Is it important to support the artist?

 Jeff Lamson – Arts & Entertainment Editor

Supporting artists is important, said Southern students, but when doing it through financial means are not viable, there are other ways to help.

In addition to buying an artist’s work, going to shows and galleries one can support artists through other means such as emotional support and promotion by word of mouth for the ones they care about.

“I feel for people who make a living out of it,” said Pete McEachern who relates a musician himself. “There’s a reason I chose not to do that, ‘cause I know it’s really hard.”

The senior psychology major said that the arts are important to keeping life interesting and Shannon Wynne, also a senior psychology major, said that without them life would be dull. She said that art allows us to interpret and relate to each other on another level.

“It helps strengthen the human connection,” Wynne said.

Sophomore Cassandra Harris, said that it is important to her to help support people dreams as having dreams is something that we all share. All the big stars and major pop artists all started somewhere, said the Spanish and secondary education major.

Harris said that she would rather help a newcomer than a big artist and Wynne said that one’s art would have to speak to her for her to commit to financial support.

McEachern said that he does what he can to support artists such as his girlfriend who is in a band and is more likely to support a friend than an established artist.

He said that his girlfriend’s band is still playing a lot of shows for free and in one instance time made just five dollars. He said that he mostly uses Spotify for music consumption, but has bought his girlfriend’s work on and likes to take advantage of the tip jar at live gigs.

“In the age of the Internet and stuff, it’s easier to get your work out there,” McEachern said, “but it’s probably harder to make money off of it.”

McEachern said he has bought visual art in the past and consumes smaller independent film projects sometimes, but is unsure how much money actually gets back to the creators.

“I wouldn’t even know how to support people doing that kind of stuff,” he said, “unless they set up a GoFundMe or something.”

McEachern said he cannot just pay $.99 per song and that while he knows Spotify is better for the artists than some services he said that it is still terrible. Even bandcamp takes a cut of artists sales and record companies do not leave the artist much.

“It’s just a depressing thing to think about,” McEachern said. “There’s just so many people involved who need to get their cut.”

Photo Credit: Herry Lawford


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