I watched a really interesting video today, in which the amazing Amanda Palmer talks about how she wants to find a new way to distribute her music, without a record label, and with the internet. She used to be a living statue, and she uses this as a way to explain how she sees the possibility of changing the way musicians, and by extension, other artists (writers, painters etc) could distribute their work and still make the money they need to live on. She says they have to be unashamed to ask their fans for money, like a living statue putting out their hat, and I agree. If you care about someone's art, be it music, poetry, a novel, a painting, etc, then you should be willing to help them continue to create by investing in them, by buying a copy of their song, or book, or whatever. This is a bold new century and there are so many incredible people creating things that may never be picked up by a major record label, or a big publishing house, or gallery, who can share their work with the world through the internet, and feel able to ask that people pay for it, just as they would in the offline world, just as they always have, but without a middle man, artist to fan, fan to artist, and have an interaction that is in a way more personal, even if it is online.
If this all sounds a little muddled, it is, watch the video, hopefully it'll become clearer.