The continuing saga of one girl’s quest to cut through the red tape. Read previous posts HERE.
A few months back this image went viral, at least among my filmmaker, artist, and writer friends. Some of you may have missed it so here it is:
When it hit my eyeballs I silently did a little, “Hell yeah!” and clicked the “like” button in solidarity. Then I went about my business. The sentiment rang true in a fun, inside joke kind of way at the time, but recently I had an experience with some venture capital dudes looking for a “creative” and that little e-postcard thing took on a much more sinister, American Horror Story-esque tone, minus the murder and mayhem. Here’s why.
Hit the Jump to read more about The Elf’s artist lament…
“I won’t reveal the subject because those venture capital dudes have money and I don’t and I know for a fact they cyber stalked me before the interview…”
One fine day I cruised through Craigslist’s fascinating job listings. I’ve seen everything from a “visionary leader on a quest” looking for a “squire” to something that said, “Bilingual Brains wanted!” They may need to hire a writer to massage that last job description a wee bit. The “visionary leader” is doing pretty OK in the creativity department though. Seriously if you’re desperate for writing material or a laugh, just cruise Craigslist for five minutes and you’re golden. Anyhow, an anonymous start-up with venture capital funding was looking for a writer to pen a book about a subject that yours truly is pretty passionate about and which has been the subject of many-a-post on this here blog. I won’t reveal the subject because those venture capital dudes have money and I don’t and I know for a fact they cyber stalked me before the interview so… use your imaginations and color me paranoid.
Even though I was passionate about the topic, they needed someone with a “logical” and in-depth practical knowledge of the subject and my level of expertise is more along the lines of a knee jerk emotional response devoid of any logic whatsoever — but it has heart. Even so I emailed them and the first line of my illogical cover letter read: “To be honest I’m probably not the right person for this job but I’m passionate about the topic…” After all the “To Whom It May Concern” B.S. cover letters I’ve sent in my life, this one got the fastest response. Cool. I didn’t have the in-depth mathematical knowledge they sought, but I figured it was worth a meeting. Plus they seemed to think I was “the One.” If they turned out to be Scientologists luring in new recruits at least I’d get some good material out of the experience.
“What is it with people having no problem throwing money at valet parking, tailors to hem their yoga pants, or cashmere toilet paper, but if you need some little creative person to actually create something for you? Peanuts…”
To sum it up, these dudes DID have dollars. Swank office, Ivy League biz degrees and a respect for the “creatives” that bordered on nonexistent. They wanted a writer to finish a BOOK in two months, and for all the research, effort and energy they would pay a grand total of … $1,000.00. There are no missing zeroes. It’s pathetic. Welcome to the life of an “artist”. They also said the writer would get 50% of the profits from the book once it became an earth shattering best seller, but I’m pretty sure no one gets 50% profits from a book… except maybe the publisher.
A rose is a rose is a rose and a grand is a grand but I ended up telling the dudes no thank you. I’m sure they’d pay someone more than that to come in for a few hours and fix their Ethernet cable or their Mr. Coffee. What is it with people having no problem throwing money at valet parking, tailors to hem their freaking yoga pants (true story, I saw a lady doing this last week), or cashmere toilet paper, but if you need some little creative person to actually create something for you — peanuts. I’m sorry but… f*ck that noise.
Sure, so-called artistic work isn’t like tracking down Osama bin Laden or performing neurosurgery on a diplomat, but still. And sure I agree sometimes calling yourself an “artist” sounds pretentious. But Fellini once said, “Of course I call myself an artist — what should I call myself, a plumber?” And OK, he’s maybe not the least pretentious artist example to use but you get the idea. When you want to hire someone to paint or write or sing and you have a zillion dollars and change to have your cashmere yoga pants hemmed? Pay up. Be fair. Have some respect.