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Yes, if you are a doctor, lawyer, plumber, retailer, anyone that works for a living you expect to get paid for what you do, but there is a strange misunderstanding of the value of Art and what Artists offer and do in this country and sometimes in cultures across the world.
It still boggles my mind that people come up to me having being a professional Artist for 35 years and having had 32 one man shows across the world, and say to me, “could you whip up a quick picture for my mum’s birthday, won’t take you long, I know you’re an Artist and she would really like that”.
I don’t do cold casework anywhere these days, however to understand the mentality behind these request I often go along with the approaches to see what happens.
Me – “Sure what do you want and how big would you like it?”
Response – “Oh nothing too big, about this size, when could you do that?”
This is the part I like as it enables me to see the reaction on these folk’s faces.
Me – “Give me your details and I will get my personal assistant to send you an invoice for that sized painting.”
Response – “What’s the invoice for?”
Me – “So that I can be paid for the work you are requesting.”
Response – “What do you mean you going to charge me?”
This is where I tend to get a bit upset. Yes you idiot, just like the Doctor, or the Lawyer or the Plumber, I too get paid for what I do.
I have crafted my skills for the last 52 years, since I was 5, I deserve to be paid for my work too. There are not too many Doctors around that started their craft at the age of 5.
This also is part of the psychology that I have to deal with every day when I speak with Artists about The Colour in your life TV series.
A whole lifetime of crafting my skills and my ideas have gone into creating what we feel and many others across the world do now, one of the greatest ways that Artists across the globe can market their work to ten’s of millions of people and share the VALUE of what each of these people brings to our society.
I applaud the wisdom of the many Artists that have had the courage to come on board and be a part of our journey, I think if you read the many testimonials you can plainly see that this idea is one whose time has come, I was just the vehicle to get it started.
For some reason even Artists think that I just seem to pull money out of my you know what and be able to pay the five staff that work with me and the three ladies that work for our not for Profit, Paint Your Life.
Oh my God you’re going to charge me, is a comment I hear over the phone every week and once again someone in the Arts doesn’t deserve to be paid for the huge effort they are making to actually make some one else’s life a hell of a lot better than it was before we did these shows for them.
The price that we charge to be on Colour in your life is ludicrously low when you compare what a normal film shoot would be with an everyday film crew and editor. In saying that, that does not mean that they can get that show onto any TV broadcasting Network anywhere on the Planet. Colour in your life is on a blue ocean at the moment and I well understand why no one else on the planet has ever tried this before, reason being, because it is simply UNBELIEVABLY hard to do and to keep the systems and the Artists and all the schedules operating every day so that there are no mistakes made. It actually costs me personally far more money to bring these shows to the many broadcasters we work with these days than the price that is charged.
We simply would not have as many companies across the world, particularly from the U.S, wanting to partner with us if they did not see the enormous value that our idea is having and will have in the future for the Arts.
If you can’t see the value in what we do, then that’s fine, but don’t come to us in 5 years time and say, gee nothing has changed for me.
The Artists that have been filmed will be seen in 100 years time somewhere in the world. The others will just be a painting hanging on a wall.


Graeme Stevenson



  1. John N Mason on October 2, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    I’m new to CIYL but already I can see Graeme Stevenson is doing a great job and deserves to be supported.
    As soon as I get myself better organized I plan to get more involved.
    Keep up the good work Graeme.

    • JennyO on October 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your support. We only just launched our new website and are in the midst of getting the forums going and all sorts of new features. All feedback is welcomed so we can improve the user experience for everyone!

      I hope you noticed I’ve included a link in this week’s featured Friday’s thanks to your input.

      Have a great weekend and I look forward to hearing more from you in the future.


  2. annaharris888 on October 4, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I totally agree with John. Colour In Your Life is so valuable. Not only did it inspire me to try out art in the first place – I blame Graeme for the year I spent teaching myself to draw. Several years on and I’ve just done my first mural!

    Now, with every new episode, each new medium gives me a whole lot more questions to ask myself about what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. I’m also saving up to go to a few workshops here and there. I appreciate learning about all these artists and I can see how they can benefit from the exposure too.

    Much gratitude to Graeme and the team for being the conduit we all need.

  3. peebee on October 5, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Well said Graeme, I don’t think I’ve missed a show. They are educational as well as entertaining. One day when I have sold a few more I hope to venture onto the show, but until then I will check each week to see what the next installment brings. You and your team are doing an excellent job of promoting artists everywhere, so keep plugging along. The future looks bright.

  4. Sunila on October 9, 2015 at 3:40 am

    I suppose it’s either that or charge for the viewing of the videos or do publicity clips as others do. The money needs to come from somewhere.

    I had a similar remark yesterday while presenting the work I am selling on Kickstarter “So, do you do this in your free time?” “Well it’s my job…” I could also have said “Free time? What’s that?” :)

  5. craig t fair on October 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Who else has had: “Have you ever thought about selling your work for money?”,or, “It’s good you’ve got a Hobby”,or,”If you do this Painting or Drawing for me, I’ll even give you a Slab of Beer for it!!” What about the ‘Death Wishes :e.g. “I can’t wait till your dead, so, the Painting I bought off you will be worth more!”Ha, ha. On another note though, I was really happy with your ‘old’ format, when around 8,000 people looked at my work. I totally agree with everyone who works on your site being appropriately payed for all the great work that you do, with all the extra hours you must put in. Unfortunately though, for me [ & for others in my position ], It’s hard enough being a ‘Professional Artist’ [ ‘Multi Award Winning work, here & overseas ], but, a hell of a lot harder when you’ve been ‘Physically Disabled’ most of your life! So, unfortunately I ‘miss out’ [ $s?? ] on a lot of the services that you provide in your ‘new’ format, but, appreciate the great services you are providing to other Artists. Keep up the good work!

  6. johnmayer on October 19, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I understand what you feel. As a web designer, I have experienced those situation.

  7. i4arts on October 22, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Hi everyone. Thank you, Graeme and Colour In Your Life team for doing what you do. Since I discovered your program I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Please, continue this excellent idea no matter how hard; do not let artists unprepared for the show (like myself) take your spirit down. I believe that they are supporting you in invisible ways. Staying on the topic, our society needs more education when it comes to artists and their profession. It hasn’t been properly spoken about it in schools by the art teachers or their curriculum. Sad sad case. Yeah, I go crazy too when I hear the word “hobby” in my surrounding!!!! as I, too, come from a long way exploring art as a profession and even though Ive been to hell and back (a few times) since in Australia, I never stopped working on my dream to become an international artist – it looks like I did, but I dint. Building a family here came first for me and here I am walking instead of running as an artist. I do appreciate the peace and beauty of the Australian culture and landscape. Thank you for filming artists at work, Colour In Your Life team! and, please, let us know what can we do to help sustain your mission around the world (some of us don’t have a clue). Blessings!!!!

  8. ColorBug on December 2, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    For over twenty years I earned my living as a performer, having spent 20 years prior to that working like the devil to learn my craft. Yet people were constantly asking me to perform at parties, festivals, civic events — you name it — for free. The typical enticement was always, “It will be great advertising for you!”. Perhaps it would have been, if what I wanted to advertise was that I would work for free.

    I heard a great story about Picasso once, about how a woman came up to him in a café and asked him to do a quick drawing for her on a napkin, which he did. “How much do i owe you?” the woman asked. “5,000 francs,” he answered. “What!! Are you mad? It took you two minutes to draw this!” the woman sputtered. “No, Madame,” Picasso replied, “it has taken me my whole life.”

    Thank you Graeme, for everything you do for artists everywhere!

  9. nicola on December 12, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    I can relate to so many of the above comments’ . One day I will be confident enough to come on your show. At the moment I am taking the first step to put a painting into the Gallery.
    Thank Colour in your life team.

  10. mcsplish on December 16, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    The trouble is that Aussies would much rather watch the footie than ever go into a gallery. Art is considered so unimportant yet I know that it is at the basis of all our choices and decisions in the real world. Just look at our fabulous Opera House! Everyone loves it yet it was howled down to start with. And colour is vitally important – checkout how enlightened hospital’s walls are coloured. But checkout how many silver (read GREY) cars are on the road now. Boring. People are scared to use great colour. With regard to pricing – I learnt years ago to never give away my work because they are the paintings that never get framed, get stashed behind the door. They aren’t valued because the recipient didn’t have to fork out their own precious dollars! Don’t ever do it!

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