ART is everywhere. Wherever we look, we see art. Art is already a part of us. We are literally living with art in our day to day basis.
Some of us are spending most of our time choosing an outfit for the day, confidently singing inside the bathroom, taking photos while traveling, eating, listening to music while riding on a bus, sketching on notebooks when the lecture is boring, and even watch entertaining videos or movies. These are all connected with art.
It also has a big connection in our language and culture.
Art and humans are a perfect match. Yet, we barely notice its importance, which leads to abusing art and the artist.
Most people are unappreciative with the essence of art. Most see art as simply a hobby that anyone can do during their free time. Those who pursue a career in arts are also being questioned of their choice.
Based on my personal observations, many artists in the Philippines struggle to succeed due to various factors. This includes discouragement, lack of financial support, peer pressure, being unknown, receive subjective criticisms and discriminations, lack of appreciation and respect, and people asking their artworks for free.
The idea of asking some artist to make what we want for free is a pet peeve because it undervalues the artist’s time and effort put into the artwork.
People asking artist for a free artwork is quite common today. It is not surprising to see local artists being against people asking their works for free or at a discounted rate. Sadly, those who do this are the friends and relatives of the artists. Some family members and friends would leverage their relationship to get the artist to work on their requests for free.
There are also those who underpay the artists. This happened to the band my brother is part of. They once performed at an event and were paid less that than the effort they gave.
Artists have the right to put a price on their products and services. However, some have a hard time to putting a price on what they had to offer because of the fear of losing clients.
This mentality has to stop. It is not healthy to our creative community and may discourage artists.
We have to start respecting the artists by giving value to their work. I you want a good piece of artwork, then you will have to pay its price.
If you are a family or friend of an artist, you have to support them whole-heartedly, which means not asking for their work or services free. Allow them to decide if they will offer it to you for free or at a discounted rate.
Let us support artists by giving what is due to them. (Danica Mae T. Ruta, UM intern)