Art, Banking, Power and Politics

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One of the most undesirable things most Artist want to participate in or discuss is the business and money side of Art.  Many even go so far as to say that business has no place in Art.  Unfortunately, this simply is not the case and in fact quite the opposite is true.  Without Big banking, money and business, many of the greatest works of Art throughout history would never be known.  

For instance, the Medici family of Florence who founded the largest bank in Europe by the 15th century were responsible for much of the great artwork produced during that time.  It was their patronage of the Arts that commissioned work for Leonardo Da VInci and Michelangelo to produce.  The power that their family wielded allowed for an environment where Art could become a guild to master and great work could flourish.  

Since as far back as the late 13th century according to some and definitely throughout the 14th,15th and 16th centuries,  Art, money and power were definite bedfellows.  Geniuses, Artists and Polymaths competed for contracts and commissions offered by the powerful  and wealthy, banking, religious and political leaders of the time.

Big Corporations, Federal Government, and Art?

Let's fast forward to 1960, 3d computer graphics and the "Boeing Man".  The Boeing Man is considered to be the first 3D human created using computer graphics.  It was designed by a man named William Fetter who worked for the Boeing corporation.  He is also credited with coining the term "computer graphics" in order to explain his job.  

Alias, the 3d animation company, was given a $61,000 grant in 1983 by the National Research Council that was largely responsible for getting that company started, further financing was obtained from the federal government through Scientific Research Tax Credits.

Gary Yost got more involved in computers taking advantage of a 1982  grant from Atari institute.  He later went on to become one of the founders of Autodesk 3D Studio, a place that we mention often here at 3D Graphic Art.

The Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics was founded by Howard Fisher with a grant from Ford Foundation.  

M.I.T.'s  Lincoln Labs was partially funded by the Air Force.  There they worked with the TX-2 computer system on manipulating drawn pictures. Ivan Sutherland eventually started refining that work into his famous Sketchpad system while a student at MIT.

Is Art Compromised?

The above is a short list of how corporations, banks and government  have helped influence and advance Art to where it is today.  There are many, many more examples of this, but far too many to list. 

So, why are we spending all this time reviewing this information?

Because right now there are artist out there who are maximizing the benefits of technology and big business demand to sell their Artwork and improve their lives.  Places like Renderosity, Daz3D, Shutterstock, Depositphotos and more are affording today's modern Artist the ability to combine their work with big business and the technology of the world wide web.

Rest assured that we at 3D Graphic Art, do not condone or support monopolies, greed, oppression and unfair business practices in any manner.  We simply believe that the broader our understanding of how Art was influenced by those who came before us will help us to embrace the connections of everything today and into the future.  Of course, as Artists, we naturally create without feeling the need or desire for big business.  To be antagonistic or otherwise spend our energy in a defensive manner about things we may consider compromising to Art is simply unnecessary.   It may be good to focus on where politics and Gov't. have actually participated in the growth of Art  rather than the opposite.    

Now, when you create Art for hire, it is true that there are inherently limits that the client will impose on you.  After all they are the ones paying for the work and they want a certain result.  This is clearly a situation where the Artists is not totally free to express their creativity in any manner they wish, however it does afford us the opportunity to not only earn a living, but to increases our skills and exposure as well.  

Do your best to embrace the business side of Art and you will enhance your opportunities to participate in the world doing something that you truly enjoy.  Don't limit your opportunities by shunning the business side of Art, it will serve you and your creativity better to learn to work with both business and Art.  You can also check out our article on graphic art vs. graphic design for a quick look at the freedoms and limitations of both.  We also make the effort to list as many places as possible for Artists to sell their artwork right here on this site, so have a look around.

-To Your Success!

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