art, inspiration, writing

Art as Prostitution

“So why are you in the business of commercial art and not fine art?”

My program coordinator posed this question to us this morning in my Advanced Photoshop class.

Money money money… Yes! That is why!” he exclaimed with a smile on his face.

  • You don’t tell the client it took two hours, you tell them it took four!
  • Don’t share your secrets with others around you, hide them and get ahead!
  • Learn shortcuts, detach from your art
  • And most importantly, do what the client wants!

“We are in this business because we like to prostitute our trade” he joked.

Were willing to do just about anything for a price.


I listened to the lecture and felt the curds of vomit begin to form in my stomach. It’s just not right… simply not right at all. Which of us creative people desire to sell out? To think only of what somebody else wants from us and kill all of the scraps left of our creativity?

I’m pretty sure when we were children, not a single one of us would refuse to punch our future selves if we heard ourselves talking like that. And yet… here I was surrounded by classmates who were eagerly shaking their head in agreement, laughing jovially, and awaiting his nuggets of wisdom.



image source

I’ve known I was in the wrong program for about a year now… but it still saddens me to see so many people brainwashed and to think that at one point he had me too.

Why is it, I wonder, that today’s society in America puts so little emphasis or appreciation into the arts?

By no means am I saying that the professions we hold in such high esteem are anything less important then what they’re made to be. Or that all commercial artists think this way. Hell yes we need doctors! We couldn’t do so much of what we do without engineers, mathematicians, teachers, scientists and everything in-between! Yet… it seems to be a common denominator throughout the human race as a whole that these jobs keep us physically living, able to function, evolve longer lifespans to survive. 

But we live for the arts.

What would we do without our music on our way to work? Without the movies we go to see with our families and friends? Our T.V. shows? Our books?

Our art sets our mood and allows us to escape the pressures of this world if even momentarily. 

Without it… would we really enjoy life? It’s said to be unessential… cut from school programs while logic and reasoning is shoved down the throats of our future generation. All for what? So we can keep progressing… get a stable job… make a good sum of money…but be numb to the life around us past the age of 12?

I think it’s time for a reset. I think it’s time to cultivate our individuality and creativity. To think outside the box and stop running towards desk jobs and benefits with paid vacations.

It’s time to start asking ourselves the big questions… Who are you? And who do you want?

I’m done listening to other peoples’ fears. Done with group mentalities and doubt and security. There’s no guarantee that any of my stories will become published… no promises that my words will be liked… nothing. I have a dream and a purpose and I’m going to start riding it unaltered towards the light I see until I reach it or die trying. Even if I never reach my goals… at least I can say I lived life the way I wanted, and not the way some client told me to.

Life’s to short to spend 40 hours a week hating it… Live a life you won’t regret.


11 thoughts on “Art as Prostitution”

  1. Just out of curiosity, are you able to switch classes if you feel you’re in the wrong place? Also, I’m totally with you on living the life of our dreams. It can be taken away so easily, why waste it? (Sorry if that was really morbid, I almost died today.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t morbid, I saw your post pop up in my email but didn’t get to read it yet… I hope everything’s ok! I’m glad you’re alive.

      You’re able to switch degrees but I have 90 credits and this is my last semester, so I’m getting. An associates there and then transferring somewhere that suits me better. It’s unfortunate they advertised as “storytelling through art” but what they meant was advertising. The beginning classes weren’t- they were great but then it slowly got bad.

      Absolutely life is too short to waste!


      1. Everything’s fine and I’m very glad I’m alive too! That’s a shame the class didn’t turn out the way you thought it would. I wish you the best with your transfer!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you!

        Nothing’s wasted, the program still taught me some technical things about getting my work out there I wouldn’t have gotten elsewhere along with exposure to digital art 🙂 take the advice I want and leave the rest, that way any experience can be learned from.

        I look forward to the next phase in my schooling, thank you for the good wishes 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Spot on! What a great read! I hate when professors ask you the question, “well why do you want to [insert profession here].” You never really get that far, you chose the profession because a) it something that you liked and b) because it something that you know you want to do. I remember when my professor for my ed courses asked why we wanted to be a teacher. Some people are like, “Whoo summers off!” She laughed and said, “you don’t get summers off, you are still working trying to get ready for the next year.” She is right, but that is not always a reason why some of us choose this profession.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! That is what I like to tell myself. I mean summer’s off are nice, but no job is ever done if you look at it from that perspective.

        Liked by 1 person

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