It’s Great to be an Indie Artist But…

An interesting blog that I read recently on In Tir Na nOg (http://medicinewoman.wordpress.com/author/medicinewoman/ ) got me to thinking about the subject of “Indie” artists, or publishers and what is the cost of artistic independence. In her blog medicine woman viewed the term “Indie” as a trade term and she assumed that Indie implied: “independently owned and operated brick & mortar”business. It can be any size business and their product can be anything; books, clothier, deli, restaurant, mechanic, hardware, etc…
It doesn’t mean that the bookstore prints all the books it sells or that the clothier makes all their own cloth.”

This definition seems somehow to miss the point of what “Indie” artists are trying to remain independent of. It seems to me that to be an Indie Artist is to perceive oneself as being free from the fetters of the corporate publishers and their demands to popularize your work to make it into a saleable commodity. But is there really anything to be gained by maintaining such an independent stance when the object of the artist is to make a living? The history of art is all about the compromise that is made between the artist and his patron and it could be argued that these syndicated sellers of art have in fact been the driving force behind all of the arts and that the influence of patrons over their artists has been the impetus for the creation of many enduring and classical works of art of all sorts.

When Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, or Van Dyke painted King Charles I, both of these great artists were working to a ‘brief, and in doing so were able to create masterworks of enduring beauty and deep meaning. Modern pop culture is constantly producing patronized works of quality that will endure long into the future. On his Venetian Vase blog (http://venetianvase.co.uk/author/croutledge/ ) Chris Routledge writes about the Hardy Boys and the lasting popularity of these books:
“In the United States the Stratemeyer syndicate dominated the market for children’s mystery stories for several decades from the 1920s. Edward Stratemeyer’s careful market research, and his skill in creating formulaic plots his writers could flesh out into stories, made him rich. What happened to the hundreds of ghost writers who worked for him, though, is less uplifting. The commoditisation of writers on the Web seems in many ways to be a new story, but writers, and writing, have always come cheap.”

Even though these books were produced by corporate methods and aggressively marketed the quality of the work has ensured that they are still popular today. Even Ellery Queen was a corporate/syndicated operation rather than the traditional mystery writer tapping away at a typewriter (it was two cousins and a bevy of staff) yet Wikipedia rates Ellery Queen as the most influential writer of modern American mysteries, second only to Poe (who wrote for magazines and newspapers). Could any Indie Artist match this kind of success?

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About dgmattichakjr

D G Mattichak jr was born in 1963 in Syracuse New York and immigrated to Melbourne Australia with his family in 1972. He was educated in one of Melbourne’s exclusive private schools before studying art at Preston Technical College. D G Mattichak jr has been a student of the occult arts since the early 1980s and has become well known in Australian magickal circles and, in recent years, around the world due to a string of essays on a variety of occult subjects http://www.scribd.com/dmattichak/shelf . He discovered the “key to the order & value of the English alphabet” from Aleister Crowley’s Book of the Law in 1983 and has since used this English Qabalah to unlock the secrets of Thelemite magick. Success in these methods admitted him to the highest levels of attainment in various Hermetic disciplines and until recently he has been passing on his knowledge to private students, many of whom have gone on to become notable occultists in their own right. After almost three decades of study and development D G Mattichak jr has finally been able to distil his knowledge of magick and Thelema into a book- A Comment on the Verses of the Book of the Law, the first in a planned series of books on Hermeticism and Thelemite magick, revealing, for the first time in over a century, the secrets of magick that have been hidden in Crowley’s magnum opus, the Book of the Law. D G Mattichak jr currently lives in Melbourne Australia with his artist wife Michelle and their two cats. He has had a long career as an al a carte chef in Melbourne’s vibrant hospitality scene and now spends his time writing blogs on cooking, writing and, in the guise of Master Ankh af na Khonsu, about magick. He is also one of the founding members of the Mt Franklin Annual Pagan Gathering and regularly contributes to its official website http://mountfranklinannualpagangathering.blogspot.com/ as both an administrator and as an author. D G Mattichak jr’s first book Loot was released in 2009. His books are available through amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=D G Mattichak&x=13&y=20 .
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