A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Knowing Your Worth as an Artist!

Artist. That word has taken on so many different alliterations and meanings over hundreds of years. When I think of the word ‘artist’ the first thing that comes to mind would be a painter, and that still holds true even to this day, but now the word means so many other things; like music artist (producer), filmmaker (creator), novelist, poet, content creator, voice over, voice actor, animation, comedy, stage plays, makeup, concept artist, and so on. Gone are the days of it being just about Pablo Picasso, and enter the days of creatives coming from all sides of the artistic spectrum; creating the art that they’re passionate about. With different types of art comes different types of artists; your hobbyists that do it for fun, and your professionals that do it as a full time career. Art for me will always have a special place in my heart, as it can be anything that the artist themselves views as art; basically becoming an art form.

Anime itself is an art form

Creating art is one thing, but after awhile (unless you’re a hobbyist) artists may feel that its time to go the professional route, and start to charge a fee for their art. If you’ve gone to the movies at any time during your life, then you’ve paid for tickets to the movie that you wanted to see. The combination of all national ticket sales gives you the domestic box office total, and the combination of both national and international ticket sales gives you the global box office total. Where am I going with this? Well, in the realm of the entertainment industry; art takes on the form of actors, makeup artists, CGI and SFX artists, movie props, writers, producers, directors, and filmmakers (who sometimes double as producers and directors). When it comes to the quality of art, how good the quality is depends on the artist who’s making it. Good artists are not cheap, and cheap artists are not good.

So, what about artists who are independent contractors (or just independent creators)? Well these individuals are artists who make a living from their art. They can do commissions, indie projects (for voice acting roles), produce beats for upcoming music artists, make Youtube content, become a social media influencer, and more. As an independent artist (in any form) this is where you have to take the value of your work to heart, and know your worth as a professional artist. So many people what to short-change artists; thinking that they’ll get the best quality of their art for less than the value the artist has given them. If I produce a beat and charge $99.99 for it, you’re not getting it for half of that value! It doesn’t work like that! If you’re an independent voice actor (voice over artist or vox artist) or a professional voice actor, then you would want to get paid for the value of your worth, and if the director/creator or company in charge is trying to charge you less than what you specified (especially if they signed a contract), then you DON’T do the project! 

I charge 2 hour minimums for my DJ time, not my DJ set(s)

As an artist, you have the power and creativity to make something special and maybe even change someone’s life. There is a beauty in art that makes us human, as we’re able to have a connection to it in many different ways; be it mentally, emotionally, visually, and aesthetically. There will always be people who feel like art is a waste of time, and that these people should get a real job instead of chasing some fantasy, but art is so much more than just seeing that anime couple that you shipped finally have their BIG kiss moment on screen.

The time it takes to produce quality art is something that I wish more people outside of the industry took a little more seriously; which is why I get so peeved when big corps rush projects that needed more time, underpay voice actors because they don’t value their worth, and even replace them with Hollywood face actors because they value their star power much more than they should. You don’t have to be a ‘starving artist’, you can be an artist who’s starving to creatively express themselves however they see fit. You wanna create fashions for models to wear during New York and L.A. Fashion Week? Go for it! You wanna make a name for yourself as an independent music artist? Have at it! The sky is the limit when it comes to being an artist, so never sell yourself short in your worth, and your value. Nobody can do it the way you do it, and the quality of your work should show people that you mean business.

That will do it for my thoughts on this topic, so until next post, stay nerdy my friends.

2 thoughts on “A Founder’s Thoughts with D.J. Lewis: Knowing Your Worth as an Artist!

  1. This was a truly delightful post to read! Yes, society should try to see more value in the art that we enjoy everyday and artists should be encouraged to see value in their work too! And I think that hobbiest too should be encouraged to see value in their art. Just because they aren’t looking for compensation, doesn’t mean they aren’t adding to the art world with their creations.

    Liked by 2 people

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