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Because It’s Sexy, That’s Why

Why the heck not? I’ve got an evil twin, I can have a long lost sister.

  • Last night I had the pleasure of dining with Dylan Meconis and her wife, Katie Lane of Work Made For Hire. The conversation went far and wide¹, but a recurring theme was why do artists not apply the same fervor that goes into their art to the legal/business aspects of their careers? And how can I help change that? The question never resolved into a neat answer, but in thinking on it since I’m tending in the direction that artists (for the most part) know that this is stuff they’re supposed to care about, but if they don’t have somebody to to help them with ______ ² and don’t know where to get one, the whole issue gets back-burnered like a diet resolution on January third.

    So I’m solving the issue now: Knock that shit off, artists. Your work has value. Your time has value. Insisting that people pay you as agreed doesn’t make you a jerk, it makes you somebody who will meet rent this month. If you don’t know who to talk to, talk to Katie. I don’t have a need for IP or contracts advice, but if I ever did, she is the first person I’d contact and I’d do whatever she told me to³ because she is scary smart and not out to screw me. Yes, that will cost me money, but you know what would cost me more? Getting screwed on the fact that I thought I knew the terms of a contract and didn’t know it as well I’d convinced myself.

    There. Problem solved.

  • News! Since the launch of Maker Space a whole day ago, KB “Otter” Spangler has seen the precipice and taken the leap of faith:

    I am a full-time Thing-Maker now. I’m not really sure how this happened. I am totally sure it’s all your fault. Yes, you. Thank you for buying my stuff, and for leaving reviews, and for telling your friends about this wacky corner of the Internet. It all adds up, and it is appreciated!

    If you haven’t bought your copy of Maker Space yet, I’ve put a list of links here. I’ll update this page when new formats are made available.

    I am still waiting on a piece of art to do the final Kickstarter update,* so I’ll do that when I receive it.

    See you on Thursday!

    *Since this is the Internet and we all know how the Internet thinks, I should probably mention that my single source of income for the next year will be from sales of Maker Space, not the Kickstarter. Guys, if you walk away from a project-oriented Kickstarter with spending money in your pocket, you are not using Kickstarter correctly.

    I wanted to share this to say two things:

    1. Congrats, Otter, and keep up the good work.
    2. Look at that last part, particularly the last sentence; Otter has summed up the fundamental truth about Kickstarts that everybody looking to get in on the Magic Money Machine needs to have tattooed on the insides of their eyelids.
  • Procrastination alert! Jorge Cham is wandering around the UK, apparently alone and up to his own devices. It’s probably too late to point you to the talk at St Andrew’s University as it’s already happened, but the next three days will bring Cham to Warwick University, Cambridge University (where they arguably invented the idea of university), and Queen Mary University (details TBA, check Cham’s events page). If anybody sees Cham and he looks lost, jetlagged, like he might be driving on the wrong side of the road, or perhaps too deep into his cups, make sure he gets pointed in the right direction, yes?

¹ A discussion about where electric power goes if you don’t have a transmission system? Swoon! I think I fell a little bit in love with Katie, and Dylan very kindly did not brain us both.

² Contracts. Getting paid. IP issues. Fill in the blank as you wish.

³ Which would probably include Talk to this other person who has the more precise expertise or regional locality that will benefit you.

Why do artists not apply the same fervor that goes into their art to the legal/business aspects of their careers? I would have thought that was obvious: because they’re artists, meaning their passion is in their art and their means of self-expression. At best the legal/business aspect is more something they have to do, a right-brained activity for left-brained people (or is that a left-brained activity for right-brained people?), a necessary evil of sorts to keep people with fewer scruples than themselves from making profit they don’t deserve.

Weird coincidence, G — yesterday I was talking with a developer who’s been working on business software to aid artists manage exactly this stuff. Don’t know anything about it past its existence, but perhaps worth poking a stick at:

your Kickstarter comment = ain’t that the truth.

[…] up on the observations of KB Spangler re: Kickstarters ‘tother day, Minna Sundberg shares how a crowdfunding can be monstrously successful and go […]

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