Every morning when commuting to work, into a business park full of small and big corporations, I see employees marching into their company in a glare of the rising sun and the rays reflecting on surrounding polished buildings.
Most of these companies have nothing to do with art – there are IT companies, company which sells their employees’ skills and experience to other companies, Irish company for battery collection and my corporation.
My current job is, in fact, part of a big corporation but somehow artsy too which is why I’ve taken the job couple of months ago. Lots of us isn’t that lucky and sells our skills and experience to corporations which have nothing to do with art ’cause money rules the world.
I’m asking where the passion at? Have we become money machines?
Why is money and its constant earning more important than art? Imagine your life without music, books, movies, pictures and paintings, games and more art. Just your job and money. Wouldn’t be the life empty? Without emotions? Humanity?
How strangely is our society set up that money and big corporations are more important than something we can’t live without? Something which is a huge part of who we are?
Capitalism is fun.
So I’m asking where are the imaginary boundaries between art, fulfillment and earnings? Is it even possible? Or do we have to sell our souls to Big Brother and forget our dreams and ambitions?
How did I even come up with this topic? Since December last year I’ve been volunteering as a Social Media Manager for the only street art festival of its kind in Ireland – Waterford Walls. This project brings between 30 – 50 artists each August to the oldest Irish town to paint particular walls. And honestly it’s amazing! Everyone, local or tourist, watch the art coming to live with their mouths open. This year it’s our fifth year, a little anniversary. However, we are short funding-wise. We created GoFundMe and keep asking locals for support but it doesn’t go well. That’s why I keep asking myself if money is more than art.
I joined this project last summer which was also my first volunteering experience ever. I met new people, worked with a great team and the atmosphere in general was liberating and positive (maybe the great summer weather was a reason too .. but we will never know). We bring joy to local community every summer (ay all year round – some of the paintings even stay longer than that) so it’s upsetting for me that the support is basically none. The moment art needs a support everyone run away screaming in terror.
Yes, this festival was our idea the local community didn’t ask for. However, Waterford hasn’t been doing well since the world economical crisis ten years ago. The town was struggling not only economically but also art-wise. Waterford Walls brings peace at heart and escape from reality into a world full of spray cans and artworks from all around the world. Thanks to our festival Waterford has started to be flooded with tourists and is starting to blossom again (obviously this is more a community effort rather than one artsy festival behind everything).
I consider myself a person who needs art to be happy – whether it’s street art (which by the way I know nothing about), music (I may or may not be sleeping with earphones on), movies and series and even books! Not mentioning my photography obsession.. Sometimes I find our society pretty frustrating. Success is measured by likes and followers on social media, how much money one earn per a year and how luxurious holidays can one afford. I don’t really have a big followership, nor do I get lots of likes, I barely cover my monthly bills with my salary and luxurious vacations by pool in a super expensive hotel would not be my cup of tea anyway. So it seems that I’m not successful. Thanks to arts, however, I always have the perfect life soundtrack at the tip of my finger or I can dive into an alternative world within a movie or series. And life is suddenly much more happier.
I hope that in the future I won’t be forced to join a huge corporation in order to survive and hopefully I will be able to dedicate myself to art. #starvingartist
I hope our society will open more to art and that together we will focus on things which bring us joy and harmony.