♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
What software do you use for your writing?
Bookkeeping? Artwork? Calendar?
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Photoshop remains the main tool in my arsenal for creating art. If you didn’t know already, I do more than write. Digital painting, drawing, photography, and graphics are secondary preoccupation for me. Art is something I’ve engaged with over the course of my entire life.
Access is the hardest part of art. Materials can be pretty expensive. I’ve written before about how photography saved my skin, but it couldn’t do so until it was made financially accessible. Digital platforms make it a lot easier for artists to create. It’s not always financially accessible though.
Photoshop upgrades, for instance, very expensive. It’s over $20.00 per month on a subscription. I have to say, too, that subscriptions truly suck. Before you start saying, but they stay up to date better and blah bah blah. I should be able to buy the software outright if I wish, and make due for as long as I can with that iteration. Instead, corporations have found a new way to gouge customers. The subscription over a series of years will soon outstrip the cost of outright purchase.
The problem is that people require certain software to do their work, and if their work isn’t producing the capital to support their art, they’re buried in expenses and a day job to afford it all, thus not supporting their art at all. Companies don’t care. They’re completely unconcerned that they’ve made art inaccessible to only those with means. This then becomes an issue of equity.
Yes, there are programs available for free or cheaper. Those products often come with malware and seriously subpar tools. Thus, the artist finds even greater expense (fixing their computer) and multiple applications plus increased time to accomplish the same art. The free market doesn’t fix it, either. Because the market operates on a toxic track like a parasite.
The idea is to get more buyers and more purchases, and hook them in for as much as you can. The tactics are slight of hand, used (subscription prices looking like they’re not all that costly, packages that offer a deal, for a time) to convince the buyer they’re not paying too much. Regardless, when you add it up: 21 x 12 – $252 annually. That cost for the next 15 years is nearly $4,000. I purchased my Adobe suite a few years ago for $500. Now I will pay 8 times as much! Subscriptions like this are parasitic, especially when one realizes that the majority of what it is has long since been developed and is running pure profit at this point.
I’ve tried knock offs and they’re nowhere near the same. In fact, they’re down right clunky, frustrating and often useless! I used a knock off at my previous job, and I eventually had to tell them, I cannot keep working with this software. It is anti-intuitive and ridiculous. They got me a photoshop license.
All I see is a company backing artists into a corner to bilk them of their hard earned money by creating a situation in which they have to pay up or eat tar. There’s no competition. There should be. The market should have produced plenty of competition. Yet, those that are somewhat comparative, those are subscriptions, too.
It’s too bad that people who use the software don’t realize how much more they’re paying out annually, and they’re not getting any return on that investment. They’re just situating themselves into a position to constantly feed their hard earned cash to corporations. Their compliance makes it much more difficult for any other artists to fight the practice, too.
When one is willing to pay up, the rest are dragged into it with them. That reads as market acceptance. Do we really need the latest and greatest? Narcissists think so, because that’s how they maintain their public image. Them along with individuals with a legitimate need create the self abusing pull.
Honestly, I am surprised people haven’t fought back against this practice. When Microsoft took it up, I ceased to get the products on my own. Thankfully, my job requires that I have them, and I can put them on my computer for use as part of a job perk. When I retire–what then? I suspect that by then a subscription for the office suite will cost at least $100+/yr. At least their pricing is closer to reasonable (currently at $70/yr).
Photoshop treats itself like a luxury, when it’s a tool for work. I’m not sure why they’re under the impression artists make enough to afford them! It’s comical really.
Let’s hop on over to see what the other authors have to say about their software choices. Click on the links below to read further…