Week 41. Harmony

har·mo·ny

(här′mənē)n.pl.har·mo·nies
1.a. An orderly or pleasing combination of elements in a whole:
color harmony; the order and harmony of the universe.
b. A relationship in which various components exist together 
without destroying one another: 
different kinds of fish living in harmony.
c. A relationship characterized by a lack of conflict or by agreement, 
as of opinion or interest: family harmony.

The Origin

The Origin of Harmony … special thanks to the Google Dictionary
Continue reading “Week 41. Harmony”

Fair Use in regards to Toy Photography

When you photograph someone else’s intellectual property, and by this I’m referring to licensed toys, the issue of fair use is not an abstract concept. As Paul pointed out yesterday,  we toy photographers work within an admittedly grey area. It’s hard to know where the line is drawn between the artist and Big Inc. when it comes to the idea of ‘fair use’. Continue reading “Fair Use in regards to Toy Photography”

Happy Inc.

Visiting the American Dream
 
We are not shy from asking difficult questions to our inner selves here on Stuck In Plastic, and both Shelly and me touched upon our influences with Big Inc. in a variety of posts, including this latest one where I wondered if having a boardroom exposition at Shell would be off limits.
 
This weekend I had the pleasure to visit the history of another Big Inc. in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. One that turns universal happiness into a bottle of fizzing pleasure, and while my European roots sometimes got an overdose of too much sweet and happiness, it was an awesome journey through The Coca Cola Company history.
 
An history that started with an artist pharmacist called John Pemberton and a fantastic marketeer listening to the name of Asa Candler.
 
A story that may have had a hidden reference to Van Gogh but given that I was so overwhelmed with the happiness inside, this only dawned on me once I was outside again.


Howard Finster at the World Of Coca Cola

The Coca Cola Company is for sure part of Big Inc. yet it plays its role in the art scene.

From being a major pop culture sponsor today over art projects like the 1996 Olympics when more than 70 artists around the world, including Howard Finster turned their cow bottle into art to using advertising artists of the highest level with people like Haddon Sundblom to create a complete generation of pop art culture (or should I say pin up) around the American Dream.

I am still very much fascinated by the influence of Big Inc. on the Art scene.

An influence that goes far beyond sponsering an exhibition or endorsing an artist on a new product release.

Big Inc.

To be continued.

Me2.

New Metrics Needed

“Do what you love and the money will follow.” ~ Marsha Sinetar

I dislike this quote. It simplifies a very complex equation into a convenient sound bite. 
The first problem is the assumption that a creative individual wants money and their passion to be intertwined. It’s a nice thought, but money changes everything. Just ask Michelangelo. Do you think the Sistine Chapel would have been painted if Pope Julius II hadn’t commissioned it? He was a sculptor, not a painter. But that is what happens when money changes hands. 
Second it presumes that success and money are synonymous. In an age when the arts and crafts are barely supported by the establishment we need to find a measure of success other than money. In the world of Instagram and Flickr where success is seen in terms of likes, followers and comments is this really enough of a metric? I don’t know, but I doubt it
I was showing my photography to a new contact the other day and their immediate response was “I hope you’re making money off of those!” I know he meant this as a compliment, but I couldn’t help being annoyed with a world that equates success with money.
So in the absence of a large benefactor like The Church, Big Inc or a wealthy patron we need to look for another way to measure an artists success (or failure). In a world that does not value photography or photographers with money, we need to develop new metrics; whether they be rooted in social media or preferably the real world.

~ xxsjc

How do you measure the success of your passion? 
I never went into the air thinking I would lose. 

Another Point of View

Psst… want to know a secret?

+Me2 and I have been working together for nine months and have only talked once on the phone. All communications have been through Kik, this blog and an occasional e-mail. If you know anything about communication then you know this is a very limited palette.

Sometimes I think that +Me2  and I see eye to eye and then he posts a piece like yesterday and I know we don’t. Don’t get me wrong, we have much in common, more than we can both properly express. But we arrive at our mutual love of legography from such different roads it is almost laughable.

I have never worked for Big Inc. the closest I have gotten to a real job was a four year stint in an arts non-profit. I have been out of the corporate work force for so long that when +Me2 starts expressing business concepts I feel that he is speaking another language.

I am really trying not to take offense at this choice bit:

I feel a drive to take pictures and work my “art” but I need the touch with reality and big Inc. to feel that same reality and feel the power balance and not just live in my ivory tower seeking for inner beauty just within myself.

Seriously is this how he views artists? I am sure you can find this stereo type practicing their art somewhere, but I am pretty sure I can lift the lid off any corporate hive and find similarly delusional individuals. They are not limited to the arts world.

Any artist who can count themselves as successful (by which I mean they can pay their bills) has been playing the business game just like any Big Inc. The scope might be smaller, but the spreadsheets, meetings, budgets, advertising campaigns, search for marketshare is no different. We just get the work done without the buzzwords.

Maybe +Me2 and I need to pick up the phone more because something seems to have been lost in translation.

~ xxsjc

After this post I wonder if +Me2 and I will make it another 9 months?
An interesting article on Art graduates and income from the WSJ. 

I was surprised to run into this little Chima bird when I went hiking this weekend. A welcome sight after a tough hike