The Artist as Monopolistic Supplier


Contingency work by nature lends itself to a career that is flexible, but also extremely uncertain. This work requires a high degree of adaptability, often requiring an individual to juggle multiple jobs at one time. Today the artist will often take on many jobs in order to stay current enough to bring home a paycheck. In this respect, the artist can be seen “as a monopolistic supplier, [who] tries to expand the control over his own work and over the market of the goods or services he provides.” (Menger, 2006)

The actor, James Franco, exemplifies the contingent worker and monopolistic supplier, saturating the market with his products/brand. He produces movies, attends and teaches at multiple universities, performs in a soap, and is writing a book. Most recently he starred in and directed a commercial for Samsung, selling the new Galaxy Note. James Franco, like many in creative careers, juggles multiple jobs and projects in order to gain control of the creative market. Even when selling another organization’s product, such as Samsung, Franco is still branding himself as a creative worker.
Nikki Tuttle


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