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The Deal for Art. The Art of the Deal.

In spite of everything a writer, an artist, has to eat. Okay, no one here is going hungry. Well, when I go hungry it is because I refuse to stop working to get food. Coffee takes enough time as it is. But ink needs to be bought, paper, pens, pencils, X-Acto blades, glue, postage, envelopes, frames… Oh. I asked for this.

I heard a story on NPR (can’t find it now, of course) about how IQ indicates income. That’s right. People in the higher IQ range make more money. I refused to see the results of an IQ test I took. That knowledge can’t do me any good.

I’ve also heard (read?) that a Master’s Degree should boost your income. I’ve got a Master’s! I really do.

Why have I never had a real job with a real income?

I read somewhere that if you aren’t making a certain amount by a certain age… well, you know.

I’ve got a Master’s Degree and don’t really know what I’m qualified to do. What about you? What are you qualified for?

In the meantime, I have this notion that I should sell art and write stories. And buy supplies. So. If you are inclined and able, go here.

11 thoughts on “The Deal for Art. The Art of the Deal.

  1. Uh-oh. If income is related to IQ, I’m a cretin and have been all my life. Now I know! Mystery solved!

    What am I qualified to do? Well … I have ALMOST all the qualifications for a rich bum. Almost. 😉

    Have a great week.

  2. This post makes me laugh. Haha. I am laughing because it is all very “me too.” Except I did work for 5 years at a real job teaching High School English, like a real person, with a masters, at a rather low pay, though. Lower than would make sense to keep working and send two little kids to daycare.

    I think I would like to quibble with that NPR article. And I’d like to see all their facts, because I get the feeling that after a certain point, the IQ=income thing starts going in the other direction. But maybe I’m just going off of anecdotal experience.

  3. Most of the people I know aren’t doing what they went to school for. I’m one of the only exceptions, actually– got an English/education degree and I’m still teaching, ten years later. I think it’s really normal to not find out what you’re good at/qualified for until you’ve tried a lot of different things. So most people don’t discover what they really want to do until later in life. The kicker is that even if you discover a job that suits you, that’s no guarantee that you’ll make money at it.

    That said, I don’t have an MFA, but I think I’m more than qualified as a writer.

    • I’ve got an MA, not an MFA, but either way, I’m not using it. And I don’t mind doing something other than what I went to school for. I got a degree in English and teach ESL. I happen to like teaching ESL. My students are great. I’m lucky. It is just worrisome sometimes that I make next to nothing. What will I do when I’m old? How will I send my kid to college? Will we ever have a house. I’m just worrying about money, but I like what I do.

  4. Well, I searched for the article you’re talking about, anytime over the last year. (I assumed you’d read it fairly recently.) It may be this one from February (which was mostly about the correlation between [low] IQ and heart disease).

    The rule of thumb I remember — which is waaaaay outdated, no doubt — is that you multiply your age in years times $10,000. If your salary doesn’t at least match that figure, you probably need to think about another source of income. Something like that. I knew it was out of date when I learned that a nephew, 30 years younger than me and just a few years out of college, was earning six figures a year as a financial analyst.

    Whatever my IQ, I’m woefully underequipped psychologically to deal with financial planning. I probably should live in one of those 19th-century communities like Amana or the Shaker villages, where I just do what I do and sort of look to the sky when things get tight. Unfortunately I seem to have been born at least 100 years too late.

    I love all the things you’re coming up with to experiment with the artist-audience/artist-patron relationship. Reminds me of the Long Play experiment that the musician Sam Phillips is doing for a year.

  5. Maybe the article wasn’t on NPR. I listen to NPR, PRI, WNYC, and CBC Radio. Who knows where I hear anything. For that matter, maybe it wasn’t the main point of the article. It might have been a side note. Mostly I remember thinking, “F*ck.” Cause I’m an idiot.

    Sam Philips (who I quite like) has a lot more fans than I do, so when these things don’t work, that makes me feel better. Actually, her Long Play experiment contributed to this idea.

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