Art Making vs. Art Selling

photo: Geof Morris

“I’m just trying to do what’s instinctive, and leave the art making to me and the art selling to somebody else. And most artists’ problem – any artist, not just Christian artists – is that they overly concern themselves with the selling of art. So they start to actually manipulate the art on the creative side to make it easier to sell, to make it more marketable. “ – Derek Webb, COLLIDE Magazine Issue 05

If you’re the creative type, does this quote resonate with you? It does with me. A great reminder that my job is to use the talents, resources, and uniqueness I have to create things that are original and a reflection of who I am. If that also happens to be marketable, then perhaps I can make a living off of it. And if it’s not, then it’s not.

But once I start manipulating my art (my writing) to make it more marketable and less me, doesn’t that devalue what I’m creating? Or is putting bread on the table with my gifts by any means necessary a more noble cause than creating art that is untainted by marketability?

Of course, I’m not dumb enough to think that this is a black/white issue. Lots of gray. You creative minds out there (and I know you’re out there), what are your thoughts?