Art has always been about making unique pieces of work that shared the message of the artist. Artists who worked in early centuries were dependent upon patrons to support them while they worked. The patrons owned much of the work these artists produced. Wealthy people were not the only ones who used the system of art patronage. Large institutions, such as churches, used the same method to gain works of art. The artist had to keep pleasing the artistic tastes of their patron and that limited their field of production. Over the centuries, this form of support has changed. Artists are now independent contractors, and they have the freedom to produce any subject they choose in their art. As long as a person likes the piece, and has the money to purchase it, anyone can now acquire art.