is it harder for me to like the artist as a person now, but I am no longer getting to enjoy their new works and art experiences. Sure, there are many who will agree with them and think it's great. But there's the other half who will not. This is just no way to build a fan base, by turning off half your viewers. If someone becomes offended enough, they may just decide they no longer like you as a person or an artist and may quit collecting your art. Do you really want to lose art buyers just so you can get another "lol" about a presidential candidate from a Facebook friend?

I don't think it's worth it. Unless you do politically themed art, your art is not your political views and should be kept separate.

Just my opinion, but I think it's wise to keep your political views off your art websites, blogs, and art related social media sites. You just might regret it later in the form of lost buyers.

1 comment:

Canidae Art said...

Crista, I couldn't agree with you more, I personally believe that art is not the place for religion or politics (though lets look at Diego Rivera's murals....he was driven by his political views).

For me personally, I respect an artist based on his or her artwork, in terms of quality, technique, as well as the artist in terms of personality, dedicated and self-respect. I am not going to dislike an artist because their political views oppose mine (and many probably do) but I will dislike an artist who uses their art as political propaganda purely for their own self-worth.

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