Because You’re Worth It

Have you been asked/expected to donate your art? Play for free? Speak at an event for no charge?

It’s often for a good cause.

Or my personal favourite… exposure!

When I’m asked to perform for exposure I say, “People die from exposure!”

Of course, as artists learn their trade, sometimes they have to do projects for experience, which differs from exposure. With experience, you get your mistakes out of the way so when the Big Show comes (whatever that may be for your art), you’re ready!

I read a Facebook post several years ago by a woman, a professional speaker, who was approached by Oprah’s team to present at their up-to-$1000-per-seat event.

For free.

The conversation went something like this:

The author of the post asked the producer on the phone, “Are you getting paid?”

Oprah’s producer replied, ” Yes.”

“What about the receptionist? Is she getting paid?”

Again, Oprah’s producer replied, “Yes.”

“The janitor?”

“Yes.”

Not surprised but disappointed, the author said, “Yet you expect me to work, after taking 16 years to get my education, practicing for years, becoming better with every performance — so much so that I’m considered an expert — for free?

To which the producer responded, “But it’s Oprah.”

(Hmmm… this reply has a bit of “exposure” odor to it, doesn’t it?)

Not shaken, the author queried again, “Is Oprah getting paid?”

I’d like to tell you the producer eventually saw the light and was able to negotiate an agreeable speaking fee for the author.  But, it was Oprah and things were done her way.

Being expected to work for free is common among my fellow musicians, poets and speakers and my numerous friends who are painters, dancers and other creatives.

Why should artists be paid? Here are 13 good reasons. I’d love to hear your reasons.

  1. Art education costs money. Lessons, classes, degrees and certificates all have their price.
  2. Art costs money to produce: paint, canvas, instruments, costumes, demo CDs, studios, props… the list goes on.
  3. Art takes time. Think of the hours you invested getting good at your art — playing an instrument, perfecting that move, capturing the curve of a face, getting your speech timing just right.
  4. Artists need to eat.
  5. Artists have marketing costs like any business: business cards, website, travel, supplies, instruments, technology, etc.
  6. Artists cope with criticism, pain, pressures, self-doubt and rejection, perhaps more than others because of their vulnerability when exposing their art to the world. (Maybe they deserve hazard pay!)
  7. Artists must create and cultivate a fan base to be successful. There are many ways to do this, but they all cost money and time.
  8. Being an artist carries greater risk than other professions. There’s no safety net of a weekly paycheque here. Gigs and sales are often sporadic and unpredictable.
  9. Art is vital to our culture, our education and indeed, our happiness. Why do we not attach higher value to it?
  10. Few artists get filthy rich, but shouldn’t all artists be able to make a living using their gifts?
  11. It’s a myth that getting paid demeans the art. The greatest art in the world has monetary value.
  12. Everybody needs money. Artists are part of the everybody.
  13. It’s not a sin to be paid for doing what you love. Many people do it and haven’t been struck down by lightning!

Your art is a valuable contribution to society.

Your being PAID allows you to make that contribution. Otherwise, you’re relying on  others for sustenance or earning a paycheque with busywork that doesn’t scream who you are like your art can.  Why should you have to let these distractions stifle your creativity and productivity when others are “allowed” to do what they love and earn a living doing it?

Today I challenge you.

Change your beliefs about artists and money.

Artists deserve to be paid.

Shelley Goldbeck, 
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Grow Exponentially – use both sides of your brain!, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, contact us today.

Life Happens

At S2 Seminars we believe in planning, attention to detail and doing excellent work.

But the best laid plans can go awry.

We also believe family comes first.

A death in the family has changed our plans.

We reluctantly made the recent decision to postpone our first workshop of 2018.

We’ve rescheduled 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoestring Budget for February 13, 2018.

Perhaps with New Year preparations out of the way, February 13 is a good date for you to join us.

We will help you create a business card and show you how to use it. We will build a Facebook page and you’ll leave with a plan to use it in your marketing mix. We will also help you plan your web site and give you tips for using it effectively.

If you’ve resolved to focus on your art business this year, you don’t want to miss this opportunity.


S2 Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, attend our workshop, 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoe-String Budget.

Left – Brain, Right – Brain

The creative side of the human being is housed in the right side of the brain. Logic and reason live on the left-side.

We all have both sides (at least in theory! Some people do leave one to question this!) but we each use the two sides in varying degrees.

Most people tend to favour one side over the other. An accountant will use the left side for most of his thinking. A dancer uses mostly the right.

The accountant might be stumped when asked to come up with new ideas to promote his business. That activity requires the imagination of the right-brain.

The dancer’s eyes might glaze over at the mere whiff of a spreadsheet, which is the domain of the left brain. That doesn’t mean the dancer can do without spreadsheets. (The dancer needs a good accountant!)

Most of us require both left and right-brained thinking in our businesses. The logical thinkers tend to chirp, “I’m not creative!” when right-brain tasks are suggested. The creative thinkers will declare, “I can’t do math!” when tasked with analyzing data.

But we CAN expand our brains. The lefties can learn to let go and loosen up. Their imaginations can be ignited. The righties can be taught to focus on numbers that matter in their businesses and learn skills to make those numbers work for them.

The partners in S2 Seminars know the importance of using both sides of their brains. Shelley has decades of marketing and business experience, which has caused her to exercise both her creative and business senses. As a project management professional (left-brain tasks) and artist (over on the right), Susan knows the challenges of balancing business with creativity.

These right/left brain challenges are why S2 Seminars was born. Shelley and Susan saw a need to teach business skills to artists to help them stop suffering from “starving artist syndrome”.

Join us for one of our workshops.

Shelley Goldbeck, 
www.S2Seminars.ca

S2 Seminars, Eradicating Poverty in Artists by Teaching Business Skills, is a partnership between Shelley Goldbeck and Susan Cramer. To learn more about running your small business, attend our workshop, 3 Must-Have Tools to Market Yourself on a Shoe-String Budget.