There is a long-standing cliche of the "struggling artist". Is it any wonder that artists struggle when the effort they put in is rewarded only by the comfort that they are supporting someone else's passion?
If you're a musician, or another creative type, or indeed anyone in a service industry of any kind, you probably already understand what I'm saying. Think about it.
People contact you to provide a service, in my case, they want original music. That music does not magic itself up, but is the result of many hours of careful preparation and execution - and I'll be the first to admit it very rarely comes out right first time! Equipment must be turned on, pad and pen at the ready, many hours of nutting out ideas, finessing and polishing the creation, adding multiple layers of audio to make the song sing loudly and to the full, mixing levels to achieve an ideal, hitting record to commit and then master the output, and finally - sometimes days later - sending the track to a client.
Earlier this week I was a approached by a US-based prospect, a passionate professional in the food industry. A draft video clip of a film capturing the business's passion was sent for my review (footage complete with BMW after shining BMW driven by the business partners...).
The music composition budget? Non-existent. The presentation of the business otherwise? Immaculate.
Is it because music is a non-tangible asset that there is sometimes a perception it should be created and distributed for free?
You wouldn't go into a restaurant, discuss how much you enjoy eating and then ask for a meal for free! Time was taken to peruse the local market, carefully select ingredients, plan a menu, tend to every boiling pot and simmering pan, plate the meal with precision and deliver it to your table with pride.
Though you can't see music, it is feeding you every day and is a valuable part of what makes you who you are.
"If music be the food of love, play on" - Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, 1602.