Money is complex.
The more I focus on helping writers create the financial stability they need to do their best work, the more I am becoming aware of other conversations happening around this topic.
It is affirming to know that there are other creatives grappling with the ways that money encourages and/or inhibits the creation of the work that matters to them.
Just yesterday, I was scrolling through Twitter and came across a tweet that read,
“Money. Money is what keeps talented people out of the film industry. As well intentioned as the "don't ask for permission, just do it" school of thought is; the reality is that Filmmaking is the most expensive art form, and in America is solely a business.
Money is complex. Just as art is complex. And they are inseparable from one another. Which is why these conversations need to be happening.
We can’t talk about money without talking about class. And race. And access.
We can’t talk about art, then, without talking about the very same things.
People with money get to make art. Of course, there are people without money who make art too. Disproportionately, however, it’s the people with money who get to create and share their work.
Look at any creative genre in North America and I’m sure that the people making it are mostly white. Which is no coincidence. Nor does it prove that able-bodied cisgender white people are more creative than People of Colour, trans folx, and/or people with disabilities.
Collectively white people make the most money and, thus, get to make the most art.
So we can’t address representation in writing, film, design, and fine art without also addressing racism, classism, ableism, and economic injustice.
Money is complex. Just as art is complex. Just as the ways that money affects—and is affected by—your identity is complex.
Your capacity to make art isn’t simply about your ability to “just do it.” There is a difference between overcoming the resistance and overcoming systemic economic injustice that, bit by bit, makes it increasingly more difficult for you to create the work our world needs.
As an Integral Master Coach™, I can say with absolute certainty that there’s a difference between limiting beliefs and the very real and difficult-to-overcome obstacles of oppression.
Of course they are outliers. People who overcame everything to make their art. Their stories matter. And it’s important to hold them in balance with the fact that it’s problematic that they are outliers in the first place.
Money is complex. Just as art is complex.
So how does your identity affect your relationship with money?