The other day I talked to someone about art at length, and I realised that, more often than not, most artists give into the idea of commercial viability. Now, there is nothing wrong with this; everybody has to pay bills and eat at some point. But the part that does not sit right with me, even if what I think barely matters anyway, is how instead of honesty, many try to build a narrative around what they are doing as righteous requirement, perhaps, to convince the dreamers, their younger selves, still hidden somewhere inside them. Now that the ink of reality has rewritten their fates, they attempt to add a biased preface to it all.
If someone writes a poem that does not come from within them but is only a reflection of what runs well in the market, there is no shame in it, but by no means is it art, and it should be admitted as such. It should be proudly admitted as a product. But if you are subject to the market, and you still try to convince, if not yourself directly, then yourself through what you tell others, that you are still on some glorious artistic journey, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that, and only that, makes you a fraud.
There is a glaringly commercial appeal to art; there is a requirement for those who serve this, too. I would rather the caterers own up to their role: merchants with artistic skills. An artist should serve their zeitgeist. If, in an insane coincidence, they are a fit, they should revel in it; their life will be easier than they can imagine. And if they are out of step with it, they should either be so good that they turn the wheels in their favour or so patient that they wait for the tides to turn. But I would take an honest business person who knows they peddle films for money over a devious artist who carries an elevator pitch for why the business or the balance between it all is a necessary component on their sleeve any day.
We need these filters in the boiling pot of nothingness that the modern age and art have become. It might create an honest artist somewhere by accident. We could always use more of them, especially in this drought, this arid landscape coloured only by the green of dollar bills.