Redefining Success

Chris Onstad, creator of Achewood, had this to say in a recent interview:

“I’m not saying I don’t see Achewood as a success, because of course I do. The interesting thing about the way the Internet has shaped up over the last two years or so is that I don’t need to have – although I would like – an enormous Achewood collection in Barnes and Noble to be a success. On the Internet, I can monetize in so many different ways. We have a shop where you can buy books, t-shirts, accessories, paintings, on and on and on. There’s close to 100 different items that we sell. I don’t need to be as big as The Rolling Stones to make a living because ultimately I can support my family.”

I’d extend that message to a lot of other areas of artistic expression – music, books, graphic design, etc. I’ve seen a lot more musicians making a living through online means rather than through conventional outlets than ever before. If you’re a cartoonist, why bother with a syndicate? If you’re a musician, why bother with a record label? If you’re a writer, why bother with a publishing company? To paraphrase Andy Warhol: “in the future everyone will be famous in their own microcosmic niche.”