Societies change with time. Societies evolve. People evolve.
But what remains unchanged is society’s need for art – whether we realize it or we don’t, it is art that makes us more ‘human’.
With time, the modern artist has also undergone many changes. And he must change. He must evolve.
He must be careful to choose art, but not the life of an artist.
An artist can no longer afford to be the starving artist. The romantic idealism associated with voluntary poverty must be shunned if the artist and his art form are to survive.
These are the days when we talk of recession, budget cuts, medical benefits, unemployment insurance, pension and savings. These are unforgiving times.
A modern artist has a lot to think about.
Probably, he has a family to look after. Even if that is not the case, he certainly has to look after himself well, for his own sake.
Today, he can’t choose to die penniless, and unknown, like the van Goghs, the William Blakes, the Edgar Allen Poes and the Mozarts of the world.
Neither, should he allow himself to be a victim of financial mismanagement.
Today, knowledge is free. Information is readily available. And choices are plenty.
The modern artist must choose well, and even if he doesn’t aspire for opulence, he must atleast give himself the comfortable life he deserves.
On some level, he must do the ‘dirty’ job of thinking materialistically.
He must make an attempt to know his audience, their expectations. He must connect with them. Today he has the choice to interact with his audience on a level more personal than even before. He must exploit this.
The times are changing and it would be heartening to see all artists living better, complete lives than their predecessors.
The idea that “more artists should starve so that a handful can succeed” is an obsolete one.
Thanks to advances in technology, today every artist has his own, rightful place and a potential audience.
But, a lot depends on the modern artist.
He must create, market, sell, manage money – all by himself.
The artist no longer has the luxury to only create art.