You really can’t make Art without Money

Hertz Nazaire
5 min readJan 19, 2017

Artist are born poor, I wonder why the world thinks it is so romantic to see artists in deep poverty, living only on passion, depression, and madness to create great works only die in poverty.

Hertz Nazaire in the Studio

I find this to be a strange thing, I have a lot of ideas I want to explore but most of my art live and take shape only in my mind. They also die there, because I cannot afford to create the works I am dreaming of. I regret a lot of pieces that I am not able to bring to life. I wish they could easily be forgotten. But I am haunted by these paintings.

I still regret the paintings that live only in my mind.

You can’t create art without money. This is not coming from a Damien Hirst or Jeff Koons who are living a very successful life selling works for millions. No I am the one saying being a poor artist, really, really sucks.

Recently as I am waiting in line at the Dollar General lost in my mind I hear the lady behind the register say something, “credit or debit??” she repeated after getting my attention.

I raise my gray EBT SNAP (food stamps) card thinking, there has to be a better way to live. I don’t have a SNAP card because I chose Bohemianism as my religion. I have a SNAP card because I really need to eat properly to survive life with Sickle Cell Disease.

There has to be a better way to get Money.

If I was not born with Sickle Cell Anemia, I don’t think I would ever become an artist. The fact that I have a disease that made it nearly impossible to work a regular full time job is the sole reason behind my desire to create my art. If I was not on disability I doubt I would have the patience to suffer through poverty without finding something else to do that pays real money. There has to be a better way to get money. Art does not pay and you can’t create any art without it.

Can you imagine working 16 hour days for months to prepare for a public art exhibition and there is absolutely no profit or money involved?

The longer I live this life the less I enjoy living it poor. Art does not pay, at least not for a person like me. Maybe I just lack ambition or I am not as lucky as those who are making a very good living at selling their creations but it is really hard to create art without money.

Last year I put up a Patreon page after seeing a TED talk video “The art of asking” by Amanda Palmer, dreaming of reaching enough patrons to help me support my life as an artist. It is hard not to dream of being able to sustain a life through your creativity.

The art of asking — Amanda Palmer

I don’t see many any real painters on the top 50 list. Amanda Palmer is not a painter. I am not a comic book artist and I don’t create anime characters. I don’t create video games. So going down the list I really wonder if I would ever reach 100 patrons.

A Top 50 Patreon Creators’ List

It has been nearly a year and I have 17 patrons currently and working very hard on my next exhibit. My credit card is nearly maxed out on art supplies. I am really getting anxious for things to change. I start to question my own talent. Maybe I am just not good enough or my art is not finding a fan base.

The art of asking does not seem to work for me

Over the years I have tried every trick in the book to get followers on Social Media but no matter how many likes or followers you have it takes money to boost your posts so people can see you are asking them to become your patron. Why am I not able to get 1,000 patrons to take notice of my work?

I am Following 107,000 on Twitter, you’d think I can reach 1,000 patrons afte a year. Nope for some reason I am failing.

What am I doing wrong?

I am really failing at the art of asking thing Amanda Palmer talks about. It is not easy to get free money for art if it were artists would not be so poor.

I am not really sure but the art of asking is not working for me. I need to promote my crowdfunding campaign more effectively. There is only so many places you and ask for money without spamming people. I was finally able to get my Facebook verified but I gave up on asking twitter to verify my account @nazaire73 I am not a rapper so no luck there. Patreon only seem to feature successful creators on the website so I am not going to be featured until I reach 1,000 patrons or something above that.

So pretty much my plan is to keep at it long term. Stay on Patreon for the next 5 or so years and keep asking. Keep trying, keep creating art with the amount of support I do have. $100 per month is better than zero and I hope that I can get much more support in the future.

You really can’t make art without money. Become my Patron on Patreon.

Keep asking for support, You can’t make art without money.



Hertz Nazaire

ハイチのスーパーフラット #KingsOfHaiti Artist PAINter #Haiti - Life is shorter than we can hope for... I wish to dedicate the days I have to inspiring compassion with Art