The New York Times did a little experiment in newsgatering by posting on their website a request for information from artists on what they were doing to cope with the recession:
Perhaps most striking about the comments was the considerable number who were defiantly upbeat despite grim circumstances. Many artists echoed Ms. Holland, testifying that the recession had strengthened their commitment to their work or allowed them to concentrate on their art — since the time spent on side jobs had diminished — or had even been a source of creative inspiration.
Liz Fallon, 30, a visual artist in Portland, Me., started selling her paintings and drawings to private collectors about 10 years ago, when she was still in college. She has not sold an original work in almost a year. But in the Portland area, Ms. Fallon said, there seems to be a kind of artistic renaissance under way as various groups, like photography cooperatives and drawing collectives, form to connect creative professionals with one another.
“As for myself, freed from the constraints of creating for a specific buyer,” Ms. Fallon wrote, “I’ve experienced my own surge in creativity and have been producing a great deal more than I used to. While it would be nice to still be getting paid for my work, the need to be more resourceful is having a beneficial effect on the arts community around me.”
Tight Times Loosen Artists’ Creativity (New York Times)