We have become a world culture that perceives it has no leisure time.
“Out of Print” is a documentary produced by Morton Denn and directed by Vivienne Roumani. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend watching it. The film highlights my fears and those of many writers in the world. I think I can feel pretty safe in saying that there are probably a large number of writers and others (musicians, photographers, artists, voice over professionals) who are afraid that the ability of anyone to make a living creatively has been jeopardized by the expectations of anything in writing being free of charge on the world wide web.
It is my opinion that there are very creative artists who want to earn a living creatively.
5Artz will be an online website featuring a store and mobile app that promotes what used to be known as the “short piece” or short story. For writers, short stories were compact creations of prose that elicited an emotion of one kind or another. Creating compact prose has become an art form, generally recognized in the form of an award.
Regretfully, many new writers do not even know these awards exist.
Perhaps the truest form of an award for a writer would be the willingness of a perfect stranger to purchase what they have created, demonstrating that their work has merit, or value. The recognition that a new writer could receive would be that the words they are creating are so valuable, that someone is willing to pay for their work.
The mission of 5Artz is to promote new creative talent via a mobile app.
Part of my therapy in getting my life back to where it should be, getting my stories out for all to enjoy, will be in sharing this blog on and about 5Artz, the site I am attempting to create for all creative souls in the world.
As a creative artist, I know how many other people have been sidetracked by the rigors of life.
There are people who have hobbies that will never see the light of day. They want to make a living doing what they love doing the most. I am talking about writing their heart out, baring their soul in visual expressions, painting pictures with light, expressing their highs and lows in life with song, or dramatically expressing themselves as other people, other characters in worlds we have not comprehended yet. The dream of 5Artz is to allow not “A”-listers, but “B”-listers, “C”-listers even you would consider “F”-listers to take a chance on themselves and learn how to become creative professionals and sell their work via phone app to a growing group of buyers, namely commuters.
There nothing like the site I am creating.
At the time of this writing, there are probably thousands of existing websites for hopeful artists to perfect their respective crafts, which are fantastic places to visit. I highly recommend visiting all of them. 5Artz will be a site that compliments, not competes with existing websites for creative talent on the web. What I am creating is a site that capitalizes on the business that I learned as a novice writer so many years ago, and as a person who participated in online games. I believe there are features we can introduce from online gaming sites which could be incorporated into a creative site. A site dedicated to the democratization and freedom of creative expression, rather than something that fills a more conservative void; censored by the site owner.
The vision I would like to introduce is a community-run website that supports creativity of individual members, policed by its members and is self-sufficient.
In order to be self-sufficient, it cannot be a free site. It must have some way of supporting itself in order to add more tools, provide mentors and bolster its mobile app to survive. It will cost $3.99 per member each month to satisfy this need. Like the gaming world, as the demands of members become more intense to accommodate rising professional needs, we will create higher tiered memberships, which will feature better, more expensive tools.
The site will grow with its members.
Members will vote on any new additions to the site. If members feel that something is not needed, it will not be added. Therefore, the website will be community-run, all monies collected in member fees used to pay for staffing, upgrades, tools and maintenance. In short, the more members the site attracts, the more tools will be added to the site.
5Artz will feature short pieces of work.
Each member will agree (in writing) to sell their finished short pieces for no more than $1.00 (USD). Why no more than the price I just quoted? Because I feel that in this day and age, the general populace find that purchasing something new and creative for $1.00 or less is more than equitable. The price is adequate, and can introduce the world to new talent, regardless of age, race, creed or gender.
So, if I’m only selling for $1.00 (USD) or less, how would I make money?
5Artz members will have a choice of selling their work through a free mobile app (that can be created with security options). The really cool idea about selling via a free mobile app is that members could be the very people marketing the free app. You can answer this hypothetical question. So, if we have 100,000 members, even 10,000 members pushing this app on their respective Facebook pages or other social media websites, could we conceivably get people to download and use the app?
Yes, we could.
Word-of-mouth travels rather quickly, so imagine the app being downloaded by 1,000,000 (that’s 1 million folks) people. If you are a member and able to capture just 1% (one percent) of those users every month, how much are you earning as a creative individual? Let’s do the math: 1,000,000 x 1% equals 10,000 (if you can’t figure this out, I have provided you with a link). So, can you survive on the possibility of earning $10,000.00 (USD) per month as a creative artist? The beauty of this equation is that if you are an enterprising individual, you would create salable material every month that links to the previous short piece you created (this works for musicians, photographers, artists and voice over professionals), also working in something that leaves your new fan to salivate over your next piece the coming month. Create 12 pieces over a year, and a writer has the makings of a book, an artist or photographer; the makings for a portfolio, the musician the songs to create an album and the voice over artist, enough material for either a play or movie.
Short work is already gaining popularity.
Flash fiction has become a popular form of prose writing. It is quick, terse and conforms to the average needs of today’s mobile culture. Many times however, it is free. 5Artz is being created as a hopeful link between those who wish to develop a career creatively. The website will focus on a short story for a writer, one visual panel for an artist, one photograph for a photographer, one song for a musician or one short 5-minute audio piece for a voice over professional. The beauty of 5Artz is that the writer can have the freedom to express themselves in whatever method they choose.
A community that works together: 5Artz.
The 5Artz community (members) will have the opportunity to work with them, and those of us running the site will have the opportunity to ensure that the written work is placed in the correct genre (I will ensure that adult-rated material is placed in the proper adult-rated slots). I have worked for (and will continue to work for) Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc. and learned a valuable life lesson from my mentors.
NEVER CENSOR contributed work.
I will make it clear right now, that 5Artz will NEVER censor any contributed work. That work includes political, religious or work that may seem offensive to certain groups. It will however, be placed in specific categories, so that you the buyer, know what the work is about, so that you can make a sound buying decision before you make the purchase. Our work will be categorized in alphabetical order, with the community members and 5Artz staff creating new categories as they are needed. Work will then be reorganized as needs arise.
Any changes made to the 5Artz website will be known to the community.
All modifications to the site will be voted on by the community as much as possible. There may be certain changes that are necessary, but the objective of the 5Artz staff will be to ensure that the site is not only beautifully aesthetic, but simple and functional.
Perhaps the greatest challenge for the website will be legal problems or fears regarding breaches of security or intellectual property disputes. All members will agree to mediation regarding intellectual property rights and problems that could arise from disputed claims of trademark or copyright infringement. 5Artz will employ a legal staff and mediators to work with members in resolving these issues through a support link.
5Artz will be the first creative website to house voice chat capability.
Imagine being able to collaborate with other people (creative artists) in projects where your finished product pays you both equally. The cool thing is that you were able to work out your collaboration verbally. The site would have a collaboration link set up, with online tools for you to create, develop, modify and finally submit salable, polished work for the mobile app for sale.
I have laid out my basic skeleton for the site.
We already have members on our original website: The Forum for Creative Innovation, and have already decided to eventually move the site and members over to the 5Artz site. We have not decided whether or not we will maintain the site yet, but it is something we will eventually kick around with our 5Artz community. In the meantime, we hope that you enjoy our short videos that we will be presenting for our initial crowdfunding campaign to raise awareness and hopefully recruit new members for the site.