I've been re-thinking my approach to doing art alongside commerce these days.Creating music is my life blood and the thing I can spend all day doing without being bored or uninspired. As I survey my little studio, however, I realize how much money I've poured into making music. I'm a songwriter, engineer/producer and composer who also plays in bands live. The monetary investment in getting the instruments, amps and FX pedals to use to craft a consistent and professional sound was considerable. Composing for films, spoken word projects and (eventually) commercials is even more expensive. A virtual instrument and a quality collection of sounds to use with it will set you back quite a bit cost-wise. Scroll down this page and take a look at the prices of these virtual instruments! For composing, you need bags full of these sound collections. I own at least 7 items fom that list. Most collections are instrument family specific, so you'd have to invest separately in each of say strings, brass, percussion etc...Then, you'd have to further vary those families by musical style or continent of origin. I have a project I hope to land in the next month or so that will require all asian and african instruments like sitars, mbiras, tablas etc...Your typical sound collections don't contain those kinds of sounds. The sound palate from which you pull to craft soundscapes for folks has to be variegated and expansive. You never want one project you compose to sound just like the one before or after it. I also mix and master my own projects and the tools I need to do that well (the better quality hardware and software proccessors) are quite expensive. Marry all of that to the sweat equity and time I pour into crafting a soundtrack for moving pictures or for poems and we arrive at me feeling like I've invested much with little monetary return. You expect that to be so when first starting out, but I've been in the game for some time now. The lack of an appreciable return on my investment is beginnng to bother me, discourage me even. It incenses me when folks expect me to continue to compose or to play for very little or for free. It's a complete lack of understanding and respect for the money and the time I invest in making sure their projects really sparkle. I make music because I love it, but I make music FOR YOU for the experience and for the money. Both are important. I have to stop investing in people who don't, in turn, invest in me. I have to be as smart about the commerce aspect of what I do as I am about the artistry involved. It's as simple as that.