Object vs Experience
The concept of tipping wait staff and bellhops for contributing to a positive dining or travel experience is a familiar one. We tip street artists for bringing art to our lives and making an impression on us, if even for only a moment.
However, most artists make their money either by selling the 'object', if there is a physical one, or by the support of larger funding bodies who give awards and grants to work deemed worthwhile by juries. And while this type of funding is crucial, and we need our governments and institutions to show strong investment in art, what about opening up avenues for individuals to engage with the art that moves them by donating small amounts directly to artists?
If systems were in place (such as a donation button on an artist's website, or bitcoin addresses in the form of QR codes added to art labels) would patrons of the arts, and even self-proclaimed 'regular folk', the kind who utter the oft-heard phrase ' I know nothing about art, I just know what I like!' support the art and artists that move them by tipping whatever they can afford?
This would not be meant to replace the main source of income for an artist, but to provide a boost - and to offer more ways to people to engage with the work.
In a way, tipping with bitcoin is more than just transferring the financial object; it's also taking part in a supportive experience.