Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

The Nexus of Art and Commerce (Part 1)


Artists are compelled to make cool shit. What happens to that cool shit after they make it is, for the most part, a complete mystery. It’s just not how their brains work. They want people to enjoy and maybe even have their lives changed by the thing they’ve made, but how to get the stuff in front of those who might be inclined to love it is about as clear as string theory.

For anyone involved in the arts, I’m making a generalization here, but it’s an obvious one. The history of the music business is littered with painful examples of the worst kind of exploitation imaginable.

This is where artist management in music and agents in the literary world come in, negotiating and brokering deals that are mutually beneficial for all parties involved, helping the artists navigate the world of commerce that is necessary to get the good stuff in front of the consumer.

Something most artists are poorly equipped to do.

In the best of all worlds, this is what would happen. In reality, a whole lot of great shit never sees the light of day. And if it does, it’s bought and sold while the artist is simply chewed up and spit out of the gaping maw of the entertainment machine, no different from an outmoded widget.

The intersection of art and commerce is a dangerous place, best navigated with powerful allies.