Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Caught up - my own small protest.

  I wrote a letter to the President today about THIS

It moved me to do something I never do. Write the President. Speak out.

Dear President Obama,

"Starving Artist", ring any bells? Imagine, if you will -  prosperous economic times. I know it's hard to these days, but we have had some. During these prosperous economic times, a middle class father and mother save for their talented child to go to college and study art. They support that child's talent, passion and drive to make themselves the best creator they can be. They know, full well, that their child will never be rich. They hope for the best, but face the reality of the worst- that child will have a huge ,life long struggle to balance the pursuit of art, the thing they love to do and making a living.
These are not prosperous times. Most artists I know, and I am one, struggle more than ever to hold tight to their passion and create not only for themselves but for the enjoyment of others. We face many a client who wishes to convince us to work for little or no money because we will somehow - get exposure through their project.
Exposure - you cannot eat. Exposure does not give you shelter. Exposure is not fair pay. All of those jobless, homeless people out there in 2011, how many are artists?
I am insulted by this project, President Obama. You insult the struggling. How many millions will you raise for your campaign- and from that you can not pay a freelance rate for these posters? You will sell these posters to help that campaign?
This is exploitation of artists. It’s considered kind of unethical in the world of the freelance artist. I did vote for you. I did hope with you. I will not create for you because art, sir, is my job and you -wish me to do it for free. That would make me, jobless.

I don't think there is a problem with asking artists to do this in a different way, for a different reason. certainly not to raise money for your campaign. Yet perhaps- you could pay them a fair hourly freelance rate, as an example of creating jobs. create jobs through creating art for the people. 
Why we as a country are so oblivious to the truly spectacular moments of our past and do not draw inspiration from them- is beyond me. The WPA created such tremendous creations that lifted up the spirits of the people at a time of great "depression". Art, today, could certainly be used to do the same. This could have been handled in a much more "community building" way than in the way it was actually worded and presented. Not so much to create art for the president- but to create art for the people. Drawing, most timely, on the calls of the protesters about our nation. Not so clearly attached to one political agenda, but to the needs and the passion of the people. 

On WPA works: "They stand as a reminder of a time in our country’s history when dreams were not allowed to be destroyed by economic disaster." see - http://www.wpamurals.com/

Respectfully a disappointed American artist,

Kelly Light

I posted it here- inspired by a fellow artist  Susie Ghahremani 

She's fabulously talented- check her out!



lil kim said...


Joy Steuerwald said...

That's awesome, Kelly and very well stated. I totally agree. Thanks for doing that. I hope he gets this message, see the fault in what he presented and corrects the error.

Jon Pinto said...

Well done!! I totally agree and that may seem obvious as I am NOT an Obama supporter. Not to get too far off topic, the WPA (as cool as it was) did not do well for the economy. In fact it drove us further into the depression.