23 May 2012

Cheapening of the arts in Singapore

There are certain activities in Singapore's little art world that cheapens the work of artists and illustrators. I was drawing with a number of artists recently and I learned of their plight. Low price for individual pieces, commissioned pieces and more unless they are in advertising (which clearly, isn't art but the product of a committee who have the cheek to call themselves 'creatives'. Very presumptuous).

That is how the economic value of their activities are priced. One can distort it through laws, minimum wage and more. From talking to them, many illustrators and artists I know are still earning the same level of wages from about a decade or more ago. Why? This is how the market prices these products. How do you get around that? And illustration and art pieces can also be done anywhere outside the country anyway. I met quite a number of hardworking and skilful Filipino illustrators. Their hard work puts some of the local aspiring types to shame.

From what I see, these certain activities will serve to lower the expectation of pricing for the work of these folks. I won't mention which activities but they should be obvious enough.

Fortunately, I am not in the industry.

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