Creative Hush

Is it o.k. to Make Money From Your Artwork?

Alright, we’re going deep on Friday’s tune today. Because it’s something that resonates with us and we’re sure will resonate with a lot of you. It revolves around the idea that it’s shameful or immoral to commercialise certain artistic outputs. Perhaps in our case this more closely resembles some people’s opinions around commercializing artwork. But it’s relevant to any artistic output. The discussion eventuated in our office (A spare room in my house) after we decided to delve into the quote at the start of the song “Two Bodies” on the Flight Facilities album; Down to Earth. Released in 2014. Check it out here:

The track itself is very mellow and perfect for a creative session after a Friday morning coffee. It opens with a quote from Rod Serling. We knew nothing about this guy until today. He seems like a legend much wiser than us. He spoke and we wanted to listen. Rod Serling was an American Screenwriter that died in 1975, Most known for his TV Series, ‘The Twilight Zone’.

Often using his art form to convey political messages, he was “often forced to change his scripts after corporate sponsors read them and found something they felt was too controversial. They were wary of anything they thought might make them look bad to consumers, so references to many contemporary social issues were omitted, as were references to anything that might compete commercially with a sponsor. For instance, the line "Got a match?" was deleted because one of the sponsors of "Requiem for a Heavyweight" was Ronson Lighters” (Contemporary Authors Online, Gale. 2010)

Back to the tune, in his quote he’s responding to accusations that his work is too commercialized. We think he nails it in his response:

"I remember the quote. I didn’t understand it at the time. I fail to achieve any degree of understanding in the ensuing years, which are three in number. I presume Herb means that inherently you cannot be commercial and artistic. You cannot be commercial and quality. You cannot be commercial concurrent with having a preoccupation with the level of storytelling that you want to achieve. And this I have to reject. I think you can be, I don’t think calling something commercial tags it with a kind of an odious suggestion that it stinks, that it’s something raunchy to be ashamed of. I don’t think if you say commercial means to be publicly acceptable, what’s wrong with that?"

“The essence of my argument, Mike, is that as long as you are not ashamed of anything you write if you’re a writer, as long as you’re not ashamed of anything you perform if you’re an actor, and I’m not ashamed of doing a television series. I could have done probably thirty or forty film series over the past five years. I presume at least I’ve turned down that many with great guarantees of cash, with great guarantees of financial security, but I’ve turned them down because I didn’t like them. I did not think they were quality, and God knows they were commercial. But I think innate in what Herb says is the suggestion made by many people that you can’t have public acceptance and still be artistic. And, as I said, I have to reject that.”

At it’s core, the key message outtake for us was that as long as you’re proud of your work, you’re in a good space. Being publicly accepted or Popular or Well liked (Selling lots of work) can definitely be synonymous with being artistic.

Hello, we’re Creative Hush, we’re not ashamed to admit that we’re here to help Kiwi creatives sell more work, and in doing so, hopefully earn enough to be able to keep on doing it. Check us out here: