Archives for posts with tag: Magda Olchawska

Everything has a price tag. Yes, I know that things that are really worth millions can’t be bought, like good health, happiness, or time, although some things that help maximise them can (good medical care, time management devices, lack of financial concerns, task delegation). But in general terms, most things have a price attached. Value is not the same as price. You might value a nice sunny day and time spent with friends and that has not price tag attached. And other people might be prepared to pay a high price for things that you would not give a cent/penny for, and might not even want them for free (latest fashion design, a gadget that you’re not interested in, a sports ticket you don’t care for).
What is the value of art? Do you think artists ‘work’? Should they be paid for their efforts?
If you’re wondering where I’m going with this, it’s something that I’ve been thinking about a fair bit recently. A couple of friends of mine, a man and a woman, both extremely talented, both write, both also make movies, one is also an actor, the other one directs movies and works on scripts for people (and both have made videos for me) narrated very similar anecdotes to me last weekend. On Saturday I was exchanging messages with Alan Cooke (a.k.a. Wild Irish Poet) who told me he’d been asked to take part in a project run by somebody else on the expectation that his time and effort would be given for free (and the unspoken understanding that he should be grateful to be asked). The next day Magda Olchawska told me a couple of young women working in a project had told her they thought she’d be the right person to help them, again with the expectation that this would be provided free of charge. Both of them had a similar take on the matter. ‘You would not ask a plumber to do a repair for free, would you?’ Or ‘You wouldn’t go to a shop and take what you needed without paying; why should expectations be different?’ Why indeed.
We (or the majority of people, but sorry for unfair generalising) seem to think that whilst professions (or people doing a more ‘mundane’ job) do it for the money and it therefore has a value and a price attached, in the case of artists it’s not the same. They’re having fun! They’re doing what they really want to do! Do they need to get paid on top of that? Now you’re kidding me!
Well, surprise, surprise, artists eat too. They have to train and work hard at what they do. It takes many years to achieve expertise on a subject or field, qualifications, to keep updated, and of course you have use of materials, resources, time…Imagine musicians playing their instruments for years before they master them, or ballet dancers training since they are little and sacrificing games and playing time for their art. We all have heard stories of people who suddenly after writing their first book, or posting their song on the internet, or taking a picture or video, their work went ‘viral’ and became successful overnight. This happens, but compared to the number of people who try to make a living in any of these (and many other) art-related subjects, the likelihood is so small that it’s similar to winning a big lottery price. It is not the norm. Most artists work for many years to see little return and few manage to make a comfortable living out of it (let aside become ‘successful’ and ‘famous’). Struggling to make ends meet is the norm rather than the opposite. Very few get to be well known names like Damien Hirst, Lady Gaga, or Russell Crowe. But they still have to put a roof over their heads, food on the table and pay the bills.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Min...

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Damien Hirst (1991) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And when they can, artists love to help colleagues and do things for good causes, but not to the detriment of their livelihood. So next time you look (or listen, or touch, or…) a work of art, ask yourself what value does it have to you. Because if it makes you think, it transmits beauty, it makes you happy, it makes you want to dance…it’s worth something. Don’t take it for granted.
Thank you for reading. If it has made you think, please leave a comment, and share.

And in case you want some information about my friends I leave you a link to Alan’s page on Facebook:

http://on.fb.me/151c1Js

And to a post on Magda:

https://olganm.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/guest-author-and-filmmaker-magda-olchawska/

Go on, click and share!

 

Todo tiene un precio. Sí, ya sé que las cosas de más valor no se pueden comprar, como la buena salud, la felicidad, el tiempo libre, aunque algunas cosas que pueden ayudarnos a sacarles más partido (buen cuidado médico, tecnología que nos ahorra tiempo, buena solvencia, delegar las tareas) sí que se pueden comprar, o alquilar. Pero en general, la mayoría de cosas llevan una etiqueta con el precio adosado. El valor de algo no es lo mismo que su precio. Tú puedes valorar muchísimo un bonito día soleado y pasar un rato con tus amigos y eso no tiene precio. Y otras personas estarán dispuestas a pagar un alto precio por cosas por las que tú no darías ni un penique o un céntimo, e incluso no las querrías ni gratis (el último diseño de moda, él último juego de ordenador, una entrada para la final de un deporte que no te gusta).¿Cuál es el valor del arte? ¿Creéis que los artistas ‘trabajan’? ¿Se les debería pagar por sus esfuerzos?
Si os estáis preguntando adónde quiero llegar con todo esto, es algo que me ha hecho pensar mucho recientemente. Un par de amigos míos, un hombre y una mujer, los dos con mucho talento, los dos escritores, los dos hacen películas, uno es también actor, la otra dirige películas y se dedica a adaptar guiones para otros (y los dos han hecho videos promocionales para mí) me contaron dos anécdotas muy parecidas el fin de semana pasado. El sábado estaba intercambiando mensajes con Alan Cooke (alias Wild Irish Poet, el poeta salvaje irlandés) que me dijo que le habían pedido que participara en un proyecto organizado por otra persona, convencidos de que daría su tiempo y esfuerzo gratis (y por supuesto tendría que estar agradecido por la propuesta). Al día siguiente, Magda Olchawsak me dijo que un par de mujeres jóvenes trabajando en un proyecto cinematográfico se pusieron en contacto con ella diciéndole que creían que ella era la persona más adecuada para ayudarlas, de nuevo con el convencimiento de que tal ayuda sería gratuita. Los dos compartían una opinión muy similar sobre ello. ‘No le pedirías a un fontanero que te hiciera una reparación gratuita, ¿verdad?’ O ‘No irías a una tienda y te llevarías lo que necesitaras sin pagar, ¿por qué tendría que ser diferente esto? Sí, muy buena pregunta. ¿Por qué?
Nosotros (o la mayoría de la gente, pero perdón por generalizar injustamente) parecemos pensar que mientras los profesionales (o gente que se dedica a trabajos más ‘mundanos’) lo hacen por dinero y por eso tiene un valor y un precio adherido, en el caso de los artistas no es lo mismo. ¡Ellos se lo pasan bien! ¡Hacen lo que siempre han querido hacer? ¡Y encima quieren que se les pague! ¡Deben estar de broma!
Pues, sorpresa, sorpresa, los artistas también comen. Tienen que practicar, experimentar y trabajar duro en lo que hacen. Se tardan muchos años en alcanzar experiencia y maestría en un campo o especialidad, en algunos casos hay que obtener diplomas y estudios, hay que mantenerse al día, y por supuesto se usan materiales, energía, tiempo…Imaginad a los músicos que estudian y practican con sus instrumentos muchos años antes de alcanzar nivel profesional, o los bailarines de ballet que empiezan a bailar desde muy niños y sacrifican juegos y tiempo con sus amigos por su arte. Todos hemos oído las típicas historias de gente que de buenas a primeras después de escribir su primer libro, o descargar su canción en el internet, o publicar una fotografía o video, de repente se vuelve ‘viral’ todo el mundo lo comparte y de la noche a la mañana se hacen famosos y consiguen un gran éxito. Eso pasa, pero comparado con la cantidad de gente que intentan ganarse la vida con tales artes (y muchas otras), las probabilidades son tan minúsculas que es similar a ganar un premio gordo en la lotería. No es la norma. La mayoría de los artistas trabajan mucho años y obtienen muy poco dinero a cambio de sus esfuerzos y pocos llegan a vivir una vida confortable solo con las ganancias de su arte (por supuesto ya no hablamos de los contadísimos que llegan a ser ‘famosos’ y a tener ‘éxito’). Muy pocos llegan a ser nombres conocidos como Mariscal, Lady Gaga, o Javier Bardem. Pero famosos o no necesitan un techo sobre sus cabeza, comida en la mesa y dinero para pagar los recibos.
Y cuando pueden a los artistas les encanta ayudar a sus colegas y contribuir con su apoyo a causas que se lo merecen, pero no si eso significa que no se pueden ganar la vida.

Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem (Photo credit: Kami Jo)

La próxima vez que mires (o escuches, o toques, o…) una obra de arte, pregúntate qué valor tiene para ti. Porque si te hace pensar, si transmite belleza, si te hace feliz, si te da ganas de bailar…tiene valor. No lo tomes a la ligera.
Gracias por leer. Si te ha hecho pensar, por favor, deja un comentario, y compártelo.

 

Hello all:

If you remember a while back I talked about Magda Olchawska and how she was one of the first people to offer me advice and support in this task of not so much writing, but trying to promote your own books. Magda writes, is a very talented filmmaker and offers professional advice on how to promote your books (including creating book trailers. She did a wonderful job with the trailer for ‘The Man Who Never Was’), how to turn your book into a script, and many other things. She’s very generous with her advice and tips and after only a few months I consider her a good friend.  Did I forget to say? I met her through Twitter. Yes, another one of my Twitter treasure finds.

As I’ve said we’ve kept in touch and Magda has kindly agreed to be a guest in my blog. She has replied to some questions for us and at the end of the post I’ll include some links and also the link to the trailer for ‘The Man Who Never Was’ she created for me.

Here I leave you in the very capable and kind hands of Magda!

magda[1]

When did you first start writing?

I started writing when I was pretty young. I read a lot of poetry so, naturally, I started writing poetry. However seeing no success in my writing or rather not believing in myself too much I gave up writing for few years before I came back to it full time.

What inspired you to write?

The film scripts I write are usually based on my observation of daily life with a pinch of my imagination.

 

The children books I write are mostly based on my son’s stories and my experience & observation of his behaviour and life.

 

The novel I’ve just started to write is based to some extent on my experience, with rather huge dose of my imagination.

Have you always been intrigued or wanted to write a particular genre?

No, not really.  When it comes to writing scripts I write various genres.

 

When it comes to books I write for children and just recently extended my writing to more grown up writing.

 

What I definitely don’t want to write & won’t write is horror, or zombie or vampire stuff.

How did you come up with the idea for your newest/current project?

“Untitled Novel for Women Only” has been on my mind for some time. However, I couldn’t get the form just right. So it took me quite a bit of time to figure out what would be the best format for the novel. After I had the right format in my head I started writing. To write one novel post it takes me up to a week. I’m planning to post novel posts once a week.

Every week it’s going to be a continuation of the previous post. However, if readers decide to read just one post they will still be able to find their ground in the novel.

Do you write as a full time occupation? If no, do you think your everyday job provides you inspiration for writing or is it a necessary evil?

I’m a full time film director and writer. I also run social media management business so these three related occupations keep me both, busy & inspired.

If you could meet any writer (or writers) in the history of literature (dead or alive) who would you choose? And why?

Oh, dear it’s a difficult one. I guess at the moment I would love to meet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

 

I just love “The Little Prince” and it reminds me so much of my childhood.

What do you think about social media? Do you use it mostly as a promotional tool or is it an integral part of your life?

Social media has become a big part of my everyday life. I work with social media on daily basis to promote both my clients’ work as well as mine. I think social media are time consuming but at the same time give artist the freedom and opportunity we have never had before.

 

If the social media are used in a coherent & wise manner I don’t see the reason why they wouldn’t work to the artist’s advantage.

Any tips for people thinking about writing/publishing?

Just keep writing and re-writing. Don’t give up and don’t waste time on people who try to put your down.

Tell me a new thing you have discovered recently that you think should be shared.

Working hard 4 hours a day is fantastic & very productive .

Tell me an old thing you’ve rediscovered that you think shouldn’t be forgotten.

 

Importance of family in one’s life as well as taking time off and relaxing makes life not only more pleasurable but also more productive.

Magda is so right…Here are her links:

This one takes you to ‘Untitle Novel for Women Only’ that as Magda explains she’ll be posting every week:

http://magdaolchawskablog.wordpress.com/

This is her webpage where you can find more information about her, her projects and her consultation services:

http://magdaolchawska.com

This link is to her page about her children’s books (where she also shares her thoughts and posts):

http://mikolayandjulia.com

Check this link for her online media management:

http://originalmediamanagement.com/

I hope you enjoyed reading about my friend Magda and I leave you also a link to the video she created for my novel ‘The Man Who Never Was’

http://www.youtube.com/embed/qvUitFG2D20

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