jon birch [creative journal]

January 13, 2007

putting food on the artists table (patronage)

Filed under: Uncategorized — jonbirch @ 4:15 pm

this is a comment i put on jonny bakers blog… he said i should blog it, so i have!

if you love money… if you measure success by what you can afford and how many cars, houses and swimming pools you have… don’t become an artist! if, however, you have stuff to say and a creative way of saying it, even if it’s not what the majority wants to here… and if you have a burning need to express yourself creatively and don’t mind having less spending money than your mates, then the artists life is for you!
integrity won’t bring financial reward in itself, neither will the quality of your work.
patronage used to be alive and kicking in the church… sadly, that’s no longer true.
i’m fortunate… i’m making some kind of living being me… and in my professional work i tend to work for causes where the budgets are lower than they would be in the commercial world. sometimes i think, ‘what am i doing… i could be rich!” but mostly i think, ‘no, this is what i choose to do!” i made my decision when i was a bit older than joel (joel is jonny’s son, and wonderfully creative bod!)… i was in my first professional advertising job… and i thought, ‘you know what… other peoples cans of beans are just not important enough to me. that’s not what i care about.’
there were no mentors for me… nobody i knew who’d done the same thing… there was no map… just a kind of god given (i believe) self belief.
i am self employed… but i’m rubbish at business… but why would i be good at it? i wonder how many business people are great at art!
here’s a radical idea. rich people put a portion of their income aside to patronise an artist. all you leaders and ministers out there, challenge the wealthy in your congregation to support someone who has something to say… tell them, they may well see no financial reward for their act, but do it anyway for the good health of everyone!
so much of what we know about the past and the way we were has been given to us by artists, writers, painters, musicians, sculptors etc… do we really only value historical christian artists! if the answer is ‘no’, then it is important that as a christian community we put food on the artists table so that he/she can get on with their calling, as i said above, for the good health of everyone!
are these just the ramblings of a madman, or do i have a point?

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5 Comments »

  1. good call!

    Comment by jonny — January 14, 2007 @ 5:30 pm

  2. amen brother!
    my friend and mentor Geoff hall over in bristol has a similar burden – hes been breakfasting with some wealth christian businesmen recently with the intention of putting patronage on the agenda

    Comment by iain — January 20, 2007 @ 7:26 pm

  3. you have a point! you have a point! praise the Lord, you have a point!
    Thank you so much for making your point!!!!!!

    Comment by MizMelly — March 6, 2007 @ 9:13 pm

  4. sorry

    Comment by MizMelly — March 6, 2007 @ 9:15 pm

  5. sorry got my site address wrong last time, so commenting again so that you can find us if you like.

    Comment by MizMelly — March 6, 2007 @ 9:16 pm


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