Molly Crabapple's rules for creative success in the Internet age

Really? There’s no incentive?
There’s absolutely no incentive to ever attain above a minimum level of survivable income?


Sure, Willondon.

The main problem is over supply. Like in sports, there are too many people who want to do art, and many people are quite happy to do it as a hobby.They derive value from the act of doing. That’s a hard scenario in which to command premium prices as over supply and static demand puts downward pressure on prices.

Yes, the world needs art.But it doesn’t need an over supply of art. The trick to making a business economicly viable is to figure out unmet demand, then meet it. The problem for art is that’s the opposite of what art is. Art seeks truth. If other people perceive it, great, but they don’t get to dictate truth to the artist.

The way I’d approach it is to get a part time job, or build a business that supplies an actual need in the market. Or have a sideline producing decorative “art” people will pay for. Use this revenue to fund your art.

Complaining that people don’t value an individual artists truth won’t make them value it.


There’s a subtle, but important difference between making your own art available, sharable to your fanbase and giving your time to a wealthy investor. One is a belief that a strongly cultivated fanbase will respond and take care of you, if what you’ve created is full of passion, and strikes a chord. The other is protecting yourself from being taken advantage of by a needlessly greedy employer. They’re not as mutually exclusive if you allow the distinction.

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Someone is always talking about not working for free, and how you should be staunch and haggle and get paid. I did that for a while, and I became a starving artist. I then started to just do volume, and guess what? I succeeded over time and now I’m not starving. Quit telling people to be “idealistic” and never work for free. Idiots. Work and keep your hand on that plow, do it for free, do it for exposure, do it for love and don’t let anyone else tell you what success means in their rubrik.

What happened to just working hard and not conforming. This whole “rules for creative success” is like going to art college to learn “art” and then getting stuck in an ad agency job you hate.

David Carson is a good example. Didn’t “learn the rules to break them”, there were no rules and he became a legend in graphic design. If he would have listened to these dumbass rules, he’d be sitting in a basement somewhere without any recognition or success.

So to all artists, throw these rules away and do your own thing, and put your hand on the proverbial plow. Quit listening to all these idiots that think they know it all and just go and do it. Geez, Boing Boing, can you find some people that aren’t going to continue to put a box around creativity. Between this post and the post about how sitting is going to kill me, but standing will kill me too, I give up.

Good riddance, I’m sure.

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I defer to the words of Henry Hill. “FY,PM”

I’ve never had trouble getting my middle-class and non-profit clients to pay. My only deadbeats were a small segment of my wealthy clients. I suspect that’s how they got it.


I think it’s the Lincoln green rule.

Crabapple has come under a fair amount of political criticism lately, particularly for her support for Andrew Auernheimer. Kathy Sierra had actually corresponded with Crabapple, asking for her to acknowledge Auernheimer’s misogyny and support her, but Crabapple did not respond.

At the Intersection of Gamergate & Weevgate, Abusers & Their Knowing Apologists


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